“Valentine’s Day is about Unconditional Love”
Greetings from New Mexico!
In the West, the month of February is associated with love because of Valentines Day. It is a good time to think about relationships and love in all aspects of life. A core teaching in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is that love is beyond condition; it is your steady relationship to your own Infinity that is reflected in your relationship to others.
Yogi Bhajan had a student read his message about Valentines Day in class:
“For my dear ones on Valentine's Day,
Love has two polarities-conditional and unconditional. Conditional love has expectations, which give us pain and joy. Unconditional love gives us ecstasy, self-fulfillment, self-respect, self-esteem, and knowledge of our higher selves. Valentine's Day is a day of love, true and simple. Unconditional love is a power of the day. Love creates our bountiful, beautiful, and blissful tomorrows and this is God in us. May we go from this years' Valentine's Day to next with the grace to make our every action conscious, intelligent, and positive. And may we keep a love in our hearts for all, for if we cannot see God in all, we cannot see God at all. Happy Valentine’s Day.” 2/14/1994.
I recommend that you look-up the lecture in the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings ®. The whole lecture is fantastic!
Now is the time to become a teacher in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan ® and if you are a teacher already, you can further your studies of Yogi Bhajan’s beautiful teachings with some great trainers this summer. We have students coming from all over the world for our KRI certified courses and I hope that you can join us.
Registration is open for all our summer courses. It is open for Level One Teacher Training Immersion in New Mexico; our Level Two course of this summer, “Conscious Communication” with Hari Kirn Kaur, Devinder Kaur, and myself; and our Level Three course, “The 21 Stages of Meditation” with Guru Singh, Krishna Kaur, and myself.
More information and registration on Level One: http://immersion.kriteachings.org/
More information and registration on Level Two: http://transformation.kriteachings.org
More information and registration on 21 Stages: http://www.kundaliniresearchinstitute.org/21stages/
you been joining me for the monthly KRI
meditation? This month we are doing Pushma Kriya
from April 19, 1976. It contains a marvelous
guided meditation in it with Yogi Bhajan’s
voice. Join me each month. It is a great way to
explore the amazing kriyas that Yogi Bhajan has
All the best with blessings,
Nirvair Singh Khalsa
CEO Kundalini Research Institute
Reach Out! Teach Out!
Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Academy in Cairo
By Siri Neel Kaur Khalsa
Kundalini Yoga has a way of spreading out across lands, finding a cozy place in any culture, and serving all different types of people. Yogi Bhajan knew that in this time of change, the stress on all human beings would become immense. Kundalini Yoga empowers each individual with the knowledge and the technology to not only manage that stress, but to thrive in it. As have seen over and over again, that knowledge moves like oil on water, knowing no borders or boundaries.
In August 2012, Shama Kaur came from Cairo to the KRI Level One Immersion Program in Espanola. She had taken just one Kundalini Yoga class from Dev Dharam Kaur, at that time the only Kundalini Yoga instructor in Egypt. Dev Dharam had been teaching in Egypt since 2007 and that first yoga class was the impetus for Shama’s decision to become a Kundalini Yoga teacher. Where better to do so than in Espanola, Yogi Bhajan’s home where he lived and taught. I remember meeting Shama for the first time: she had traveled to New Mexico alone and was looking around ready to start her journey. I was struck with her bountiful energy, her insatiable curiosity, and her stunning courage!
After successfully completing the Level One Immersion Program, Shama returned to Cairo to continue her training and earn her teaching certification. We kept in touch by email and we began talking once a month via Skype. Shama had a lot of questions and would email between the calls to discuss her challenges as she adjusted to returning home.
Shama Kaur opened Yalla Yoga, a multidisciplinary yoga studio in Cairo, and became immersed in the business of yoga. She quickly identified the need for a Kundalini Yoga community to serve the local people. In her innate wisdom, she knew that people needed Egyptian Kundalini Yoga teachers who knew the language and the culture, and who understood the challenges that they face in everyday life. With her characteristic enthusiasm, she began the process of planning for Level One Teacher Training in Cairo.
Dev Dharam Kaur, who was now living in North Dakota to help her aging mother, joined in the discussion and a plan was conceived for a 3-week course with myself as the Lead for the first week, Sat Purkh Kaur for the second week, and Shiv Charan Singh for the final week. The course was licensed in January of 2015 and Shama began spreading the word. Her energetic and expansive positive mind, along with her dedication to teaching classes, created a whorl-wind of interest in the course.
Dev Dharam and I met at the Paris airport and flew into Cairo together. Landing at Cairo was quite a culture shock for me and I was so grateful to be arriving with someone who knew Egypt and how to move through the seeming chaos. The next day I saw Egypt for the first time and was stunned with the majesty and antiquity of the pyramids of Giza. I rode on a felucca (sailboat) on the Nile at night – truly a dream come true. Then we got down to work and traveled to the villa that would be our home and teaching venue for the next 7 days.
The students arrived that evening, 12 women: 9 from Egypt, 1 from Bangladesh, 1 from Saudi Arabia and 1 from Tunisia. Everyone settled in for the night and arose early for the first Aquarian Morning Sadhana. Shama Kaur led sadhana daily for the students, supporting them with gentle encouragement.
The women shared deeply in our daily morning check-in with an authenticity born of difficult experiences. For a few it took most of the week to build enough trust, but eventually a close bond developed and every woman felt the sacredness of connecting with other women of spirit. The group was focused, each with a desire to bring these teachings to help others: to friends and family, to refugees, to women in abusive marriages, and to those people identifying with pain and suffering.
The villa provided a beautiful environment outside of the hustle of the city to immerse in the training. There were peaceful gardens to walk in that served the reflective mood and supported our expanding spirits. The most wonderful food was served, planned by Shama and cooked by a loving staff. I learned about the delicious Egyptian national dish, koshari – made with red lentils, noodles, rice, and tomato sauce with various toppings, especially fried onions.
The course was an amazing success and all 12 women are well on their way to being certified Kundalini Yoga teachers. They are building their Kundalini Yoga community through their dedication and enthusiasm and the invincible support of Shama Kaur. I miss these wonderful women and the Egyptian people’s warmth and ease. There are already plans to have a Women’s Course in the fall!
Neuroimaging Research on Yoga and Meditation: EEG Studies
Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
Historical anecdotal evidence abounds for the benefits of yoga and meditation and even for the underlying psychophysiological and psychological mechanisms of its action. Since the history of the practice goes back thousands of years, the writings of the yoga and meditation masters over the millennia have given us valuable insight into how meditation works. However, anecdotal evidence can be very subjective and may not apply to the general population. Therefore, more objective studies have tried to quantify the effects of meditation and the neurophysiological processes involved. One of the early scientific tools used to study the contemplative practices has been electroencephalography (EEG). The EEG records the electrical activity of the brain with electrodes on the surface of the scalp and registers the distinctly different brain wave patterns that occur over different regions of the scalp and that change their characteristics over time and with different meditation practices.
EEG research has revealed that yoga has positive and unique effects on brain activity by stimulating alpha, beta, and theta brainwaves. These changes in brain activity have been associated with improvements in cognition, mood, and anxiety. Alpha brainwave activity has been correlated with increased cognitive performance such as faster recall of information from memory. Likewise, beta waves have been linked to increased cognitive skills, which are associated with improved academic performance and mood. Those beneficial brain wave activities were observed in the various EEG studies on yoga practitioners.
The first EEG studies from the early sixties and seventies revealed increases in alpha and theta wave amplitude in yoga practitioners. Later studies were consistent with these findings, such as in a 1992 Indian EEG study, in which a breathing and relaxation yoga practice was equated with gradual and significant increases in alpha activity over 30 consecutive days of training. Those increases in alpha activity were registered in the occipital and prefrontal cortices of the brain. Scientists have found an integral link between the prefrontal cortex and the personality. This finding is consistent with Yogi Bhajan’s description of the frontal lobe of the brain as the control center for the personality and several meditations in the Kundalini Yoga tradition target this brain area.
In another more recent study from 2013, a group of Indian police trainees performed asana-based yoga and pranayama. Just as in the previous study, these subjects also displayed increase in alpha wave activity along with amplification of beta brainwaves. Several more EEG studies have demonstrated that a natural practice like yoga can induce brain wave activity associated with a vast array of cognitive and mood benefits. Therefore, the EEG studies have been instrumental in initiating our understanding of the yogi’s meditative mind.
The recent advent of the popularity of Buddhist inspired mindfulness meditation has yielded an additional body of research literature on its EEG characteristics. In a recent review of EEG studies on mindfulness meditation published in a 2015 issue of the journal Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews by a team of U.K. researchers, the authors examined 56 publications. They concluded “that mindfulness was most commonly associated with enhanced alpha and theta power as compared to an eyes closed resting state, although such outcomes were not uniformly reported. No consistent patterns were observed with respect to beta, delta and gamma bandwidths.” This conclusion is in essence not much different from previous meditation studies, in which a single point, or closed focus, form of meditation has been used. The fact that the EEG is not able to show substantial differences between meditation forms may suggest that it has significant limitations.
Despite its benefits, the capability of EEG recordings may not do full justice as a tool to evaluate the subtlety of meditative practices and experience. This technology has the limitation of representing the activity of millions of neurons through interpreting brain wave activity alone. Another major limitation to the EEG is its poor spatial resolution since it is most sensitive to the neural activity in the superficial layers of the brain, because the scalp electrodes are a significant distance away from the neurons through the barriers of the skull and scalp. Deeper structures in the brain that are further from the scalp electrodes such as the cingulate gyrus or hippocampus have less contribution to the EEG signal. While the early neuroimaging studies have yielded valuable information about the effects of yoga on brain activity, the limitations of the EEG technology have restricted what we can learn from these studies. There is now new neuroimaging technology that offers measurements that are free of the many artifacts and limitations of the EEG.
Level Three Teacher Training
10 Reasons to Join the Aquarian Teacher Level
Three Program This Summer
1. Expand Yourself. You teach and serve others every day, now it is your turn to work on yourself and expand your spirit.
2. Revitalize your Spirit. Rejuvenate yourself and fill your cup with light, love, and good energy.
3. Nurture your Heart. Grow your capacity to love though meditation and self-assessment
4. Cultivate your Spiritual Maturity. Commit to a 1,000-day journey of self-realization and spiritual growth that will expand your consciousness and deepen your self-mastery.
5. Develop your Meditative Mind. Dive deep into inner awareness and self-reflection, expanding your capacity for meditation to new heights.
6. Serve your World. Align your individual passion and purpose with a higher destiny to build communities and serve the greater good.
7. Discover the Power of Spiritual Support. Experience positive support and genuine trust with a group of your peers who walk with you each step of the 1,000-day sadhana.
8. Connect to your Teacher. Immerse yourself in the teachings of Yogi Bhajan and discover new ways that this wisdom can penetrate and change your life.
9. Intensify your Teaching. Deepen your teaching ability and bring a wealth of knowledge and inspiration that can be shared with all your students.
10. Answer your Soul’s Calling. Be the teacher that you are destined to be and make this your summer to start the journey towards being a Level Three teacher.
Sat Nam From The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®
hope your New Year is off to a wonderful start!
February 14th brings Valentine’s Day in many
parts of the world. It gives us a chance to
celebrate and value our loved ones and cherish
the love that we all have in our lives.
In a lecture given on Valentine’s Day in Espanola, New Mexico in 1994, Yogi Bhajan challenges us to make every day Valentine’s Day!
Today is Valentine’s Day. There is a lot to the story, but essential it is a day of love. Somebody became a saint and their love was infinite – so now we send each other cards ask, “Be my Valentine.” “I am your Valentine.” We are the Valentine! Why can't we be a valentine to each other everyday? Why don’t we just fix that frequency? Why not? We are actually the valentine of each other. We have a vigor, we have a valor, and we have a virtue of life. There is no reason that we should not be a Valentine!” Yogi Bhajan February 14, 1994
This lecture from 1994 is accompanied by the original video lecture. Watch or read the whole lecture to really understand the context behind this teaching. What a wonderful concept Yogi Bhajan touches on here - to be each other’s Valentines’ each and every day. Act with love, valor, and consciousness not just one day a year but every day. I am setting my intentions for this New Year to make each day a celebration of Love. I hope you will join me!
We cannot thank those of you who support The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® enough! Your gifts are what keep this mission of preserving these teachings thriving and evolving, we continue to add more lectures to the searchable database because of you!
Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji, Fundraising Coordinator
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings™
Kundalini Research Institute
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February Recipe of the Month
YOGI BHAJAN’S BEETS AND POTATOES
Enlightened Bodies: Exploring Physical and Subtle Human Anatomy.
Nirmal Lumpkin, LMT and Japa Kaur Khalsa, DOM.
Balances Vata and increases Kapha.
This recipe is recommended for recovering junk food addicts or new vegetarians.
1–2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) peanut oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) turmeric
1 cup water (240 ml)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) black salt
Clean beets and potatoes and then steam them for 45 minutes to one hour until both are soft. Once cooled, slip off the skins on the beets but leave potato skins on. Cut the beets and potatoes into bite sized pieces. Put 1–2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of peanut oil into a frying pan and heat. Add turmeric and sauté for one minute.
Add the beets and potatoes to the pan and stir. Add 1/4–1/2 cup of water (60-120 ml) and mash the potatoes a little bit, letting the color of the beets mix together. Add 1/8–1/4 tsp (1-2 ml) of black salt* to the entire mixture and stir together.
Serve on toasted pita bread with feta or goat cheese.
*Black salt is a very sulfurous smelling salt that Yogi Bhajan specifically recommended for various health applications. A simple search of “Black Salt”, or “Sulfur Salt” as he sometimes called it, in the online database of his teachings, The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings™ (www.libraryofteachings.org) will turn up many examples.
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