News From KRI
Sat Nam. Greetings from New Mexico!
This issue of the KRI newsletter features information and research on “Kirtan Kriya.” There has been a lot of press in the last few years about this invaluable technology that Yogi Bhajan taught. My experience, in sitting with and listening to Yogi Bhajan in less formal settings, is that he frequently recommended Kirtan Kriya to individuals that asked for advice and for a practice. I know why too! This practice has been invaluable to me over the years. If you have not done a 40-day sadhana of this kriya recently, start today! The research conducted by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and others will inspire you and the results will amaze you. Click here for a link to how to do Kirtan Kriya.
In this 1976 lecture, Yogi Bhajan teaches the specifics of the Kirtan Kriya mudra in one of his earliest recoded lectures.
“Ego and knowledge, when combined, is called Gian Mudra, the seal of knowledge. [The thumb represents the ego;] this [first] finger represents Jupiter; this [middle finger] represents Saturn; this [ring finger] represents the Sun; this [little finger] represents Mercury. The four fingers represent four avenues. Medically speaking the tips of these fingers stimulate parts of the brain. That’s why there is a rosary. What is a rosary? – To stimulate the fingertips and the ego. Every religion has a rosary and the purpose is the same. When you do the Sa-Ta-Na-Ma meditation (Kirtan Kriya), the purpose is the same. It is the Mudra. Now this Jupiter, [when it touches the thumb] is Gian Mudra – the seal of knowledge. You come to Saturn, the patience, the purity and the learning, and the justice. What they call it [when it touches the thumb]? Shuni Mudra – the seal of the Saturn. [The Sun finger,] they call it Ravi Mudra – seal of the Sun. The life, the energy, the heat, the power. [The Mercury finger] they call it Budh Mudra – communication, sound, effect, and inspiration. All in this.” Yogi Bhajan
Enjoy this beautiful spring, and celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd with joy and happiness.
All the best with blessings,
Nirvair Singh Khalsa
Monthly Video Coming Soon!
Brain Longevity® and Perfect Health at Your Fingertips In 12-Minutes a Day Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.
I bow my head in reverence to the One -True Immortal Essence of Reality – and salute Yogi Bhajan.
I love Kirtan Kriya so much. For me, it is the perfect meditation. And why wouldn’t it be? It has everything: a beautiful mantra, an exquisitely powerful mudra, and a visualization. These aspects completely activate your brain in only 12 minutes a day.
Kirtan Kriya is incredibly easy, safe, and affordable, without requiring extensive or expensive training. It’s scientifically proven to be highly effective, as we’ll see below, and it is so simple to practice.
Did I mention that Kirtan Kriya is fun? It is!
MRI Scan Showing Increased Brain Blood Flow before and after Kirtan Kriya
To discover more about our research, visit us at: www.alzheimersprevention.org/research
Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. is the President and Medical Director of the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF), and is the original voice in the integrative and holistic medical approach to Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment. After founding the ARPF in 1993, he became the first physician to advocate a lifestyle approach to the prevention and treatment of memory loss, including Alzheimer’s disease. He is among the world’s leading authorities on integrative medicine, and has written extensively on a wide range of health and healing issues.
Robert Groth, CPA as told to Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa
Before Kirtan Kriya, I went through life in a stress-induced fog, not aware of how badly I was treating myself. At the age of 18, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and over the last 27 years I was in self-denial of how sick I was. I was so angry all the time – my brow was deeply furrowed and I looked like I was 100 years old. I am the president and CEO of an accounting firm that I founded. This is an extremely stressful position, especially at tax season, which was contributing to my declining health.
In 2007, I met Dr. Dharma who introduced me to Kundalini Yoga and meditation and everything changed. Now I start every day with yoga and Kirtan Kriya. Plus, in the evenings, I do a deep healing meditation to help release childhood trauma, of which I have had plenty. This allows me to decompress from the day and go to bed relaxed and with a clear mind.
Before I started Kirtan Kriya, I ended tax season in the hospital for six years in a row. Since 2009 I have not had one hospital stay and I credit this to my meditation practice. I do Kirtan Kriya for 12 minutes every day and this has changed my life. It has allowed me to heal and live healthier. My MS hasn’t progressed and my relationships, especially with my family, are much happier.
Kirtan Kriya has helped me thrive and I am so grateful to have been blessed with this gift. Sat Nam.
By Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
The Kirtan Kriya meditation is one of the unique signature practices of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. There are multiple benefits ascribed to this kriya and, most importantly, recent research has shown that this practice can reduce stress levels and increase brain activity in areas associated with memory.
A leading voice in the integrative medical approach to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation (ARPF), features Kirtan Kriya on their website home page. The ARPF was founded in 1993 by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. and has funded and conducted years of research with eminent university research centers across the U.S. and in Europe. The ARPF is dedicated to pursuing longitudinal studies on the therapeutic benefits of Kundalini Yoga therapy and especially Kirtan Kriya on cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer’s prevention, including functional imaging studies, genomics, biomarkers and neurocognitive testing. Prominent researchers who have collaborated with Dr. Dharma Khalsa on recently published Kirtan Kriya research funded in part by ARPF include Dr. Kim Innes of West Virginia University and Dr. Helen Lavretsky of the Department of Psychiatry at UCLA.
Dr. Lavretsky is a geriatric psychiatrist who jokingly says that she left Russia for America to find Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. In fact, his teachings profoundly impacted her personal and professional life and she now teaches and conducts research in the neuroscience of integrative mental health and the neuroscience of consciousness and enlightenment. In January of 2017, Dr. Lavretsky and colleagues published their findings from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) involving 81 participants aged 55 and above with mild cognitive impairment (with symptoms such as significantly forgetting names and misplacing items). The subjects were assigned to either 12 weeks of standardized memory enhancement training (MET, which is a known conventional therapy) or yoga and then followed over a six-month period. The yoga group participated in weekly 60-minute Kundalini Yoga classes, which included warm-ups, breath training (pranayama), 12 minutes of Kirtan Kriya, meditation, and Shavasana (deep rest). The yoga training group also practiced Kirtan Kriya for 12-minutes daily at home. After the 12-week intervention, there was no difference in dropout rates suggesting the suitability of Kundalini Yoga and Kirtan Kriya for this population. While both groups showed significant memory improvement at 12 weeks post-intervention and the 24-week follow up, only the yoga group showed significant improvements in measures of executive functioning, depression, anxiety, and psychological resilience.
In addition to these results, a subsample of 25 participants from this study were examined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to document brain connectivity, structure, and chemical changes associated with the 12 weeks of yoga or MET. Dr. Lavretsky and her colleagues found that yoga was just as effective as memory training in improving connections between brain regions involved with verbal memory performance. These preliminary findings are encouraging and suggest that yoga can produce functional changes in the brain associated with improved memory in seniors.
Dr. Kim Innes is a well-known yoga researcher who has investigated the efficacy of yoga for a number of medical conditions including type 2 diabetes, sleep disorders, and cardiovascular disease as well as in the elderly and women’s health. In a Yoga Journal profile of her yoga research, she was quoted, “It was my personal experience with yoga and the benefits I felt, like reduced stress and better sleep, that sparked my interest in studying yoga as a disease intervention.” Her Kirtan Kriya study, also published in January 2017, reported similar improvements in cognition and memory in older adults with subjective cognitive decline. This was the first RCT designed to examine the effects of mind-body practices on memory and cognitive functioning in this population. The study evaluated 60 older adults assigned to either a Kirtan Kriya meditation group or a music listening program. The subjects practiced at home for 12 minutes every day for 12 weeks. Participants in both groups showed marked and significant improvements in subjective memory functioning and objective cognitive performance after 12 weeks. Furthermore, the post-intervention follow-up revealed that the substantial gains in memory and cognition were maintained or further increased suggesting that Kirtan Kriya meditation is an effective protocol to sustain memory improvements in older adults with preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease. As an additional benefit, Kirtan Kriya showed greater improvement in sleep, mood, stress, and quality of life scores when compared to the music group.
The research by ARPF and Drs. Lavretsky and Innes has drawn significant attention to the potential of Kirtan Kriya through a number of news reports and articles. The research suggests that Kirtan Kriya seems to be an effective intervention to increase brain activity in areas associated with memory and has long lasting effects. However, these preliminary trials are limited by relatively small sample sizes and further longitudinal studies with larger and more diverse samples are required to generalize and confirm these findings. Furthermore, it would be advantageous if different additional objective biomarkers of cognition and memory loss could be measured in Kirtan Kriya research order to deepen our understanding of the mechanisms of action for this meditation. The potential of a simple behavioral intervention that could prevent symptoms of cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s itself, would be a major contribution to this common and growing medical concern.
Nikhil Rayburn grew up practicing yoga under mango trees in the tropics. He is a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and has taught yoga to children and adults in Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, India, France, and Mauritius. He is a regular contributor to the Kundalini Research Institute newsletter and explores current yoga research.
Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. is the KRI Director of Research, Research Director for the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has practiced a Kundalini Yoga lifestyle since 1973 and is a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga instructor. He has conducted research on yoga for insomnia, stress, anxiety disorders, and yoga in public schools, he is editor in chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy and The Principles and Practice of Yoga in Health Care and author of the Harvard Medical School ebook Your Brain on Yoga.
Give yourself the gift of an uplifting week of deep meditation right after Summer Solstice Sadhana. Whether you are just starting out on the path of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, Level One certified, working on your Level Two, or thinking about Level Three– we have something for you!
Did you know there is no prerequisite training for the 21 Stages of Meditation? All are welcome and your completion of this program counts towards any future Level 3 requirements.
Level 1 certification is a prerequisite for participation in Level 2 training and to qualify for completion credit of Level 2. Authentic Relationships is one of five modules required for KRI Level 2 Practitioner certification.
Have you considered coming to Level One Teacher Training in Espanola this summer?
By Shanti Kaur Khalsa
Siri Sampuran Kaur came to the Espanola Immersion in August 2015 and finished her KRI Level One certification the following February. She is now a successful Kundalini Yoga instructor in Dover, Delaware and the founder of Alchemy Yoga. Coming from Teacher Training she wondered what kind of a yoga teacher she would be, but found that teaching came naturally. “Teacher Training gave me the confidence to teach,” reflected Siri Sampuran. “Like anyone, I was nervous at first. I worried that the students wouldn’t connect with me. But the desire to teach grew so strong, it overcame all of my concerns. This technology changed my life, and I knew it could do the same for others.”
After you get your Level One certification, the first question is “Where should I teach?” Well, as it often goes, destiny played a hand in Siri Sampuran’s decision. It was not her plan to go home to Dover, Delaware, but circumstances brought her there, back to her roots. This was where she grew up and this is where she started teaching in September 2016.
“Central Delaware is mainly conservative and you wouldn’t think people would be open to Kundalini Yoga,” said Siri Sampuran. “But like everywhere, the need for it is big, whether people realize it or not. I have put concentrated effort into expanding people’s awareness of Kundalini Yoga through social media, blogging, and continually educating people about what yoga is and what it can do for you.” Now she also teaches in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and Maryland’s eastern shore, her class size is growing with a dedicated group of returning students.
“One of my biggest challenges when I first started to teach in Dover was to explain the teachings of Kundalini Yoga to a predominantly Christian, traditional, community in a way that would resonate. It takes some sensitivity and care to find the right words. I start by saying you don’t have to “believe” in Kundalini Yoga to get the benefits – you only have to do it. Just like a teacher of mine used to say, you don’t have to “believe” in water, but if I spray you with a hose you will absolutely get wet! This is something that makes sense to people. Kundalini Yoga works and works quickly, with most people noticing results right away in how they feel and overall increased levels of energy.”
One of Siri Sampuran’s messages is that Kundalini yoga is not just for fitness, it is a life-tool for the householder to manage stress and stay healthy. This is something people really need in these times of uncertainty. “Twice a week, I offer Prenatal Kundalini Yoga and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite classes to teach. It isn’t what most women expect when they come to class, but they find it is what they need. They learn why it is important to relax, be centered and connect with their intuition while pregnant, and they also get to celebrate this sacred time in their lives.”
What does the future hold for Siri Sampuran? “Right now, I am the only Kundalini Yoga instructor in the Dover area teaching regular weekly classes, and I miss the support of the Kundalini community. I sometimes think about moving to a place with more sangat. My goal is to teach here long enough to inspire someone else to take Teacher Training so I can take class too! So, for now, this is where my work is.”
KRI salutes Siri Sampuran Kaur for her stamina and her willingness to serve. It is not easy to grow Kundalini Yoga classes on your own, and her dedication inspires us all! “May the pure light within you guide your way on,” now and forever.
40-day Sadhana of Kirtan Kriya
Siri Sampuran chose Kirtan Kriya as her 40-day sadhana for Level One. “I looked forward to my 31 minutes of Kirtan Kriya each day as it left me feeling clear and balanced. The gift I received was a deeper and more direct connection to my higher self. It became easy to make choices in accordance with what would serve me along my path. No more indecision about how to spend my time and which left me free to accept the only best opportunities that came my way. I find myself coming back to Kirtan Kriya on a regular basis.”
April brings with it some very beautiful but windy weather here in New Mexico, a reminder that winter has passed and spring is here! April also brings Earth Day, a celebration of our beloved Mother Earth. As many of you know, Yogi Bhajan advocated for the environment at every opportunity. He encouraged us to take care of ourselves and the earth in a conscientious way. Like in this lecture held on Earth Day (April 22nd) in 1990.
“Start looking at His creation as part of him. Start respecting it, and loving it, and start be gentle and kind. You don’t have to do any other exercise, you will be fine. Start seeing the spirit and soul of every human being. Look bright and beautiful andsaintly – you represent God…
Now you are trying not to pollute yourself and not to pollute the earth. A consciousness has set in, a time has started and there shall be a growth. Mankind will live in nobility, peace, and tranquility and that’s a reality. It’s not anybody’s affair, it is everybody’s affair. We are all part of One and One is part of all. It’s my prayer that we guide ourself to that righteousness. My prayer and my request is that you have an obligation to create a lot of joy, a lot of happiness, and to elevate yourself so that the pollution can be counteracted with a joy in the body and in beings, so that you can feel wonderful and healthy. With this blessing and these prayers, may your life be very fulfilled and noble. I wish you the best of luck. Be prosperous, be generous, and be kind and be compassionate. Walk like angels, complete and perfect, pure in your psyche, and God shall walk with you. Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa. Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.”
Read original lecture for more teachings on how to uplift our consciousness and better care for this precious earth. I love the reminder that our earth is an extension of God just as we are a representation of God.
To all of you who support this important work of preserving the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, we cannot thank you enough! Your endless support and generous gifts are keeping this resource growing and improving all the time.
Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings™
Kundalini Research Institute
Find us on Facebook “The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings”
Tune in to your inbox for our emails or if you have missed any of the emails we have sent out this past week highlighting Yogi Bhajan’s teachings around motherhood be sure to visit our The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Facebook page to catch up!
Applications are still being accepted!
For More Information
By Hari Charn Kaur Khalsa
For many years, 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!
And, if you have a We Are KRI! story or blog post you would like to share, send it to me at email@example.com.
What is KRI? Well the answer to that is simple – We Are KRI!
Hari Charn Kaur is the KRI Director of Outreach and is the inspiration behind the Global Trainer’s Forum. She travels frequently to assist teachers and trainers around the world and to bring Kundalini Yoga and Teacher Training to underserved locations.
Kirtan Kriya Extravaganza!
Because we are featuring Kirtan Kriya in this month’s newsletter, we wanted to highlight these three manuals, all of which include Kirtan Kriya, and of course have many other wonderful Kriyas and yogic information to explore.
I Am a Woman: Creative, Sacred & Invincible
Essential Kriyas for Women in the Aquarian Age
Yogi Bhajan, PhD, Master of Kundalini Yoga
This is the companion book of lectures, selected as favorites by women who participated in Women’s Camp.
I Am a Woman: Creative, Sacred & Invincible
Selected Lectures from the Women’s Teachings
Yogi Bhajan, PhD, Master of Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini Yoga Sadhana Guidelines, 2nd Edition
Create Your Daily Spiritual Practice
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan
In this 2nd Edition of Kundalini Yoga Sadhana Guidelines, you’ll find steps toward cultivating the consciousness available by practicing in a group as well as suggestions for developing your own personal sadhana. Open these pages and begin the journey of a lifetime.
SEEDS OF CHANGE FOR THE AQUARIAN AGE
TRANSFORMATION, VOLUME ONE
MASTERING THE SELF
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®
91 Transformational Kriyas & Meditations
These Kriyas and meditations, drawn from Transformation Level Two Teacher Training courses, are organized to facilitate your personal practice and deepen your experience of the Self. Many of these kriyas were selected specifically for the Level Two and have never been available before. Practice something new or master something familiar with this wonderful collection.
Kirtan Kriya appears in Volume One, and here is Volume Two for your further exploration and transformation
TRANSFORMATION, VOLUME TWO
SERVING THE INFINITE
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®
86 Transformational Kriyas & Meditations
This volume continues and completes the Kriyas and meditations from the five Level Two Teacher Training courses. Organized not only for personal practice but also for Kundalini Yoga Teachers. Develop workshops or 6 week themed courses, using each chapter individually, or combining topics gives you limitless possibilities.
Retail: $29.95 per volume
Promo: $25.46 per volume
Physical Training With Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®
5 DVD Box Set
This 5 DVD set follows Yogi Bhajan teaching Physical Training, (commonly called “PT”) at the Ranch in Espanola on five consecutive days in the summer of ’94. Perfect for establishing a weekly workout with Kundalini Yoga. New inset video demonstrates the posture and timing for each exercise so you can follow along with ease. Original videos have been color corrected and audio has been remastered to help bring the experience alive. Keep up and keep fit!
BBQ Tempeh Spinach Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
From: Happy Belly by Sat Kartar Khalsa
Sat Kartar will join us again as the Chef for Level One Immersion in Espanola!
BBQ Tempeh Spinach Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Makes 4 servings
1 package tempeh
2 oz. apple cider vinegar
2 oz. maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red chili powder
2 oranges, zested
2 small oranges or 1 large orange, juiced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, peeled
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
10-12 oz. pre washed spinach
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the meantime, have your steam basket ready. Cut the tempeh in approximately 1 inch cubes, and then steam it for 5 minutes.
While the tempeh is steaming, make the BBQ sauce by whisking together apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, minced garlic and chili powder in a bowl.
Transfer tempeh to oven glassware and cover with the BBQ sauce. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then allow it to cool completely.
In a blender, combine the orange zest, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until combined. Transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator.
To serve, put the spinach in a large bowl. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat the spinach. Add the tempeh, toss again, and serve.
Tempeh is an easily digestible soy protein made from the whole fermented soybean.
BBQ sauce is a great flavor booster. If you’d like to experiment, start with the base of equal parts vinegar and a sweetener, a touch of tomato paste, and some garlic. You get great flavor plus the anti-oxidant properties of lycopene from the tomato.