A Note From Nirvair
Greetings from New Mexico!
Sat Siri Kaur
We just completed our 2016 Level One Teacher Training Immersion course in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® in New Mexico, USA. What a wonderful course and great group of trainers! Our Lead Trainer Sat Siri Kaur was exceptional, bringing light and fresh energy to everything she touches. The experience the students and teachers had was almost beyond words to describe. The deep bonds that this international group of students created with each other and the profound inspiration, in action, of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings was awesome. Give yourself the gift of joy and join us for this course in 2017. Become a teacher and serve your world. It is a rich and deep experience.
Fall is school time in the northern hemisphere. Many Teacher Trainings in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® also start this time of year. You can sign up for Teacher Training almost anywhere in the world and learn the technology of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, and lifestyle. We have trainings in over 50 countries and our community of teachers is growing.
The core of all our Level One KRI Certified Trainings is that the students have an inspiring experience that prepares them to teach and serve in the Aquarian Age. No matter where you train, you will find a consistent quality of expertise, love, care, and attention. Yogi Bhajan’s impact on the world has been truly amazing! Here is an index of Trainers and trainings around the world. Or you can use our Teacher Training Application for iOS Mobile devices.
Almost every day I search and get deeply immersed in the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® or read in our great KRI manuals. What amazing resources! Every month, in this newsletter, I will share some technology and insight with you that has inspired me. This month, Yogi Bhajan talks about a meditation recipe for success in the Aquarian Age. This comes from a 1987 Man to Man course.
Sat Nam means, “Your identity is true.”
Naam means identity. Naam is the known name of a
person, place, or thing. Sat Nam means your
identity is true. It is five sounds,
Wahe Guru is a Trikurti Mantra.
It's a mantra of the Ajana command center
(the third-eye) and it has three sounds. Wa-he
Guru. Wa-he Guru. People do not know how to
pronounce it sometimes - it is not Wah-guru. It
is Wa-he Guru. When you do the japa
(chanting), that's how you do it. Wa-he Guru.
That chanting is no japa if you cannot hear it.
You have to hear your japa. Wa-he Guru, Wa-he
Put your hands like this (Yogi Bhajan covers his ears with his whole hands) and chant, Wa-he Guru, Wa-he Guru, Wa-he Guru.
You can hear that note exactly. When you chant Wa-he Guru, you should be in a position to hear it. Otherwise it is not japa. A man who cannot hear his own words is useless, hopeless, worthless, insane, neurotic, and just a low-grade mammal. So, let me give you the definition of that in straight sweeping words. Man must be in a position to hear his own words.
Student: You are saying that, when we use mantra when we meditate, we should hear it?
Yogi Bhajan: Speak it and hear it at the same. You must hear your own sound of the mantra. That will purify you.
Student: Sir, when we do the Tratakum Meditation with your picture, should we be looking at your third eye?
Yogi Bhajan: No, no it is all written there, I am not going to tell you anything. This meditation comes with full instructions. (You can find those instructions in a free PDF download on the KRI site here.)
I know people who have done it and I know how successful they are.
Student: We don’t….
Yogi Bhajan: It is all in those instructions. Neither left not right – it is all written.
We are preparing people to enter the Age of Aquarius peacefully and righteously by giving them eleven minutes each of the meditations - Sa Ta Na Ma (Kirtan Kriya), Sat Kriya, and Sodarshan Chakra Kriya. Thirty-three minutes in the morning and thirty-three minutes in the evening will open up the chakras (energy centers), it will balance your tattvas (qualities of matter), and it will give you power in your own being. Kirtan Kriya balances the tattvas. Sat Kriya energize the tattvas. Sodarshan Chakra Kriya opens up the chakras in absolute balance, so you are never going to be in trouble. Have a nice wonderful day, and now we have to go to do something else, and this concludes the session with me. Thank you very much, God bless you.
KRI has a lot of resources for student and teachers. The book “Man to Man” has the lectures from these courses. Visit our on line store, “The Source” for this book and other great books and manuals in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® .
All the best with many blessings,
Nirvair Singh Khalsa
We Are KRI – The Gifts of the Master
Sat Nam. We have just celebrated the anniversary
of the birth of our Spiritual Teacher, Yogi
Bhajan. This is always a time to reflect, both
individually and as the members of the Aquarian
Trainer Academy, on the gifts that Yogi Bhajan
gave us. He gave us the gift of Kundalini Yoga
as taught by Yogi Bhajan®, he gave us
the gift of Raj Yoga and protection of Guru Ram
Das, he gave us the gift of discipline and
Sadhana, he taught us to bow.
He also gave us the gift of our three level Teacher Training Program. I want to share a few behind the scene stories of how The Aquarian Teacher came into being.
In April of 1996 in Los Angeles, during a lunch meeting at Khalsa Council, Yogi Bhajan sat with a group of teachers from around the world that he had gathered to standardize teacher training. This group was composed of Kundalini Yoga Teachers (for there were not yet Trainers) from the Europe, Mexico, China, Canada, the United States, and South America. The task of creating a unified Teacher Training Program was daunting. As you can imagine, each of us thought we had the best model and there were some very heated debates going on. Yogi Bhajan asked us to meet him for lunch and here are some of his words:
“You have two choices: either condemn yourselves now or make the environments to live forever. A standardized program cannot be given to personality. It has to be neutral. Make a bondage with God and it has to be produced!”
“The days when we said, ‘Go out to so-and-so place and teach’ are over. We must have a standardized course for the common man. It must be able to stand in the court of law and be a professional course. It should include chakras, biology, kinesiology, meridians, anatomy, and all of this stuff which doesn't really mean a thing, but must be there.”
“We must produce teachers who can teach. Start with a course, but one that can be reasonably completed. It shouldn't go on for years and years! The time-frame doesn't matter, but it shouldn’t be too long nor too short. Long enough for them to be capable. There must be a written exam. Record the students' progress, and have them take a written test. Keep files on the students, have graduations, etc.”
“There should be three degree levels: Instructor, Practitioner, and Teacher. We must create an authentic, reliable course. We must produce an undying Truth for the future. We are the pioneers.”
And how did we get the
name “The Aquarian Teacher?” On July 13, 2000, Yogi Bhajan taught “The
Master’s Touch Meditation.” This is a 2 ½ -hour meditation that
created an unbreakable bond between the practitioner and the subtle body of the
Master. Yogi Bhajan gave no direction on the number of days for a student to
practice, he said you would know when you were done. For Shanti Shanti Kaur and
myself that was over 1200 days. The practice of this meditation gave many gifts
to each of us and one of those gifts was the name for Teacher Training. One day
while meditating, I heard Yogi Bhajan say that the name of Teacher Training
needed to be The Aquarian Teacher. We took the question to Yogi Bhajan and
his response was, “Of course, that is the name.“
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.r
Blessings to all teachers and trainers of this life-changing Kundalini Yoga as
taught by Yogi Bhajan. Today we are a global community with a wonderful and
powerful standardized Level One, Level Two, and Level Three Teacher Training
Program. Do you have a story you would like to share? Please send it to Hari
Charn Kaur at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yoga for Schizophrenia: The Science and Research Evidence
Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
While there is no specific known cause of schizophrenia, most psychiatrists agree that it is multi-factorial. Individuals may likely have a genetic predisposition toward the condition, which may be activated by environmental stressors such as perinatal viruses, obstetric complications, and childhood trauma. There may be a neurodevelopmental aspect to schizophrenia, where excessive amounts of dopamine in brain regions such as the hippocampus are believed to play a role in the development of the illness. In addition, patients with schizophrenia frequently have a high baseline level of physiological arousal where the body is chronically agitated and alert. This is often compounded by a suppressed parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the body’s capacity to calm down. This hyper-responsivity to stress may in turn lead to chronic activation of the body’s stress-response system including the autonomic system (sympathetic and parasympathetic) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and contribute to prolonged mental and physical distress. Unfortunately, stress is both a trigger and by-product of schizophrenic episodes. Other lifestyle risk factors include the lack of physical activity and a fast and shallow breathing pattern, which can exacerbate the stress reactivity.
Conventional treatment for schizophrenia primarily includes pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. While antipsychotic medication has greatly reduced morbidity and mortality, it comes at the cost of severe side effects, as most patients need long-term treatment. Therefore, complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) are extensively sought after with 63% of psychiatric patients using CIM therapies including yoga especially in depression and anxiety disorders. Indeed, several of the disease factors can be addressed by a therapeutic yoga intervention. Influential models of schizophrenia suggest that a disturbed sense of self (the inability to distinguish self from non-self) is a core component of the illness. Studies in healthy individuals indicate yoga practices may improve self-reflection through highly focused attention, sustained posture, breath regulation, and meditation techniques. Indeed, to distinguish the conscious self who is the agent (purusha) from that which can be objectified and is the content of experience (prakrti) determines the integration of the self in yogic philosophy.
While prior systematic reviews have suggested the efficacy of yoga in relieving schizophrenia symptoms, the first meta-analysis was published by Cramer et al. in 2013 and included five randomized controlled trials RCTs from India, China, the USA, and Belgium with a total of 337 patients. Yoga interventions in these studies included postures/exercises, pranayama, and meditation/mindfulness and were compared either to usual care, exercise, or both. Intervention lengths and intensities varied between a single 30-minute session to 25 45-minute sessions over a period of 1 month followed by 3 months of home-based yoga. This systematic review found moderate evidence for short-term effects of yoga on quality of life scores and effects were present only in studies with high risk of bias, with no evidence for short-term effects. Despite study limitations such as possible bias and small sample size initial results are encouraging and suggest that yoga may be useful in treating clinical symptoms while improving socio-occupational functioning in schizophrenia patients.
The first study to examine the effect of yoga therapy on oxytocin levels in schizophrenia was also published in 2013. This RCT was conducted by Jayaram et al. in the laboratory of Dr. B.N. Gangadhar at the Integrated Centre for Yoga within the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bengaluru, India. The study included a total of 43 patients that were maintained on antipsychotic medication and randomly assigned to receive either the yoga intervention or to continue on medication alone. The yoga therapy group showed a significant improvement in socio-occupational functioning, which is consistent with previous findings, but also showed an increase in plasma oxytocin levels. Apart from the increased social interaction of yoga classes, yoga may modulate oxytocin synthesis by increasing the activity of the vagal nerve, highlighting its potential efficacy as an adjunct treatment for schizophrenia.
In summary, studies to date have demonstrated the moderate short-term efficacy of yoga to improve clinical symptoms of schizophrenia while providing socio-cognitive benefits. This is a cost-effective and empowering practice that allows a patient to recognize that behavioral skills such as deep breathing and meditation can alleviate emotional and psychological distress. However, given the fact that this is a new field of clinical investigation, the results must be considered as preliminary in nature, and further evidence is required before recommending yoga as a routine intervention for schizophrenia patients. Current ongoing research at a large academic center in New Delhi, India is using a 3-armed RCT to examine the effectiveness of yoga supplementation as compared to physical exercise and conventional treatment to evaluate cognitive state, overall function, and symptom severity. It is likely that new publications will appear regularly from recently completed clinical trials in this growing field of research.
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 Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®
you to all of you who contributed to our new The
Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®
We spent the 11 days leading up to Yogi Bhajan’s
birthday in August focusing on ways in which we can
secure the future of this incredible resource and
ensure that access to the Library of Teachings will
remain free to all. Thank you so much to all of our
supporters who make this work of preserving all of
Yogi Bhajan’s teachings in one online resource
possible. We are so honored by the outpouring of
support for our new Endowment Fund. If you want to
learn more about how you can contribute, or be part
of it, be sure to contact us.
September is a month of heading back to school, whether you are a student yourself or you have children heading back to school, we are all students in some form even if do not sit in a classroom anymore. It’s the season of getting focused and digging in to the next year of learning. Yogi Bhajan talked extensively about the role of a ’good student’ over the years. In this early lecture in October of 1974 he said:
“It is not the matter how intelligent you are; it does matter how intelligently you can keep up. It doesn't matter how much truth you know; it does matter how much you can live the truth. It doesn't matter how good a student you are; it does matter how in goodness you believe to be a student. It is that belief in you about yourself that you are going to be a good student. It doesn't matter what you achieve, it matters how much you can keep up. The constant continuity of the flow of devotion can even bring God in motion” Yogi Bhajan” © The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, October 17, 1974
Read or listen to the entire lecture to hear more. This lecture is full of wonderful gems and as always speaks to many more topics than just this one.
We are honored to have so many of you supporting this work of keeping these teachings available to all... for free! Your donations support and prayers are greatly appreciated! And as always, we would love to hear from you. Please let us know if we can be of service to you in anyway.
Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji, Fundraising Coordina
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).
Raj Khalsa Yatra
Raj Khalsa Yatra – A Spiritual Journey to India
December 29, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Sikh Dharma International invites you to join
your Dharmic family on a spiritual journey to
celebrate the 350th birthday of the 10th Sikh
Guru – Guru Gobind Singh. This trip will be a
rare opportunity to experience a major
celebration in India with others from 3HO and
to learn more about this great trip to India.
From Vegetables, With
KRI Recipe of the Month for September 2016
From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales
from a Yogi’s Kitchen (Revised and
Expanded New Edition).
Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa
Yogurt & Tomato Salad
Yield: 6 servings
2–3 Roma tomatoes
1½ cups plain yogurt
4 green onions, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove
skins. Cut in half, scoop out seeds (discard), and finely
dice. Peel cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise and
scoop out seeds (discard), and finely dice. Combine all
ingredients. Let sit for 1 hour and serve.
Plain and Simple Raita
Yogurt Dill Salad
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups plain yogurt
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dill weed
2–4 green onions, minced
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika or cayenne
2 tablespoons milk
½ cup crispy brown rice cereal
Combine all ingredients. Let sit for an hour or so
Raita (“RYE-tah) is a yogurt side dish, usually flavored with salt (or black salt) and various combinations of chopped vegetables, parsley, cilantro, and spices. A most basic raita would be yogurt mixed with salt, a little toasted cumin, and minced green onions or fresh dill. Customarily served as part of a spicy Indian meal, a serving of raita helps soothe the stomach and cool the palate. For very best flavor and loving vibes make your raita with homemade yogurt (see How to Make Your Own Yogurt on page 90). For lighter results, dilute with water as desired.
Excerpt From: Khalsa, Siri-Ved Kaur. “From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition).”