KRI Trainer Forum: Building the Connections in the KRI Global Aquarian Trainer Academy Community.
Where do Level One and Level Two trainers
come from? How are they trained and mentored?
How do they work together, spread-out all over
the globe? How do we create a sustainable
network for future generations? These are good
questions that we, as trainers of Kundalini Yoga
as taught by Yogi Bhajan®, have asked
ourselves and have worked hard to develop solid
The Trainer Development
offered by the KRI Aquarian Trainer Academy,
brings many elements that address these
questions and needs. Trainer Development
Programs offer mentoring, coaching by peers,
participation in TNT (Trainers in Training)
development weeks, personal study, attending
workshops in development of skills, and
attendance at the Global Trainer Forums.
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 lifelong 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.
Espanola, New Mexico - June, before
Summer Solstice Sadhana
Mur de Sologne, France - August, after the European Yoga Festival
China – various cities - September
Lake Wales, Florida - December, before Winter Solstice Sadhana
Santiago, Chile - February, after the Chilean Yoga Festival
Mexico City - February or May
Brazil - February or June
This summer the Trainer Forum in Espanola will be on June 16th and 17th at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das with meetings taking place in the Langar Hall and in the new and beautiful yoga studio. Trainers will have time to meet with colleagues who are in development at the same level in the Academy as well as meet with Trainers from all levels of development. This year the focus of the Forum will be how we develop the trainers of the future- What is Mentoring? What is Trainer Development? And on our ethics and manners as trainers around the globe.
you are interested in knowing more about the
Global Trainer Forums please contact Sadhu Kaur
at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look
forward to hearing from you and seeing you this
Hari Charn Kaur is the KRI Director of Outreach and is the inspiration behind the Global Trainer Forum. She travels frequently to assist teachers and trainers around the world and to bring Kundalini Yoga and Teacher Training to underserved locations.
A Note From Nirvair – Summer Solstice
Sat Nam. Greetings from sunny New Mexico. Summer
Solstice is here again!
On July 7, 1977, Yogi Bhajan talked about Summer Solstice Sadhana,
“The purpose of a human being is to release oneself from this earth so that one can go to the heavens. That's why they say, 'Heavens are above, earth is below'. Whosoever is bound to the earth shall remain bound to the earth and remain bound to earth for infinity. You shall be nothing and your destiny is decided; there is no hell for you, there is no heaven for you, all there is for you is ghost, ghost, ghost, and ghost. That's why when we do White Tantric Yogaat the summer solstice time, the entire land is filled with souls begging to hear your chants. It is amazing, one day there were six hundred people chanting and we were in ecstasy. And above us there was so much fighting, those souls were trying to come deeper and deeper. The magnetic field wanted to go over and over and in that hassle … I can’t explain it; I wish you all had those eyes and you could have watched what was going on. They were ancestors of yours who had been hung in this earth-bound circuit for a thousand, hundred thousand, million, and zillion years seeking liberation. It was an amazing sight to see, it was a wonder of God. That is why this time, when we wanted to let God speak to us, we heard a huge thunder. God applauded us for our mercy, not because we were very wonderful human beings but because those thousands and hundreds of thousands of souls got relieved and released. That's called yagna.
“That's what we do. People do not understand summer solstice, these Americans do not understand it at all. That is the time when the sun energy and the earth’s magnetic field are at the peak. Ahh, that is the most wonderful combination - to meditate, recite, and chant at that time. And in the openness, in the wilderness of Mother Nature, we call on the Heavenly Father.”
There is a lot of activity and opportunity to use the sun energy of the summer to accelerate our yogic and spiritual practices. Summer Solstice Sadhana in New Mexico and the European Yoga Festival in France are very special events. You get to be with a large group of Kundalini Yogis, you can study with excellent teachers, and you get to do three days of White Tantric Yoga ™. Solstice and Yoga Festival will rejuvenate and uplift you for months and months to come. Yogi Bhajan often said to plan the year around our Solstice celebrations.
I will be teaching at Summer Solstice Sadhana this year. Join me for a transformative class “The Best Teacher is the Best Listener” Monday June 20th, 2016. It will be in the “Air Tent” from 3:45 – 5:50 PM.
Now is the time for Teachers! We still have space available in our International Teacher Training Level One Immersion Course.
The Aquarian Age is here and it is calling you! Become a Teacher of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® this summer in the ashram and ranch of Yogi Bhajan. I really look forward to this course; it is a truly incredible experience for the students as well as the teachers.
See you at Solstice! Come by our booth in the bazaar for see and buy new books and DVD’s including a new edition of The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan. It is called Merging with the Infinite: Quotations and Kriyas on Death and Dying - Preparation, Process and Prayers.
In the Name of God, I serve.
Nirvair Singh Khalsa
Yoga for Back Pain: The Science and Research Evidence
Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
Back pain is characterized by muscular pain, which may also include shooting pain that radiates down the legs and limited flexibility or range of motion of the back and neck. Because of the wide spectrum of symptoms, back pain may receive a variety of diagnoses such as sciatica or herniated disks. The nondescript form that lacks a precise diagnosis is called Low Back Pain (LBP). LBP is one of the leading causes of absence from work and is a major public health concern in industrialized societies. The condition is widely prevalent with up to 85% of individuals experiencing at least some degree of back pain in their lifetime. Although 90% of all patients with acute LBP recover rapidly without any specific treatment, the remaining 10% are at risk of developing chronic pain and disability. Chronic low back pain is a large burden on the healthcare system with high economic costs compounded by a substantial number of days of lost productivity annually.
An individual’s quality of life is likewise affected due to restricted mobility and the inability to partake in daily tasks. This often leads to decreased self-worth and depression. Unfortunately, the conventional methods of treatment are only modestly effective. Exercise is one of the few proven treatments for chronic low back pain, however its benefits are often very small. Other treatment options apart from medication, include spinal manipulation, acupuncture, massage, and yoga.
LBP is the most common condition for which complementary therapies are used with more than half of LBP patients in the United States utilizing complementary treatment options. Out of the 15 million of American adults who have practiced yoga at least once, 20% of those use yoga explicitly for back pain relief. In fact, even the American Pain Society’s guidelines recommend that clinicians consider offering yoga to patients with chronic LBP. Several of the factors contributing to the development of back pain can be addressed by a therapeutic yoga intervention. Our modern sedentary and stress-laden lifestyle has in part contributed to the rise in prevalence of back pain. The absence of physical activity weakens muscles, making them unable to support normal structural weight, and chronic stress produces short, tense muscles that limit range of motion, which can lead to back pain. In addition, the upsurge of obesity and occupations that require heavy lifting are all risk factors that can trigger back pain. Yoga may be a beneficial therapy for back pain because it involves physical movement along with added benefits of mental focus and stress-reduction.
Indeed, yoga exercises reduce physical impairment by increasing muscular strength and flexibility. Yoga also increases conscious body awareness and self-efficacy which can contribute to reducing the risk factors of poor posture and inappropriate movement and muscular activity. Yoga is particularly well-recognized as an effective method of reducing psychological stress. Specifically, yoga improves neuroendocrine function by normalizing the actions of the stress systems, including cortisol from the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and adrenaline and sympathetic activation from the autonomic nervous system. Although back pain is likely to be thought of as a purely muscular and mechanical disorder, the role of stress, mood, and pain perception contribute substantially to the experience of back pain. In fact, somewhat surprisingly, mindfulness and meditation have been shown to have therapeutic potential in treating back pain. Back pain patients in a recent MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) intervention in 2015, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, showed significant decrease of pain intensity along with improved physical and mental quality of life scores. Therefore, more traditional yoga styles/practices that include meditation as a key component are likely to be a better treatment strategy than the use of physical yoga exercises alone.
In the first meta-analysis and review of research on the efficacy of yoga for LBP, Cramer et al. included an analysis of 10 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) through January 2012 which encompassed 967 chronic low back pain patients. The majority of the studies had a low risk of bias, which gives us more confidence in the validity of the results. Six of the RCTs originated from the United States, 2 from the UK and 2 from India. Although the majority of patients were adult female Caucasians, the Indian studies included Asians, and some US studies looked at ethnic minorities, thereby making the results of the review applicable for the majority of LBP patients. The reviewed trials varied in the yoga styles used, but all compared yoga to control interventions and revealed strong evidence for short-term efficacy and moderate evidence of long-term impact of yoga on patients with chronic back pain. Surprisingly, there was no statistically-significant evidence for either short-term or long-term effects on health-related quality of life. On the other hand, yoga was not associated with serious adverse events which makes it a viable alternative to conventional drug treatment that often carries negative side-effects.
One of the studies reviewed was a landmark paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2005. In this 3-armed randomized control trial (RCT), 101 adults with chronic low back pain were treated with either 12-weekly sessions of yoga, therapeutic conventional exercise, or a self-care book, to determine relative efficacy. Interviewers who were blind to the treatment conducted telephone interviews at baseline and at 6, 12, and 26 weeks after the start of the study. The results of the study suggested that yoga is an effective treatment method for chronic LBP that had long-term benefits. Furthermore, medication use, which was similar among groups at baseline, decreased most sharply in the yoga group. Only 21% of participants in the yoga group reported medication use during the week before the 26-week interview compared with 50% in the exercise group and 59% in the book group. A common limitation to these behavioral intervention studies is observation bias but since in this case the interviewers were blind to the treatment assignments, this bias was minimized. Additionally, the large sample size allows for conclusive albeit preliminary assertions regarding the effectiveness and safety of yoga as an intervention in this population.
More recent research evaluating yoga for chronic back pain has investigated whether similar results are seen in more diverse populations. In 2009, Robert Saper’s research team at the Boston University School of Medicine, along with Karen Sherman and their colleagues, conducted a novel trial focusing on minority populations. This is significant because despite the increase in the popularity of yoga in the US, it is far less common among minorities and individuals with lower incomes or education. In this pilot RCT, 30 adults with a mean age of 44 years, 83% of them female and of racial or ethnic minorities, were randomly assigned to a standardized 12-week protocol of Hatha yoga classes or a usual care waitlist control group. The yoga participants had statistically significant reduction in pain intensity and medication after 12 weeks compared to the control group. Beyond the 12-week intervention period however, participant retention was poor and participants sought out treatments other than yoga, so it may be necessary to provide continuing yoga treatment support in this population.
Most of the studies to date have focused almost exclusively on chronic, nonspecific LBP, and therefore little is known about the efficacy of yoga in treating musculoskeletal conditions and pain in other areas of the back. In a study published in 2011 in the Yoga & Physical Therapy Journal, Lynn Schultz along with Sat Bir S. Khalsa and colleagues investigated the potential of yoga to ameliorate a broad range of back pain disorders. The study consisted of 24 adults with a complaint of chronic back pain who attended a 12-week program of weekly group yoga classes based on the system of the Krishnamacharya Healing Yoga Foundation (KHYF), a school well-known for its specialization in yoga therapy that includes asana, pranayama, core strengthening, meditation, bhavana (visualization), and mantra. Participants also practiced regularly at home and maintained a journal. The results demonstrated that the yoga classes significantly improved quality of life, decreased disability and pain, and improved physical functioning and mood. Subjects reported less depressive feelings, anger, fatigue, and confusion, indicating that yoga may not only improve back pain itself, but also the co-occurring symptoms.
In summary, studies to date have demonstrated the strong short-term and moderate long-term efficacy of yoga in treating a wide variety of back pain conditions without significant adverse side-effects. Future research should address the previous limitations of small sample sizes, moderate adherence, and lack of longer-term studies. They should also perhaps evaluate the dose response characteristics and the relative contribution to efficacy of the different components of yoga such as physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. These future trials would further improve our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of yoga in back pain treatment and allow yoga therapists to devise more effective interventions.
Happy Summer Solstice from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®
A big thank you to the many of you who participated in our Spring Fund Drive! Your gifts are how this incredible resource of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings continues to grow. Thank You!
We hope you have a happy and blessed Summer Solstice. For many of us, Summer Solstice is a time of renewed commitment to our daily practice and thinking about things we want to shift in our lives. When Yogi Bhajan spoke at Summer Solstice it was a very special experience. Energized by long days of White Tantric Yoga, his talks to the camp were personal and interactive.
In this lecture from June 24, 1994, Yogi Bhajan taught a meditation class after the White Tantric Yoga days. Before the meditation, he said to the camp;
“Anything or everything that does not add to your grace and does not add to your nobility will destroy your credibility. You can have friends but they may not be there when you need them. So trust everybody for nothing. Don't expect anything. Because you must understand our theory. Our theory is that God made everybody. So accept everybody as God's body. If you cannot see God in all you cannot see God at all!
“So accept everybody as God's body. Accept everybody - God's body. Therefore, you will not hate anybody. But if somebody can take care of your needs, because God is in everybody, your needs can be taken care of. Just remember all things that belong to you shall come to you, if you open your heart. But if you manipulate, you will be far behind in prosperity, wealth, and happiness. See God's place and everything will come to you.”
Read or watch the original lecture here on The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® searchable database. What a beautiful reminder at time of the solstice that we are all God’s body, and that we are all cared for. And, “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all,” which was Yogi Bhajan’s life motto.
Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®
Kundalini Research Institute
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The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible under IRS code 501(c)(3).
KRI Recipe of the Month for June
Nam. Here are two favorites
that for many people bring
back memories of the 3HO
Summer Solstice Sadhana:
Golden Milk and Solstice Hot
Sauce. Now you can enjoy the
health benefits and amazing
flavors of these two great
recipes all year round!
SOLSTICE HOT SAUCE
Each year, the 3HO “family” holds its “Summer Solstice Sadhana” in Espanola, New Mexico. It is a chance for people to purify their minds, souls and bodies through practicing lots of Kundalini and Tantric Yoga, eating very cleansing food, drinking the purest water, and breathing clean air. As part of the healing diet, this special hot sauce made with native New Mexican chiles is always served.
3 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup dry crushed red chiles
8 oz. tamarind concentrate
16 oz. hot water
1 1/2 cup sesame oil
1 Tbsp. turmeric
10 whole small dry red chiles
2 cups apple cider vinegar
Put onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle with crushed chiles. Melt tamarind concentrate in hot water. Add oil and diluted tamarind to onions. Sprinkle with turmeric. Add whole chiles and vinegar. Stir and cover. Let sit overnight or several days for the fullest flavor. Store in refrigerator. It will keep a long time, and get better and better. Yields 2 quarts.
Excerpt From: Yogi Bhajan, PhD. “Foods for Health and Healing: Remedies Recipes.”
This delicious hot drink is very good for the spine. It lubricates all the joints and helps to break up calcium deposits.
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1/4 cup water
8 oz. milk
2 Tbsp. raw almond oil
honey to taste
Boil turmeric in water for about 8 minutes until it forms a thick paste. If too much water boils away, add a little more water. Meanwhile, bring milk to a boil with the almond oil. As soon as it boils, remove from heat. Combine the two mixtures and add honey to taste.
If you like, you can prepare a “reserve supply” of turmeric paste by boiling a larger quantity of turmeric and storing in the refrigerator up to 40 days.
As a change of pace, whiz golden milk in the blender until frothy, and serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Excerpt From: Yogi Bhajan, PhD. “Foods for Health and Healing: Remedies Recipes.”