Emily Joan Smith is a musician and certified yoga teacher from Louisville, KY. A prolific professional singer with a wide range of genre experience, she often accompanies her sweet, soothing vocals with gentle guitar picking or a droning harmonium. Her original music includes influences ranging from bhakti yoga devotional chant to 60’s folk to indie folk. Her debut album Awaken weaves and fuses these genres together while exploring deep, heart-opening, existential questions about humanity and the reality of our sacred connectedness to each other and to All of Life.
In addition to her original music, Emily has been regularly leading kirtan in the Louisville area since 2017. She presently leads kirtan every month at Inner Warrior yoga studio, along with her kirtan band Anahata Bhakti.
Kirtan is one of the core practices of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of love and devotion. Sanskrit mantras are chanted and sung, often in a call and response style, and accompanied by the harmonium, drums, and other instruments. Songs range from soft and meditative to upbeat and blissful. These beautiful, repetitive mantras help to clear and calm the mind, uplift the spirit, and awaken and open the heart.
Kirtan is meant to be a participatory musical experience, though no musical experience is required to participate! You can participate as much or as little as you like! We gather in the spirit of satsang, also spending time in guided and silent meditation, contemplation, and inquiry, all within a supportive container of inclusive, loving community.
Emily holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Louisville where she studied vocal music under the direction of Edith Davis Tidwell for five years. She spent seven years singing with the University of Louisville Cardinal Singers and three years with the Louisville Chamber Choir, both under the direction of Dr. Kent Hatteberg. She worked as Alto Soloist and Director of Junior Choirs at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Louisville for 15 years. She has sung in the local folk trio the River Sirens and folk duo Wind & Pine. Over the past 25 years she has performed as a soloist and ensemble member in a wide variety of events, including concerts, weddings, retreats, services, festivals, and memorials. Currently she is most musically active with her kirtan band, Anahata Bhakti.
Emily received her 200 hr yoga teacher certification from Laura Spaulding at Yoga East in Louisville in 2017.