KRI April Newsletter



A Note From Nirvair KRI March NewsletterSat Nam and greetings from New Mexico! April 22nd is Earth Day. Yogi Bhajan frequently spoke about our sacred relationship to Mother Earth and Mother Nature. Personally, I always appreciated how Yogi Bhajan would relate a concept, like consciously taking care of the earth or recognizing the laws of nature, to a spiritually uplifting instruction. On March 28th, 1978 he said, “If you let your life flow through you, you will not find any pain in your life. This is the universal law. It is a law of Mother Nature; it cannot betray you. Let it be so, so be it. Question is ‘To be, to be’. It is not ‘To be or not to be’. That is the question. If you want to be, let it be and it shall be.” My feeling is that this flow of life can be aided by taking care of your internal and external environments with small or large actions. So, on this Earth Day, join me in making a resolution to be kind to our own nature and our primal mother, the beautiful Earth. Are you called to become an Instructor in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®? If so, you will find many great training programs all over the world. KRI has three Level One Immersion programs coming up pretty soon, and one of them may be right for you. April 14th to May 11th on the beautiful island of Bali, August 4th to August 31st at the source in Espanola, New Mexico USA, and October 20th to November 16th Level One Immersion Training in India, where it all began. See our feature below to read more about this exciting new opportunity in India. Let this be your year to dive into the deep end and become an Instructor. It will transform your life. This year, I have been traveling and participating in Teacher Training programs in Los Angeles, California; Coral Springs, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Berlin, Germany. I really enjoy being with everyone and have been using some of the kriyas from our great KRI book, KRIYA in those classes. The students have really enjoyed practicing some of the 70’s and 80’s kriyas that Yogi Bhajan taught. You can find it here in print-book, and here in convenient eBook format. Wishing you and your loved ones health and happiness during the change of the season. All blessings, all ways,


Nirvair Singh Khalsa Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO KRI













Immersion Training in Anandpur Sahib – The City of Bliss Level One Immersion in Anandpur SahibKRI is excited to offer Level One Immersion training in Anandpur Sahib, India, this year October 20th to November 16th. Anandpur Sahib, which means “the city of bliss,” is a small town in northern India where Yogi Bhajan built an elegant home. We are excited to have this beautiful setting for the Immersion program. Anandpur Sahib is a spiritual and historic center for the Sikhs, and it will give you the opportunity to learn first-hand the link between the teachings of Yogi Bhajan and Sikh Dharma. This is an authentic experience of India, living and studying in sacred surroundings. Anandpur Sahib is a holy place where the lives of the villagers revolve around their spiritual practice. Here you will experience India not as a tourist, but as a seeker of knowledge and spiritual awakening. The program will take place at Yogi Bhajan’s home in Anandpur Sahib – Dashmesh Sadan. When you wake up in the early morning, you can hear prayers echoing over the rolling hills, broadcast from a dozen Sikh Gurdwaras and Hindu temples. It is enchanting and an experience of a lifetime. Students will stay for the 28-day residential program in graceful ashram accommodations directly on the site, complete with cotton bedding, hot-water, and western bathrooms. The food is cooked in strict cleanliness, ensuring your health and wellbeing. Excellent cooks prepare a delicious vegetarian diet that supports a deep spiritual practice and keeps you healthy during the training. Vegan and gluten free options are always offered. Historical temples abound on this holy land, and students will have the opportunity to visit sites in the surrounding area. Weekly tours will be offered to places such as Takht Keshgarh Sahib, the fort of Qila Anandgarh Sahib, the fort of Qila Taragarh Sahib, and the ancient Hindu temple of Naina Devi. Do not miss this exciting opportunity to experience Level One Immersion training in India. Registration is now open, and spaces are limited. Make this your year to be a teacher and serve your world.


Anandpur Sahib
Immersion Level One The Aquarian Teacher, KRI Level One Teacher Training Program October 20th to November 16th Anandpur Sahib, India



Yoga for Enhancing Sports Performance: Making a Better Athlete By Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Making a Better Athlete Athletes get plenty of strength training and often do their stretching, so why would they need yoga? The postural, exercise, and breath-regulation aspects of yoga provide a unique opportunity for core strength training by engaging the entire midsection in order to support one’s body weight. Other physical benefits include improved coordination, proprioception, flexibility, relaxation, deeper respiration, and decreased recovery time from heavy workouts. In addition, the meditative/mindfulness aspects of yoga provide substantive psychological benefits that include improved stress and emotion regulation, improved mindful awareness, enhanced cognition and concentration, and the ability to achieve a flow state. “Flow” refers to an optimal psychological state involving a complete absorption in the task or activity at hand; a state generally coveted by athletes because it is associated with strong positive emotions, including a deep experience of peace, harmony, and unity. Self-regulation and performance enhancement being critical to athletic performance, it is not surprising that an increasing number of professional sports teams are implementing yoga as standard training practice. Specific studies have been supportive of the benefits of yoga for athletes since the 1990s. An early study correlated the benefits of Transcendental Meditation with the improved pistol shooting performance of 30 undergraduate students. Similar improvements were observed in 25 elite shooters by a team of researchers at the Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo, Norway. The researchers observed a greater improvement in competition results among the group that received meditation training when compared to a control group. Another early study from the University of Nevada, observed significant improvements in the running performance of high school long-distance runners after yoga exercises when compared to a control group of a “motivational shouting” exercise intervention. Some studies have focused in on specific physiological benefits that underlie the global improvements with yoga, such as a 2004 study, which was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The researchers observed the effects of a single yoga set on muscle soreness. 24 yoga-trained individuals were compared to a control group of 12 non-yoga-trained volunteers. All participants were female, and the researchers observed that both yoga training and the single yoga session appeared to attenuate peak muscle soreness after a session of eccentric exercise. These findings have significant implications for facilitating faster recovery from muscle soreness in athletes. A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Yoga examined the impact of 10 weeks of yoga on the flexibility and balance of college athletes. 14 soccer players took part in the bi-weekly yoga sessions, whereas the control group, which was comprised of baseball players, did not receive any additional yoga activity. The researchers observed significant gains in flexibility and balance in the yoga group whereas no significant changes were observed in the control group. Another landmark study evaluated the influence of yoga on the postural skills of the Italian short-track speed skating team. Eight men and seven women were given a total of 36 yoga sessions over eight weeks of high volume pre-season training. The researchers observed improvements in 11 of the 14 postural angles analyzed. In addition, no skaters suffered injury from the training volume, and coaches even reported improvements in the efficiency of skating technique. Apart from the improvements in physical performance, yoga also confers the additional cognitive benefits of the meditative/mindfulness aspect of yoga. Applied sport psychology, in its efforts to enhance the competitive performance of athletes, has traditionally emphasized self-control and the elimination of negative thoughts and emotions. Recent evidence suggests, however, that this suppression may actually have the opposite effect of aggravating these thoughts and emotions. Rather, it is suggested that interventions that emphasize acceptance rather than direct change or suppression of cognitive and affective experiences may lead to enhanced athletic performance. A 2017 meta-analysis conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport and the University of Basel in Switzerland reviewed nine trials with 290 athletes of various disciplines including track athletes, cyclists, dart throwers, rugby players, and hockey players, to name a few. The athletes received a mindfulness intervention that varied from 4 weeks to over 2 years, and researchers found that mindfulness scores consistently improved across the various sport disciplines. In addition, researchers concluded that mindfulness practice can be considered a performance-enhancing training approach in precision sports such as shooting and dart throwing. A recent study published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation in 2017 also found sufficient evidence to support the use of mindfulness with student-athletes to aid in managing negative emotions and perceived stress. There is also preliminary evidence that mindfulness-based interventions may reduce injury in the same student-athlete populations. One of the theoretical models that may explain these observed benefits is the effect of mindfulness on rumination and sport-specific coping skills. Researchers from the Center of Research on Welfare, Health, and Sports in Sweden, observed that athletes who are more mindful in daily life tend to regulate their negative emotions and not engage in excessive rumination, which may in turn, improve their coping skills in a variety of sport-related challenges. A preliminary investigation into the effect of mindfulness and flow in elite youth swimmers included a 10-week yoga intervention. Although no statistically significant changes in mindfulness and flow were identified, participants did report perceived improvements in those aspects. Moreover, qualitative data suggested that the yoga intervention resulted in positive improvements on a range of cognitive and physiological aspects. It is possible that study weaknesses of small sample size and yoga practice compliance may have contributed to the nonsignificant quantitative findings. Other studies on higher level psychological benefits have been conducted, such as a pilot project conducted at George Mason University in Virginia, and found that five weeks of hatha yoga sessions resulted in an increase of self-reported mindfulness and greater goal-directed energy when compared to a nonrandomized control group. In summary, studies to date have demonstrated the beneficial effects of yoga on specific components of athletic performance including both physical and cognitive characteristics. Future research should address the previous limitations of small sample sizes, lack of longer-term studies, and in some cases the absence of randomization. Dose response characteristics and the relative contribution to efficacy of the different components of yoga such as physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation are worthy of additional study. These future trials would further improve our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of how yoga practice enhances the specific components of athletic performance, which of course has relevance for human performance in the general population.


Nikhil 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. 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.





The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Yogi Bhajan and The Gong This month we are celebrating the brilliant advent of spring in the southwest! It is a time of life and renewal, and one of my favorite times. In May, we are hosting our Spring Fund Drive for the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings. This year we will be offering “Study the Gong,” six amazing recordings of Yogi Bhajan playing the gong during his classes. Join us May 2nd - May 8th and hear that penetrating vibratory frequency of Yogi Bhajan playing the gong as only he could do. He said on July 5th, 1984, “The gong is very simple. It is an inter-vibratory system. It is the sound of Creativity itself. The gong is nothing more, nothing less. One who plays the gong plays the universe. The gong is not an ordinary thing to play. Out of it came all music, all sounds, and all words. The sound of the gong is the nucleus of the Word.” As a special gift, we will be giving away the e-book, “The Art of the Gong in Kundalini Yoga,” to celebrate the success of the fund drive on May 8th, which is National Teachers’ Day. Even though the searchable database is incredible, the work is not done yet! The focus of The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings continues to center on archiving, digitizing, transcribing, and editing the thousands more lectures, kriyas, and yoga sets left to us by Yogi Bhajan. The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings is funded by donations from you, the global community of students, teachers, and practitioners. We rely on your donations to make possible our ongoing programs and to undertake important and new initiatives. Donors like you have built this database resource over the past 15 years, and we sincerely hope you will be able to donate again this year.


Library of Teachings Donation
In Service, Shabd Simran Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji, Fundraising Coordinator The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Kundalini Research Institute Email: Find us on Facebook “The Yogi Bhajan Library of



The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible under IRS code 501(c)(3).



RAISING CHILDREN WITH VALUES AND VIRTUES We excited to welcome a new monthly column to the KRI newsletter on raising children according the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan. These articles are written by Jugat Guru Singh- Principal and Sarawati Kaur- Vice Principal of Miri Piri Academy. This guidance forms the basis of the educational approach at Miri Piri Academy. Miri Piri AcademyIT BEGINS WITH LOVE A parent’s relationship with their child begins long before birth. A mother intuitively feels her child’s identity floating within her womb, embedded within her own subtle body as soon as the soul arrives and introduces itself to her. But even before conception, she opened herself, calling to the soul's awaiting rebirth. A father’s projection in the conception and birth of his child is no less real. He has set an intention and planted a seed, and he waits and watches to see what it will become. We parents have so much invested in the outcome. Yogi Bhajan stated very clearly ten things that are important for you to give your children:
  • Love them.
  • Build their self-esteem.
  • Challenge them.
  • Listen to them.
  • Expect respect.
  • Limit them.
  • Make God a part of their lives.
  • Develop a sense of learning in them.
  • Help them to be community-minded.
  • Let them go.
With these ten gifts, you help your children develop the values they will need to be successful, service-full, and spiritually aware. As simple as it sounds, it is not always easy to impart these gifts to our children. How can we set aside our own personality, our own fear and limitations, and develop our capacities as parents and educators to provide the environments that will best prepare our children for success in life? The first step is to become very clear about our role as parents. Yogi Bhajan stated it many times in many ways: You are your child’s first teacher.
“Parents are nothing, they are teachers. They are God given teachers. Beyond that, they have no personality because when a child is going to grow up, they are going to go on their own way. Why are you dragging yourself with them? You have to “pay the rent” as parents. Pay the rent. Let the tenants go. When they find their own house give them a blessing, send them a gift, don't create a rift.” Yogi Bhajan KWTC, July 2,1992
The consciousness of a parent is beautifully illustrated in a story from Bibiji Inderjit Kaur’s book, Stories to Win the World, entitled “All things come from God and All things go to God.” In this story, a wise man decides to test the King and his wife, who are rumored to be very spiritual and unattached. He brings them their son’s turban and claims that he has found him dead in the jungle. When he delivers this news, the Queen’s reaction was simple and clear:
“Oh Saint, children are like birds on the branches of a tree. The birds come and rest on the branches in the daytime and when it gets dark, they leave and we don’t know where they go or end up. Life is like day and night. My son came as a bird to rest on the branch of my tree and now that the time has come, he has gone. It is God’s will and his destiny."
Miri Piri AcademyIt is tempting to feel that this child we have conceived, birthed, loved, protected, and nurtured, belongs to us. But these strings of attachment are the greatest betrayal a parent can commit. That beautiful bird, that soul which you have birthed, has its own destiny, and it is your job as a parent only to nurture, protect, teach, and then let them go. The act of letting your children go does not begin at 18 when they set off for university. It begins before that moment of conception, when they were just a thought that had not yet taken the form of a name. From that moment, your relationship with them, soul to soul, has been defined by your choice to bring them into the world for the purpose of either fulfilling your own needs, or serving theirs. Your consciousness about this relationship will shape every interaction with them, every decision you make, and every communication from the first moment they look into your eyes until the day of your death. It all begins with love. But what is love? The highest stage of love is love for the inner being and love with the highest being within the being. – Yogi Bhajan KWTC, July 22, 1987 The word “love” has many meanings, many interpretations, and many facets. When Yogi Bhajan said “love them,” he didn’t mean spoil them, cater to them, or hover over them. He meant that parents should serve and relate to the divine being within their being. You are your child’s first teacher. When you relate to your child’s inner being, when you love and serve their divinity, they begin to develop a relationship with their own soul. This is the beginning of self-love. In practical terms, what does this look like? This means investing in the development of their own self-awareness and their own divinity.
  • Meditate with your children, and teach them to listen to their breath.
  • Take them out in nature to appreciate the beauty of creation. Let them discover the fact that they are a part of that beauty.
  • Teach them to be kind and forgiving to themselves as well as others.
  • Take care to surround them with environments that will serve their highest selves.
  • Teach them to relate to their divine selves, beyond thought or emotion.
Some say that “Love” is not a noun, it is a verb. Loving your children is when you invest your time and attention to serve their divinity. Click here to view the lecture and kriya "Love Without Fear." Study the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, and hear his words on "love." It all begins with love, and it all starts with you!



Saraswati Khalsa Saraswati Kaur Khalsa is the Assistant Principal of Miri Piri Academy and has been serving there since 2007. She has been a student of Yogi Bhajan since birth and completed her Level One Kundalini Yoga Teacher training under his guidance. Saraswati holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and has been working with children and schools since 1998. Her daughter also attends Miri Piri Academy as a student.



Jugat Guru Singh Jugat Guru Singh Khalsa is the Principal of Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar, India and a KRI Certified Lead Teacher Trainer. From his childhood, he was guided by Yogi Bhajan and has dedicated his life to serving the mission of Yogi Bhajan by helping to shape the next generation into leaders and teachers of this amazing technology. Jugat Guru Singh is a member of the Chardi Kala Jetha, which travels around the world teaching and performing Gurbani Kirtan,including local performances at the Golden Temple.







Mind and Meditation – KRI Level Two Teacher Training Level Two - Mind and Meditation Identify habits, cycles and practices that help and hinder your life in the present, past and future. Deepen your practice of meditation, clarify the relationship between you and your mind, and explore the basic nature and dynamics of the mind. Our relationship to our own mind is pivotal in effectively realizing our true nature and fulfilling our potential. Yogi Bhajan often reminded us that we come to Earth to experience our humanity and recognize the One Infinite being that creates all and which is in all. The greatest power is the ability to act with a Neutral Mind, to use intuition along with applied intelligence and to lean on the Infinite through the sacred science known as prayer. Join Lead Trainer Deva Kaur and Trainers Nirvair Singh, Devinder Kaur, and Ravi Kaur in Espanola, NM from June 24 to July 1, 2018.


Immersion Level One The Aquarian Teacher, KRI Level Two Teacher Training Program Mind and Meditation June 24- July 1, 2018 Espanola, New Mexico KRI Level One Certification is a prerequisite for this course. Mind and Meditation is one of five required courses for KRI Level Two Practitioner certification.






Level Three Are You Ready for Level Three? Begin Your Journey this Summer at the Annual Level Three Mela
Level Three Mela Level Three 2018 MELA Dates & Locations The annual gathering for Level Three participants June 10th – 13th 2018 in Espanola, New Mexico, USA July 22nd – 26th 2018 in Chateau Anand, France For more information: Email:






KRI is Looking for a Few Good People!


Kundalini Research Institute KRI is looking to fill vacancies on its Board of Directors. KRI’s mission is to uphold and preserve the authenticity of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan through training programs, research, and publishing. If you have the drive, energy, and passion to see that these teachings pass on to our future generations, please consider serving on the KRI Board. We are looking for people who love the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, based on personal experience, and have a burning desire to see them available to all people throughout the world. Enthusiasm is the most important characteristic. In addition, some or all of the following skills would contribute to the success of KRI and would be a positive aspect in our board member evaluation and selection:
  • Intellectual capacity to understand the business governed by the board.
  • Interpersonal skills to work well with the other board members.
  • Instinct and good judgment for making strategic decisions.
  • Financial ability to attend meetings- this is a totally voluntary position.
  • Time availability to spend on phone meetings (3-6 per year), travel to our in-person meetings (1-2 per year), and work/study outside of meetings.
  • Prosperity consciousness to be a personal donor to KRI.
  • Fundraising skills to help bring prosperity to KRI.
  • Integrity to do what is right for KRI and our constituents.
  • Historical perspective on KRI’s past and future development.
  • Kundalini Yoga teaching experience, having achieved your teacher training certification through KRI.
  • Familiarity with the business of yoga, such as teaching workshops, running a center, producing and/or selling products.
  • Prior board experience on large or small boards, for profit or nonprofit.
  • Broad geographical representation so that we represent KRI in all parts of the world.
  • Ability to see the business as a whole, from a board perspective, without getting lost in operational detail.
  • Experience in legal or corporate compliance matters.
  • Financial skills and analysis – ability and experience in understanding and analyzing financial reports.


If you are interested, please send a request for more information and an application to Gurusahay Singh Khalsa, Board Chair, Kundalini Research Institute






April 2018 Specials from KRI KRIYAKRIYA Yoga Sets, Meditations & Classic Kriyas From the Early Years of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®
  • Challenging physical kriyas from the 1970’s and 1980’s
  • More than 100 Meditations, including Visualiations, Pranayams, Silent Meditations, and Meditations with Mantra
  • Includes Material from the “Intermediate Manual”, K.R.I.Y.A., Under the Blue Skies and More!
Retail: Formerly $44.95 New lower everyday price: $39.95 / PROMO: $33.96



Senses of the SoulSenses of the Soul Emotional Therapy for Strength, Healing and Guidance GuruMeher Singh Khalsa Emotions are the senses of your soul. Recognizing emotions as guides and allowing them to help you transcend suffering and thrive will lead to a peaceful, abundant life. Senses of the Soul reveals how to…
  • Allow your emotions to serve you rather than control you.
  • Find answers on you own to solve problems instantly
  • Quit living with pain and past traumas, and resolve issues at their source
  • Trust yourself and maintain personal power within relationships
  • Discover strength in sensitivity and gain control over how you feel
Retail: $29.95 / PROMO: $25.46



Self KnowledgeSelf Knowledge Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® This manual is a gateway to self-knowledge containing a series of Kundalini Yoga Sets and Meditations compiled at the direction of Yogi Bhajan. It contains the tools you can use to experience the totality of your own self. The transformation technology of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan offers vast resources for self-knowledge and self-directed growth. Each meditation or set of exercises has an immediate positive impact. Experience knowledge of the vastness of your Self. Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D., Master of Kundalini Yoga Compiled and Illustrated by Harijot Kaur Khalsa Retail: $21.95 / Promo: $18.66



Timeless Wisdom from Yogi Bhajan DVD Series 3 Kundalini Yoga Class DVDs and 3 Kundalini Yoga Lecture and Meditation DVDs in two complementary mini series Kundalini Yoga Class Series (These all have yoga sets)


Kundalini Yoga Lecture and Meditation Series (These are lecture followed by meditation)


Retail: $19.95 per DVD / Promo: $16.96
KRI Recipe of the Month for April 2018 BBQ Tempeh Spinach Salad with Orange Vinaigrette From: Happy Belly by Sat Kartar Khalsa
BBQ Tempeh Spinach Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
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
BBQ Tempeh Spinach Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
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. SAT’S SECRETS-
Sat Kartar Tempeh is an easily digestible soy protein made from the whole fermented soybean.


BBQ sauces are great flavor boosters. 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.


To purchase a copy of Happy Belly, email






















































KRI March Newsletter

News From KRI - March

Kundalini Research Institute
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund




A Note From Nirvair KRI March NewsletterSat Nam. Greetings from New Mexico! Spring will bloom for us in a few weeks when the vernal equinox balances light and dark. It is a time of renewal, realizing the strength in optimism and an opportunity to leave the winter behind. With the sun getting warmer and the days getting longer, we at KRI® get excited because it means summer is coming! June, July, and August are when we welcome you into our home and host the summer programs once again. Don’t miss out – this could be your summer in New Mexico! This is the Summer Issue of our KRI newsletter and it is devoted to giving you a sneak-peek into our summer programs and trainings. For those interested in ashram living, check out Seva Sadhana's new 40-day program. The summer starts with Sikh Dharma's Camp Miri Piri on June 8th – 12th followed by 3ho's incredible Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration at Ram Das Puri, June 14th -23rd. Immediately after Summer Solstice Sadhana the KRI programs begin. June 10th - 13th is the Level Three Mela, an inspiring personal journey to Self-Realization. For Level Two Practitioners, it is the next step in refining and evolving your identity as a Teacher. June 13th and 14th will be the Summer Solstice Trainer Forum, an exciting meeting of trainers from all over the world to discuss current issues and share insights. June 24th - July 1st is Level Two Mind and Meditation, one of the five modules of Level Two. And in August, we host the Level One Teacher Training Immersion program August 4th – 31st, 28 amazing days of growth, expansion, and inspiration. At whatever level you join us, you will be challenged, inspired, and will gain the experience and tools you need to keep yourself in balance and to help others around you. Dive in the deep-end and be the person you want to be - become a teacher. And if you are already KRI certified, support your growth and continue to expand! KRI March Newsletter International Women’s Day, March 8 We honor and support all women on this planet, rejoicing in the divine feminine and recognizing the power and beauty of our mothers, sisters, and daughters. In this spirit, we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th. Yogi Bhajan was a tireless champion of woman as a spiritual being, and we have books and videos in the Source that are drawn from the amazing Women’s Camps that Yogi Bhajan taught here in New Mexico. We are now giving the KRI Seal of Approval to qualified Specialty Courses KRI supports the spread of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan® and Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan® in as many ways as possible. We already have a system in place for approval of yoga manuals, books, CDs, DVDs, research articles, website content, on-line products, and translations of existing KRI products. Qualified Specialty Courses may now earn the KRI Seal of Approval. We have two courses approved to date. Find out how to get your course approved here, and check out the courses that have already been approved. All the best in all ways. Happy Spring, and I look forward to seeing you this summer!


Nirvair Singh Khalsa Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO KRI










KRI March Newsletter




Level One Immersion Training in New Mexico- This is Your Summer! Level One Immersion Are you the person you want to be? Do you see yourself in that golden light? If you have ever felt the urge to be a teacher, this is your summer to finally dive in the deep-end. It will transform your life and make a difference to everyone around you. Whether you wish to deepen your personal practice of Kundalini Yoga or long to become a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor, your journey begins here. Join us this summer to become a Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. This 27-day residential program in beautiful New Mexico is an amazing opportunity to study with Trainers who learned directly from Yogi Bhajan. You will learn a lot about Kundalini Yoga and yourself during the Immersion and the six months of home study that follows. It is a life-changing experience! Here are some powerful things you’ll take away from Teacher Training Immersion this summer:
  1. A solid foundation in the science of Kriya and Meditation - You will study the theory and practice of Kundalini Yoga kriyas (yoga sets), asanas, and mudras, and make them part of your own experience. You will learn Kundalini Yoga meditations, mantras, and pranayam (breathing techniques), and experience the power of this technology.
  2. An experience of the yogic lifestyle– Living for 28 days in an ashram will give you a deep connection to the teachings and the experience of yogic life. You will learn the history and tradition of Kundalini Yoga, as well as the underlying philosophy behind all yogic practices. Living clean and simple, meditating in the early morning, and eating a vegetarian diet of wholesome and delicious food will make a big impact on your consciousness.
  3. A practical grasp of basic anatomy and physiology – We study traditional Western anatomy, its purpose and function, as well as Yogic anatomy and the energy systems of the body. This essential knowledge will build your proficiency as a yoga instructor and help you fully understand how yoga effects the human body.
  4. An understanding of the skills and techniques to become a successful yoga instructor – You learn the business side of yoga, preparing you for your next steps in life. The topics including practical strategies for teaching beginners, ethical guidelines, curriculum development, and the transformational role of the teacher in developing a successful yoga practice.
  5. An authentic connection to the source of the teachings – You experience the Master’s Touch through DVD classes led by Yogi Bhajan and a personal connection with teachers who studied with him directly. Although Yogi Bhajan left this earth in 2004, at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das his energy is still strong and felt by those who come here to learn.
  6. And finally, the skills and confidence to teach your own Kundalini Yoga class - There is a lot to learn before you can sit before a class of students and guide them through a Kundalini Yoga class. As you connect deeply to the teachings, living it day-by-day, you gain the understanding and knowledge to teach and serve others. In the Immersion training, you will get to practice teaching to your peers, and you will learn from each other’s classes until you are ready to teach on your own.
  7. Level One Immersion
Experience the personal healing that comes when you explore the depths of this amazing technology. Together, with other people who share your lifestyle and your passion for yoga and meditation, you will grow in ways you cannot imagine. This summer, leave nothing to chance. Become a Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.







Immersion Level One The Aquarian Teacher, KRI Level One Teacher Training Program August 4- August 31, 2018 Espanola, New Mexico Important Note: Fulfillment of the program certification requirements continues through February 2019



Mind and Meditation – KRI Level Two Teacher Training Level Two - Mind and Meditation After the experience of Level One training, you inevitably start to change and evolve as a person and as a teacher. That is the power of this technology! Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is a transformational experience. Level Two Teacher Training will deliver you to the next step in your personal development. This summer in New Mexico, KRI is presenting KRI Level Two – Mind and Meditation. This course is an opportunity for you to build your meditative skills and refine your approach to meditation by consciously assessing and commanding the mind. To master the mind, you must master meditation. Give yourself seven empowering days immersed in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. Experience the beauty of morning sadhana at Hacienda de Gur Ram Das, delicious yogic meals, and the special energy of this unique place. Surrounded with the peaceful environments of sacred community, you will: Level Two - Mind and Meditation
  • Enhance the depth of your understanding of meditation.
  • Focus on and understand your relationship to your own mind.
  • Increase your ability to observe neutrally, to become still, to clear your mind of distractions and intrigues, to recognize when you establish a state of shuniya, and to recognize the different functional parts of your mind.
  • Experience and practice the use of intuition as a primary skill that comes from Kundalini Yoga and Meditation.
  • Learn the structure of the mind and examine the impersonal minds, guna qualities of the mind, and the nine aspects of the mind.
  • Understand how to use the 27 projections of the mind.
  • Examine how to apply this to your own mind and in your life.
  • Be confident to teach and incorporate these ideas in your classes.
Experience this powerful training in Espanola, where Yogi Bhajan lived and taught. Join Deva Kaur from Florida USA, Devinder Kaur from Canada, Ravi Kaur from South Africa, and Nirvair Singh from KRI for what promises to be a wonderful transformational experience.





Immersion Level One The Aquarian Teacher, KRI Level Two Teacher Training Program Mind and Meditation June 24- July 1, 2018 Espanola, New Mexico KRI Level One Certification is a prerequisite for this course. Mind and Meditation is one of five required courses for KRI Level Two Practitioner certification.






Are You Ready for Level Three? - Begin Your Journey this Summer at the Annual Level Three Mela
Level Three
The Level Three Program is a 1,000-day personal journey to Self-Realization in which we refine our identity as a Teacher and deepen our unique relationship to the Sacred. Level Three focuses on the three qualities of a Teacher: Spiritual Maturity, Meditative Mind, and Seva. Level Three participants have said that this program was just what they were looking for in their development as a teacher. The commitment of Level Three, and the support from a community of peers, propels you in your inner evolution. Here are ten good reasons to start Level Three 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.
Level Three "In KRI's Level Three program, one becomes a teacher, a teacher of truth and spirit. You develop the ability to penetrate and communicate through your presence alone and uplift the students through your subtle body. This is the teacher of the Aquarian Age, the Aquarian Teacher. Students experience the truth within them through your intention, projection, and purity. ... Remember - as a Teacher, anything and everything you do must upgrade the other person." Yogi Bhajan, 1996 Testimonials “I am grateful for being part of this whole process. I am grateful to understand more about the teachings of our teacher Yogi Bhajan.” “It's a great program. My small group and meditation experience is excellent.” “The thousand-day meditation process is so different than 40/90/120-days. I am experiencing both a steadying and elevation through it. In Gratitude, Thank you.” CLICK HERE to Start Your Application Today Step 1: Application – Deadline extended to March 30, 2018 Step 2: Self-Reflection Form – Due: April 25, 2018 Step 3: Register & Pay for the Mela – Due: May 15, 2018


Level Three Mela The Aquarian Teacher, KRI Level Three Teacher Training Program 2018 MELA Dates & Locations The annual gathering for Level Three participants June 10th – 13th 2018 in Espanola, New Mexico, USA July 22nd – 26th 2018 in Chateau Anand, France For more information: Email:




Master Chef Returns to Immersion 2018


Level ThreeSat Kartar Singh, a highly creative and conscious chef with a holistic approach to cooking, is once again returning as master chef for the Immersion Teacher Training in New Mexico this summer. Sat Kartar prepares a delicious lacto-vegetarian menu, made from fresh organic produce, and includes vegan and gluten free choices. With Sat Kartar in the kitchen, you never go hungry! Sat Kartar tells us in his new cookbook, “When you eat well, you feel well. It’s as simple as that. Meals shouldn’t make you feel bloated and stuffed. They should nourish. They should be filling, but not fill you up… You often need to have an unhealthy experience to appreciate a healthier one. That was how I discovered my new-found passion for food and wellbeing… It was during my own personal rejuvenation and renaissance that I found my new approach to cooking.” Now, we are the beneficiary of his personal renaissance and enjoy his fresh and inspired cooking throughout August during our Level One Immersion program.



Immersion in Anandpur – Save the Date


Anandpur Sahib
Immersion Level One SAVE THE DATE KRI Level One Teacher Training Immersion in India Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan with Sat Siri Kaur and Amrit Singh October 22nd – November 18th 2018 Dasmesh Sadan Anandpur Sahib, India







Yoga Doesn’t Work if You Don’t Do It: Research on Barriers to Yoga Practice By Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.


Barriers to Yoga PracticThe usefulness of a medical intervention (either a pharmaceutical or a behavioral treatment) in either clinical practice or research should be evaluated not only by its efficacy but also by its cost-effectiveness, patient acceptability, and treatment adherence. Compliance or adherence describes the degree to which a patient correctly follows the prescribed treatment recommendations. Patient nonadherence can include not accurately carrying out the instructions, such as chanting the wrong mantra or breathing improperly in a yoga intervention, which can be due to misunderstanding the instructions. Nonadherence is also notoriously due to not carrying out the prescribed treatment such as not doing the yoga practice when scheduled, or not doing it for long enough, which is due to a number of factors such as time constraints, forgetting, or even completely ignoring treatment protocols. Apart from being a possible threat to the health of patients, nonadherence also carries a significant economic cost. The field of behavioral medicine views the reasons for nonadherence as ‘barriers’ to the accomplishment of a specified behavioral intervention. Those barriers may be subjectively reported by the patient or objectively measurable and include cultural issues, financial concerns, time constraints, space, and technological limitations. Despite the promise and general popularity of yoga and yoga therapy, there are a number of barriers to yoga practice. One of these is the general public perception that yoga is primarily for women. Surveys in the general public consistently show that 75 to 80 percent of yoga practitioners are female. In fact, according to a 2015 University of Miami study, men are half as likely as women to engage in mindfulness practices. This same study found that those with a higher level of education were more likely to adopt a mindfulness practice and that non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics were less likely to do so. A 2016 study by researchers from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada found that time constraint was the most common barrier for yoga practice. Other prevalent barriers include the belief that yoga requires great flexibility, is difficult to practice, and/or that it is unsuitable for special populations such as children, the elderly, or the obese. Those with larger bodies face high levels of stigma in relation to yoga (and physical activity in general) and this may serve as a strong barrier to their participation. Other significant barriers are beliefs that yoga is a religious practice or that it is inconsistent with one’s cultural heritage. On the other extreme, there is even a belief that yoga is nothing but physical postures. Finally, socioeconomic factors such as the cost impediment to yoga classes (such as transportation to classes and child care costs) can deter certain disadvantaged and low socioeconomic status populations from practicing yoga. These barriers are problematic because patients and research participants may entirely withdraw from the treatment before deriving any therapeutic benefits from their yoga practice. Despite the benefits and growing acceptance of yoga and the importance of addressing barriers to practice, the literature has few studies on the factors contributing to the adherence to regular yoga practice. One such study was conducted by the SVYASA yoga university in Bengaluru, India and published in the International Journal of Yoga in 2014. The researchers evaluated students who had undergone a 1-month residential instructors’ course at the yoga university and found that irregularity in lifestyle, family, and occupational commitments were perceived as the strongest barriers to practice. Similarly, a 2009 focus group study of 50 participants from the University of Maryland School of Public Health also found the largest barrier to be lack of time, especially when taking yoga classes. The study included 36 yoga practitioners and one fourth of them found classes to be too costly. For the 14 people who had never previously practiced yoga, negative beliefs about the high level of flexibility required, that yoga is dominated by women or “new age” individuals with alternative lifestyles were significant barriers to participation. A 2013 study by Mary Quilty, Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, and other colleagues highlighted this disparity in demographics for yoga participants. This study surveyed 604 adults who had registered for 4-week beginners' yoga programs within the Yoga Yoga network of studios in Austin, Texas and found the yoga demographics to be primarily female (87 percent), white (88 percent) and college educated (79 percent). Similar to other studies, they again found the primary barrier to practice was time constraints and availability. Interestingly, respondents perceived yoga to be primarily an exercise activity (92 percent), although there was also a strong perception of it being a spiritual activity (73 percent). The main reasons for their participation was for general wellness (81 percent), physical exercise (80 percent) and stress management (73 percent). In fact, 98 percent of participants believed that yoga would improve their health, making this internal motivator a significant facilitator to the practice of yoga. Barriers to Yoga PracticAnother notable study explored the perspectives of students and their classroom teachers on the implementation of a school-based yoga program. Too often, the opinion of these two key stakeholders have been ignored in favor of program implementers. This 2017 study by the University of Cincinnati and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers focused on qualitative perspectives of 22 fifth and sixth-grade students and their teachers after a 16-week school-based mindfulness and yoga program in three public schools. Those schools serve low-income urban communities and therefore provide us with valuable insight into this underserved demographic. In this context, the most frequently mentioned instructor quality valued by youth was “respect,” which the youth associated with “fairness” and “not yelling a lot”. However, conflicts in scheduling was a major challenge to youth program participation since attending yoga required that they miss other activities they enjoyed, such as art class. Although teachers reported positive expectations from the program, factors that could enhance buy-in included training staff on the program goals and generalizing the yoga mindfulness skills into the classroom. While the previous study focused on youth from low-income communities, a recently published 2017 study at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School (including one of the authors, Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, as part of the research team) investigated the barriers and facilitators to yoga among low-income, racial/ethnic minority adults. Examinations of beliefs surrounding yoga participation among vulnerable populations are lacking in the literature and so this study bridges that gap. Twenty-four adults with and without prior yoga experience were recruited from an urban housing community to participate in an individual interview or focus group. The results highlighted barriers to engagement that included the perception that yoga lacks physicality and weight loss benefits. In addition, subjects talked about fear of injury, lack of perceived ability to perform the exercises, preference for other physical activities, and scheduling difficulties. On the other hand, the facilitators of yoga engagement included having a quality yoga instructor who provides individualized instruction, beginner level classes, and information highlighting the potential benefits of yoga such as stress reduction. It is interesting to note that participants were unsure about whether yoga provided sleep benefits and if the benefit was purely physical exhaustion. Therefore, much work remains in promoting yoga and educating on its benefits and underlying mechanisms. Apart from adequate promotional messaging, in order to address the other significant barriers of cost and time, strategies are being developed to deliver yoga digitally, on demand, and in the comfort of participants’ homes. A 2017 commentary by the PrairieCare Medical Group in Minnesota explored the use of technology-assisted relaxation for pediatric patients that had been prescribed as Mind-Body techniques. Healthcare providers already know that delivering treatments through “play” experiences is an ideal way to provide therapeutic interaction and this is often termed “therapeutic play”. Given the prevalence of video games, children and teens may be particularly suited to therapeutic multimedia games that help them connect with the imagistic, emotional, and sensory elements of the right brain for symptom management and healing. There are currently several interactive mobile apps that promote yoga and other Mind-Body practices such as “Yoga by Teens”, “Take a Chill”, and “Breathing Bubbles”. A recent study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2017 evaluated the feasibility of a home-based TeleYoga intervention on patients with both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure. Fourteen participants took part in either an 8-week TeleYoga intervention or an educational control group. The yoga classes were transmitted live via an internet connection to the participants’ televisions. The researchers found that the yoga intervention participants were adherent to classes despite technical issues. In addition, these frail patients were able to safely participate, enjoyed the program, and their dyspnea after exercise improved. In conclusion, detailed evaluation of barriers to yoga practice is a new and growing area of research with promising insight into the adherence issues in yoga practice. The common barriers to yoga therapy appear to be time, cost, beliefs about yoga being a religion, impression that yoga is only for women, and fear that yoga requires great flexibility, as well as a lack of clarity as to the benefits of the practice. It is important for yoga therapists and researchers to address these barriers when delivering yoga interventions to ensure adherence and treatment success. Future studies should focus on minorities and men as well as medically underserved and vulnerable populations to better understand their specific barriers. Findings from future research could reveal what catalysts promote the initiation of yoga beyond benefits that most already know. For instance, is hearing about the health merits of yoga sufficient or is experiencing yoga necessary to address barriers to practice?


Nikhil 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. 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.





KRI Specials of the Month for March 2018 Kundalini Yoga Sadhana GuidelinesKundalini 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. Retail: $29.95 Promo: $25.46



New Book! MantraMantra Subtitle: Personal Guidance through the Power of the Word Author: Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa, PhD Bhai Sahiba of Sikh Dharma International Clarity-Healing-Intuition-Peace Self-Esteem-Stability-Trust-Wisdom This book contains hundreds of beautiful mantras to recite and repeat for these and other personal needs you face in your life. The Mantras in this book have been lovingly collected, translated and commented upon by the devoted wife of Yogi Bhajan, the spiritual teacher who brought Kundalini Yoga to the United States in 1969 and built the extensive 3HO (Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization) worldwide community. Mantra is an important component of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. Kundalini Yoga teachers follow a variety of spiritual paths, and the mantras in Kundalini Yoga are of a universal nature. They transcend religious belief and embody universal truths that every human being can experience. Retail: $39.95 Promo: $33.96



The ChakrasThe Chakras Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® The chakras are the keys to being human and being happy. In this collection, Yogi Bhajan, the Master of Kundalini Yoga, defines the nature of the chakras, how they work, their interaction, projection and potency with both humor and subtlety, and often surprising candor.


Regular Retail: $29.95 Promo: $25.46



The ChakrasThe Chakras 7 (2 DVD per set) DVD Series “The progressive nature of the human is to succeed…and that is where the science of the chakras came through”



The First Chakra: Meditation on the First Chakra The Second Chakra: Meditation on the Second Chakra The Third Chakra: Meditation on the Third Chakra The Fourth Chakra: Meditation on the Fourth Chakra and Arti Kriya The Fifth Chakra: Meditation on the Fifth Chakra The Sixth Chakra: Chaar Padh Meditation and Meditation on Being a Yogi The Seventh Chakra: Hissing Meditation for the Glandular System l and ll Regular Retail: $24.95 per 2 DVD Set Promo: $21.21 per 2 DVD Set Or take advantage of our everyday Full Set Special of $130.00 for all 14 DVDs in 7 DVD packaged sets KRI March Recipe of the Month 2018 From: Happy Belly by Sat Kartar Khalsa Sat Kartar Singh will once again be our chef for the 2018 Summer Level 1 Immersion Teacher Training here in New Mexico and we are all looking forward to his wonderful cooking! Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Chick Peas The Vegetables 1 small eggplant, peeled and ¾ inch diced 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch diced 1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced 1 fennel bulb 1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, fennel, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula. The Orzo 1 medium red onion 2 tablespoons fennel seeds 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ½ lb orzo pasta Sautee one red onion and 2 tablespoons fennel seed in 3 tablespoons olive oil slow and low, developing a caramelized flavor. Boil ½ pound orzo separately until al dente, then toss with onion and fennel seed sauté mix. The Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 1 clove garlic 2 tablespoons extra virgin oil 1 15 oz. can cooked chickpeas 1 tablespoon tahini paste (sesame seed paste) Slow roast garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil, add 15 oz. cooked chickpeas and stir in 1 tablespoon tahini Mediterranean Flavor Layer Mix 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts) ¼ cup pinoli (pine nuts), toasted ¾ pound feta, ½ inch diced (not crumbled) 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne The Dressing ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons) ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Whisk ingredients together To Plate First layer the orzo, then chickpeas, next vegetables, then the flavor layer. Repeat, ending with flavor layer. Decorate plate with dressing in a circle. Garnish with fennel fronds. Sat Kartar Sat’s Secrets- Many people are sensitive to the alkaloids in nightshades like the peppers and eggplant in this recipe. Their bodies react with inflammation or allergy-like symptoms. Avoid these vegetables if you think you are sensitive. Replacements could be butternut squash, okra, or halved baby artichokes. Fennel seeds and bulbs are great digestive aids
























KRI February Newsletter






A Note From Nirvair Sat Nam. Greetings from New Mexico! Happy New YearBecause of Valentine’s Day, February is always associated with love. It is a good time to think about relationships and love in life. Yogi Bhajan had some wonderful perspectives on this topic. Yogi Bhajan said, “Valentine’s Day. There is a secretary’s day, there is a mom’s day, there is a papa’s day, why do we do all this? It is billions of dollars’ worth of industry because we have yet not understood in the depth of us what love really is. Actually, to be very honest with you, we have not yet found out who we are. What I want to tell you is how easy, not in talk but in experience, how easy it is to find your Self within yourself…. If you can find your balance within yourself, you will be a totally changed and happy person. I am not promising you that your life will not have trouble but you won’t feel the trouble. When you take Tylenol, it doesn’t mean that your headache is gone. The headache is there, the cause is there, but the feeling of that headache is gone. You understand that? When you love, there is no such thing as love. The feeling of love gives you hope that you belong to somebody or somebody belongs to you, which is a status you enjoy.” February 17, 1991 "In love, we never forget. If you love somebody we talk about that person, we remember that person, we make phone calls to that person, we wait for that person, we keep the pictures of that person, we do everything for that person. Exactly the same way is when you love God and Guru. It is the same thing. As it is here, so it is there. Whatever is Brahm, that is what Parabrahm is. Whatever your behavior indicates here, … that indication is what is Divine in you." December 28, 1986 Experience your own loving Divine nature in our monthly meditation. In February, we are practicing the “Heart Shield” meditation from The Mind: Its Projections and Multiple Facets. Yogi Bhajan taught it on November 10, 1980. Practice with me! Are you considering becoming a teacher in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® and studying Yogi Bhajan’s amazing teachings? Now is the time for teachers. We have students coming from all over the world for this training program and I hope that you can join us this August. Registration is open now for our Level One Teacher Training Immersion in New Mexico and our Level Two program this summer, "Mind and Meditation".


All Blessings, all the time, Nirvair Singh Khalsa Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO Kundalini Research Institute










Improving Employee Health and Wellbeing with Residential Yoga Retreat Interventions By Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.


ObesityThe impact of employee wellbeing on overall productivity has attracted great attention in the last few years. Workers today are increasingly impacted by stress, musculoskeletal conditions (especially back and neck pain), low empowerment, sleep disturbance, low quality of life, low job satisfaction, and a sedentary lifestyle. Reasons for these modern challenges vary but it seems that the rising dependency on volatile global market forces create more pressure to make organizations more profitable, efficient, and accountable. Furthermore, the growth in technology at work, organizational restructuring, and the absence of clearly defined “work” hours have all negatively impacted employee wellbeing. Chronic stress has been a key factor. Research has shown that stress can lead to depression, reduced job satisfaction and disruptions to personal relationships that can all increase the risk of injury to the workers themselves or to the people that their company serves. Stress also negatively impacts high-level cognitive functions, especially attention and memory, and this raises the already high stakes for those professionals who cope with situations that affect human lives on a daily basis. Stress can lead to “burnout,” which has been defined as a syndrome of depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and a sense of low personal accomplishment. An early theoretical model proposed two processes for the development of burnout. First, long-term job demands from which employees do not fully recover may lead to sustained arousal levels, eventually resulting in exhaustion, which is the energetic component of burnout. The second aspect is the motivational component of burnout, manifesting as reduced motivation, or withdrawal, and acts as a self-protective strategy to prevent further depletion. A revised model included a health impairment process, whereby burnout leads to depression, cardiovascular disease, or psychosomatic complaints. The burnout syndrome is highly prevalent, with fewer than one in every five workers actively engaged in their work. Disengaged employees can be the cause of detrimental corporate outcomes such as poor job performance, low productivity, poor employee interactions, low creativity, absenteeism, presenteeism (on the job but not productive), and high employee turnover. Average adults spend a quarter of their waking lives at work and job satisfaction accounts for a quarter of overall life satisfaction. Happiness at work should not be taken lightly since happiness provides positive benefits for not only the happy individuals themselves but also for their coworkers. In this light, happiness is almost a responsibility to one’s self and one’s coworkers. Indeed, research and site investigations have uncovered enormous financial and human costs associated with unhappy and unhealthy organizations. In one study of MBA students, those who scored high on wellbeing were shown to be superior decision makers, demonstrated better interpersonal behavior, and received higher overall performance ratings. Fortunately, the notion of a healthy workplace has evolved throughout the past 60 years and human resource professionals have begun to prioritize healthy workplace programs as a competitive advantage to curtail rising health care costs, retain employees, and boost employee morale and interpersonal relationships. There is consistent evidence that a good social environment at work is associated with employee wellbeing and some companies are using team-building exercises, facilitated dialogue groups, and improved workspaces to increase the frequency of shared activities between workers. Other businesses are promoting physical activity as a strategic corporate priority to improve worker health and business performance. Employers are also turning to conventional cognitive behavioral interventions to improve worker wellbeing. In fact, a 2017 meta-analysis of digital mental health interventions delivered at work found statistically significant improvements on both psychological wellbeing and work effectiveness scores. Yoga is yet another strategy that provides several of the psychological and physical health benefits mentioned above and, in addition, provides acquisition of a skill of self-regulation of stress and emotion. Its meditative component improves mindfulness that has been associated with improving quality of life and increasing self-compassion. On a deeper level, the philosophical and spiritual component of yoga can help employees increase life’s meaning and purpose. A 2014 review of yoga and exercise interventions in working populations evaluated five yoga studies, which reported improvements in stress and anxiety. They hypothesized that yoga may be superior to exercise interventions. Yoga programs can be delivered in multiple ways. Employees can be enrolled in a residential yoga program at a yoga retreat center allowing for an in-depth exposure to yoga practices and lifestyle in a highly supportive and nurturing environment. Alternatively, yoga can be delivered outside of the workplace at a nonresidential external venue or at home via DVD or an online program. Finally, yoga can be delivered onsite at the workplace. In this article, we focus on residential program research. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2016 compared 69 healthy individuals (58 women and 11 men) who were quasi-randomized to either a six-day Ayurvedic intervention of yoga, massage, diet, and journaling or a six-day residential vacation, both at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing at the La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, California. The participants in the program with yoga showed significant and sustained increases in ratings of spirituality and gratitude when compared to the vacation group, which showed no change. Interestingly, the yoga and Ayurveda group also showed increased ratings for self-compassion as well as a reduction in anxiety at the one-month follow-up. These findings suggest that a short-term intensive program in body-mind practices can lead to long term changes in perceived wellbeing. We should also note that the results show that a vacation alone is insufficient to yield sustained improvements in certain aspects of wellbeing. A 2011 study from the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana University (S-VYASA) in Bengaluru, India further supports the benefits of a residential yoga intervention to enhance wellness. 72 corporate executives from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited went through 5 days of the Self-Management of Excessive Tension (SMET) program which combined “stimulating” yoga postures and “calming” supine rest practices in a comprehensive residential yoga lifestyle program. Brain wave recordings at baseline and post-intervention showed an increase in delta, theta, alpha, and gamma wave coherence but a decrease in beta waves. The authors concluded that these changes in brain wave coherence may point to heightened states of consciousness and increased wakefulness and vigilance, which are essential components of “executive efficiency.” Furthermore, they suggested that increases in frontal alpha coherence could reflect an enhancement of frontal lobe integration, which would result in greater cognitive flexibility, intelligence, and emotional stability. These findings, in combination with results from an Emotional Quotient (EQ) questionnaire test, indicate that the SMET program improves emotional stability and may have implications for “executive efficiency.” A newly published study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine by the coauthor (SBSK) and his colleagues examined the effects of a residential yoga-based program on the psychological health of frontline professionals who work with at-risk individuals in areas such as education, health care, and law enforcement/corrections. This is the first scientific investigation of the “Resilience – Integration - Self-awareness - Engagement” (RISE) program of the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health that incorporates yoga-based practices with meditation, body scan, mindful communication, healthy nutrition, and sleep. 64 frontline professionals from education, healthcare, human services, and correctional institutions completed a baseline survey before participating in a five-day residential immersion program at the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, MA. The program included five hours of daily structured sessions of yoga postures and exercises, meditation, breathing techniques, and education about mindful communication specifically targeted for these workers. The study found that participants’ self-reported stress, resilience, positive and negative affects (mood), mindfulness, empowerment, vitality, sleep quality, amount of exercise, and vegetable and fruit intake was significantly improved after participating in the RISE residential program. At the two-month follow-up, all measures remained improved except for duration of exercise. In fact, self-compassion only reached statistical significance at the two-month follow-up, suggesting long-term gains from a short residential yoga intervention. These studies provide preliminary support for the benefits of residential yoga programs for stress reduction, improved behavior, and emotional and physical resilience in working adults. However, it is likely that corporate policymakers may prefer to invest in more economical worksite or home-based interventions, which have also been the focus of a larger number of published research studies. It remains to be seen whether intensive yoga retreat interventions may have better long-term outcomes than home or worksite-based yoga interventions, which would be best evaluated in a head-to-head comparison of a similar intervention in the same population within a single randomized controlled trial. In either case, the appearance of research on yoga in the workplace is a welcome addition to that of the parallel growth of research on yoga in schools and in healthcare.


Nikhil 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. 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.





The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Family We 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 saying, ‘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 What a wonderful concept Yogi Bhajan touches on here - to be each other’s valentine 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! Thank you to those of you who support The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings! 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!


Library of Teachings Donation
In Service, Shabd Simran Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji, Fundraising Coordinator The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Kundalini Research Institute Email: Find us on Facebook “The Yogi Bhajan Library of






Level Three - 21 Stages of Meditation at Sat Nam Fest April 9-15th
Level Three Programs
The 21 Stages of Meditation is an amazing adventure, giving you tools and experiences to deepen your meditation and come to a profound understanding of your Self. This program will be offered at Sat Nam Fest Joshua Tree this spring, in partnership with the Kundalini Research Institute. Students and teachers from all contemplative traditions are invited. If you are in the Level Three Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training program or are thinking about starting Level Three, now is a great time to take The 21 Stages of Meditation. This training program will fulfill one of the requirements for the Level Three certification. Level Three is a 1,000-day journey that can be started once you have completed Level Two Certification and other pre-requisites. Plan now for starting Level Three by taking 21 Stages or take it while you are in Level Three. During this training program, you will join the entire Sat Nam Fest community for morning sadhana, meals, and evening concerts and you will spend your days exploring the depths of meditation with two powerful KRI teachers - Krishna Kaur and Nirvair Singh. The 21 Stages of Meditation Program may be taken by anyone. You do not need any prior certification and there are no pre-requisites required to attend.
  • Have you just started taking Kundalini Yoga? This program is a great foundation for deepening your understanding of meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
  • Are you a Kundalini Yoga Teacher? This program will deepen your practice and give you new perspectives and techniques to pass on to your classes.
  • Do you practice a different style of meditation? This program will broaden the scope of what you understand meditation to be and open new doors of perception in your life and in your practice.
  • Have you been practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga for years? This program will reawaken your passion for the practice and provide the groundwork for a new understanding and relationship to your Self.
  • Have you already participated in 21 Stages of Meditation? Taking this program a second or third time could provide you with a profoundly different experience each time. It has been observed by participants who have taken it multiple times that they have learned something different and amazing each time.
In The 21 Stages of Meditation, we will engage in three separate journeys; each journey is comprised of seven stages, taking you step by step into a deeper level of awakening and realization. We will move through the rudimentary skills of meditation to the deeper levels of awareness and integration and finally into identity, projection, and merger in the Infinite Pulse of Creation. Each journey takes 2 days. You can choose to sign up for a single journey, two journeys, or complete all three journeys consecutively.
  • Journey 1: The Crystallized Self (April 9-10)
  • Journey 2: The Expressive Self (April 11-12)
  • Journey 3: The Transcendent Self (April 13-14)







Registration for The 21 Stages of Meditation is now open at Sat Nam Fest Joshua Tree.




Level Three Apply Soon! CLICK HERE to Start Step 1 of Your Application Process Today Extended Deadline: March 30, 2018 2018 MELA Dates & Location The annual gathering for Level Three participants June 10th – 13th: Espanola, New Mexico July 23rd – 25th: Europe For more information about the Level Three Program website: email:







KRI Specials of the Month for February 2018 Enlightened Bodies Enlightened Bodies Exploring Physical and Subtle Human Anatomy Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® Nirmal Lumpkin, LMT and Japa Kaur Khalsa, DOM Enlightened Bodies inspires and elevates the approach and study of the human body, interconnecting anatomy, physiology and ancient yogic teachings. Enlightened Bodies presents the complexities of the body in a refreshing and approachable style, integrating multiple perspectives including:
  • Human Anatomy
  • Ayurveda
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Self-Care
  • Other lifestyle traditions
This is an essential book for yoga enthusiasts and healthcare practitioners who are looking for a deeper understanding of the human body and ways to incorporate complementary health practices in their treatment plan. Regular Retail: $39.95 Promo: $33.96 Praana, Praanee, Praanayam Praana, Praanee, Praanayam Exploring the Breath Technology of Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan ® Compiled from the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan and illustrated by Harijot Kaur Khalsa Praana, Praanee, Praanayam is a collection of Yogi Bhajan's quotes and kriyas gathered from lectures throughout his 35-year teaching career in the West. Yogi Bhajan is a Master of praanic energy and these quotes and kriyas can help you to understand and experience who you truly are in the universe of praana. Regular Retail: $35.00 Promo: $29.75 Kundalini Yoga with the Master DVD Series Kundalini Yoga with the Master DVD Series The Kundalini Yoga with the Master DVD Series is your chance to practice a demanding physical kriya with Yogi Bhajan. The all new picture-in-picture guide shows the proper posture and timing while you are challenged to "Keep Up!" by the Master himself. Volume 1: Energize Your System Featured in Owner’s Manual for the Human Body Among other benefits, this kriya contains exercises to: - energize the heart chakra and stomach - give power to the immune system - adjust the spine - cleanse the liver and purify the blood Volume 2: Balance the Vayus Featured in Owner’s Manual for the Human Body There are five principal Vayus: Praana moving in the heart area; Udaana in the throat; Samaana in the navel region; Apaana in the pelvic floor; and Vyaana which circulates throughout the whole body. This set moves all five Vayus of the body and brings equilibrium to the glandular system. Volume 3: For Mental Balance Featured in Owner’s Manual for the Human Body Concludes with Yogi Bhajan playing the gong while you nap. Yogi Bhajan said that by regularly practicing the first and second exercise in this kriya for three minutes each and then repeating frog pose 108 times you can achieve physical and mental health. Volume 4: Optimum Health Featured in Owner’s Manual for the Human Body Refine your radiance with Optimum Health. This physically demanding set is balanced with great moments of relaxation including an 11 minute nap to Guru Ram Das Lullybye and a gong meditation. Volume 5: Automatic Endurance Featured in the manual Owner's Manual for the Human Body Let this DVD show you: - Conscious breath for total self-purification - The Power of baby pose - How to develop tolerance, grit and nerves of steel Volume 6: Wake Up the Body to Handle Stress and Strain Featured in the manual Owner's Manual for the Human Body This video contains ideal exercises to do in bed or just out of bed first thing in the morning! Volume 7: Yogic Salutations Featured in the manual Self Knowledge This kriya incorporates a variety of salutations including: - Narda Pranaam - Hans Pranaam - Guru Pranaam Volume 8: Massage for the Lymphatic System Featured in the manual Physical Wisdom Stimulating eliminative movement in the lymphatic system is essential to a strong body and healthy immune system. Give your lymphatic system a massage with this original kriya taught by Yogi Bhajan! All DVDs in this series: Regular Retail: $19.95 per DVD Promo: $16.96 per DVD Or get the entire set for the everyday low “set price” of $119.70 (25% off full retail)
KRI February Recipe of the Month 2018 Excerpt From: Man to Man A Journal of Discovery for the Conscious Man Yogi Bhajan, PhD. Garlic Saffron Almond Rice
Garlic Saffron Almond Ric
Enhances creativity 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon saffron 1½ cups basmati rice 6 cloves garlic 2 cups homemade yogurt ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup almonds 1 Tablespoon ghee Soak saffron in milk overnight. In the morning, blend until smooth. Soak the almonds overnight or in boiling water to remove their skins. Then slice the almonds. Peel and slice the garlic into quarters. Sautee garlic and almonds in ghee. Rinse rice thoroughly. Boil basmati rice in saffron milk and 2 cups of water. Add garlic and almonds, Simmer for 20 minutes. (Add the saffron milk when dish is half-cooked.) It should be eaten with yogurt and the yogurt should always be homemade. To cleanse the internal organs, then eat this dish with Golden Yogurt, using turmeric. In that case, yogurt should be made from golden milk. Boil ½ teaspoon of turmeric in 1 quart of milk. Use this milk to make the yogurt.












































































KRI January Newsletter




A Note From Nirvair Sat Nam. Greetings from New Mexico! Happy New YearI am looking forward to a great new year with all of you. Speaking of greatness, KRI is honoring two individuals in 2018 who have impacted thousands of people around the world. The KRI Board has selected Sat Kirpal Kaur Khalsa and Tien Nguyen for their many years of service, steadiness, and dedication to Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. These two women have worked tirelessly for the benefit of others with little or no recognition. Sat Kirpal Kaur is one of Yogi Bhajan’s earliest students. Her work can be seen in the International Khalsa Council, in the Khalsa Women’s Training Camp books, and in Miri Piri Academy in India. Tien Nguyen is also a pioneer, bringing the technology of Kundalini Yoga to the peoples of Asia. I am very happy that we can honor them on our website for all of 2018. Read about them here. Start the new year with a gift to yourself from KRI! Check out some of our new products such as the sweet, pocket-sized volume of Yogi Bhajan’s after-class prayers called Blessings: The Power of Prayer. For a powerful experience, try Yogi Bhajan’s Rebirthing Series 1-6 on thumb drive. It is great if your computer does not have a DVD drive and it is easy to bring with you if you travel. Are you looking for a kriya to begin the New Year? It is no surprise that I have a suggestion for you! It is the “Narayan Kriya: Clearing and Clarity for Prosperity” meditation from Yogi Bhajan’s lecture on October 9, 1979. I will be talking about the meditation and mantra, as well as demonstrating it on the video of the month. Here is the PDF of the kriya. And here is one of my favorite version of the mantra chanted by Sat Purkh Kaur from her album Queen Be.


Sat Purkh Kaur: Sat Narayan Hari Narayan Sat Narayan Hari Narayan


Purchase Sat Purkh's Queen Be -The Goddess Within Here The New Year is all about starting anew. In this December 3, 1999 lecture, Yogi Bhajan talks about how to start. “A ripe apple must not decide when its time has come and it has to be cut and eaten. So, I have done my job. I am ready to go back home, any day. But one thing is, that I have no regret. I have done what I came [to do] and that's enough. I have kept the knowledge pure, I have not altered it. I have not added any ego to it. I have given it freely to all with honesty and I have not initiated anybody to make them my disciple. I have created teachers of tomorrow and if they are monkeys, let them be monkeys. If they are angels, let them be angels. I am me. I served my master well, they served me as a master well and acknowledged the knowledge and practiced it truthfully. Honestly, time will acknowledge them. I am not a party to it… To start a new life, and anybody among you who wants to start a new life, … you have to give up something to get something. Life is very simple.” Student: “I am trying to start a new life…” Yogi Bhajan: “Start! S-T-A-R-T, start. When you have to start, START! Don't wait. ‘I have to …, maybe...’ Forget it. START! And then God will guide you. ‘Start’ should be nothing but start. You know, you press on that start [button]. On the [elevator] they press that start [button], that's it. Nothing misunderstood. Start. “There is no better word than ‘start.’ There is no better word than ‘serve.’ There is no better word than ‘understand.’ Stand under, just do it. There is nothing in your life that you cannot do, but [you have to] do it. What you don't do… ‘I may…, I should…, when…, why…, where…, who…, this…, they are looking…, they are not looking…, maybe…’ It is a waste of time!” Thanks again for a wonderful 2017! It is a new year and a new time for all of us to just start! We are creating the future we want for ourselves, our families, our lifestyle, and our planet. May your New Year be filled with good cheer, blessings, and grace.


In God I dwell, Nirvair Singh Khalsa Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO Kundalini Research Institute











Level Three – Open Space Technology. What is it?
Level Three Programs
Level Three is an experience like no other – a 1000-day commitment to the process of self-realization where you discover your authentic identity as a Teacher and deepen your relationship to the Sacred. The program focuses on developing the three qualities of a Spiritual Teacher – spiritual maturity, meditative mind, and seva. One of the requirements of Level Three certification is attending three Melas, the annual Level Three gathering. The Mela is planned by the returning participants and they have been stimulating and inspiring. The possibilities are endless. Open Space Technology (OST) was introduced at the 2016 European Mela as a model of creative leadership and participation. It was very well received and adopted by the New Mexico Mela in 2017. So, what is OST? OST is a way to organize meetings that draws on the strengths and priorities of the participants, engaging everyone, and creating meaningful dialog with tangible results. OST sets the stage for a personally relevant meeting by not creating an initial agenda. Typically, in the first hour of the Mela, the group establishes a working agenda as each individual posts their issues that are important to them on a board. Once the agenda is established, the group disburses into breakout sessions to discuss the topic that interests them the most. And if, once you get into it, you feel you have chosen the wrong topic there is always the “Law of Two Feet.” You are welcome at any time to walk away and join the discussions of another group. There was a wide range of fantastic topics at the Melas last year, both serious and light, that focused on the journey of Level Three. There was even a group who decided to do self-care and take a nap! One breakout session in France decided to meet in the river at Chateau Anand. Anything can happen in OST and it has brought dynamic interaction to the Mela. OST was developed by Harrison Owen who published "Open Space Technology: A User's Guide” in 2008. You can find out more at the website Open Space World.
Level Three Enrollment Has Begun! CLICK HERE to Start Step 1 of Your Application Process Today 2018 MELA Dates & Location The annual gathering for Level Three participants June 10th – 13th: Espanola, New Mexico July 23rd – 25th: Europe For more information about the Level Three Program website: email:




Yogic Slow Breathing: A Better Way to Ventilate By Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
This article is reprinted from February 2017 and was our most popular article last year.


ObesityThe most common breathing practice in yoga is long, slow, deep breathing. However, despite its simplicity and multiple benefits, it is also relatively misunderstood. The slow breathing practices in yoga are not simply slower, they are also deeper, with the diaphragm and lungs expanding more fully with each breath. Yogic breathing involves the noticeable movement of the abdomen, which extends outwards on each inhale, thereby earning it the name of abdominal or belly breathing. Apart from simple, slow, deep breathing, yogic breathing or pranayama, practices also include modified techniques such as Ujjayi, which involves a slight constriction of the glottis to create an audible breath. Other yogic breathing patterns may call for different breathing frequencies, different breath inhalation, retention, and exhalation ratios, segmented inhales and exhales, and breathing through specific nostrils. The deeper expansion of the lungs in simple, long, slow, yogic breathing effectively increases the lung surface available for gas exchange and so it is more efficient use of the lungs. In addition, dead space ventilation (movement of air during breathing in the trachea between the mouth and lungs that does not participate in gas exchange) is relatively reduced. The resulting increase in efficiency is equivalent to one possessing a larger lung. Unfortunately, the understanding of the accurate benefits of yogic breathing is often compromised by certain claims and misconceptions. The most common of these is the notion that slow, yogic breathing increases oxygen in the blood and that most of the public, who are not privy to practicing this type of breathing, are walking around chronically oxygen deprived. In fact, unless one has a respiratory condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or one is at high altitude, blood oxygen levels are normally well maintained at very high levels. It should be noted that respiratory physiology is a complicated issue whose details are outside of the scope of this article. However, the reality is that both slow and rapid yogic breathing practices, if done appropriately, do not yield significant changes in oxygen or carbon dioxide levels. The main reason for this is that the effect of the deeper breath in long slow deep breathing is counterbalanced by the slower respiration rate. Deeper breathing with a typical respiration rate would actually lead to clinical hyperventilation, a potentially harmful state, which should be taken into account when practicing yogic breathing. Research on the long slow pranayama practice, when practiced appropriately, has been shown to slightly improve gas exchange under normal conditions. In early studies in 1964 at the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University, research fellow K.T. Behanan (trained in yoga at the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute in India) examined the effects of a series of pranayama practices on himself, with the results published in both a monograph and the Journal of Applied Physiology by his mentor. Three representative patterns of yogic breathing were tested, namely Ujjayi, Kapalabhati, and Bhastrika. While these techniques required a 12-35 percent increase in oxygen consumption above baseline, the relaxed breathing that immediately followed showed little indication that the subject had been exerting himself. A thorough study by Frostell et al. in 1983 using state of the art respiratory physiological research measures in advanced pranayama practitioners, made it clear that both slow and fast types of pranayama yielded minimal changes in both oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. A more recent pranayama research study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2013, had 17 yoga-naive participants tested to see if Ujjayi resulted in greater oxygen saturation when compared to regular slow yogic breathing. The results showed the greatest improvements in slow breathing without Ujjayi, likely due to the increased respiratory effort. However, Ujjayi did result in greater oxygen saturation. The researchers concluded that simple slow breathing with equal inspiration/expiration is the best technique for yoga naive subjects. In addition to these studies performed under normal conditions, there is a growing body of evidence that yogic breathing improves gas exchange under altered, challenging conditions as well. In 1968, Shanker Rao from the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, India looked at one subject who attempted yogic respiratory control at two different altitudes. The observations were carried out in the southwestern foothills of the Himalayas (12,500 ft.) and in Pune (1,800 ft.). He observed that the subject met increased demands for oxygen at high altitude by using long slow yogic breathing, which was effectively improving respiratory efficiency by increasing tidal volume (the total volume of air exchanged in each breath) instead of increasing the frequency of respiration. Recent studies with a larger group of subjects support these early findings. In 2001, Luciano Bernardi et al. conducted a study in Albuquerque NM, comprising of 19 controls and 10 western yoga trainees to test breathing patterns and autonomic modulation at simulated high altitude. The researchers found that yoga trainees maintained better blood oxygenation without increasing ventilation (slow yogic breathing being a more efficient breathing method) and had reduced sympathetic activation when compared to controls. A subsequent study by Bernardi et al. looked at Caucasian yoga trainees, Nepalese Sherpas and Himalayan Buddhist monks. They found that yoga trainees were able to maintain oxygen exchange rates at high altitude that resembles the Himalayan natives. Therefore, respiratory adaptations induced by yoga practice may represent an efficient strategy to cope with altitude-induced hypoxia (inadequate oxygen supply). Another recent study lead by Colonel Himashree of the Indian Army and published in 2016, further confirmed these findings with a large sample size of two hundred Indian soldiers divided equally between an exercise control and yoga practice group. Indeed, the yoga group performed better at high altitude in a number of health indices such as respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and anxiety rates. In summary, slow yogic breathing is the most efficient way to ventilate and exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. However, in addition to this benefit, long slow yogic breathing is also known to also offer numerous additional benefits including beneficial effects on heart rate variability, the chemoreflex response, autonomic function, and even on mood and mental health.


Nikhil 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. 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.





Happy New Year from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Yogi Bhajan Waheguru! It is wonderful to be starting off this New Year on such a high note. We are so grateful for all the donations that came through last month in our Winter Solstice Fund Drive. Thank you!! You and your gifts are what are growing this incredible resource of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings and we are so blessed to have your support. In this lecture from New Year’s Eve 1985, Yogi Bhajan gave us this New Year’s blessing: “It's a new year. Happy New Year and walk tall into a year of prosperity and don't worry. …Our elevated consciousness will carry us through and we should rejoice and share God with others and stand up as men of God, stand up as woman of God, in that grace and bless all. This is my prayer and this is my promise to you - whosoever shall do that, Guru Ram Das shall pray for that person. Time to pray is over. Let the angels and great souls and the avatars and incarnations of God pray for you. You should walk tall and bless all in your innocence with your love for each one's peace and prosperity. I hope you will remember what the time wants … you will be sacred, exalted, beautiful, bountiful… and fulfilled.” Yogi Bhajan, December 31, 1985 What a beautiful reminder at the start of the New Year to stand as men and women of God, elevating others through our actions and words and receiving blessings from Guru Ram Das Ji. May this year be one of prosperity and joy for all of you and may we be able to live up to these words all year. Thank you for continued support to this work of preserving these invaluable teachings!


Library of Teachings Donation
In Service, Shabd Simran Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji, Fundraising Coordinator The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Kundalini Research Institute Email: Find us on Facebook “The Yogi Bhajan Library of






Breaking Habits and Addictions with SuperHealth®!
From Recovery to Self-Discovery as taught by Yogi Bhajan
by Mukta Kaur Khalsa Mukta In the early 1970s, Yogi Bhajan had a vision of healing the pain of the many young people who were addicted to drugs and other harmful substances. He believed that the human potential of each person is infinite…fully interconnected physically, mentally, and spiritually. Equipped with his ancient knowledge of cleansing, herbology, and Kundalini Yoga, he sent me to Tucson, Arizona with the mission of setting up the first SuperHealth® residential drug rehabilitation center. It was an immense amount of work! However, it was highly successful, was accredited by JCAHO, and was rated in the top 10 percent of all programs in the U.S. At the time, this recognition was unheard of and SuperHealth was the first yogic-based treatment to have this distinguished commendation. Today, SuperHealth as addiction medicine continues to be on the cutting edge of recovery protocols. Expanding beyond drugs, SuperHealth also addresses addiction to alcohol, smoking, food, co-dependency, gambling, work, and computers. Developed by Yogi Bhajan, the approach combines the ancient wisdom of yogic science with the innovations of western medicine. The core technology incorporates Kundalini Yoga, meditation, specific breathing applications, nutrition restoration with dietary regimen, therapeutic juice formulas, counseling, and the Science of Humanology. Superhealth SuperHealth is the only yogic-based system to be a CEU provider in the medical community. Our integrated approach is changing public opinion. Be part of the change! CEUs are available for yoga teachers, nurses, MFTs, LCSWs, LPCC, LEP, Physical Therapists, and others who are at the forefront of helping others to break addictive habits and behaviors. Invest in yourself and gain a career! Join us for our next Specialty Professional Training, March 17 – 24, 2018 in Espanola, New Mexico as we explore these proven ancient yogic technologies on the path from Recovery to Self-Discovery. Super Health SuperHealth is approved by the National Certified Commission as an Educational and Training provider and awards CEUs to yogic and healthcare professionals and counselors by NAADAC, the State of California Board of Sciences for MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs & LEPs, Yoga Alliance & IKYTA and approval to award CNEs through the American Holistic Nurses Association. “






KRI Specials of the Month for January 2018 New Book! BlessingsBlessings The Power of Prayer Spoken by Yogi Bhajan The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan This powerful book of blessings and prayers, shared by Yogi Bhajan, provides daily inspirations and guidance for all people of spirit. Read and feel these blessings! They are uplifting, timeless and universal. Oh Designer, Oh Maker, Oh Guide, Oh Guardian, Oh Energy, Oh Infinite: Give this existence the peace, tranquility, honor and grace to understand and then to live in that understanding for happiness. Sat Nam -Yogi Bhajan Regular Retail: $14.95 Promo: $12.71 RebirthingRebirthing Breath, Vitality & Strength Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® The idea of rebirthing is to release the subconscious, the storehouse of misery. - Yogi Bhajan Heal the pain and overcome the obstacles which keep you from living your best life-awakened, rejuvenated and present to your purpose. Rebirthing Courses by Yogi Bhajan have long been some of the most talked about classes he offered in his 35 years of teaching in the United States and abroad. For the first time, these kriyas are now available in a single manual along with the lectures that accompanied them. All 32 courses are represented in this manual; and 24 are available in the accompanying DVD Series. Courses include: • Clearing the Magnetic Block from the Womb • Removing the Fears from the Fifth Month in the Womb • Unloading the Pain of Perpetual Memories • Ghost Kriya: Clearing the Ghosts and Opening Intuition • Forgiveness and Unloading the Subconscious Garbage Regular Retail: $39.95 Promo: $33.96 Rebirthing DVDsRebirthing DVD Lecture Series Includes 24 DVDs from the Rebirthing courses, which Yogi Bhajan taught from the fall of 1988 through the spring of 1989 The idea of rebirthing is to release the subconscious, the storehouse of misery. - Yogi Bhajan 1. Rebirthing I 2. Rebirthing II 3. Rebirthing III 4. Rebirthing IV 5. Unloading Your Pain & Fear I 6. Unloading Your Pain & Fear II 7. Unloading the Pain of Perpetual Memories I 8. Unloading the Pain of Perpetual Memories II 9. Release Your Garbage 10. Ardh Kechari Kriya 11. Getting Rid of Transit Memories I 12. Getting Rid of Transit Memories II 13. Removing the Fears from the Fifth Month in the Womb I 14. Removing the Fears from the Fifth Month in the Womb II 15. Clearing the Magnetic Block from the Womb I 16. Clearing the Magnetic Block from the Womb II 17. Cleaning the Clutter of the Mind I 18. Cleaning the Clutter of the Mind II 19. Cleaning the Mind I 20. Cleaning the Mind II 21. Cleaning the Mind for Deep Meditation 22. Letting Go of the Pain of the Seventh Year 23. Clearing the Subconscious Stories 24. Dropping Your Personal Pain plus Bonus DVD: Prosperity Lecture & Meditation Regular Price: $19.95 per DVD Promo: $16.96 These are also sold in 3 sets of 8 each for $120.00 per set, which is 25% off regular retail! New Book! MantraMantra Subtitle: Personal Guidance through the Power of the Word Author: Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa, PhD Bhai Sahiba of Sikh Dharma International Clarity-Healing-Intuition-Peace Self-Esteem-Stability-Trust-Wisdom This book contains hundreds of beautiful mantras to recite and repeat for these and other personal needs you face in your life. The Mantras in this book have been lovingly collected, translated and commented upon by the devoted wife of Yogi Bhajan, the spiritual teacher who brought Kundalini Yoga to the United States in 1969 and built the extensive 3HO (Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization) worldwide community. Mantra is an important component of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. Kundalini Yoga teachers follow a variety of spiritual paths, and the mantras in Kundalini Yoga are of a universal nature. They transcend religious belief and embody universal truths that every human being can experience. Retail: $39.95 Promo: $33.96
KRI January Recipe of the Month 2018 Ring in the New Year with this delicious and invigorating yogurt curry! Recipe taken from Foods for Health & Healing Recipes & Remedies Based on the teaching of Yogi Bhajan, PhD YOGURT CURRY
Yogurt Curry
To soothe and strengthen the nervous system, and to please the palate, try this delicious curry. 1 cup basmati rice 3 cups chopped mixed vegetables 1/4 cup minced ginger 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 small onions, finely chopped 1/2 cup ghee 1 1/2 tsp. crushed yogi tea spices (cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves) 1 Tbsp. turmeric 1/4 tsp. oregano seeds 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 1 tsp. garam masala 1 cup homemade yogurt 1/4 cup garbanzo flour Rinse the rice then add 3 cups water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Steam chopped mixed vegetables until firm but tender. Blend yogurt and garbanzo flour with 1 cup water until smooth. Sauté spices in ghee until golden brown. Add chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Cook slowly until onions are almost falling apart. Stir in yogurt-flour mixture. Simmer until sauce thickens. Serve over rice and steamed vegetables. Serves 4.
KRI December Newsletter


News From KRI - December


Kundalini Research Institute
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund



A Note From Nirvair Sat Nam. Greetings from New Mexico! GratitudeThe end of the calendar year, the month of December, is a very significant time. It is the Winter Solstice, time to go deep within to discover your personal community of the inner self. There are three days of White Tantric Yoga® at Winter Solstice Sadhana. If you cannot make it to 3HO Winter Solstice Sadhana in Florida, visit White Tantric Yoga and pick a place and time to participate next year. Here is what Yogi Bhajan said on December 27, 1972 about participation in White Tantric Yoga soon after he became the sitting Mahan Tantric. “So, what we have to do is this - we have to experience. In White Tantric Yoga, when we complete these exercises and we leave the place of the course, we start being effective in our personality - after forty-days later from doing it. Do you know that? Because the conscious mind penetrates through the subconscious blocks into the universal consciousness. When that penetration takes place, because of what we have done, the reversal period is forty-days and then the light overtakes the personality, clearing the path. Then the individual consciousness is levitated. So, it is not something that you have right now after your participation. You are doing it now, so you can have it anyway. But it is a psychic energy. It is a psyche. It is a soul connection. That is why they call it the science of sound and light. It connects you and it continues with you. You do not leave it. It cannot leave you. You may be negative; you may be positive; it has nothing to do with that. You may have two tons of garbage - if it is going to take away from you twenty pounds - it is going to take away twenty pounds from you anyway.” This is also a time to share what you have earned this year. Support the future of The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® with a donation. Yogi Bhajan was a giver and he inspired us to be givers as well. Here is what he said on July 5, 1983 about the technology of making a 10 percent donation. “That will be the money that will take care of our tomorrow and that is consciously relating to a good tomorrow. So, we want you to give one tenth of your time to God and Guru. We want you also to give one tenth of your time in preaching the truth of the Guru, giving people exercises, helping people, donating your time to people to uplift them. You will not have any trouble - that is what 'Vandchako,' means. It is one of the tenets of the Sikh Dharma, 'Vandchako,' giving one tenth of your time to yourself, one tenth of your time to uplift other people, and one tenth of your possession, or your money, or your earnings, towards other people. Be good through the avenue of God and Guru. If you stretch your mind honestly to that, you will feel great achievement, great fulfillment, and great satisfaction.” Have you been practicing those amazing kriyas from Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® that I have been sharing with you in the monthly video meditation? Here are some comments that Yogi Bhajan made on February 19, 1996 about the kriya given for December. “Your psyche will change, your strength of intuition will change, and your capacity to realize will change. If you do this for forty-days and then another forty-days and then another forty-days - something like that - you will find out yourself that you know more than you know because this is right, right here, the halo. You must have seen it in the paintings. This is the seal of knowledge, this is Jupiter, this is ego, and this is how the angle goes. Sat Nam in slow motion. Sat Nam, Wahe Guru, Wahe, so simple. “And the capacity of your psyche is point zero one. You will be surprised to see, it will become two, eight, nine, ten, one point two. You will be so enriched, you will find yourself different. In one hundred twenty days, your life will become different. It is amazing. People had a capacity to change their life from a pauper to a prince and they still do. They have found a secret. They have found a secret … so that their brightness can attract all the opportunity and they can have prosperity.”
Watch the class here on the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings
On a personal note, Mukhia Singh Sahib Sada Sat Singh Khalsa passed away on November 12th. He was a great friend, Teacher Trainer and sevadar. Yogi Bhajan loved him dearly and I will miss him. May you have a blessed Winter Solstice celebration and may your holidays be filled with happiness, grace, and fun with family and friends.


All blessings, all ways, Nirvair Singh Khalsa Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO Kundalini Research Institute











Remembering Sada Sat Singh
Remembering Sada Sat Singh
Mukhia Singh Sahib Sada Sat Singh Khalsa was a Teacher Trainer and an early student of Yogi Bhajan, studying with him since 1970. He passed away on November 12th, and he will be missed by many friends, teachers, and students. Sada Sat Singh was a co-founder of the Yogi Tea Company and a pioneer in the natural foods industry. He skillfully blended traditional science with yogic and Ayurvedic wisdom to help people experience optimum health, happiness, and a genuine inner connection to the Divine. Sada Sat Singh was the General Director of the International European Yoga Festival each summer in France. Under his leadership, the Yoga Festival has grown to serve hundreds of people around the world. As a Trainer for all levels of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, he guided and mentored several generations of teachers. He taught with wisdom and kindness, and filled his classes with great stories earned from over 45 years of walking the spiritual path. Remembering Sada Sat SinghI Will Miss Him By Sat Simran Kaur Tonight, I got a text message that Sada Sat Singh had transitioned from physical to non-physical. Tonight, I heard a song with lyrics that said: “Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” Tonight, I felt the loss of one of the gardeners of the Sikh Dharma and 3HO communities. Sada Sat Singh’s legacy has already been set in the many businesses he founded and grew. And in the hearts and minds of the many students that benefited by his knowledge, wisdom, humor, and beneficent nature. His spirit always took precedence over his body and mind. His devotion and reverence for his teacher was his touchstone. He thrived on teaching and serving. He was a great example for those who knew him and will be for those who didn't. I will miss him.






We are KRI - Leveraging the Wisdom of the Whole for the Good of the Whole By Amrit Singh Khalsa We are KRI Sat Nam! I am so very honored to serve as the new Executive Director for Teacher Trainings here at KRI. Since starting in July, I have enjoyed meeting and speaking to many trainers in the Aquarian Trainer Academy®. There are several big projects affecting teacher training to make you aware of. We are in the process of major revisions to both the Level 1 and Level 2 programs, exploring ways to improve how trainers develop and demonstrate their skills and experience. In support of all of this, we are expanding the communication around, and participation in, how decisions are made relating to teacher training. We are calling the program-revision projects “Level 1 Redux” and “Level 2 Redux.” Both involve examinations of the entire program, including:
  • Re-writing parts of the manuals,
  • Developing new exams,
  • Establishing best practices around many of the presentation areas,
  • Updating kriyas and meditations in the Aquarian Teacher yoga manual, and
  • Compiling online support materials for both trainers and students.
Defining what it means to be a trainer, how one becomes a trainer, and how one maintains their status as a trainer all fall into what we call professional development. We do have a lot of detailed processes in this area, as you in the Aquarian Trainer Academy know already. Over the next year or so, we will be looking at refining many aspects of professional development, such as:
  • Simplifying how you qualify to be a Level 2 Trainer.
  • Redefining how mentorship works and what it means to be a mentor.
  • Making entry into, and movement through, the Academy based more on demonstrated skills and experience rather than prescribed actions or elapsed time. This will mean that there will probably be multiple “pathways” through the academy, making it more flexible for diverse situations without compromising the quality or integrity of the trainers.
  • Creating ongoing requirements, such as CEUs, for everyone including lead trainers.
  • Reimagining the confidential evaluations so that they support our culture of continuous learning and improvement, as individual trainers and organizationally as a global school.
KRI has always operated in a collaborative manner, with volunteers from all over the world participating in various working groups and committees, and a group called the Teacher Training Executive Council (TTEC) meeting twice a year to set policies. With over 750 members in the Aquarian Trainer Academy, we need a more inclusive, transparent, and global way to discuss issues and make decisions. For example, we cannot have a handful of well-intentioned trainers make major changes to the Level 1 program and then just tell everyone else, “Ok, here’s your new program.” People need to be included and have their voices heard! Towards this, we are setting up new avenues for all members of the Academy to participate in decision making. One of these avenues is an online discussion forum called Sutra. There are many lively discussions already happening there around the Level 1 Redux project such as how to bring Kundalini Yoga to underserved communities, the best way to distribute the videos used in our Level 2 courses, and many, many more. There are existing discussion threads (including several in Spanish), and anyone can start their own discussion about any topic related to teacher training that is important to them. If you are a trainer and are not using Sutra yet, please check it out! Do not hesitate to email me for any technical support in getting connected. Another way we are opening up the decision-making process is to set up regional advisory TTEC meetings around the world. Rather than insisting that interested people travel to New Mexico, USA to discuss policy questions, we will have in-person meetings in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe that will be open to any trainer who wants to attend. The outcomes of these regional meetings will flow into the global TTEC meeting, with representatives from each region participating as well. At first, these meetings will be part of the Trainers Forums, but over time will evolve into their own, stand alone, gatherings. These efforts are experiments that we will try out, modify, and adapt to improve our experience of group consciousness. To thrive in the Aquarian Age, we must find ways to leverage the wisdom of the whole for the good of the whole. Together we will work collaboratively so that our Aquarian Teacher programs can adapt quickly to face the changes and challenges of the coming world, while never losing the authenticity and purity of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings. I am excited to be serving the legacy of Yogi Bhajan in this way and I look forward to working with more of you in the future. If you have any comments or questions about anything teacher training related, please email me at


Amrit Singh Amrit Singh Khalsa is the Executive Director of Teacher Trainings at KRI. He earned his PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT and worked directly with Yogi Bhajan to coordinate the 3HO legacy businesses and non-profit organizations, including KRI. After the passing of Yogi Bhajan, Amrit Singh served as the Chair of the Board for KRI for 7 years, and its Treasurer for 2 more years. Leaving a successful career in the health-food industry, Amrit is now dedicated full-time to the work of KRI.





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Reversing Obesity: Clinical Trials of Yoga Interventions by Sandeep (Anu) Kaur, MS, RDN, RYT-500 and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, PhD ObesityObesity, an important modifiable risk factor associated with chronic disease, is at epidemic levels in the U.S. with an expected 40 percent increase worldwide by 2030. The rise in obesity is associated with a sedentary lifestyle, dietary choices often high in calories, fat, and sugar, and stress-induced changes in psychophysiology and eating-related behavior. Traditional weight loss strategies focus on dietary changes and exercise, which often result in only short-term weight loss that is ultimately regained. These weight loss approaches typically do not address the role of stress in obesity and do not appear to lead to long-term lifestyle behavior change that is necessary for weight maintenance. The rationale for yoga as an intervention for weight loss is that it is a multicomponent intervention targeting multiple physical, psychological, and behavioral factors. Although more intensive physical yoga exercises and postures result in higher energy expenditure, research studies suggest yoga goes beyond energetics. Yoga practice additionally provides positive changes in breath regulation, stress and emotion regulation, mind-body awareness, mindfulness, and even life purpose and meaning, all of which contribute to addressing the key factors in obesity. Hence, it is not surprising that a number of clinical research trials of yoga interventions have been conducted on obese patients. One of the earliest research trials by Gharote and colleagues (1977) in India evaluated the effects of yoga on obesity via skinfold measurement and estimated body fat. They found a significant reduction in estimated body fat percentage in both men and women after two months of yoga treatment, paving the way for further studies of yoga and obesity as well as other lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. Divekar and colleagues (1978) reported decreased blood glucose and weight loss in individuals with chronic diabetes who practiced yoga outdoors for 45-minutes once a day and utilized slow and rhythmic contraction of muscles and deep slow breathing. Venkatareddy and colleagues (2003) also evaluated the impact of yoga asana and pranayama (breath techniques) on 30 obese Indian women who continued with their regular diet for three months. They too noted a significant reduction in weight and estimated body fat percentage at the end of 30 and 90-days. From the results of these early Indian randomized control trials (RCTs), it was hypothesized that yoga induces hypothalamic changes and conditioned the autonomic nervous system via the hypothalamus to influence other endocrine functions including insulin regulation. In another Indian yoga trial, Bera and colleagues (2003) randomly assigned 153 obese patients to either yoga training in a residential setting (consuming a pure vegetarian diet), a non-residential setting (subjects stayed at home on their usual diet) or a no-treatment control group. The researchers found a significant reduction in anthropometrics such as body weight, hip girth, body fat, and abdominal girth along with increased muscular strength and flexibility in the residential group compared to the other two groups. The authors concluded that yoga may be a more easily accessible form of exercise that can improve impaired musculoskeletal functioning in obese patients. In the U.S., few residential multi-component yoga-based weight loss programs have been conducted. Braun and colleagues (2012) at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health evaluated a 5-day weight loss program that incorporated yoga, mindfulness, self-compassion, acceptance, non-dieting, and intuitive eating to promoted long-term weight loss. 37 participants, primarily Caucasian women, middle-aged, with high levels of education and income, and 84 percent classified as obese (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥ 30), participated in the study. Although physical activity and mood disturbance improved significantly post-program, they did not reach significance at the 3-month follow-up, even though self-reported weight loss was statistically significant at the one-year follow-up. This study points to the potential of a yoga-based approach for obese individuals to foster well-being, stress management, mind-body awareness, improve nutrition choices, eating behavior, and to provide support for a deeper lifestyle change. ObesityOther studies have been starting to look at the impact of in-house residential yoga weight loss programs that include yoga philosophy and Ayurvedic-inspired daily living strategies. Rioux and colleagues (2014) conducted a feasibility study with 12 women to evaluate a weight loss program based on principles of Ayurveda and yoga therapy with an emphasis on self-monitoring of lifestyle behaviors. Participants completed 75-minute supervised yoga classes three times a week and did the yoga practice an additional three times per week at home. There was a 7.1 kg difference between those who followed the program and those who did not. They also reported improved self-efficacy for exercise and diet change at long-term follow-up and improved energy, well-being, quality of life, and self-awareness. In another investigation, Braun and colleagues (2016) also evaluated the effectiveness of an Ayurveda-inspired weight management curricula with both yoga-experienced and yoga-naïve women. This novel pilot revealed improved self-reported psychosocial factors such as mindful eating and body image in both overweight/obese yoga-naïve and yoga-experienced women. These preliminary data suggest that group-based yoga weight management programs that include yoga and Ayurvedic lifestyle principles may help with weight maintenance. More recently, Cramer and colleagues (2016) in Germany looked at the effect of yoga on abdominal circumference and other anthropometrics in 60 women with an abdominal circumference ≥ 35 inches and BMI ≥ 25 who were randomly assigned to either a 12-week yoga intervention or a no-treatment control. The researchers observed a significant reduction in waist circumference with the yoga intervention group compared to the untreated control group in addition to positive effects with the yoga intervention on anthropometric measures such as reduced waist-hip ratio, body weight, BMI, and percentage of body muscle. Yoga also improved participants self-reported mental and physical wellbeing, self-esteem, and perceived stress. Overall, a review of the literature on yoga for weight loss in obese individuals postulate that enhanced awareness brought on by yoga leads to healthier food choices, slower and more mindful eating, and ultimately healthy body mass index. A major limitation of the RCTs were the small sample sizes and the limited methodology reporting on specific yoga techniques used. In a comprehensive meta-analysis on RCTs done for yoga and weight management, an analysis of 30 published research trials with a total of 2,173 participants indicated that yoga was considered a safe and effective intervention to reduce BMI in in otherwise healthy adults who were overweight or obese. Key factors that may play a role in yoga’s effectiveness in weight loss and maintenance are duration of practice, frequency, dietary elements, and the residential or home practice aspect. In summary, the research published to date suggests that yoga can be an acceptable, safe, noninvasive, low-risk, and effective treatment option for obesity, reducing BMI and other anthropometric measures in obese or overweight adults. Importantly, yoga appears to affect key underlying risk factors including stress, emotion, mind-body awareness, and overall lifestyle behaviors. Additionally, the efficacy of yoga may possibly be supplemented and enhanced by interventions in residential treatment settings and by the additional incorporation of Ayurveda. Future yoga research with stronger research protocols will offer clarity and possibly confirm these preliminary findings that yoga can play an important role in the successful long-term treatment of obesity. An example of an ongoing trial in this direction is a comprehensive, country-wide study of yoga for obesity in India by the Patanjali Research Foundation led by yoga researcher Shirley Telles with a proposed sample size of 7,000 participants measuring anthropometric, biochemical, and psychological outcomes with a long-term, one-year follow-up.


Sandeep Sandeep (Anu) Kaur is a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and teaches yoga to cancer survivors and health professionals in the Washington DC Metropolitan area. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a specialization in Physiology and a minor in Biology from George Mason University. She earned a Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition from James Madison University and completed her Dietetic Internship at the Medical College of Virginia. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Wellcoach and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-500).




Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.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.





Level Three Enrollment Has Begun!
Level Three Programs Apply by Dec 31, 2017 and receive a Free E-book of your choice from KRI
What is the Level Three Journey and Why Begin?
Level Three is a 1000-day commitment to the process of Self-Realization through the engagement of three qualities: Spiritual Maturity, Meditative Mind, and Seva. Level Three participants have said that this program was just what they were looking for in their development as a teacher. The commitment of Level Three, and the support from a community of peers, propels you in your inner evolution. Level Three graduates have said that the program: 1. Expands and revitalizes your spirit. 2. Deepens your self-reflection and personal assessment to increase your spiritual maturity. 3. Intensifies your meditative experience and expands your consciousness. 4. Nurtures your heart and grows your capacity to love. 5. Aligns your individual passion and purpose with a higher destiny to serve and build communities. 6. Provides peer support and allows trust to build between teachers. 7. Creates life-long friendships and bonds based on shared goals. 8. Supports you to break through blocks and open your heart to everything life has to offer. 9. Connects you with a cozy gathering of peers on the journey to self-realization. 10. Allows you to immerse in the Aquarian process of open space technology.
CLICK HERE to Start Step 1 of Your Application Process Today 2018 MELA Dates & Location The annual gathering for Level Three participants June 10th – 13th: Espanola, New Mexico July 23rd – 25th: Europe For more information about the Level Three Program website: email:


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The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings
Study the Circumvent Force


Join us this month as we “Study the Circumvent Force” with The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®. In the early 1970s, Yogi Bhajan taught about the Circumvent Force to explain the attributes and power of the 8th chakra, the aura. Over the next few years he taught extensively about the Circumvent Force, a concept we have not explored very deeply until now! In the days leading up to Winter Solstice on December 21st, we will be studying these powerful teachings that have been uncovered in the Library of Teachings by Hargopal Kaur Khalsa. You will enjoy the teaching style and syntax of Yogi Bhajan from the early 70s, only months after he came to the west from India. Look for our daily emails December 16th- 21st, as we journey through the various facets of the Circumvent Force and how it impacts our lives. “Those people who are humble, affectionate, serving, and they breathe the Divine Force among themselves, they have made-up their minds to concentrate on one breath and pray to the Universal Spirit by tuning themselves inward. Not only their own magnetic field, their electric power, gets charged because of their life force, their circumvent force become so strong that it can keep all the negative forces away and they can change the destiny of others.” Yogi Bhajan, January 1, 1970 As always, thank you so much for your continued support of The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings, your gifts are the fuel that keep this resource growing and thriving. As 2017 comes to a close, we pray that you and your loved ones are blessed with health, prosperity, and abundance. Waheguru!


Library of Teachings Donation
In Gratitude, Shabd Simran Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji, Fundraising Coordinator The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Kundalini Research Institute Email: Find us on Facebook “The Yogi Bhajan Library of







2017 Holiday Gift Guide Holiday Gift Guide Holiday Gift Guide


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Save 15% and more this holiday season! To see all our products and gifts for the holidays, visit The Source Today! Celebrate the Season with Cookies! Taken from From Vegetables with Love Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen Revised and Expanded New Edition By Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Lily Ananda Cookies— Cream Cheese Pastry Blissful Bites
Tofu-Walnut-Oat Loaf
Yield: about 120 dainty cookies Ananda means bliss! These exquisite, flaky, and absolutely scrumptious little temptations melt in your mouth and just might raise your kundalini. My favorites are made with raspberry or apricot preserves. 2 cups unbleached flour 1 cup cold sweet butter, cut into ¼-inch pats 1½ 8-ounce packages cream cheese, cut in ½-inch cubes 12 ounces fruit preserves or jam Place all ingredients, except jam, into a food processor and process, using short pulses, until dough starts to lump together. Divide into 4 balls, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll one ball of dough out at a time, on a lightly floured surface to an approximate 11-inch square. Cut into 2-inch rounds (refrigerate scraps and re-roll). Place ¼ teaspoon of jam in the center of each round. Roll each into a cone, gently pinching the ends to seal the seam. Give each a slight twist and curve so they resemble the shape of an Easter lily. Place seam-side-down on ungreased cookie sheet. 1 inch apart, and bake at 325° for about 10 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Toasted Coconut & Sesame Cookies
Tofu-Walnut-Oat Loaf
Yield: about 3 dozen 1 cup sesame seeds ¾ cup shredded coconut 2 cups sifted flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt ¾ cup ghee ½ cup honey 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon lemon zest Roast sesame seeds and coconut in a large dry skillet over a medium flame, stirring frequently, until coconut is mostly tinged golden brown (about 5 minutes). Set aside. Sift flour with other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl beat together ghee, honey, and arrowroot-water mixture until light and creamy. Add lemon zest, toasted sesame seeds, and coconut. Mix well and then add sifted dry ingredients. Shape into small balls (about 1 tablespoon dough each) and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 350° for 10–15 minutes.













KRI October Newsletter
News From KRI

Kundalini Research Institute

The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund

A Note From Nirvair

Sat Nam and greetings from New Mexico.

Guru Ram Das Yogi Bhajan loved Guru Ram Das as his Guru – the one who brought him from darkness to light. In October, we remember with love the passing of Yogi Bhajan on October 6th and also we celebrate the birthday of Guru Ram Das with devotion on October 9th. Guru Ram Das was a humble man, a great saint, and a selfless healer.

Once, Yogi Bhajan was asked. “Why Guru Ram Das?” In a lecture dated October 4, 1987, Yogi Bhajan answered,

“I said, ‘Yes, because the combination of the imperialness and the spiritual-ness.’ I am using two words. Combine them into one personality, as a total identity and blend, and that was the personality of Guru Ram Das.

“You look now at all sages, all messengers of God, all holy men, all identities, all great people, all avatars, whatever you want to see they shall be one thing in common, either they lived very unattached with the earth and guided and denounced, or they ruled and pronounced.

“Now starts a new era in the spiritual world; that of Guru Ram Das. He announced and pronounced God is bhakti and shakti blended in one identity and that is the essence of Guru Ram Das…

“This is the first time you are supposed to be spiritual, real and regal, and not an orphan before your desires. You do not know a real orphan. A real orphan is the one who has no control on his desires, who is weak within himself, who cannot command his grace against the race of time and space. What an unfortunate animal is that! That is why Guru Ram Das personality stands as a light. He tells us, 'Be spiritual, be regal.' In the duality of the world don't let your personality fall apart.”

North America has experienced floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes recently. Our prayers and blessings go out to all those who have been affected by those events. This is a wonderful time to chant the mantra “Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru.” It always fills me up with comfort and ease. As Yogi Bhajan said,

“My prayer is this - you have walked unto the house of Guru Ram Das. May you love Guru Ram Das, may you feel Guru Ram Das, may you trust Guru Ram Das, may you be with Guru Ram Das, may you understand Guru Ram Das, and may you explore and not ignore Guru Ram Das. May you understand in the thought, action, deed, form, projection, reality, non-reality, and Divinity or Infinity, that you are nothing but a friend of Guru Ram Das, a student of Guru Ram Das.” March 5, 1989.

All the best with blessings,

Nirvair Singh Khalsa
Nirvair Singh Khalsa
CEO Kundalini Research Institute

We Are We, We Are One - Making KRI Teacher Training LGBTQ Inclusive
By DukhNiwaran Kaur Khalsa

A lot has been happening in our community over the past year around the topic of LGBTQ inclusion. There have been discussions, trainings, classes, and gatherings all resulting in positive changes that have significant impact.

We are we and we are OneStudents, teachers, and trainers talked and KRI listened. Questions like these have popped up about how to address LGBTQ-reality in classes and teacher trainings: How do the Humanology teachings apply to same-sex couples? How do we teach mudras and postures that have gendered variations to yogis who identify as gender-fluid or non-binary?

In the process of updating and rewriting the Level One Aquarian Teacher Manual, KRI decided to address these questions. We formed a committee and got input from LGBTQ yogis from around the world to look at the depth of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings while including realities that he didn’t address. Without changing the teachings, we created a living draft of the Humanology chapter of the manual to include LGBTQ-reality. We took this draft to Teacher’s forums at Solstices and the European Yoga Festival. There we worked on basic training in understanding LGBTQ-reality and developed best practices for delivering these inclusive teachings.

This opening up has created changes in our community to be more expansive and inclusive yielding some very positive results. Here are some of the many things that have happened this year alone:

  • Summer Solstice 2016 – Valarie Kaur spoke about LGBTQ human rights as the featured speaker at Peace Prayer Day. This was the first time LGBTQ human rights were addressed from the Tantric Shelter stage at Solstice.

  • Presentations on How to Make Yoga Classes and Teacher Trainings More LGBTQ Friendly were given at Trainers’ Forums at Summer and Winter Solstices, and the European Yoga Festival in 2016 and 2017.

  • Level 3 Mela observed a moment of silence to commemorate the anniversary of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub mass shooting on June 12th, 2017.

  • Summer Solstice 2017, LGBTQ classes were on the schedule for the first time. Feedback from LGBTQ Solstice participants was powerful and positive. First-time attendees said they felt like they could be themselves there and that their decision to attend was bolstered by the presence of these classes.
  • European Yoga Festival and 3HO Summer and Winter Solstices are adding a 3rd category to their “gender” question on registration forms. Both will include an “other” category. 3HO is offering a fill in the blank option when other is selected.

  • August 2017 – IKYTA, as part of their Teachings for Teachers series, released a video on how to make Kundalini Yoga classes more LGBTQ friendly.

We are we and we are One Our communities are beginning to openly reflect the values we espouse from the teachings of Yogi Bhajan – “We are we and we are One”. We look forward to creating a truly diverse and inclusive world of Kundalini Yoga.

DukhNiwaran Kaur Khalsa
SS DukhNiwaran Kaur Khalsa is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist (since 1998), Professional Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainer (since 2008) and Sikh Dharma Minister (ordained 2016). Her work focuses on helping people transform their lives through the wisdom of the body and spirit. Her work integrates massage therapy, Kundalini Yoga, meditation, breath-work, energy work, and conversation to help heal wounds our body/mind holds and elevate the spirit. She founded the Radiance Yoga + Oneness Center in Chicago where she lives with her wife of 28 years.

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Yoga and Pain Management: An Ancient Strategy for a Modern Healthcare Challenge
by Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.

Pain Management

The understanding of pain proposed by the International Association for the Study of Pain has remained unchanged since its first publication in 1979. It is defined as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.” Unfortunately, the neurobiological complexity of pain is not fully conveyed by this definition. Unpleasant stimuli are picked up by peripheral sensors, called nociceptors, which innervate the skin, deep tissues, and internal organs. Nerve cell conduits (axons), which can be myelinated (covered in a white insulating sheath) for rapid signal conduction or unmyelinated (which carry signals for slow, burning pain), transmit the stimuli through the dorsal horn of the spinal cord to the brain. While the brain’s somatosensory cortex is important for pain localization, a large network comprising the insula, anterior cingulate cortex, prefrontal cortex, and the thalamus is activated during acute pain experience. This was traditionally called the “pain matrix.”

However, contemporary scientific models acknowledge that pain is not a direct result of nociceptive input and the simple pain pathway highlighted above. Scientists know that our perception is critically determined by behavioral and psychological expectations and can be modified through learning. The most impressive and extensively studied example of this phenomenon is in placebo analgesics. In placebo studies, patients with agonizing pain report complete pain relief after the administration of a sugar pill that they are led to believe is a powerful painkiller. Since pain is an actively constructed experience, that can be modified through learning, some scientists propose an educational approach to treatment. The objective in this strategy is to shift the patient’s conceptualization of pain from a marker of tissue damage to that of a perceived need to protect the body tissue. This process is termed “functional pain literacy” and includes teaching the patient that pain and nociception (unpleasant signals) are not the same thing.

Despite advances in the field of educational psychology to modify our perception of pain, chronic pain is one of the most common conditions worldwide affecting 20 percent of the world’s population. It is estimated that it costs the United States between $560 to $635 billion annually to care for those with chronic pain, exceeding the healthcare costs associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer combined. These facts highlight the need for effective pain regulation strategies in modern medicine. Unfortunately, conventional pharmacological treatment, especially opioid painkillers, have a high potential for addiction. In 2015, 12.5 million people misused prescription opioids resulting in over 15,000 deaths and totaling $78.5 billion in economic costs. It is in the context of this current healthcare crisis that the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is hosting a chronic pain management conference in October 2017. This conference aims at bringing together healthcare innovators and practitioners to explore a new treatment paradigm for pain. Some of the speakers include Lorimer Moseley, PhD, a clinical and research physiotherapist who has advanced the concept of functional pain literacy; Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, an expert in the field of yoga for pediatric pain; Fadel Zeidan, PhD, a leader of mindfulness-based pain relief treatment; and Sat Bir S. Khalsa, PhD, who will address the psychophysiological mechanisms underlying the benefits of yoga for chronic pain management.

Indeed, there is strong scientific rationale for the use of yoga, meditation, and other complementary approaches in the treatment of pain. National surveys consistently find that 30-40 percent of the US population use complementary approaches such as acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation to alleviate their painful conditions. Mindfulness meditation may be effective at reducing chronic pain symptoms by modulating a host of endogenous neurochemical systems. The result is a significant reduction in pain-related brain activity and activation in higher-order brain areas such as the insula. One of the first mindfulness meditation trials in pain studies found that long-term Zen meditation practitioners required significantly higher levels of noxious thermal stimulation to report similar levels of pain as age-matched controls. Although the Zen practitioners showed significant activation of “sensory processing” brain regions, they showed a reduced activation in areas of the brain that evaluate pain.

Pain Management Similar results were observed in North American long-term yoga practitioners, in a recent study conducted at the National Institutes of Health, who tolerated pain more than twice as long as control subjects not practicing yoga. The yogis also had more gray matter in the brain insular region, which correlated with pain tolerance. In an examination of the ways in which pain was tolerated by each group, the yogis were found to use yoga-based cognitive strategies, such as acceptance and increased interoceptive awareness, and behavioral strategies, such as relaxation and slow breathing, whereas controls tried to actively distract themselves or ignore the pain, which are less effective ways to manage pain. These findings suggest that yoga practice can teach us new ways to deal with sensory inputs and modulate our reaction to them.

The research of Lonnie Zeltzer (one of the speakers at the Kripalu conference), provides more evidence supporting the use of yoga for pain regulation. For example, a small randomized controlled trial using Iyengar Yoga included 26 female participants (mean age = 28 years) with rheumatoid arthritis. The intervention consisted of 6 weeks of classes held twice per week at the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program yoga studio where numerous yoga props such as blocks, blankets, and bolsters were available to support subjects with a limited range of motion. The women attended 96 percent of the yoga classes, suggesting a high degree of feasibility of yoga therapy for this population. Furthermore, the yoga intervention group showed significantly greater improvement on measures of pain disability and general health and vitality scores when compared to control subjects not practicing yoga, but assigned to a delayed yoga treatment condition. Follow-up data after the end of the yoga intervention showed that those improvements were maintained after 2 months, suggesting the long-term gains of a yoga intervention.

Another study by Zeltzer et al. assessed the impact of a 6-week Iyengar Yoga intervention on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms in adolescents and young adults. Although the attrition rate was greater with this population, subjects still attended 75 percent of classes and results showed improvements in pain, psychological distress, fatigue, sleep, and quality-of-life scores. The young adult subjects (aged 18–26 years) reported significantly improved IBS symptoms when compared to untreated control subjects, whereas the teenagers (aged 14-17 years) saw more benefits in physical functioning. Both studies by Zeltzer et al. suggest the suitability of yoga for managing chronic pain in adolescents and young adults.

These encouraging findings are emerging in the context of new developments in the field of pain psychology which suggest that pain is an actively constructed experience and can be modified through learning and mind-body behavioral strategies. We have seen how yoga can develop the skill in practitioners to modulate their pain response through cognitive strategies such as breathing, relaxation, acceptance, and increased interoceptive awareness.

The potential benefits of complementary therapies such as yoga are all the more important due to the current opioid epidemic. In fact, the guidelines released in May 2017 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that doctors look at nonpharmacological approaches, such as complementary therapies, in managing acute and chronic pain and, in 2010, the Office of The Army Surgeon General Pain Management Task Force Report listed yoga as a Tier 1 treatment modality for pain management.

Nikhil Rayburn

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.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.

The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings

Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®.

We are we and we are One

October brings beautiful fall weather here in New Mexico, a reminder of the changing of the season and the slowing down from the busy summer months. October also brings the beautiful remembrance of Yogi Bhajan’s life as we honor his passing on October 6th and we celebrate Guru Ram Das’s Birthday on October 9th.

Treat yourself and watch or listen to this entire lecture. As always, it is full of inspiring gems from Yogi Bhajan. This is a powerful time to make your prayers! If you need a miracle in your life right now focus your prayer/mediation on the generous spirit of Guru Ram Das Ji.

Guru Ram Das Ji is known to many as the “Lord of Miracles” and he held a special place in Yogi Bhajan’s heart. Over the years he taught us of Guru Ram Das Ji’s ability to manifest miracles and he emphasized the beautiful qualities that Guru Ji was known for such as selfless service, humility, grace, healing, kindness, and protection. One of the first chants I learned as a young child was “Guru Guru Wahe Guru Guru Ram Das Guru” and to this day I use it with every prayer I make. In 1995, Yogi Bhajan shared how we can live Guru Ram Das’s teachings:

“Nothing matters, whether you are one or you are one million. It doesn't matter if you are pure or you are the ugliest human creature. It doesn't matter if you are fire and flamboyant and beautiful and your features are excellent or you are not worth looking at, let us put it that way. But whenever time and place, desh and kaal, confronts you and your compassion doesn't win - you are a dead man. And whenever there is a temptation and your value doesn't win - you are a rotten person. And these are two practical things, let me tell you the third. Whenever you are not you and your words couldn't come out divine, compassionate, sweet, uplifting, and elevating you have lost the game of life. All that is what is put together as Guru Ram Das. Where man can excel, you don't have to control the whole world. You don't have to rule the universe. You don't have to show people you are rich or you are poor, you are great or you are small. All you have to show is to yourself. You have to win yourself, you have to conquer yourself, and you have to live yourself. That is what Guru Ram Das tells us. Let compassion win and let yourself win...”

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, October 30th, 1985

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Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®
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The Level Three Program Continues to Grow and Blossom

Level Three Programs

Level Three ProgramsThis year a group of 38 new participants joined the growing Level Three community. There are now over 200 Kundalini Yoga teachers engaged in the beautiful 1,000-day Level Three journey of self-realization.

What participants LIKE MOST about the Level Three Program

“I…look forward to these years of togetherness… It is an opportunity for me to build bridges to more trainers and to get to know more of our widespread community”.

“It’s a family with love and open space. Everyone serves everyone”.

“Everyone in my cohort seems to have a transformative experience - letting go of fears & opening & expanding.”

“Wahe Guru! A profound experience - thank you to Yogi Bhajan and the teachers who planned the start of this training - Yogi Bhajan is smiling!”

“Just so excited and grateful for it all. I gained a community, a peer group. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! Such a wonderful gift to have Level Three. Thanks for making it happen. FABULOUS opportunity to deepen ourselves.”

“What I like the most - To make new relationships. To deepen existing ones. To understand we are all one.”

What is Level Three?

Level Three Programs
The Level Three Program is a personal journey to Self-Realization. In it, we refine our authentic identity as a Teacher and deepen our unique relationship to the Sacred. It is a 1,000-day commitment to:
  • Participating with your peers in dialogue sessions
  • Diving deep into the meditative mind
  • Cultivating spiritual maturity
  • Developing an attitude of selfless service through seva
  • Attending at least 3 Melas (Level Three gatherings)

If this sounds interesting to you and you are already a Level Two certified teacher then CLICK HERE to see the full list of prerequisites. You may qualify to participate in the Level Three Program! If so, consider applying and joining us next summer at the Mela and experience for yourself the inspiration and encouragement that the Level Three Program can bring. More information on how to apply will be available soon.

If you have questions, please email:

Hold the dates if you want to Apply!

Dates and Locations of the 2018 Level Three Melas

Dates Location: Hacienda de Guru Ram Das, Espanola, NM, USA
June 10, Sun (2pm) Registration & Mela Begins! NEW START TIME! (afternoon half day)
June 11 & 12, Mon & Tues Mela Event (2 full days)
June 13, Wed Mela Event (morning half day)

Dates Location: France
July 22, Sun Afternoon Arrival, Registration and Dinner
July 23-24, Mon-Wed Mela Event (3 full days)
July 26, Thu Farewell Breakfast


October 2017 Specials
New from KRI

KRI presents:
The Everyday Series
Books to explore your Yogic Life

Everyday Grace Everyday GraceThe Art of Being a Woman Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa

Every woman has within her an inner grace-an everyday grace. Combining personal experience with The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, Everyday Grace explores a woman’s path toward her highest identity-the Grace of God-with an authentic, contemporary voice.

“Everyday Grace is a perfect companion to any women’s yoga course. I only wish Sat Purkh had been around to translate these teachings thirty years ago!”

Regular: $17.95
Promo: $15.26

Everyday Excellence

Everyday ExcellenceThe Art of Success Sadhana Singh

Everyday Excellence gives you the tools you need to break through your existing patterns that hold you back from being successful. Yogi Bhajan’s Eight Elements of Excellence, as outlined in these pages, is your road map. Begin your journey today-and every day!

Regular: $17.95
Promo: $15.26

Everyday Devotion

Everyday DevotionThe Heart of Being

Learning to live from the heart is a journey toward a life of devotion. Our bodies become a living prayer-devotion in motion. Guru Prem guides you from the simplest breath exercises to some of the most advanced asanas in our practice.

  • Breath & Bones guide the breath and detail the nature of asana
  • Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®
  • Tips for developing and perfecting your own practice.

Regular: $17.95
Promo: $15.26

And take advantage of our everyday special price on the Combo Pak of all 3 Everyday books for $39.95. 25% off regular retail. Available anytime!

Facets of the Master

Facets of the Master

A video slide show of photographs from the life of Yogi Bhajan (1929-2004)
Music: “I Am Bliss” by Sirgun Kaur & Sat Darshan Singh
Compiled by Gurudarshan K Khalsa
Produced by Satsimran Kaur

These photos are engaging, inspiring and heartwarming. For some they will reflect a reminiscent past, and for others provide a great introduction to Yogi Bhajan on and off the teacher’s bench.

Regular: $19.95
Promo: $16.96

KRI Recipe of the Month

A great dish to help transition into Fall!

From Vegetables, With Love
Recipes & Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen
2nd Edition
Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa

Yogi Bhajan’s
Broccoli Raj—Spicy Broccoli with Parsley

Broccoli Raj

Yield: 6 servings

This dish is for problems with flu, sinus, and bronchial congestion. It also just happens to be absolutely delicious. Serve it with Saffron Rice with Almonds and Garlic (page 188), Lemon Rice (page 186), or plain steamed basmati rice.

½ cup ghee or olive oil
½ cup chopped fresh ginger
(cut in short matchsticks)
2 onions, chopped
1 bulb garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons crushed red chiles
2 teaspoons ajwain
2 teaspoons turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1–2 teaspoons celery seeds
2–3 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cup parsley flakes
4 cups water
1½ pounds broccoli, chopped
¼ cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or
tamari soy sauce

Heat ¼ cup of ghee or olive oil in a skillet over a medium flame. Add chopped ginger and sauté for 3–5 minutes, stirring. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and continue to cook until beginning to brown. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat remaining ¼ cup ghee in a large wok, skillet, or sauté pan. Over a very low flame, sauté red chiles for 2–3 minutes. Add ajwain and cook 30 seconds more. Add turmeric and sauté for another 1–2 minutes. Then add other spices and stir a few seconds. Immediately add water. Turn flame to medium setting. Stir, add parsley and onion mixture. Add broccoli. Mix well, and cook, uncovered, until the broccoli is tender. There should be enough liquid for a stew-like consistency.
KRI September Newsletter
News From KRI

Kundalini Research Institute

The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund

A Note From Nirvair

Sat Nam.

Greetings from New Mexico.

Level One Teacher TrainingWe just completed our 2017 Level One Teacher Training Immersion in Espanola. I really enjoyed this program. The students came from all over the world and had an experience that was almost beyond words to describe. The deep bonds that the students created with each other, the inspiration of the Yogi Bhajan’s teachings, and the practical ‘how to teach’ elements of the training were really wonderful. Join us in 2018. It is a rich and deep experience.

The fall school term has started, or will start this month, in many places around the globe. Many Teacher Trainings in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® also start this time of year. On August 2, 1997 Yogi Bhajan talked about teachers. He said, “A teacher is the best student. If he is not a good student he is never going to be a good teacher. And lastly, which nobody will agree with me, keep the teachings pure.” He goes on to say, “Teacher has to look like a teacher, act as a teacher, behave as a teacher, eat like a teacher, sleep like a teacher. Anything they do they must not forget that they are a teacher first, above anything else.”

You can find a trainer and sign up for Teacher Training almost anywhere in the world to learn the technology of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, and lifestyle. The core of all our Level One KRI® Certified Trainings is that the student/teachers have a wonderful experience that prepares them to teach and serve in the Aquarian Age. No matter where you train, you will find a consistent quality of 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.

Here is our blog piece about how to recognize a KRI Certified Teacher Training. I thought it was well written, so I am sharing it with you.

Are you interested in teaching Kundalini Yoga (as originally taught by Yogi Bhajan) or learning more about this sacred technology? It is a beautiful practice that will surely enrich your life and develop fitness of mind, body, and spirit.

Be aware during your search for a teacher training about who your trainers are, their qualifications and legitimacy, and what association you will be certified with once you graduate. Too many students have been misinformed and have had to re-take their training with legitimate teachers once they discovered they were not properly trained or certified after completing their training.

Level One Teacher TrainingCurrently, KRI is the official international training organization that promotes the teachings of Yogi Bhajan and oversees teacher training programs in 52 countries, graduating over 3000 new Kundalini Yoga instructors annually. The Level One KRI Aquarian Teacher Training Program consists of a 220-hour program (180 hours in class; 40 home practice) with a comprehensive well-organized course textbook called “The Aquarian Teacher” and a companion text called “The Master’s Touch”. Graduates of Level One earn the title of KRI Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, are registered with the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association (IKYTA), and fulfill the Yoga Alliance RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) 200-hour requirement. The primary regulatory body for Kundalini Yoga teachers is IKYTA, not Yoga Alliance.

Becoming a trainer for a Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Program takes years if not decades of practice and study. Potential trainers have taught over 1000 hours of Kundalini Yoga, completed a Level One and 5-Level Two Modules totaling over 500 hours of study, and have spent several years mentoring with existing trainers. Our potential new trainers are assessed by an international certification committee on their competence and maturity as teachers before being designated as associate, professional or lead trainers by KRI. On average, it takes about eight years of mentoring before one is approved as a “lead” trainer.

Once a trainer is approved by KRI, they can list their trainings on the Trainer's Directory . Here you will find listed the international courses with certified trainers. If you don’t see a course here, it’s not an approved course, and you won’t be certified by KRI or be able to be a member of IKYTA once you have completed it. This dramatically limits your legitimacy and future as a Kundalini Yoga teacher.

Here are some useful questions to ask to recognize a legitimate Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan Teacher Training:

1. Who will I be certified with once I complete this training? (Correct answer: KRI and possibly also Yoga Alliance.)


2. What are the course textbooks? (Correct answer: Aquarian Teacher and Master’s Touch.)


3. How many hours is the course? (Correct answer: 220.)


4. Is this course recognized by the Kundalini Research Institute? (Correct answer: Yes.)


5. Is this course trainer and program listed on (Correct answer: Yes.)


6. Is the course trainer approved by the Kundalini Research Institute as a trainer? (Correct answer: yes.)


7. Is White Tantric Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan a part of this training? (Correct answer: Yes.)


8. Will I be able to attend the 5 Aquarian Teacher Level Two courses once I complete this training? (Correct answer: Yes.)


9. May I be listed in the IKYTA international Kundalini Yoga teacher’s directory when I complete this course? (Correct answer: Yes.)


10. Will I receive the monthly KRI newsletter once I complete this course? (Correct answer: Yes.)


If you have asked the above questions and received the correct answers from your trainer, then you have done your homework and can trust that you will receive quality training. If not, then please be aware that you are registering for a training that is not approved by the KRI regulatory body or the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association

KRI has a lot of resources for student and teachers. Visit our online store, “The Source” for great books and manuals in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Do you have the yoga manual, “KRIYA,” or the great reference book “MANTRA” yet? We have them available in hard copy and look for the e-book versions and many e-book titles here.

All the best with blessings,

Nirvair Singh Khalsa
Nirvair Singh Khalsa
CEO Kundalini Research Institute


We Are KRI - Sant Hazara Singh
By Shanti Kaur Khalsa

Sant Hazara Singh – Yogi Bhajan’s First Teacher

Yogi Bhajan often spoke about the different teachers he studied with. Teachers of yoga, medita-tion, and dharma presented themselves as he passed through the phases of life and he studied with all of them. But there was one man who changed and directed Yogi Bhajan’s life like no other - Sant Hazara Singh.

Sant Hazara Singh – Yogi Bhajan’s First TeacherNot much is known about Sant Hazara Singh as historical information is difficult to find around the tumultuous time of Indian independence. However, earlier this year I had a chance meeting with Sant Hazara Singh’s grandson, Karanbir Singh Chhina, who lives near Chandigarh, India. Through our discussions, I learned a lot more about this venerable personage.

Sant Hazara Singh Chhina was of the Baba Bidhi Chand Chhina lineage and grew up in Sursingh Sahib, the historical village of Dal Baba Bidhi Chand south of Amritsar. Baba Bidhi Chand was a great hero in the Sikh tradition and a devoted servant of Guru Hargobind Sahib. He is best remembered for his daring acts of bravery returning two beautiful stallions to Guru Hargobind, Gulbag and Dilbag, that had been stolen by the Mughals. It is written that Guru Hargobind declared, “Bidhi Chand Chhina Guru Ka Seena!” This means, “Bidhi Chand Chhina is the heart of the Guru.”

Sant Hazara Singh grew up in Sursingh Sahib, and was student and sevadar of the great Sant Baba Sohan Singh ji, the 10th leader of Dal Baba Bidhi Chand. He was so devoted that he made his bed on the floor under Babaji’s cot in case he needed something in the night. The young Hazara Singh served him without fail. Growing to maturity in that environment, Sant Hazara Singh became a childhood friend of the late Sant Baba Daya Singh, son of Baba Sohan Singh and to become the 11th leader of Dal Baba Bidhi Chand.

When he was of age, Baba Sohan Singh sent Sant Hazara Singh to Gujranwala to set up his own takhsal (teaching center). It was here from Sant Hazara Singh that young Harbhajan Singh first studied what we now know as Kundalini Yoga. Yogi Bhajan often spoke of his teacher with devoted respect and speechless awe.

“Do you know that I still do not recognize the face of my grandfather and my teacher? I never ever looked up at their face, but I can accurately draw their feet. It is a state of consciousness, not what you know or what I know.” July 16, 1981

Yogi Bhajan was a faithful student of Sant Hazara Singh throughout his school years. Not only did Sant ji teach him many of the kriyas that we practice today, but also the essence of Sikh Dharma, including its history and martial arts. Yogiji often told amazing stories of Sant Hazara Singh, giving us a glimpse of what that life must have been like. In 1995, he said at Khalsa Women’s Training Camp in Espanola,

“I went through a very tough teacher...He brought out of me, not the man, not the godly man, not the great man, but a real human. There's nothing in the world I can pay to him in tributes, in compliments, and in thanks. He did the most wonderful job. I used to say I was a nut, but he tightened all my nuts so good that I became the best. And that's why [I say that] calamity is my breakfast, tragedy is my lunch, and treachery is my supper… What else do you want after this? Is there anything else which can bother you? If you can eat all these three things and digest them, you are the best person.” July 4, 1995

India at that time was under British occupation, and many Sikhs were agitating for a free and independent nation. In 1934, most of the Buddha Dal, the warrior Sikhs, were imprisoned by the British in Lahore. Baba Sohan Singh went there with his people to serve food and take care of their needs during internment. One can only imagine how Sant Hazara Singh longed to be with his teacher in service at this time, and it is likely that he was often gone to be with Babaji. So, the demands of the time often interrupted Yogi Bhajan’s training.

Finally, around 1945, Sant Hazara Singh called his students individually to his room for a finale audience. Yogi Bhajan told us how apprehensive the young Harbhajan Singh, now a teenager, was about that meeting. On one hand, it was electrifying to be called to Sant ji’s room for a private meeting, but on the other hand, it could have easily been something very confrontational and unpleasant! To the future Siri Singh Sahib’s surprise, Sant Hazara Singh said that he was leaving for good and that Harbhajan Singh, 16 years old at the time, was now a master of Kundalini yoga. He also told him at that meeting, that Harbhajan would never again see the face of his teacher.

Sant Hazara Singh left Gujranwala for the service of Baba Sohan Singh, and was arrested by the British shortly thereafter. He spent several hard years in jail in Lahore. When the political prisoners were freed after India gained her independence in 1947, he returned once again to Sursingh, his childhood home. From there he moved to Doraha and then to the village of Sanaur where his descendants live today.

Yogi Bhajan never lost his love for his teacher. When he was posted to Amritsar in the 1960’s, he sent word to Sant Hazara Singh humbly requesting permission to see him. But true to his word, Sant Hazara Singh denied the request and Yogi Bhajan never saw the face of his teacher again. Sant Hazara Singh passed away in 1972.

It may be difficult to understand Sant Hazara Singh’s mandate to never see Yogi Bhajan again. However, we find an indication of his meaning in Yogi Bhajan’s words on “lineage.” He gave this teaching many times and in many different ways, as one of the important lessons of the spiritual path. Yogi Bhajan said,

“Serve the legacy, not the lineage. Those who serve the lineage never live, those who serve the legacy never die.” March 1, 1992

This was a hard lesson, but these words help us understand why Sant Hazara Singh severed the physical bonds of attachment between the student and the teacher. In this way, the focus always remains on the teachings and the experience of consciousness.

Yogi Bhajan learned from the many sants and yogis who impacted his life. Yet when he referred to his “teacher,” it was always of Sant Hazara Singh that he spoke. This glistening jewel of a man has faded silently into history, as was his humble wish. But we, the students of Yogi Bhajan, remain grateful for the wisdom and ancient knowledge that he passed on and has become our Dharmic path.

Shanti Kaur Khalsa

Shanti Kaur Khalsa is a wife, mother, grandmother and professional writer who brings Khalsa values to every aspect of life. She is an engaging Sikh teacher who brings the wisdom of Sikh history into modern life. Shanti spent more than twenty years studying with Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji who inspired her on the path of Sikhism. She is an inspired kirtania who travels worldwide giving inspirational kirtan and lecture programs.

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KRI Board of Directors

KRI is looking for a few good People!

KRI is looking to fill vacancies on its Board of Directors. KRI’s mission is to preserve and spread the authentic teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan. If you have the drive, energy and passion to see that these teachings pass on to our future generations, please apply to serve on the Board.

We are looking for people who meet many of the following criteria:

Love of the teachings based on personal experience and a burning desire to see them throughout the world
Intellectual capacity to understand the business governed by the board
Interpersonal skills to work well with the other board members
Instinct and good judgment for making strategic decisions
Commitment to enthusiastically put in the time that is needed to help KRI grow
Financial ability to attend meetings; this is totally voluntary position
Time availability ability to commit to 10 to 20 days a year for phone meetings (3-6 per year), travel to our in-person meetings (1-2 per year) and work/study outside of meetings
Prosperity consciousness to be a personal donor to KRI
Fundraising skills
Integrity to do what is right for the company
Historical perspective on KRI’s past and future development
Kundalini Yoga teaching experience
Familiarity with the business of yoga (teachings, workshops, running a center, producing and/or selling products, etc.
Prior board experience
Broad geographical representation
Ability to see the business as a whole, from a board perspective, without getting lost in operational detail
Experience in legal or corporate compliance matters
Financial skills and analysis – ability and experience in understanding and analyzing financial reports

If you are interested, please send a request for more information and an application to Gurusahay Singh Khalsa, Board Chair, Kundalini Research Institute

Gurusahay Khalsa
Dr. Gurusahay Khalsa has been in private practice since 1978 and is the director of the GRD Healing Arts Clinic, a multi-disciplinary health and healing clinic in Atlanta, GA. His specialties include acupuncture, gentle chiropractic care, nutrition, applied kinesiology, and yoga therapy. Gurusahay is a Level 1 and 2 certified Teacher Trainer through the Aquarian Teacher’s Academy of the Kundalini Research Institute. He had the unique blessing and opportunity to study ancient healing arts with Yogi Bhajan as a member and co-founder of the Khalsa Chiropractic Association. He currently teaches weekly Kundalini Yoga classes and weekend Yoga workshops on various topics at the new GRD Yoga and Meditation Center in Atlanta.

Long-Term Yoga Practice: A Recipe for Healthy Weight Maintenance
by Sandeep (Anu) Kaur, MS, RDN, RYT-500 and Sat Bir Khalsa, Ph.D

Yoga Research

Obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater, is an epidemic in the US and a pivotal link between increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Yoga, a mind-body approach, has been increasingly practiced for improving overall health. Most yoga practitioners indicate that the top reason for starting a yoga practice is to improve their health and manage weight. Yoga’s goal of “union of mind-body-spirit” along with the utilization of physical postures, breathing techniques, deep relaxation, and meditative/mindfulness practices offers an internal self-contemplative state that differentiates yoga from conventional exercise such as strength/weight training or aerobic exercise.

Previous studies have established that despite initial psychological and physiological benefits from traditional diet and exercise programs, these weight loss strategies and other conventional medical treatments are relatively poor with respect to long-term adherence to healthy lifestyle changes. This remains a major barrier and weakness in these conventional health approaches. A number of different healthy behaviors are known to influence weight control such as increased exercise, decreased meal portions, and decreased fat and sugar intake. As a form of fat-burning exercise, preliminary clinical trials suggest that yoga practice may or may not contribute strongly to cardiovascular fitness, depending upon the specific yoga style and physical exercises practiced. More recently, research has been conducted on the role of increased mind-body awareness which is connected to both mindful eating behavior and body image awareness.

Most lineages/styles of yoga engender greater body awareness that is associated with a healthier relationship with food and greater body satisfaction. There is also a relationship between chronic stress and weight regulation. Evidence indicates that activation of the stress system is associated with increased consumption of high fat, high sugar foods, and abdominal weight gain. This may be due to increased hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis stimulation that elevates levels of the stress hormone cortisol and the activation of the autonomic nervous system (enhanced sympathetic activity and release of adrenaline and reduction of parasympathetic vagal activity). It is well known that yoga is highly effective for regulation of these stress systems, and therefore may mitigate stress-induced binge eating and poor dietary choices (such as so-called comfort foods) that are high in carbohydrates, sugar, and fat. These beneficial psychophysiological characteristics with respect to weight regulation likely account for the observation that regular practitioners of integrative, complementary, and mind-body techniques, including yoga, report healthier weight regulation.

With respect to broader populations, a 2014 study at Columbia University looked at associations between lifestyle behaviors such as dietary changes, conventional supplement use, exercise, and complementary modalities such as yoga. They found those that those using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) were 4.7 times more likely to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors than individuals not using CAM. More recently in 2016, in a large sample of internet-using adult volunteers in France, a study examined if practice of any mind-body technique was associated with weight. This study found that 13.8% of the general population were practicing a mind-body modality and the most common practices were meditation (7.6%) and yoga (4.8%) with 7.9% regular users and 5.8% occasional users. Consistent mind-body technique users were the least likely to be obese or overweight. These associations suggest that CAM users (who include a large proportion of mind-body and yoga practitioners) may be a population committed to overall wellness. More specific to yoga, there are now a number of studies examining subpopulations of yoga practitioners with respect to weight regulation.

In a large observational study, Dr. Emily White, Dr. Alan R. Kristal, and colleagues at the University of Washington were one of the first to retrospectively examine the relationship between weight and yoga practice in healthy men and women between the ages of 53 to 57 from the national Vitamins and Lifestyle study (VITAL) with 15,550 participants in 2000-2002. A relatively small number of individuals reported having a yoga practice 7.5% (n=1,039), a statistic similar to that from the national yoga prevalence reported in the national cross-sectional 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). They found yoga practice during the previous 10 years, since age 45, was associated with attenuated weight gain as compared with non-practitioners for those who were overweight or obese. There were also significant trends for healthier diet patterns and more physical activity in yoga practitioners than in non-yoga practitioners.

Yoga researcher Gurjeet Birdee, MD and colleagues examined the NHIS survey data from 2002 to evaluate yoga’s use for health. They found yoga practitioners were more likely to be healthy and fewer were obese, with most yoga users reporting yoga as significant in maintaining their overall health. Similarly, a more recent study of the prevalence, trends, and correlates of yoga practice in England between 1997 and 2008, using the Health Survey for England data, found that those practicing yoga (as defined by any yoga practice in the last 4 weeks) had a lower BMI, better self-rated general health, and reported a higher frequency of moderate-to-vigorous level of physical activity. Other studies have directly and specifically approached and examined yoga practitioners.

Yoga researcher Nina Moliver and colleagues using an internet survey assessed whether long term yoga practice was associated with BMI in middle-aged women. They interviewed 211 female yoga practitioners (ages 45 to 80) to evaluate if BMI varied based on the length and frequency of their yoga practice. They found a significant inverse relationship such that an increase in yoga experience predicted a lower BMI. Additionally, 49 individuals who had 25 or more years of yoga practice had no obesity. Furthermore, a comparison of the yoga practitioners with general population values of those with similar age and gender revealed a lower BMI in the yoga practitioners.

Perhaps the best research of this kind has been conducted recently by Alyson Ross and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health. They conducted a national survey of American yoga practitioners and observed that higher frequency of practice was associated with decreased BMI. Rather than years of yoga practice or class participation, it was frequency of yoga practice outside of class that was repeatedly a predictor of facets of health including BMI, fruit and vegetable consumption, mindfulness, and subjective well-being.

In summary, these studies all indicate a possible relationship between yoga and health behaviors that impact BMI. These observations suggest yoga as a possible strategy for improving weight management and lifestyle health behaviors. However, a major limitation of these retrospective cross-sectional studies is that the populations of yoga practitioners stud
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