In August, I taught a “I Am A Woman” workshop at the Russian Yoga festival. These women are so beautiful! The power of a spiritual woman cannot be underestimated. Yogi Bhajan said in 1984, “Although mankind has gone very low, to the extent that there’s nothing lower remaining, mankind has also expressed its own grace, and woman is returning to her own understanding and own Self. There’s nothing to find. There’s nothing to learn. There’s nothing to know. It is the Self within the woman that matters.”
Hello sweet world from Russia!
We just celebrated the birthday of our Teacher, Yogi Bhajan, with the Russian Kundalini Yoga Sangat. We had a beautiful sadhana of Japji and 2.5 hours of long Ek Ong Kar in the Amrit Vela. The beauty and diversity of our global community is miraculous. I bow to the Infinite One with deep gratitude.
In early June, the New York Times ran a very good OpEd piece entitled Yoga Teachers Need a Code of Ethics by Sara Herrington. The article was about the sexual harassment lawsuit against Bikram Choudray, and her observation as a yoga teacher that the yoga community is in need of a Code of Ethics. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is worth a read.
KRI teachers and instructors have a clear Code of Ethics that each Level One graduate signs. In 2016, 3HO initiated a full-time Office of Ethics & Professional Standards & Conscious Conflict Resolution that creates a place for students to bring complaints forward in a safe, compassionate way. In this summer’s Teacher’s Forum, we began drafting a Bill of Rights for students to ensure that we are all on the same page and in full agreement of our responsibility as yoga teachers.
Kudos to KRI and 3HO for proactively addressing the ethics of yoga teachers. It is a sacred responsibility to create a safe environment for students and teachers alike.
The International Teacher’s Forum held on June 15th in New Mexico was amazing! We had over 100 trainers from 12 countries participating. What is very exciting to me is that there were 25 trainers from the younger generation. It is wonderful to see this dynamic group coming up to take the reins!
We met and meditated together, merging in a vibrant group consciousness. The topic that resonated the most was “Global Decision Making and Governance – Building the Academy and Teacher Training Program Together”. Yes, for sure this has been a long time coming. We broke into very productive working groups on this topic, focusing on how to bring all voices into the ATA. Stay tuned for more on this topic as the results of the discussion gets processed.
Other topics that resonated with the group mind were, Welcoming LGBT students into Teacher Training, Grassroots Outreach – making Kundalini Yoga available to underserved areas, and Ethics for Trainers – building a Students Bill of Rights.
If you missed it this year, look for a Teacher’s Forum in your area – there may be one! And if not, be sure to join us next year. The Teacher’s Forum will always be the two days right before Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration.
Jugat Guru Singh is a Lead Trainer in the Aquarian Trainer Academy and Principal of Miri Piri Academy. Jugat Guru Singh dedicates his life to his practice and to his teaching. At Miri Piri Academy he trains our next generations of teachers.
His practice of Kundalini Surjhee is a life-long discipline. Many years ago I had the blessing to participate in this meditation that Jugat Guru led here in Espanola and the depth and breadth of my experience inspired me to explore my relationship to this Shabd as a Trainer. As students, as teachers, as trainers of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® this practice adds a subtle and profound depth to how we teach through our presence. It is an intense meditation, one that will open your relationship to the Shabad Guru. If your life permits, consider going to this meditation in Los Angeles in July. It will serve you as a teacher, as a trainer, as a student. Contact Surjhee@gmail.com for more information, see them on Facebook, or visit their website: Japa 11,000
On Thursday June 15th (from 9-5) and Friday June 16th (from 9-2) over 100 trainers of the Aquarian Trainer Academy will meet at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das for the annual International Summer Solstice Trainer Forum. This year the theme of the Forum is “Unity. Service. Renewal.”
The ATA Trainer Forum is an opportunity for trainers to come together to talk about what is important both individually and collectively, to build and renew skills, establish and strengthen relationships. Now more than ever we are being called upon for service in the world. In these uncertain and challenging times, Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is an important way to help humanity.
This year we will focus on “Unity in Service” to the global community of teachers, students, and future teachers. At the Forum, we will discuss how we develop, nurture and sustain trusting relationships. We explore what is needed to support communications that allow for open and authentic feedback and discussion. And how can we reach out in service as Trainers to those who need Kundalini Yoga but do not have access to Teacher Training because of geographical or economic challenges.
The Forum in New Mexico will have trainers from the United States, Mexico, Canada, Chile, China, Taiwan, South Africa, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Malaysia, and Japan. With this global representation, the Trainers will meet in small and large groups to look at how we can build and sustain the International Teacher Training program which is multi-cultural and multi-generational, taught in 22 languages in over 52 countries. We will address the question of how we can make decisions together in a transparent and inclusive way that recognizes our diversity. There will be workshops in “The Anatomy of Sound”, “How to Manage a Contract,” as well as open dialog on “How to Meet the Challenge of the Times; Building Teachers for the Aquarian Age.”
The Forum is a gathering where Trainers and those who wish to become trainers come together in service to one another and in service to the planet. We are unified by our common mission to share the teachings of Kundalini Yoga with all people who seek it. For more information on the Forum please contact Paramnam Singh Khalsa at email@example.com.
The community of Teacher Trainers around the world is a crown filled with gems of devotion and sparkle. One of these gems is Nguyen Tien Nghia, known to us as Tien, who lives in Bangkok Thailand and serves throughout Asia.
I first met Tien in Bangkok at the Kundalini Yoga Festival in 2010. She is the most energetic person I have ever met! At this event she was serving the teachers and students at least 20 hours a day. I remember asking myself who is this woman? And I came to know that she is one of Sunder Singh’s first students in Asia – an inspiration and teacher to all who study Kundalini Yoga in Southeast Asia. Tien speaks seven languages and understands a total of 14. She has a personal mission to bringing the teachings of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® to the people of Thailand and Viet Nam as well.
I have had the honor to serve with her for many years on KRI Level One Teacher Training Teams in China. Tien came to Espanola in the summer of 2014 to participate in the KRI Immersion course as a TNT – Trainer in Training. when she landed at the airport she ran into Shanti Shanti Kaur who innocently asked her, “Why haven’t you applied to be a Lead Trainer yet?”
Tien thought about this and began the process to become a Lead Trainer to be able to fulfill her mission to share the teachings to those in Asia who have not had access to this technology, especially in the smaller towns and villages. She is translating the Aquarian Teacher® Manual into Thai as well. This is her story in her words.
“In the summer of 2015, thanks to the generous support of many teachers at KRI, I finally made my way to the land of Yogi Bhajan after 14 years of studying and practicing his teachings. My mentor, Sunder Singh Khalsa blessed me in his recommendation for my Lead Trainer process. He said, ‘Tien is a product of slow-cooking.’ Hari Charn Kaur had invited me to come and participate in the Immersion, so off I went.
“At Hacienda de Guru Ram Das in Espanola, on this sacred land and in the classroom where Yogi Bhajan taught ‘The Master’s Touch,’ I experienced and learned the way Yogi Bhajan taught to ‘Serve, Love, Obey, Excel.’ During this time in Espanola, working with TNTs from around the world, I built relationships with trainers from Canada, Egypt, China, Europe, and the US.
“While in Espanola I had my initial Lead Trainer interview with a panel of experienced Lead Trainers who assigned me the meditation of chanting the Shabd, Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur daily. Returning to Bangkok, Thailand, on September 1st, 2015, I began to chant this beautiful Shabd 11 minutes a day as a minimum. For the correct pronunciation of this difficult Shabd, my mantra teacher, Dev Suroop Kaur, recommended recording Love and Other Miracles by Sat Purkh Kaur, whose clear voice and timber made it easy to copy for the uninitiated ears like mine.
“The Shabd flowed beautifully into my daily life and teaching. Sat Purkh’s music resonated deliciously in my little yoga space in my home, next to my kitchen. Everything I cooked turned out yummy, didn’t matter what I used in the dishes. Outside the home, things turned out all well also- almost effortlessly.
“For me, the first Kundalini Yoga- Thailand Community Retreat in Chiangmai, October 20-24, 2016 was also part o
f the vibration effects of the daily chanting of Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur. There were children who came with their parents to the retreat, and while the adults were in class the children were taken care of separately. Here in Chaingmai, for the first time, families were doing yoga together, playing on the mats, on the lawn, and in art workshop together. The little boy in my Love and Other Miracles class was totally at easy and followed the class translated by his mom. He truly enjoyed his space and time with the rest of the group.
“The chanting of Dhan Dhan Ram Das Gur continues to keep me in perspective, and in gratitude, for all there is.”
One of the most inspiring expressions of KRI Teacher Training is the service that teachers do during and after Level One Teacher Training. Wherever I travel I have the opportunity to experience the power of this technology to uplift the spirit. It always amazes and humbles me!
This lovely video of Ramsukh Kaur of Lima shows her devotion to the patients at the Community Hospital. This is where patients come who do not have the funds for their chemo therapy and other treatments. The demand is so high… many of those in need travel for hours by bus or even by foot to receive care and often sleep on the lawn between treatments.
Kundalini Yoga teachers and students from the Teacher Training program, and from a wonder organization called Mujer de Luz, offer meditations with mantra during the chemotherapy treatments and offer Kundalini Yoga Classes in the auditorium to staff and patients. When I walked in with these teachers I could feel the deep affection and bond between the staff and the teachers. The beauty is that each and every Kundalini Yoga teacher finds his or her place of service. This program was initiated years ago by Balwant Kaur of Lima, Peru who is now in the process of becoming a Teacher Trainer. Hail Guru Ram Das and heal the world.
I love traveling to Chile each year for the International Festival of Kundalini Yoga and the KRI Trainer’s Forum. January 20-26, all of South America gathers in the foothills of the Andes Mountains at the beautiful town of San Esteban. The festival is hidden in a beautiful valley surrounded by the astounding abundance of nature. To me, it feels like my home away from home.
Each year I stay out in Lampa with Jai Gopal Kaur and her beautiful family and then travel with them to Los Andes for the Yoga Festival. This Yoga Festival is result of the devotion of a team of younger Kundalini Yoga Teachers and Trainers who work all year to put on incredible this event. At the end of the Festival, we have a one day teachers meeting and then two days later meet at the Agni Yoga Center for the Chilean Trainer’s Forum.
This year at the Forum the trainers from Chile did most of the teachings and there was a powerful workshop on the Anatomy of Sound by Sat Jiwan Singh and Gurudarshan Singh. Sat Jiwan Singh, a Professional Teacher Trainer, is a physiotherapist working with the Ballet of Chile and a teacher at the University. Gurudarshan Singh, a Professional Teacher Trainer, is a musician as well as a trainer. Together they told the story of how sound effects our being even on the cellular level. All members of the Forum were totally engaged in this workshop asking questions and sharing with one another. It was a community of teachers and students impassioned with a subject and it was totally exciting.
Here I am with one of the trainers from Santiago, Bachan Singh. The trainers gave me this gift of a handmade sign “KRI Embassy.” We always joke that when I come to run the Forum, we open the KRI Embassy in Chile for two days. As I travel the world working with trainers and teachers this sign hangs in my office to remind me of the importance of serving these relationships.
The International Festival of Kundalini Yoga in Chile is a great experience of our global family. Why don’t you join us in 2018? Find the details at: http://www.festivalkundalini.com
This is Siri Marka Singh teaching Sat Kriya to over 5000 students outside of Santiago, Chile. Siri Marka Singh is a Lead Trainer from Los Angeles who grew up outside of Mexico City and now has returned to Mexico and Latin America to teach Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. I have enjoyed working with Siri Marka Singh over the years and it is fun to see him inspiring crowds of students in Mexico.
Siri Marka Singh lives and teaches in Los Angeles. As a Lead Trainer, he has been called to teach both in Mexico and in Chile. He came to Chile where Spanish speaking Lead trainers were needed to mentor the next generation of trainers. He travels to Valparaiso to Level One Teacher Training to offer workshops. In this picture, he is seen facing a class of 5000 practitioners at an event presented by “Instituto Nacional Del Deporte (National Sport Institute). Just imagine the energy of teaching Sat Kriya to over 5000 students. I wonder how he was able to keep them all at the same pace!
This is a perfect fit for Siri Marka Singh who is a marathon runner and participates each year in the Los Angeles marathon. He now has inspired his son-in-law, Simran Singh, to run the 26-mile race. Both his wife, Dharam Dev Kaur, and his daughter, Guruparkash Kaur, have completed the marathon as walking/running participants for the past three years. Everyone in the family gets in the act. His wife is also a Level One Trainer and his daughter has served for many years in the IKYTA office. A beautiful family in service to all.
Welcome to the launch of the We Are KRI! blog. For many years now, I have been traveling the globe, working with all levels of KRI teachers to train, mentor, and coordinate a sustainable network of teachers for future generations. It is exciting work, and those of you who know me, know that I love it. I can’t believe how many lovely, talented, and dedicated teachers make up KRI. I hold each one dearly in my heart. But now, I want to share it with you, too! So, stay tuned for my news and enjoy the travel with me!
Most of my traveling is with the Trainer Development Programs offered by KRI to support our certified instructors. This can be Global Trainer Forums, individual mentoring, peer coaching, or just sharing in the joys and challenges of walking this great path. Trainers from all levels of the academy are required to attend a Trainer Forum at least once every two years as an important step in the life-long journey of developing the skills and caliber of a trainer in the Aquarian Teacher Program. The Trainer Forum is for you, the trainer, and keeps you up to date with the growth and development of of the KRI Aquarian Trainer Academy. It is an inspiring opportunity to refresh your skills, build relationships with other trainers, participate in important discussions regarding the culture and policies of the Academy, and meditate together in the company of peers.
But this doesn’t have to be all about me. I would love to hear from you and see what great things you are doing. Drop me a note, send me a picture, and I will share it here on the blog.
What is KRI? Well the answer to that is simple – We Are KRI!