The Kundalini Research Institute
KRI’s mission is to uphold and preserve the authenticity, integrity, and accuracy of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan through trainings, research, publishing and resources.
Established on February 1, 1972 by Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D., Master of Kundalini Yoga, the Kundalini Research Institute is entrusted with The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan. KRI, a non-profit corporation, safeguards the purity, integrity, and accuracy of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan by:
- Developing 3 levels of International Yoga Teacher Certification
- Preserving the teachings legacy for the future online Library of the Teachings
- Awarding the KRI Seal of Approval to products that successfully meet the standards of KRI Review
- Providing services and resources for Kundalini Yoga students and teachers via online services and upgraded Yogi Bhajan Products
Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness, was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan in 1968. Yogi Bhajan taught that, through the practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation, your glandular and nervous systems are stimulated, and your capacity for creative potential is heightened. You gain inner vitality to compensate for the adverse effects of stress so you can excel in life.
Kundalini yoga classes are a dynamic blend of postures, pranayam, mantra, music and meditation, which teach you the art of relaxation, self-healing and elevation. Balancing body and mind enables you to experience the clarity and beauty of your soul. No previous experience in yoga is required for you to achieve results with your very first class.
Men of great knowledge actually found out about the chakras –their workings, their petals, their sounds, their infinity, their co-relationship, their powers. They found that the life of a human is totally based on these chakras. This total science gave birth to Kundalini Yoga.
-Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher
About Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is considered the most comprehensive of yoga traditions, combining meditation, mantra, physical exercises and breathing techniques; it is a Raj Yog, encompassing the eight limbs of yoga into a singular practice of excellence and ecstasy. “Kundalini” literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.” This poetic metaphor alludes to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within each of us, and enables us to merge with – or “yoke” – the universal Self. Fusing individual and universal consciousness creates a divine union, called “yoga.” The Upanishads, dating back to the fifth century B.C., describe the kundalini, although the oral tradition reaches back even further into history. For thousands of years, this sacred science and technology was veiled in secrecy, passed along verbally from master to chosen disciple.
Click on the QUESTIONS below to view the answers
How do you describe Kundalini Yoga?
In the ancient tradition that is yoga, Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is a householder path; that is, it has always been practiced by those with families and jobs as opposed to a renunciate’s path of celibacy and removal from society, which was the usual path of a yogi.
What is the focus of Kundalini Yoga? What is the primary objective of the practice?
The focus of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is on one’s personal experience and awareness through the practice of kriya and naad. We awaken the kundalini in order to be able to call upon the full potential of the nervous and glandular systems and to balance the subtle system of chakras and meridians within the body. “Kriya” is an orchestrated pattern of movements, sound, pranayam, mudras, concentration and meditation that automatically guide the energies of the body and the mind to a specific result or change of consciousness.
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® does not rely on any one of these techniques per se, although we use many. Instead, it is the unique and tested syntax, within the structure of each kriya as shared by Yogi Bhajan, which provides steady, predictable progress and which leverages these basic functions of the body and the mind to create rapid, sustainable, personal growth and healing. In this tradition, meditation is not considered separate from asana or yoga; it is integral to the practice. The exercises in the kriya bring the body and mind to a state where deep meditation is easily achieved.
Our fundamental objective is to awaken the power of the individual to excel—to experience their Infinity and fulfill their personal destiny.
Who founded the school? When?
Who or what were the major influences are apparent in the creation of Kundalini Yoga? Please include a little bit of history about the style’s lineage.
Kundalini Yoga was taught from Master to student for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years and intersects with the lineage of the Sikh Masters such as Guru Nanak, Guru Ram Das and Guru Gobind Singh for the past 500 years. Its sources include many other yoga Masters of the Northern Punjab region of India as well as the unique contributions of the Gurus in the use of naad and Shabd Guru. Guru Nanak started the Udasi line through his son Baba Siri Chand, a Master who served and taught for more than 100 years. He taught to all existing lineages of that time and educated several of the Sikh Gurus in their youth. Yogi Bhajan was the first to openly teach Kundalini Yoga in the East or the West. The lineage is now held in legacy through the technology of the Golden Chain—a connection to the Masters through the subtle body.
How would you describe a typical Kundalini Yoga class? How does it start and end? How long does it last? What is emphasized?
Kriyas are complete sets of exercises that are performed in the sequences given by the Master, Yogi Bhajan. They can be simple short sequences or they may involve vigorous, even strenuous exercises, and strong breath techniques such as Breath of Fire, which challenge and strengthen the nervous and endocrine systems and test the will of the practitioner beyond the limitations of their ego.
The typical class is 60-90 minutes: 5-10 minute warm-up, 30-45 minute kriya, 5-15 minute layout, 11-31 minutes of meditation.
Does a Kundalini Yoga class typically include meditation or pranayama? Does it include chanting? Does it include other yogic practices? If so, please describe them.
Who are the leading teachers of Kundalini Yoga? Where are the leading centers or schools for learning this style?
Española, New Mexico, where Yogi Bhajan resided for many years, is the home of the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) and the KRI International Training Center. The Director of Training at KRI is Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, PhD, who studied with Yogi Bhajan from 1969 on, and co-founded KRI in 1971; the CEO of KRI is Nirvair Singh Khalsa, who taught for 30 years at the University of Alaska and worldwide; the head of the Aquarian Training Academy is Tarn Taran Singh Khalsa who developed European programs and continues to train internationally; and Hari Charn Kaur Khalsa, who directs the Reach Out-Teach Out program, providing scholarships and training opportunities to underserved populations around the globe. These are KRIs Core Training team and they support the international trainers and teachers throughout the world.
Go to www.kundaliniresearchinstitute.org for a full listing of international trainers. See also www.ikyta.org for more information about local instructors in your area.
How many Kundalini Yoga teachers are teaching in the US? Are there geographic concentrations of them? Do you certify Kundalini Yoga teachers? What does certification entail?
Certification as a Level One Instructor is a 250-hour program which includes
Certification as a Level Two Practitioner is a 250-hour program which includes five separate modules:
Certification as a Level Three Teacher combines an experiential, 10-day program, plus an individualized community-building service project and peer-review for certification.
What makes Kundalini Yoga unique (that is, different from other styles/schools of yoga)?