Singer, Songwriter, Producer
Jim Beckwith is an accomplished musician, songwriter and teacher. His love of music and yoga inspired him to focus on bringing live music to yoga classes. Jim's music is soulful and evocative of healing and inner awakening. He mixes mantra chants and English lyrics with a melodic and accessible tapestry of sound, exotic instrumentation and undulating rhythms. A compelling lyricist with a voice that soars from high to low with the greatest of ease, Jim is a devoted yogi and musician who focuses on Bhakti - the great yoga of the heart.
Jim has played with many of the world's top teachers: Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, Saul David Raye, Desiree Rumbaugh, Amy Ippoliti, Sianna Sherman, Janet Stone, Kia Miller, Silvia Mordini and Tommy Rosen, among others. He has shared the stage with with many great kirtan artists such as Jai Uttal, Bhagavan Das, Govind Das & Radha, Dave Stringer, Brenda McMorrow, C.C. White, David Newman, Kirtaniyas, Aykanna, Shantala & Saul David Raye.
What's your definition of a SoulJour?
I believe a SoulJour is someone who follows their dharmic path in service of others, believing in the magic of the universe in supporting our actions for the highest good. Someone who pushes forward, sharing their gifts and inspirations without fear, surrendering, in trust, to the flow of this river of life.
What mantra/quote/belief do you life by?
One that comes to mind is a lyric from my own song, which is meant as an affirmation: ‘Everything is beautiful. Everything is fine. All I see is beauty now, because beauty is in the mind.’
What's been your biggest challenge?
My biggest life challenge was probably soon after graduating college, starting a new dream job where I wanted to be the best thing in the world. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, eating a lot of junk food and really stressed about learning a lot of new things for my job. Long hours. I begin having heart palpitations, not knowing what they were, yet not wanting to tell anyone. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I eventually had a major panic attack that sent me to the hospital.
How did you heal?
I pretty much had destroyed my nervous system and spent a week in the hospital, then a better part of the year or two really feeling solid again. This got me started on learning some breathing techniques and meditation, and listening to relaxing music. Of course the psychiatrist wanted to put me on drugs which I took for a bit, but realized I didn’t feel good having that stuff in my body. I got myself off them and started learning a bit of yoga. Over a period of several years I realized a few things. First, I was probably very dehydrated along the way. One of the biggest things I did to improve my health health was to drink water! Amazing. Also, I really needed to improve my nutritional intake also. I realized I was lactose intolerant for a while. I eventually figured out that my lack of energy was due to some sort of reaction to gluten or wheat.
How did you turn this challenge into opportunity?
I realized that my health was the most important thing to my life and refused to ever let my self get into such a bad condition because of a job or anything. I eventually quit that job and had a huge realization when, in the first year, I worked half as much and made twice as much money. I was freelancing and starting my own recording and composition studio. I worked for years in my own studio doing the projects of others, for commercials, films and recording artists. After a certain time I grew weary of doing everyone else’s project and not enough of my own musical expression. Also, I realized my soul was crying out for more human connection. I was spending way too much time alone in the studio. This is when I decided to invent something that I loved to do that would allow me to connect with people and use my gifts, my voice and music to inspire others. After years of creating music for video and film, then some time playing music for modern dance classes, I had the idea that I could create soundtracks for yoga, during yoga classes. Not too many people were doing that then, but after 12 years or so now, It has brought me a lot of joy to support yoga events with music. Finally, I feel like I’m following my path, sharing my gifts.
What's your daily practice?
I’m not sure there’s anything I do absolutely every single day except start with a great cup of coffee! That’s the truth. I try to have some singing and some yoga in every day, even if it’s scattered in little bits throughout.
What's #1 on your bucket list currently?
Be happy every day.