Sat Nam: The Secret (Not Really Secret!) History of Kundalini Yoga

 Sat Nam: The Secret (Not Really Secret!) History of Kundalini Yoga

October 29, 2016
Adapted from www.s##tyouregosays.com

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word “yoga”?

Stretching? Juice bars? Pseudo-Eastern spirituality? Tight pants on skinny girls pre-brunch? Yoga today is an urban trend, growing quickly in popularity since the turn of the 21st Century. The irony of yoga’s “now” status as a popular workout is that the practice is among the oldest rituals known to man. Today’s polished yoga centers and Bikram studios are only the latest incarnation of a tradition that has adapted to fit changing cultures for thousands of years. Nations have risen and fallen. Religions have come and gone. The apple of ideas has passed from Eve to Newton to Jobs. But yoga, in some form or another, has remained.

Nobody knows for certain how long yoga has been around. But as far back as our records indicate, archeologists have discovered evidence of yoga as both a physical and spiritual practice. Among the oldest records are engravings of yogi-like figures dating over 5,000 years ago from the most thriving cities of the era, Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, in the Indus Valley Civilization (present day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran). The development of yoga runs parallel with the rise of Eastern spirituality, and – prior to the centralized political power of religion we see today – was considered a method of direct connection with the divine. The spirit-body connection is the foundation of yoga (the word “yoga” itself is the Sanskrit word for “union”), and it remains the longest lasting spiritual practice in operation today. But, I mean, juice bars are cool too.

“Here is the greatest of altars, the living, conscious human body, and to worship at this altar is far higher than the worship of any dead symbols.” – Swami Vivekananda

What exactly is Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan?

Yoga has dozens of variations in philosophy and style. Some yogas (like Bikram) are structured as a physical workout. Others (like Jivamukti) put an emphasis on meditation. Kundalini Yoga is a little of both, but with an added emphasis on consciousness that activates energy centers throughout the body. Kundalini class can be a good workout, but its teachers and students (often cover their heads with white turbans) participate in each kriya with a quiet reverence more akin to a temple than a gym. If you like your physical exercise to come with a side of spiritual enlightenment, Kundalini Yoga might be for you. In fact it is often framed by it's practitioners as the "next step" or they are looking for something more spiritual.

“The primary objective [of Kundalini] is to awaken the full potential of human awareness in each individual; that is, recognize our awareness, refine that awareness, and expand that awareness to our unlimited Self. Clear any inner duality, create the power to deeply listen, cultivate inner stillness, and prosper and deliver excellence in all that we do.” –Kundalini Research Institute

A brief history of Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan

Kundalini is known as a niche form of yoga that is growing in popularity in pockets of New York City and Los Angeles. But Kundalini, perhaps more than any other yoga, has a long and fascinating history. There is no philosophy (physical or otherwise) that has been more durable than Kundalini Yoga. Unlike most ancient religious philosophies, Kundalini does not hold onto any strict rules or dogmas. The pure nature of Kundalini has allowed each generation for thousands of years to find personal meaning in the practice. The objective is decentralized and selfless – help people actualize their Higher Self. Kundalini does not claim to be the way; it is simply a way, one tool on each individual’s journey to personal discovery. Going to a class today feels so fresh, relevant and forward thinking, you would think it was a hybrid Eastern-Western concept developed specifically for the 21st Century.

“Kundalini” is an ancient Sanskrit word that literally means “coiled snake.” In early Eastern religion (long before Buddhism and Hinduism) it was believed that each individual possessed a divine energy at the base of the spine. This energy was thought to be the sacred energy of creation. This energy is something we are born with, but we must make an effort to “uncoil the snake,” thereby putting us in direct contact with the divine. Kundalini Yoga is the practice of awakening our Higher Self and turning potential energy into kinetic energy.

Today’s Western definition of yoga is limiting, describing a specific type of exercise. But to the ancients, yoga was a sacred spirit-body connection. Their goal was not fitness. It was direct connection with Brahman, the God-like spirit within us. No religious buffer between man and God was considered necessary. Just practice. Of the many yogas that developed over the past 5,000 years, Kundalini was considered the most sacred.

The exact origin of Kundalini Yoga is unknown, but the earliest known mention dates to the sacred Vedic collection of writings known as the Upanishads (c. 1,000 B.C. – 500 B.C.). Historical records indicate that Kundalini was a science of energy and spiritual philosophy before the physical practice was developed.  The word “upanishads” literally translates to “sitting down to hear the teachings of the master.” The first Kundalini classes were just that. Masters sat down with students and gave oral recitation of spiritual visions. This was a popular practice in ancient Vedic society (and would be replicated centuries later by a couple guys named Buddha and Jesus). Over time, the body science of Kundalini Yoga was developed as a physical expression of the Upanishad visions. From its origin, Kundalini Yoga was not taught publicly. It was treated as an advanced education. Students were required to go through several years of initiation before they were prepared to learn the spirit-body lessons of the Kundalini masters.

For thousands of years, the science of Kundalini was kept hidden, passed on in secret from master to a chosen disciple who was considered worthy. Teaching Kundalini outside the secret society of Indian yoga elite was unheard of. The public was not prepared, it was believed, to access such powerful knowledge. Kundalini was veiled in secrecy until one morning when a holy Sikh rebel named Yogi Bhajan wrapped a white turban around his head and took a one-way flight from Punjab, India to Toronto, Canada in 1968.

Yogi Bhajan

In Western Kundalini, Yogi Bhajan is like the American Blues, the point from which everything else derives. Without him, it’s no stretch to assume that Kundalini Yoga would still be unknown in the United States. While visiting California in the late 1960’s, Yogi Bhajan witnessed the hippie cultural revolution, many of whose principles he recognized from his own Sikh upbringing. He observed two things. #1) As evidenced by their search for expanded consciousness, young people in America were longing to experience God. #2) Aided by drugs and half-baked mysticism, they were going about it all wrong.

Yogi Bhajan knew that teaching Kundalini Yoga outside the sacred Indian lineage was forbidden. But during a meditation on a weekend trip to Los Angeles in 1968, he had a vision of a new spirituality that combined ancient knowledge with modern practicality. He awoke from the meditation with inspiration. He would teach Kundalini to the west, proclaiming, “It is everyone’s birthright to be healthy, happy, and holy, and the practice of Kundalini Yoga is the way to claim that birthright.” His weekend visit to Los Angeles turned into a permanent residency. Within the next two years he would establish the 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) Foundation and the Kundalini Research Institute. He was just getting started.

Yogi Bhajan taught over 8,000 Kundalini Yoga classes. He established the first teacher training program in 1969 and personally trained thousands of yogis and future teachers. Several of his students, including Gurmukh Kaur went on to launch their own yoga studios, and many Kundalini classes around the world today are taught by yogis who trained directly under him.

Yogi Bhajan’s influence extends beyond yoga. He wrote a handful of books, established International Peace Prayer Day and worked with several international governments on projects to bring peace and mindfulness to world affairs. Yogi Bhajan believed we each have a responsibility to better society through mindfulness and compassion, and he dedicated his life to making his vision of practical spirituality a reality. After his death, the U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan resolution honoring his contributions to the world.

“Kundalini Yoga is the science to unite the finite with Infinity.” –Yogi Bhajan

Kundalini Yoga philosophy: The Yoga of Awareness

The Upanishads texts (c. 1,000-500 B.C.) are first to reference Kundalini.

To understand the philosophy behind Kundalini Yoga, let’s follow the trail to the first historical texts to mention it by name – the Upanishads. Written by several unknown authors over the course of 500 years (between 1,000 and 500 B.C.), the Upanishads (similar to the Vedic literary scriptures) are a collection of oral teachings on the spiritual nature of reality.

The Upanishads, originally passed from masters to students following deep meditative visions, are square one for Eastern spirituality.  The central concepts of Hinduism, Buddhism and other traditions trace their origin to the Upanishads. So does Kundalini.

As the “yoga of awareness,” the philosophical purpose of Kundalini is to awaken your Higher Self. Each individual, it is believed, is an energy center for Brahman (God-like creative consciousness). By using the scientific methods developed by Kundalini masters over thousands of years, we are able to disconnect from the worldly Ego and connect directly with Universal Brahman.

Wait. How can a physical exercise connect me with, for lack of a better word… God?

In the tradition of Kundalini Yoga, God is not a personified deity in the sky. Not even close. The essence of God is the same essence of us. God is creative consciousness, the energy from which all things flow, including ourselves. We can access Brahman because it is already part of us. In other words, we are each individual expressions of the same collective energy. Kundalini is the method to shake off our false Ego narrative of separation and experience the true nature of our existence. Not bad for a little stretching, right?

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” –Carl Jung, author of The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga

Top 5 practical reasons to do Kundalini Yoga

“Okay cool,” you’re probably thinking. “This ancient and divine stuff sounds far out. But how will Kundalini Yoga benefit my life?” Fair question. For starters, it’s a great workout. The meditations included in each class are also great. But the health benefits of Kundalini are an added bonus. Here are a few other reasons to practice…

1) Expanding your presence expands your life.

Kundalini’s connection to your core energy allows you to approach each day with a strong sense of individual truth. This presence is obvious to those around you and will result in new opportunities and an expanded reality.

2) Instant inspiration.

I walk away from each class with a clarity of mind that breaks through old mental patterns and inspires new ideas.

3) Having a community keeps you in check.

Most of us spend part of our day around negative people who drag us down. Regular contact with a positive community on a spiritual path will lift you up and remind you what is important.

4) Magic happens outside your comfort zone.

Kundalini Yoga is full of surprises. You might be stretching one day and screaming the next. The spontaneous nature of each class keeps you light on your feet and ready for anything.

5) Everyone is a teacher (even you).

Yogi Bhajan said that he did not teach Kundalini to attain disciples. He taught in order to train new teachers. Kundalini reminds us that we each have an important message to share with the world. By finding your voice, and having the courage to share it, you will transform your life and the lives of those around you.

Kundalini Yoga terminology

Kundalini: The latent energy coiled at the base of the spine, often considered the “divine feminine” energy or the "Nerve of the Soul". Also, the yogic practice of awakening this energy.

Sat Nam: “I am truth” (Sat = “everlasting truth,” Nam = “name/identity”) – a common greeting in the Kundalini Yoga community and the reference to the Infinite, that is "my identity is what is real"

Shakti: Meaning “the power of the divine” – the female principle, manifested creativity the sacred life force inherent in all creation. 

Mantra: A word sound used during meditation.

Waheguru: Literally translates to “Wonderful Teacher” in Punjabi, this word implies honor and respect to the Infinite.

Brahman: In Hinduism, Brahman means “the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world.” In Kundalini, it implies the God-like nature of all things.

Kriya: An orchestrated pattern of movements and meditations – the unique set of actions during a class. Unlike Bikram, which only has one kriya (you do the same thing every class), there are hundreds of Kundalini kriyas. Every single class offers a unique experience. 

Breath of fire: A rapid, rhythmic, and continuous form of Pranyama breathing – one of the foundational breathing techniques of Kundalini Yoga.

Asana: A yoga posture – the way the yogi sits, stands or positions the hands.

Gyan mudra: A common mudra formed by the hand when the pads of the thumb and index finger Jupiter) touch.

Prana: Life force, that which animates all things.

Pranayama: The  control of breath (and subsequently the control of life energy).

Kundalini Yoga Techniques

Stretching, breathing, jumping, running, dancing, chanting, relaxing, meditating. Any given Kundalini kriya contains a variety of activities. A typical class is focused on control of breath,expansion of energy and alignment of the chakras.

The typical class is 60-90 minutes, structured as follows:

  1. 5-10 minute opening the channels with Pranayam or warm-up exercises(often including spiritual teachings from the instructor)
  2. 30-45 minute kriya (the workout itself)
  3. 5-15 minute Savasana relaxation (try not to fall asleep)
  4. 3-31 minute meditation (this could include pranayama, mantras or mudras and the length is determined by the level of the students) Note: I remember YogiJi told us "An hour is enough." for a general class.

According to 3HO, the following guidelines should be followed during each Kundalini Yoga class:

  • Tune-in with the Adi Mantra: Chant 'Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo' at least three times before beginning any warm-ups, kriyas, or meditation, (either to begin a class or personal practice)
  • Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of awareness. Listen to your body; do what works for you.
  • Challenge yourself to extend just past whatever you think your limits are. For instance, if you think you can only do one minute of an exercise, then try for one minute and ten seconds.
  • Follow the directions! Keep the order and type of posture. Do not exceed the stated times. If you wish to shorten an exercise, shorten all exercises in the kriya proportionally (i.e., cut all times in half or quarter).
  • In a class, feel free to ask for clarification on an exercise or other aspects of the practice.
  • Drink water as needed. 

What is a Chakra?

All matter, including the human body, is energy. Our bodies are anchored by eight energy centers, called chakras, little power hubs that fuel our vitality. Seven in the body and the eighth surrounding the body. They can be compared to transformers that take the massive energy that surges through wires and allows them to power our appliances without burning them to a crisp. When one of these energy centers is blocked (like the carburetor of a vehicle being broken), it impacts the entire system. One of the purposes of Kundalini Yoga is to clear blocks from the chakras (they could be emotional, mental, spiritual or physical blocks) to allow energy to flow freely. In Kundalini Yoga we include the Aura as the 8th Chakra.
The eight chakras work together to produce and distribute energy.

8th: Aura (surrounding the body)
7th Crown Chakra (at the top of the head)
6th: Third Eye Chakra (between the eyes)
5th: Throat Chakra (at the throat)
4th: Heart Chakra (center of the chest)
3rd: Solar Plexus Chakra (at the upper abdomen)
2nd: Sacral Chakra (at the lower abdomen)
1st: Root Chakra (at the base of the spine)

 

kundalini-yoga-info.com, The Back Story

The Back Story of Kundalini-Yoga-Info.com.
This wonderful website of over 350 pages was created by Sat Avatar Kaur in 2006. She diligently researched the information she has gathered to give sources for teachers, practices and other Kundalini Yoga related information free to all. As you read through these pages you will see new information, clarifications of practices and bios and contact information for Kundalini Yoga Teachers from all over the world. 

On this page you will find some examples of the kinds of information available to you on our site.We will continue her work and update, introduce new (ancient) practices in the years to come.

This is a message from Sat Avtar Kaur to us all.

Sat Avtar Kaur

"In (2006), I found Kundalini Yoga but, I could not find a list of the mantras, or how to say them, anywhere. Information on this technology was scattered all over the net. Impossible to keep track of and I tried. So I put all the information on a free wiki and in 2009, I created a 'real' website. In 2015, December, Shiva Singh Khalsa took over running this site."

May all of you, always walk in the Light of Your Own Soul,

Sat-Avtar Kaur

Kundalini Yoga Legacy Teachers S - W

This section starts with Kundalini Yoga Legacy Teacher Shabad Kaur and ending with Waheguru Singh Khalsa.

Master Teachers Location List
(By Country and State)

 

Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa 

Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, called the Mother of 3HO, has her page:

Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa

 

Shabad Kaur Khalsa
IL

Shabad Kaur Khalsa, MA, LCPC, LMFT, E-RYT 500 is Vice President of Kundalini Yoga Programming and Director of Spirit Rising Yoga, and one of the Directors of Spirit Rising Foundation of Illinois.

She personally served Yogi Bhajan and worked to transcribe many of his lectures on women's teaching and relationships.

These decades of experience provided her with what is a unique knowledge of the specifics of his meditations and kriyas and of the teachings.

She is a marriage and family therapist and expressive arts therapist in private practice. She integrates verbal, art and play therapy techniques with the teachings of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, offering a holistic approach in designing treatment plans. She facilitates experiential workshops at various settings including schools, clinical conferences, professional groups and hospitals.

Spirit Rising Foundation

www.shabadkaur.com

EMAIL

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Shabad Saroop Singh
CANADA

Shabad Saroop Singh is a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor, co-founder and director of Equilibrium, and an independent business owner.

In 1981 he met Yogi Bhajan. He has been teaching Yoga for 30 years and regularly travels to study and deepen his knowledge of yoga.

Shabad shares the teachings of Yoga with a rare warmth, humanity, wisdom and a sense of humour. Teaching for him is a vehicle to serve others and to contribute to the upliftment of humanity.

Yoga Montreal

Shakta Kaur Khalsa
VA

Shakta Kaur Khalsa internationally recognized teacher of yoga for both adults and children, has been practicing and teaching for over three decades.Shakta is an IKYTA certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and teacher trainer, an AMS certified Montessori educator, and an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance.

Yogi Bhajan recognized her as a teacher of children, and for many years had her answer inquiries he received about children's yoga.

Shakta began teaching children yoga in 1976 when she lived in a spiritual community in Baltimore, MD.  She loved making up yoga stories, and the children seemed to love it too.

In time she became a Montessori teacher. From there, she began teaching yoga in schools and daycare centers and realized that she could not personally meet the demand for children's yoga.

Thus was born the Radiant Child Yoga Program (RCYP), a comprehensive system for training children's yoga teachers.

Shakta travels to around 40 cities each year teaching RCYP.  Tens of thousands of people all over the world have benefited from this training, and RCYP has been recognized as CEU credits in public schools and therapy institutions as well as with Yoga Alliance.

In 1998 Shakta wrote Fly Like a Butterfly:  Yoga for Children, which launched her career as an well-known author of several yoga books, musical CDs, and, most recently, Yoga In Motion DVD and Workbook. 

She also teaches yoga workshops especially for women, based on her best-selling book Yoga for Women, and Kundalini yoga workshops for all levels. Shakta lives in Herndon, Virginia, USA.

Personal consultations are being offered in response to requests from those who have not been able to attend Shakta's courses, as well as from course participants.

Childrens Yoga

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Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa
NM

Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa, PhD PhD is founder and director of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine & Humanology.

A yoga instructor since 1971, she began to specialize in teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to people with chronic or life threatening illness and their family members in 1986, under the direction of Yogi Bhajan.

As a non-profit organization, the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine & Humanology brings the techniques of Kundalini Yoga into the health care field.

We provide instruction in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to people with chronic or life threatening illness and their family members, offer continuing education and professional training to health care providers and conduct outcome studies on the health benefits of Kundalini Yoga practice.

The Center provides direct client services and yogically based programs for people with diabetes, cancer, heart disease, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, HIV, anxiety, depression and life transitions. We offer professional training and conduct outcome studies on the medical effects of yoga practice.

Guru Ram Das Center
 

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Shiv Charan Singh
UK

Shiv Charan Singh is the founding director of the Karam Kriya School and Kriya centre for Kundalini yoga in North London.

He runs training programmes throughout Europe, Russia and the Lebanon. Karam Kriya School which offers a number of courses including an accredited teacher training in Kundalini Yoga.

As an adolescent, he experienced full Kundalini rising, a term used to describe profound spiritual awakening.

Inspired by Sri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji he began learning and teaching Kundalini Yoga in 1982 supplementing this with a life long study of Numerology. The combination of these different influences have led to the development of a new approach to the art and skill of holistic living and dying.

The science of Applied Numerology can be studied which provides a tool for understanding the harmony and inter-relatedness of all things.

Karam Kriya means 'action in spiritual awareness'. He is a skilled counselor, author of several books on human communication, "Let the Numbers Guide You: The Spiritual Science of Numerology".

Following a degree in humanities, he has undertaken extensive training in counselling and therapeutic skills. He has worked intensively and successfully with people who have drug habits and severe emotional problems, and he offers profoundly trans-formative individual counselling.

Karam Kriya Consultancy is a three-year course that focuses on communication and relationships.

Karam Kryia UK

Karam Kriya EU

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S.S. Shiva Singh Khalsa
IL

S.S. Shiva Singh Khalsa is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Spirit Rising Foundation. Since 1971 Shiva Singh has taught and lectured on yoga and meditation and other mind-body topics in scores of venues and to various populations ranging from children to University students to incarcerated felons.

In 1971, after some Hatha yoga practice, he was introduced to Kundalini Yoga. It made profound changes in his lifestyle, not least of which was to manage frequent seizures without medication.

It was this and the magnificent community that was blossoming around the teachings of Yogi Bhajan that saw him make a conscious commitment to this path in 1973.

He was ordained a Singh Sahib, Minister of Sikh Dharma in 1983 and has served the Sikh community in a variety of ways. Shiva Singh has received many honors and awards for his work in service to communities as an AIDS activist, to the Sikh and Indian communities.

He was recently honored as a foremost advocate for South Asian elderly and especially those neglected and abused and for which he is most proud, his work with preventing domestic violence against women.

He is on the staff that organizes the annual Summer Solstice Yoga Camp in New Mexico which attracts 1800 serious seekers each year to the high desert mountains for transformation and renewal.

In his role as minister and community organizer he helped found the groundbreaking Rogers Park Inter-religious Partners, a group of 20 faith traditions in the Chicago area in dialogue, collaboration and cooperation to use their faiths as bonds to increase the harmony, trust and community in their neighborhood.

He helped organize the Sikh participation in the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago and he traveled with Yogi Bhajan in 1999 to the Parliament in South Africa and was influential in manifesting an historic meeting of Sikh leaders from all over the world.

At 1999's Parliament of the World's Religions,Yogiji had Shiva Singh represent him and Sikh Dharma on stage with the Dalai Lama and other religious leaders.

He is a pastoral counselor with 20 years of clinical experience. He is the Director of 3HO Foundation of Illinois and the Midwest's Senior Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer.

SS Shiva Singh Khalsa

Spiritrising Foundation

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Dr. Siri Atma Khalsa
NM

Dr. Siri Atma was a student of Yogi Bhajan for almost 30 years and served as his personal physician.

He is a KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher & Teacher Trainer. He teaches at Yoga Centers, Solstices, Yoga Festivals and Teacher Training programs worldwide.

As a physician and healer, Dr. Siri Atma can help you understand how physical illness parallels spiritual challenge and opportunity.

Consultations incorporate yogic counseling, diet and nutrition, medical knowledge, Kundalini Yoga and meditation, to create permanent positive change in your relationships, health, career or spiritual path.

CD Lecture: In Merging Your Soul with the Infinite, Dr. Siri Atma talks about the paradox of having to both find and give up your identity in order to merge with the Infinite; the importance of your spiritual name; the benefits of a pure diet; and how to make time for sadhana!

Book: WAVES OF HEALING: Listening to the Voice of Your Soul
Featuring new kriyas for the Ten Bodies!

Dr Siri Atma Khalsa

Phone Consultations
 

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Siri Bandhu Kaur Khalsa
CANADA

Siri Bandhu has taught at Ottawa University, 3HO Summer and Winter Solstices, KWTC (Khalsa Women's Training Camp 1979-1999), Director Health & Healing Education KWTC, Co-director 3HO, Ottawa, ON since 1979, and at the London College of Acupuncture in England.

Since 1976. Siri Bandhu Kaur Khalsa has practiced as a Registered Massage Therapist for 30 years.

Ottawa Weddings Your Way

Vegetarian Bed & Breakfast
 

Siri Chand Singh Khalsa
WA, DC

Siri Chand Singh had studied at Maha Deva Ashram in Tucson Arizona in 1971 before being sent with Jhot Niranjan Kaur to open an Ashram in Nebraska. Siri Chand and Jhot Naranjan stayed in Nebraska almost 10 years.

While there he opened a Golden Temple Restaurant, YogaMat (pre-school children yoga), and taught yoga all over the state.

After leaving Nebraska in the early 198os Siri Chand started a "Wellness Week" retreat program in South Carolina which was held in the spring.

This program of kundalini yoga and various healing activities spanned over 25 years and has now relocated itself to the farmland of Maryland.

Presently Siri Chand teaches about 3 classes a day throughout suburban Washington DC . He also manages the Bethesda Co-op a natural foods store.

Kundalini Yoga
 

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Siri-Gian Kaur Khalsa
NM

My first contact with Yogi Bhajan was in 1975 when I had a very vivid "dream" of meeting him in a back room where he was being attended by several women in white. We talked long and carefully about what we would do together, and I made my agreement with the plan. Years later, when I visited Guru Ram Das Ashram in LA, I recognized that as the place. That was where he met and counseled people for many years.

In January of 1976, my first KY class was an extraordinary experience! Then every night after that, even though my "head" might not have been into attending the class, some unseen force actually pulled me from my heart center, right to class at Ahimsa Ashram in Washington, DC.

Then a few months later, when I realized that I wouldn't have to pay to do yoga and meditation early in the morning, I began my daily sadhana! And I haven't quit.

Yogi Bhajan gave me my name in March of that year, and did his best to earnestly tell me more about my Destiny. But I was crying so hard (I am not normally a crier) that I couldn't hear him then. So, now I listen to him all the time!

In 1992 Yogi Bhajan and Guru Ram Das trained myself and another lady as healers from their subtle bodies. Then for several years I traveled constantly to teach and heal both nationally and internationally. Concerning my intuitive readings, Yogi Bhajan commented, "You are fantastic!"

In 2005, I returned to our Mother Ashram in Espanola, NM where I have been guided to create our virtual yoga center, Soul Answer that is now presenting affordable tele-courses taught by a variety of incredible KY teachers in our Soul Answer University.

I have also been led to create the series of courses called INTUITION TRAINING in which students learn to listen to and rely on their own God Self, their Soul.

In 2009, I was most surprised when Baba Siri Chand directed me to listen to him weekly, and then repeat his extraordinary lessons and meditations on free conference calls. He also provides most revealing insight along with healing energy in our telephone appointments with folks. 

EMAIL

Soul Answer University

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Siri Karm Singh Khalsa
MA

Siri Karm Singh Khalsa is the president and founder of The Boston Language Institute, which since 1981 has provided instruction, translation and interpreting services in over 140 languages to about 54,000 students and hundreds of corporations, universities and federal and state agencies.

The Institute also offers cross cultural seminars for companies doing business abroad and has trained about 1400 teachers in its internationally acclaimed TEFL Certificate (English teacher training) Program, lauded by the Wall Street Journal as "one of the better known (such) programs in the country."

Siri Karm has been teaching Kundalini Yoga and meditation, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, for 25 years and is a certified Level 1 Kundalini Yoga instructor as well as a Level 1 Sat Nam Rasayan practitioner.

He serves on Khalsa Council, the Advisory Council of the Boston Center for Community and Justice and the Executive Committee of Guru Ram Das Ashram in Millis, Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife, Siri Devta Kaur and his son, Guru Prakash Singh.

As a Sikh, Siri Karm believes that all religions share the same truth at their core and is a frequent speaker at such events as Buddhist and Baha'i services as well as at Boston area high schools, where he addresses such subjects as the vital contributions that immigrants make to American life and the personal growth available through exposure to different languages and cultures.

Siri Karm holds a BA from Haverford College in history and French and a certificate in French studies from the University of Montpellier in France. He is also a 2008 graduate of the LeadBoston Program of the Boston Center for Community and Justice.

Boston Language

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Siri Krishna Kaur Khalsa
MA

Siri Krishna Kaur Khalsa has taught yoga from more than 25 years to private clients, group classes, and teachers across the United States.

She is a certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher and has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Fine Arts. She specializes in yoga classes for women with a focus on personal growth.
 

Siri Marka Singh
CA

Siri Marka Singh taught his first kundalini yoga class over 37 years ago. He recognized at an early age, the priceless opportunity of practicing the art and science of KY thugh serving his teacher, Yogi Bhajan.

Yoga West LA

EMAIL

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SiriNam Singh Khalsa
NM

SS SiriNam Singh Khalsa, MS.Ed, began practicing yoga in 1976. He moved to Massachusetts in 1980 and shortly after began serving as the director of the Leverett Ashram for many years.

His present "downsized" home/ashram offers yoga classes and serves as a Sikh Gurdwara for the local community. He has been practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga for more than 30 years.

SiriNam Singh Khalsa received his Masters degree in Special Education from SUNY at New Paltz.

He is an instructional leader for a large urban school district and has received the Distinguished Teacher award.

SiriNamSingh Khalsa has been fortunate to have authored several educational books which include: The Inclusive Classroom, Group Exercises for Social Skills and Self-Esteem, Breaking the Bully Cycle and Teaching Discipline and Self-Respect.

For the past 25 years, SiriNam has served as the director of Khalsa Youth Camp at Ram Das Puri, Espanola, New Mexico.

SiriNam Singh 

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Siri Neel Kaur Khalsa
PA

Siri Neel Kaur Khalsa is a certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Teacher Trainer. She began practicing yoga since 1968 and teaching since 1970. She teaches classes with people from ages 3-90.

Specialized classes for Gentle yoga, prenatal yoga and Mom and Baby yoga, plus a certified Teacher Training Course.

New Cumberland, PA - Pennsylvania

Health and Yoga

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Siri Ram Kaur Khalsa
NM

Siri Ram Kaur Khalsa has 30 years as a minister of Sikh Dharma, Certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and as a life coach. She is an educator and an administrator, owning and operating schools and several businesses.

At present she and her family operate Ancient Healing Ways which provides all of our yogic products and the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan. She integrates these amazing products, yoga and meditation into her life coaching business.

In her spare time she assists on the India Yatra's. or write her at EMAIL
 

 

Siri Vedya Singh
CA

Siri Vedya Singh has been teaching Kundalini Yoga since 1977. From 1979 through he served as the Director of the San Francisco Kundalini Yoga Center, and has been teaching the Saturday morning class at the center for the last 15 years.

A student of Yogi Bhajan for nearly 30 years, Siri Vedya takes great delight in sharing stories and anecdotes taught by the Master of Kundalini Yoga.

Siri Vedya's classes include a short talk, live guitar music, and the deep intention to help each of his students cultivate their own ability to uplift and strengthen themselves.

IDO Yoga


 

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Sopurkh Kaur
NM

Sopurkh Kaur served as a trusted aid and staff member to the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan for over 25 years as the Comptroller and the Legal and Financial Council.

In 2012 she and several other Managers and Trustees of the family businesses embezzled millions. She is no longer affiliated with 3HO nor a teacher.of Kundalini Yoga.

She was honored by the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan to be entrusted with the title and office of "Director of Spiritual Trust". This was created to maintain the integrity and quality of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan on the practice of Kundalini yoga, meditation and humanology.

Sopurkh Kaur travels extensively as one of the facilitators of White Tantric Yoga, as Director of Spiritual Trust and in her capacity as President of many of the Dharmic businesses and nonprofit organizations.

She enjoys speaking and teaching about the wonderful visions and values that the Siri Singh Sahib taught her and is looking forward to serving the worldwide community with her lifetime experience of personal spiritual development

 

 

Subagh Kaur Khalsa
BRAZIL

Subagh Kaur Khalsa has been living in Brazil since 1986. Together with her husband, Guru Sewak Singh, they founded 3HO Instituto de Yoga in SÃo Paulo. Subagh Kaur was born in Pennsylvania, discovered yoga in Maine.

She teaches Kundalini Yoga, levels 1 and 2 and Meditation, Teacher Training and other related courses. At 3HO Brasil, there is a healing center, and can house up to 20 yogis ashram style. There is massage therapy and gong therapy. Llevels 1 and 2 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training.

3Ho Insti-tuto De Kundalini Yoga Subagh Kaur Khalsa

EMAIL: 3HO Brasil

3ho Brasil

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Dr. Subagh Singh Khalsa
NY

Dr. Subagh Singh Khalsa studied and taught yoga and meditation under the direction of Yogi Bhajan since 1971 and studying and practicing the healing techniques in "Anatomy of Miracles" (Sat Nam Rasayan®, since 1979).

Subagh is a retired dentist and was formerly a Minister of Sikh Dharma. He and his wife, Subagh Kaur, co-direct Chautauqua's Mystic Heart Program and maintain their web site. He is also a sculptor and frequently engages in extended solo retreats.

He is alsso the author of Meditation for Absolutely Everyone, Success of the Soul. He lives in Rochester, New York.

Books by Subagh Khalsa:
Meditation for Absolutely Everyone (a brief introduction into a variety of meditation and relaxation practices, with an audio tape to guide practice), available through Amazon.com.

The Success of Soul (help in establishing personal vision, and following through to its completion- packaged with two audio tapes to guide practice), available through Amazon.com.

Anatomy of Miracles (a guide to the spiritual healing process known as Sat Nam Rasayan) Available FREE PDF Lulu

Healing Ourselves, Healing the World (eight lessons in mystic meditation practice), available FREE PDFLulu

EMAIL:

The Mystic Heart

EMAIL at Mystic Heart

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Sukhmandir Singh
 CA

Sukhmandir Singh Khalsa first became involved with Kundalini Yoga at the age of 21 when he met Yogi Bhajan. Sukhmandir Singh studied with Yogi Bhajan and began teaching Kundalini Yoga in 1970. He teaches at Kundalini Yoga in Monterey, CA at Wave Studios.

Kundalini Live is dedicated to brining you a true in-class exeprience. Classes are filmed, edited, and broadcast live. This in-moment, live television approach is unrivaled in delivering the hear-pumping immediacy and accurate in-time-experience required to record and trasmit te energies being created within the class.

Kundalini Live is student supported. Members fain access o an archive of full-length classess. With a new class available each week. Free public HD Broadcase every Wednesday at 7 pm PST. Also presented on demand.

Contact Page

Kundalini Live
 

Sunder Singh
VA

The Kundalini Research Institute honors Sunder Singh Khalsa for his devoted service to the emergence of the Teachings of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan in Asia.

He brought the first Yoga Festival to SE Asia, which has become an annual event in Thailand, and has helped the emergence of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan in Thailand, China, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Sri Lanka and he oversees Teacher Training programs in these countries.

He serves as the KRI Coordinator for Teacher Training in Asia and also serves on the KRI Board of Directors and the Teacher Training Executive Council.

Sunder Singh Khalsa was born in Taiwan. He was told by two teachers that he had traveled the path of Dharma before. The first was Yogi Bhajan who told him that he was a saint in his past life, or as Yogi Bhajan put it, "You know what your problem is? You weren't just a saint, you were a big saint and everything you ever did wrong you have to pay off, for this is your last lifetime."

The second was Taoist Master Ni, who told Sunder that he was a Taoist and although in this life his form is different, he carries the essence of the Taoist teachings with him.

In 1971, he was living in the Tucson ashram and in the winter of that year he was sent out to start an ashram in upstate New York.

Prior to my journey to New York, I had an experience during my meditation that impacted me deeply. That experience was a vision or darshan of Sri Baba Siri Chand Ji. While there are too many details to go into here, I came out of that vision knowing I had agreed to something, what it was, at that time I had no idea. All I remembered was what Babaji said at the end of the vision, "It will be difficult, but you will come through it." Then he touched me on my forehead and everything dissolved into a white light.

Almost immediately afterwards, in both my meditation and my life, I experienced a major shift, as if all the pain and hurt of the world was going through me. This dark night of the soul went on for a few months, until it was too much for me to bear. I decided then to leave this Dharma.

Because I was a young man of 21, I foolishly thought if I left and found a different yogic path everything will magically revert back to how it was and I could just stay in my meditative bliss. So one night I packed all my belongings and was prepared to leave the next morning without telling anyone.

At two in the morning I was awakened by the most beautiful music. I remembered opening my eyes and just listening to this celestial sound. In the center of the sound was the mantra, "Har Har Ram Das Guru Hai," being repeated over and over. Needless to say, I decided to stay and used this mantra.

More than 15 years later, I was with Yogi Bhajan and told him my experience with the mantra minus the part about almost leaving. He looked deep into me, closed his eyes, and meditated. Finally he told me that Guru Ram Das Ji has given me a personal mantra and I should use it.

Only in the last few years have I started telling this story, because I feel it is time to share the grace of Guru Ram Das. Even though this mantra came to me, I feel it is for all of us, it is in that spirit I am sharing this, "Har Har Ram Das Guru Hai".

In the many years of teaching, I have only suggested the use of this mantra to one person. It was a Gurusikh in Singapore. He was the manager of a Sikh Center at that time and because of politics left his job. In the following months he could not find a job because of his long beard. He was told to either trim his beard or roll it up, neither of which, was an option for him.

Finally he emailed me and said, "I am at the end, I have no money, creditors are knocking on my door, I have a wife and two small children, I will do whatever you tell me." I gave him this mantra among other suggestions and in five days of his using it, his life turned around. Today he is a prosperous businessman. The point of this story for me is that in the darkest night, the grace of Guru Ram Das manifested with this mantra.

KRI

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Tarn Taran Kaur Khalsa
NM

Tarn Taran Kaur Khalsa, NM, Director of Women's Studies for 3HO International, and studied directly with Yogi Bhajan starting in 1972.

Yogi Bhajan requested that she and her husband, Tarn Taran Singh, teach in Europe - where they established 3HO Germany Foundation.

In addition to serving as the 3HO WOMEN International Director and the Director of the KRI-approved Specialty Training for Conscious Pregnancy, Tarn Taran Kaur is also a KRI Teacher Trainer - Level I and II. She serves on the Boards of 3HO Foundation Int'l and KRI TTEC.

In 1972, Tarn Taran Kaur began to teach Kundalini Yoga for pregnant women in Amsterdam and later in Hamburg, Germany. Within the next years she received many requests from Kundalini Yoga Instructors throughout Europe who were interested to serve pregnant women with the yogic teachings. Her first pregnancy yoga teacher's training program began in Hamburg, Germany a few years later.

In 2000 Yogi Bhajan requested that Tarn Taran Kaur and her husband, Tarn Taran Singh, relocate to the United States and expand their efforts to the global family of 3HO. Within a short time the Conscious Pregnancy Training Program expanded even wider around the planet, for example, in Australia, Austria, Sweden, Mexico, and other countries.

In the Spring in 2011, Tarn Taran will be teaching five Level 2 trainings throughout Germany…in German!

Conscious Pregnancy Teacher Training in Warsaw, POLAND will be offered March 8 -14, 2011.

Conscious Pregnancy Books Available in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. Conscious Pregnancy books, " Pregnancy Yoga Manual, Conscious Pregnancy: The Gift of Giving Life.

Kundalini Women

Yoga at the Ashram

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Nanak niwas DE

Kundalini Women Pregnancy Courses Poland

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Tarn Taran Singh Khalsa
NM

Tarn Taran Singh Khalsa became a student of Yogi Bhajan's in 1972. Teaching, training teachers and practicing Kundalini Yoga for more than 30 years in the USA, Europe and Latin America.

Tarn Taran Singh founded 3HO Germany, the European, Executive Director of the Aquarian Teacher.

Kundalini Research Institute

 

Tej Kaur
CA

Tej Kaur has been a student of Yogi Bhajan for over 30 years. She is the Custodian of the Archives of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, and a recognized authority on the teachings.

She has been involved in numerous Yogi Bhajan publications as transcriber, editor, and compiler including the Woman's Camp Series, "72 Stories of God, Good and Goods," and "The Master's Touch."

She holds a Masters Degree in Counseling and for many years, worked on Yogi Bhajan's correspondence during which she received extensive training from him on yogic counseling.

Her classes are occasions to enjoy deep meditative experiences and to learn vast amounts of yogic knowledge. Tej teaches a regular schedule of classes at Golden Bridge Spiritual Village in Hollywood.

Tej talks about the hardest thing she's ever done as being the four years of White Tantric Yoga, every weekend, with Yogi Bhajan. "To do only one of these courses takes 40 days to have the sub-consciousness filter out and cleanse then get used to this new state. It was a severe cleansing every weekend and I don't recommend this to anyone. We were around him, he allowed us to do it and his aura was protecting us."

LA Yoga Magazine Teacher Profile, September 2006 Volume 5/Number 6

Scroll down the page: 
Happy Yogi

 

Waheguru S. Khalsa, D.C.
CA

Waheguru S. Khalsa, D.C. was born in Newport News, Virginia and attended the University of Maine. He started with Yogi Bhajan in 1972.

Finding that he had an interest in alternatives to western medicine he enrolled in Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, California. He graduated in 1975 and received his license to practice the same year.

He has advanced training in oriental medicine which includes using herbs & vitamins to enhance his patients' well being.

For 24 years he has maintained a practice in Los Angeles combining the techniques in this book with chiropractic adjustments, diet and nutritional counseling. He is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher.

He has written a book: "The Miracle of Healing Hands".

EMAIL

Yoga Tech Bios

 

Master Teachers A-E

Master Teachers - Gian Kaur - Guruka Singh Khalsa

Master Teachers - Gurumarka Singh - Guru Terath Kaur

Master Teachers H-J

Master Teachers K-R

Master Teachers - Sada Sat Kaur

The Self-Sensory Human-pg4

NOTE: Every quote in this section is Yogi Bhajan's.

"You are for tomorrow. You are for that tomorrow when the world shall come to you. People will come and ask to be blessed. Bless those who are coming to you, each one of you. Guru's words never go untrue." So just say to yourself, "I am the worst, but right now I am the best because God has made me to flow through His energy." And then expand yourself to the Tenth Radiant Body, and see 30 trillion micro-cells dancing from you and going into the Universe. All you have to tell them is, "Touch the heart of the one who needs Guru's help." Thereafter it's Guru's problem, not yours. Stick Guru in, and walk out.

So that while you can be walking and working with open eyes, you will not be in your body. Somebody else will take over this body and take you safely through the distance of destiny to give you what you need.  Nine hundred sixty million you shall be. People will come and touch your feet and ask to be blessed. Bless those who are coming to you, each one of you. Guru's words never go untrue. Disintegrate yourself into 30 trillion cells and let the magnetic field move through  all the power of the planet, the stars, and everything. What your eyes see, it doesn't mean a thing. What you see with the inner eye, the third eye, that's what matters. Let your electromagnetic field magnify itself and expand out. Let Infinity be your touch.

We can cultivate our sensory system by consciously connecting to our breath, strengthening our nervous system, activating our glandular system, balancing our emotional energies, and channeling our mental energy to intuitive awareness. Imagine that something very pure and divine in you is calling. Reach out and make contact with your own Infinity. Create a feeling of being exalted by your own self. The sensory human is a person who has the capacity to use intuition and sensitivity amidst the chaos, a person who can make decisions based on core values and lives a destiny that shares light and hope with the world.

"There are three stages of time. One is yesterday, one is today, and one is tomorrow. And there is no such thing as tomorrow. If tomorrow does not become today, there shall be no tomorrow. You cannot meet tomorrow face to face. What do you think? Tomorrow will become today and then it will face you. Birds have no worry of tomorrow. They only make their nest when they are to lay their eggs. That is their only tomorrow. And when it's over, everything is over. 8/8/20

Have you seen birds coming and opening a bank account? Or carrying a packet of food with them? No. They are not subject to the limits of time and space. They fly, they go. Where they see food, they get it. They are constantly living in today. But you as human beings live today and work for tomorrow, which you cannot face. That's why some are too rich, some are too poor, some are too angry. 8/8/20

"We have two things in our body; frontal lobe and upper palate. We need to practice stimulation and control. These are two things in the body which are underdeveloped. And you can only develop them by imagination and by certain permutations and combinations of words with the tongue, so you can get the result." …8/8/20

Each day we are vastly moving technically, socially, individually, and personally into an era of the unknown. New Age is a new age always. When it sets it takes away all what there is. It's just like a flood. It comes, wipes out the past, and then lays the silt and lays the land and lays the minerals, and everything goes later. So we are passing through that cusp of the period and we are going to all realize we have been here for 24 years, for what? And with that 'what' is going to come, 'let us do something'. And with that 'something' many of you will expand. And you will be forced to expand. Saturn has left the Piscean Age, so now it's a free era to add to our strength of purity. We gotta go. 3/1/95

Technically speaking with all the shaky stock market and businesses and all the crime report and all what America represents today, it's not yet even touched the boundary of that bad which is coming. Please, it's a very good time. You should be grateful for it. What is coming is very proper, qualified, calculated, and demonstrative insanity. Whenever a nation goes through a demonstrative insanity, it changes the order. We are the by-product of the demonstrative insanity. That we call it a 'Woodstock Nation', out of which we grew. 3/1/95

Now what is coming is little heavier. It is called 'space fever'. The new word, you must coin it today. Space fever is a disease in which you cannot be comfortable in the space you are in. You cannot go into the space comfortably where you want to go in. And you cannot have the space of environments according to you. Space disease or space fever happens to humanity when progress is faster technically than imaginable. It is happening now. Therefore, the best thing is to congregate, sit together with like minds, and save yourself from insanity. This is the progressive way that you will face that emptiness. You will find in you a painful thought of spaceless-ness. 3/1/95

Sources, Resources and Meditations for the Self-Sensory Human

Related Pages:

The Self-Sensory Human
The Self-Sensory Human-p1
The Self Sensory Human-p2
The Self Sensory Human-p3
 

Cannon, Whistling Breath, Vatskar, Lion Breath

Cannon breath

Description: Powerfully exhale from the navel point through the mouth only. The mouth should be opened in an "O" shape with the tongue relaxed. Keep the cheeks firm, do not let them bulge. Eyes: Closed Time: None specified.

Benefits: Exhaling using Cannon breath removes anything from your being that is not necessary. Cannon Breath is often done in conjunction with various pranayama and meditation practices in Kundalini Yoga.

Note: Nirvair Singh of SD, CA, gave me this 'mudra' to cure Acid Reflux. He said to do it for 11 minutes. I have even done it the midst of an attack and it works. Inhale 4 sniffs, exhale 4 Cannon Breaths, powerfully exhale from the navel point through the mouth only. The breath is exhaled as quickly and powerfully as possible. Sat Avtar Kaur, November 2011.

 

Whistling Breath (beak breath)

Description: Sit with a straight spine in Easy Pose or a chair. To whistle on an inhale, pucker the lips and inhale through the mouth, making a high-pitched whistling sound. Focus on the sound of the whistle. Exhale through the nose. To whistle on an exhale, first inhale through the nose and then exhale through the puckered mouth, making a high-pitched whistling sound. Focus the ears on the whistling sound. To whistle on both the inhale and exhale, pucker the lips and inhale through the mouth making a high-pitched whistling sound and then exhale through puckered lips making a high-pitched whistling sound. Focus the ears on the whistle. Eyes: Closed and rolled up to the third eye point between the eyebrows, unless otherwise specified. Time: None, unless used in a specific meditation.

Benefits: Yogi Bhajan taught that whistling stimulates the vagus nerve through the action of the lips. The vagus nerve participates in speech, breathing, digestion, and other bodily functions. He also said that Whistle Breath affects the glandular system and if practiced at least three minutes a day, can bring relaxation.

Note: As with any pranayama, if you become dizzy or lightheaded, stop the pranayama and resume normal breathing.

Vatskar Pranayam

With that Vatskar breath we sip in the air. We do not take air down as if into the stomach. We just bring it into the lungs.

Example-Sipping the air, inhale 8 or more times, then exhale slowly through the nose.

 

Lion Breath

Extend the tongue out to touch the chin. Breathe powerfully, forcing the breath over the root of the tongue, without any rasping.

Benefits: It is a powerful breath in the upper chest and throat. It helps cleanse out toxins and is good for the throat chakra and thyroid.

Related Pages: Locks and Breathing

Segmented Breaths

With segmented breathing, we divide the inhalation and exhalation into several parts, with a slight suspension of the breath separating each part and a distinct beginning and end-point to each segment. This stimulates the central brain and the glandular system in different ways. Instead of inhaling in one smooth motion, we break the breath up into segmented sniffs. Try not to collapse or squeeze the nostrils in on the sniff or pulled breath too deeply into the lungs.

The goal is for the breath to strike a relaxed, yet focused area in the nasal passage to stimulate a particular set of nerves. Keep the nostrils relaxed and direct the attention to the feel of the breath further along the air passages to the motion of the diaphragm.

4 parts in - 1 part out : healing, energizing, uplifting

4 parts in - 4 parts out : clarity, alertness, triggering glands

8 parts in - 8 parts out : calming, centering

8 parts in - 4 parts out : focusing, energizing

4 parts in - 8 parts out : calming, unblocking, letting go

Note: The ratios used in Kundalini yoga are clearly defined and create stable, predictable, final state of mind and energy. It is best not to experiment since not all ratios are balanced or sustainable. More is not better.

Related Pages: Locks and Breathing

Suspending the Breath

Often as a part of a Kundalini Yoga class, instruction is given to hold the breath. Many students both new and practiced are unclear about how to manage the flow of breath, by suspending the breath in a set or meditation. This misunderstanding causes many students to lock the breath in, pull the chin in, tighten the neck and throat muscles and stiffen the tongue. It looks as though they are squeezing their face and muscles, and in fact they are. Another indication of incorrect breathing occurs with an explosive exhale or an abrupt inhale.  This homespun technique can create undo pressure in the eyes, back of the skull, heart and neck. Holding the breath in this way for longer than 10 seconds stops the breath by creating an opposition between different muscle groups which power the breath. Each time we practice this improper technique, we train the subconscious to repeat these mistakes when we are not fully alert.We can train the subconscious correctly, and it will serve us well even when we do not consciously direct the breath. To suspend the breath means to relax the muscles of the diaphragm, ribs and abdomen that are responsible for the constant motion of the breath. It will support deep internal self transformation.

To suspend the breath on the Inhale: Inhale deeply. Bring the attention to the clavicle and upper ribs. Lift the upper ribs slightly and fix them into place. Relax the shoulders, throat, and face. Pull the chin in. Become still and calm. If you feel the urge to exhale, inhale a tiny bit instead.

*The beauty of suspending the breath is that when we become aware of the dynamics of how the physical apparatus of respiration works, the mystery of breath is revealed.

To suspend the breath on the Exhale: Start with a complete exhale. Pull the navel point back towards the spine. Lift the lower chest and diaphragm. Let the upper ribs relax and compress. Do not bend the spine and ribs when you try to exhale completely--that would interrupt the action of the diaphragm. Pull the chin in. Become still and calm. If the muscles start to reflex to inhale, consciously exhale a little more. This can extend the length of suspension significantly without any strain for struggle.

Benefits of suspending the breath The goal of suspending the breath is the gradual reconditioning of the nervous system. Breath suspension allows for integration of the body systems. Suspending the breath in can temporarily raise some blood pressure. Suspending the breath in impacts the sympathetic nervous system. Suspending the breath out lowers the blood pressure, relaxes circulation. Suspending the breath out impacts the parasympathetic nervous system. Suspending the breath allows for centering and training in the use of good judgment under pressure. On the suspended breath you can experience Shuniya--zero. ShuBija is a deep stillness, into which you can plant a Bija, seed, to create a new rhythm or pattern of being. In Shuniya, the Kundalini flows.

Points to remember when suspending the breath: --The brain will trigger inhalation when the carbon dioxide (CO2) level in the blood rises too high. It does not react to a loss or gain of oxygen. The cue is taken from the CO2 level. If you prepare to suspend the breath by taking several complete exhales, blowing out extra CO2, you will hold the breath longer and with more comfort. --If you begin to experiencing dizziness or disorientation, stop. Dizziness is not enlightenment! You must build this practice with determined regularity and patience. Pushing past your capacity will not help. --Throughout the practice create a calm internal spot in your awareness at observe the changes of the body and mind. --In all practices where the breath is suspended in or out, remember that the goal is a switch in metabolic activity, nervous system balance or emotional control.

Related Pages: Locks and Breathing

One Minute Breath

Practice Long Deep Breathing or another breathing technique to prepare the body and mind for One Minute Breath. Description:

  • Maintain a straight spine, with the chin in, and the chest lifted up and out.
  • Inhale for 20 seconds
  • suspend/hold the breath for 20 seconds
  • exhale for 20 seconds
  • Don't hold or suspend the breath after the exhale. Begin inhaling again after completing the exhalation.
  • Breath slowly and deeply,
  • drawing air first into your lower, then middle, and
  • finally upper lungs so that the entire lung is participating.
  • Eyes:Closed
  • End on an exhale and resume regular, natural breathing

Take your time with this pranayama, building your way slowly to the full 20 second inhale/hold/exhale cycle. If you cannot do 20 seconds, then do 10 or even 5 seconds. Just be sure to keep the breath even, and inhale/hold/exhale for the same amount of time. Example: Inhale 5 seconds, hold 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds.

Work your way up to 31 minutes slowly, starting with 3 minutes and moving up from there. If needed, intersperse periods of Long Deep Breathing with One Minute Breath.

Benefits:

Yogi Bhajan taught that breathing at the rate of one breath per minute develops cooperation between the hemispheres of the brain, brings the mind under control of the yogi, and builds intuition. Calming of Anxiety, fear and worry. Openness to feeling one's presence and eh presence of spirit. The whole brain works, especially the old brain and the frontal. Intuition develops.

One Minute Breath calms the mind of worries, and Yogi Bhajan also said that if practiced for 31 minutes a day a person can control all of the cells in their body, and if practiced for 62 minutes a day a person will have wisdom and stability.

Related Pages:
Locks and Breathing

Sitali Pranayama

Sitali pranayama is a well known breathing practice. It soothes and cools the spine in the area of the fourth, fifth and sixth vertebrae. This, in turn, regulates sexual and digestive energy. This breath is often used for lowering fever. Great powers of rejuvenation and detoxification are attributed to this breath when practiced regularly. Doing 52 breaths daily can extend your lifespan.Often the tongue may taste bitter at first. This is a sign of toxification. As you continue the practice, the bitterness will diminish and ultimately shift to a sweet taste. When the taste becomes sweet, Yoga Bhajan said that, all internal sickness has been overcome.

Description: Maintain a straight spine, sitting in Easy Pose or a chair Keep your head level. Open the mouth and form an "O" shape with the lips. It may help to slightly pucker the lips. (If you cannot do it, it still works) Extend the tip of the tongue past the lips, and curl the tongue lengthwise into a straw shape. (If you can't make the straw shape, that is okay) Inhale slowly and deeply through the rolled tongue, filling the lungs completely (as in Long Deep Breathing). Exhale slowly and fully through the nostrils. Eyes: Closed and rolled up towards the third eye point between the eyebrows. Time: None specified, unless doing a particular meditation. Start with 3 or 4 minutes of practice. End: Exhale through the nostrils; then resume normal breathing through the nose.

Benefits: Sitali Pranayama is cooling and benefits the kidneys and adrenals. This breathing can be used to reduce fevers, to aid digestion and to help cleanse the spleen and liver.

Notes:The tongue can be pulled back into the mouth and the lips closed after each inhalation. Do the breath slowly and calmly, so that the passage of air through the tongue and nostrils makes no noise. There should be no whistling sound, and the breath is so calm and slow that dogs are unable to smell it. *As with any breathing practice, if you become dizzy or lightheaded stop the pranayama and resume natural breathing.

Related Pages: Locks and Breathing

Left - Right Nostril Breathing

The right is Pingala and has the energy of the sun: bright, fiery, awakening and male.The Ida energy, on the left, is the moon energy: reflective, calming, cooling, female. Inhaling only through your right nostril will access the left "thinking" hemisphere of your brain, and inhaling only through your left nostril will access the right "feeling" hemisphere of your brain.

We compare these systems in our Western terminology as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic system, Pingala, is the fight or flight system and charges you up in times of danger. The parasympathetic system, Ida, slows you down and helps your body automatically run its day to day jobs of digestion, elimination, sleep cycles and more.

Right Nostril Breathing (Pingala)

When you need to wake up or when you need clarity, focus, and more energy, try right nostril (Pingala) breathing. Simply take your left hand and with your fingers outstretched, block off your left nostril by putting gentle pressure on it with your left thumb. Be sure to keep the rest of your fingers straight and pointing up towards the sky; the fingers act like antennas for the "cosmic" energy that surrounds us all. With a long, slow, deep breath, gently inhale through your right nostril. Then, just as gently, exhale long, slowly and completely, again through the right nostril. Relax your body, feeling the energy smoothly and gracefully building and bringing new life into your body.

Note: Don't do if you have high blood pressure.

Left Nostril Breathing (Ida)

When you need to calm down, when your mind is racing faster than a hurricane, or when you can't go to sleep, try left nostril (Ida) breathing. Simply take your right hand and with your fingers outstretched, block off your right nostril by putting gentle pressure on it with your right thumb. Be sure to keep the rest of your fingers straight and pointing up towards the sky; the fingers act like antennas for the "cosmic" energy that surrounds us all. With a long, slow, deep breath, gently inhale through your left nostril. Then, just as gently, exhale long, slowly and completely, again through the left nostril. Relax your body, feeling the cool breath bringing new life into your body. Relax even deeper with each exhale as you breathe out all tension, all stress and all disease.

*Here's an alternative rhythm you can use for left nostril breathing: Try breathing in through the left nostril as described using different "counts".  Inhale for 4 beats, hold the breath for 4 beats, and exhale for 4 beats

Benefits: are numerous including sharper, clearer focus of the mind and a deep, full relaxation or sleep.  It is said in the yogic tradition, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, that if a person breathes through the left nostril for 31 minutes a day for 90 days (the time it takes to plant a new habit into the subconscious), they will naturally change their metabolism in favor of relaxation and weight loss. A good starting time is 3 minutes.

Related Pages: Locks and Breathing