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Yoga Chicago – 2008

Elesa’s meditation CD trilogy, How Silent is This Place, received a rave review from Debi Winston-Buzil of Devi 2000, in the June, 2008 edition of Yoga Chicago magazine.

Universal Love

How Silent Is This Place – Elesa Commerse

Reviewed by Debi Winston-Buzil

Elesa Commerse’s trilogy, How Silent Is This Place, is an experiential CD for all practioners of yoga, whether it be asana, meditation, or the yoga of sound. This is a different type of CD—a learning tool. Elesa guides us through the essential slokas or prayers you may have heard at the heart of a yoga class, as well as many mantras chanted during kirtan.

Her voice is like a warm embrace; her discussions on the mantras are pure poetry. Erudite and intelligent, these practices keep the living tradition of yoga thriving.

Volume 1 begins with the “OM” mantra, while Volume 3 ends with two English mantras. In between is everything from “Om Tryambakam” — the “Mahamrtyunjaya” mantra — to “Asato Ma,” with plenty of select kirtan chants in between. Elesa’s voice is the sole instrument, and the techniques for learning are quite clear. Each CD comes with a booklet that gives the Devanagari and English translations of the Sanskrit as well as musical notation.

I love this collection for so many reasons. It is not a passive experience—it demands that one participate. I love the soft soulfulness of Elesa’s voice. The teaching allows us to reach into our hearts and begin to find ways to undo the hardness surrounding that special place. And I love the mantras themselves. Mantras are special magical seeds of sound. They blossom more and more as we begin this simple exploration of call and response chanting. Elesa is part of the core faculty at Chicago’s Moksha Yoga Center. For more information on her workshops, visit