what to expect

  • lots of kirtan
  • hands on learning  
  • opportunities to lead kirtan with others
  • delicious vegetarian meals
  • beautiful nature surroundings
  • connecting with others in community

Doyal Gauranga is a lover of music and kirtan who finds his deepest spiritual connections through musical prayer. Having spent 10 years living in ashrams on both the East and West coasts, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and serves as the Program Director at The Bhakti Center. Doyal also serves as an Event Chef for The Bhakti Center and hosts regular cooking classes at Stanton Street Yoga. In 2017 he completed his 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training from Supersoul Yoga. Alongside his services, he studies Social Work and Mental Health Counseling at CUNY Hunter.

Kishor grew up in Alachua, Florida, where he was surrounded by kirtan from a very young age. At age 11 he started learning mridanga (clay drum). At age 18 he traveled to Vrindavan, India where he stayed for 4 months and deeply absorbed himself into the practice of kirtan. His experience in India inspired him to later return for a full year and continue his kirtan training. Kishor now lives in NYC and does kirtan for the Bhakti Center and surrounding yoga studios and spiritual centers.

Our Retreat Chef: Rasika Gopi Devi Dasi

Rasika Gopi has been practicing bhakti yoga for nearly a decade. As the Director of Community Groups and a member of the Sacred Ecology Forum at the Bhakti Center, Rasika is dedicated to serving the community and earth which she believes both sustains and nourishes our spiritual lives. Rasika has years of experience cooking for major festivals and catering along side her husband Doyal Gauranga. Rasika currently works for an environmental non-proft in NYC and is pursuing her master’s degree in environmental science.


with Doyal Gauranga & Kishor Gopal

dates – friday, april 20 – sunday, april 22

location – King Hill Cottage, Hudson Valley (at the foot of the Catskills Mountains)

admission – $250 per person + lodging (see below for lodging options)

capacity – 14

to register: contact: doyal@bhakticenter.org

This retreat will provide you an opportunity to take a break into nature and dive deep into kirtan. There will be group learning sessions as well as individual time with teachers to hone your skills on harmonium, kartals (brass cymbals), and mrdanga (clay drum).  The weekend will include lots of kirtan and everyone will be encouraged to sing in a warm, positive, non-judgemental environment.  We will also have seminars on the history and meaning of kirtan as well as how to approach kirtan in a devotional attitude.


– Mrdanga basics
– Kartal rhythm
– Leading your own Kirtan
– Harmonium melodies
– How to hold space
– How to stay absorbed
– Removing your ego from the equation
– Leading Kirtan as a service
– Shifting speeds in Kirtan
– The history and meaning of Kirtan

RETREAT SCHEDULE: (subject to adjustments over the weekend)

Friday, April 20th:

– 7:00pm –  Dinner
– 8:00pm – Opening kirtan
– 8:30pm – Group introductions and intention setting

Saturday, April 21st:

– 6:00am morning sadhana and sangha with kirtans specifically geared toward morning hours (morning ragas)
– 7:00am yoga (all levels)
– 9:00am breakfast
– 10:00am – workshops
– 1:00pm – lunch
– 2:00pm – 5pm personal time / kirtan practice (individual or with pairs and groups) / specialized workshops
– 5:00pm –  group kirtan and workshop
– 7:00pm – dinner
– 8:30pm – kirtan

Sunday, April 22nd:

– 6:00am morning sadhana and sangha with kirtans specifically geared toward morning hours (morning ragas)
– 7:00am yoga (all levels)
– 9:00am breakfast
– 10:00am – workshops
– 1:00pm – lunch
– 2:00pm – final kirtans (short kirtans that different people can lead)
– 3:30pm – Sharing circle with realizations
– 4:30pm – Final group kirtan
– 5:00pm –  Depart


Retreat Price: $250 per person + lodging

Lodging prices (additional to retreat cost)
Common space couches / futons: $175
Shared room accommodations with bed: $225
Private room with single bed: $275
Private room with double bed or queen bed (double occupancy allowed): $325

Checks made out to: The Bhakti Center


– Friday and Saturday night accommodations (various accommodations available according to price)
– Meals throughout the retreat
– Friday dinner
– Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner
– Sunday breakfast and lunch
– Daily yoga classes
– Group and private music lessons with experienced musicians and teachers


Metro North to Hudson
Possibility for carpool from NYC