2022 KBB Grant Winners

What is the Kundalini Beyond Borders Program:

The Kundalini Beyond Borders Granting Program was initiated in 2021 and over $16,000 was raised through KRI’s end of the year Fundraising Campaign. The mission of this project is to expand the reach of Kundalini Yoga to underserved communities through a collaborative effort of KRI and IKYTA.  

The definition of an underserved population is very broad. It can include anyone who feels there is a barrier to either coming into a class or staying in a Kundalini Yoga class. KRI  and IKYTA want every willing person to have the opportunity to access this technology. Some examples of the barriers are: there are no classes at all where a person lives, classes or teacher training is not available in their language, when they came to class they did not feel welcome, they have a learning difference and cannot understand the information. 

This program is to open doors that need to be opened. We are committed to ensuring that any person who wishes to experience Kundalini Yoga has access, feels welcome, and feels safe in the practice. This grant program is designed to support this commitment by providing grants to teachers supporting those populations with limited or no access. 

The Nuts and Bolts of the Process:

Simranjeet Singh, the Team Leader of IKYTA and Hari Charn Kaur, the Director of Outreach  for KRI, worked as a team to vision this project and deliver it with many other team members of both organizations. 

When the request for applications was sent to the global community of Certified Kundalini Yoga Teachers over 60 completed applications were received by the deadline. Every one of these applicants is serving their community through Kundalini Yoga and Meditation.  

A team of 8 Certified Kundalini Yoga Teachers and Trainers from the Global community volunteered their time to review the applications in teams of two. The dedication of these sevadars to this project was very inspiring. Many of them reached out to talk to applicants to clarify question. After a process of vetting the projects, the team agreed on 10 projects to receive funds ranging from $500 to $2000. 

 

The 2022 Grant Winners Are:

The Projects that were awarded grants from Kundalini Beyond Borders for 2022 are:
Abhaidev Kaur Khalsa - Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Classes for 205 families living in a refugee camp in Chile

Abhaidev Kaur Khalsa

Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Classes for 205 families living in a refugee camp of migrants in Chile

I am Abhaidev Kaur Khalsa of Chile. I just turned 60 years old, something very representative for me: I am happy and full of this existence. Mother of two children and grandmother of 4 grandchildren, within my multiple roles. Since Kundalini Yoga came into my life, my life has changed diametrically. I am with Karam Kriya.

I have been working for several years on the issue of domestic violence, with female heads of household, through the Fundación Mujer de Luz. Today we are cooking for people in street conditions. This is how I formed the Amar Das Social Foundation 3 years ago, seeking to reduce food insufficiency, to provide tools for personal growth, dignifying through our delivery the condition and feelings of people.

I feel blessed to be able to live in service. The Foundation has been around for three years now, of which we spent the entire pandemic with people in need. To date we have moved more than 80 tons of food in order to provide dignity to those who are in a space of great vulnerability.

My focus, besides working with people in a state of food and homeless vulnerability, is to generate opportunities where volunteers feel that they have a place that welcomes them, which is why our focus is to act and function as a community, without any obligation to belong to the Kundalini Yoga world.

Until almost 20 years ago I worked in sales, but I have always been linked to the development and growth of people. In 2006 I started working in the training world doing classes for companies. Later, I trained as a coach and at the same time I did the Instructorate. I believe in people and in their possibilities of personal growth and in the common good. My daily work is oriented towards them. 

Adi Amrita Kaur - Trauma, loss and grief with the Aboriginal community of Adelaide, Australia

Adi Amrita Kaur (Kaylene Dyinawili Wombag)

Trauma, loss and grief with the Aboriginal community of Adelaide, Australia

Adi Amrita Kaur (Kaylene Dyinawili Wombat) is a proud Mirning, Wirangu, Kokotha woman from Ceduna Koonibba on the Far West Coast of South Australia, who lives in Adelaide on Kaurna country. She has been practicing Kundalini Yoga for over 10 years and is a Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) Certified Level One Yoga Instructor. She is currently a Kundalini Yoga Therapist in training with the Guru Ram Das Centre for Medicine and Humanology working under clinical supervision to high ethical standards. Kaylene is also a registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Australia. She is the first and only Aboriginal woman who is a certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher.

She has embraced the healing power of Kundalini Yoga in her life and is passionate about sharing her journey of healing, resilience, and strength with the community. She is inspired to nurture self-empowerment, self-love and self-compassion as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher. In the language of her Mirning culture, Miring:yudeep inner listening – inspires healing and empowerment, connecting the ancient wisdom, knowledge and values of her culture with the ancient teachings of Kundalini Yoga. Her Divine Authentic Self stands strong on these foundations enriched by her cultural and spiritual connection to her ancestors, family, community, culture and country.

This project will work to relieve trauma, loss and grief with the Aboriginal community in Adelaide, South Australia, with the tools of KY. She has the experience and capacity to carry it out, as she is a KY teacher and specializes in trauma at the Guru Ram Dass Centre. Although there is yoga in that geographical region, the indigenous population she wants to serve does not have access to Kundalini Yoga. She is an active community member and an indigenous rights worker deeply committed to serving this community.

Akarat Sivaphongthongchai - Bringing Kundalini Yoga to Incarcerated Women In Thailand

Akarat Sivaphongthongchai

Bringing Kundalini Yoga to Incarcerated Women In Thailand

Akarat Sivaphongthongchai is a PhD candidate in Public Health Sciences (Thai Traditional & Alternative Medicines) at College of Public Health Science (CPHS) Chulalongkorn University. He teaches Kundalini Yoga to autistic and special needs children as well as female prisoners in Thailand. He is also a volunteer for the National KY Thailand Group and helps to organize Kundalini Yoga festivals in Thailand. He was awarded as an outstanding student (Chulalongkorn University) in 2018 and one of  the 3Ho luminaries in 2020.

Akarat initiated his first Kundalini Yoga program for incarcerated women in the Chonburi province of (south) Thailand in 2016. It lasted 3 years, until the need for him to focus on his PHD for public health science put a stop to his momentum. During these three years he used his personal money to finance and sustain the program. It consisted in a weekly 2-hour class to help inmates endure their living conditions, heal and regain hope. 

Studying in a university in Bangkok, he will reignite the program, this time specifically for female inmates in the northern region of Thailand, about to be released from incarceration, so as to give them tools to adapt successfully to the outside world again. He will travel to Chiang Mai to deliver an 8 week program as a weekly session over 2 months.

Ariane Mesquita (aka Siri Hardevi) - Kundalini Yoga Classes for Survivors of Domestic Violence in Mexico City

Ariane Mesquita (aka Siri Hardevi)

Women recovering from Domestic Violence living in Shelters in Mexico City

Economist, former executive from a banking corporation, I’ve worked for 13 years in the financial market. Two years ago I surrendered to my soul calling and started doing SEVA giving Kundalini Yoga in a Shelter for Women Survivor of Domestic Violence in Mexico City.

This represented a turning point in my career and I’ve decided to specialize myself in Women’s health issues through Yoga (Stress and Trauma), Natural Gynecology and Ayurveda. I am currently teaching Kundalini Yoga classes and workshops for women on  self care practices and giving private consultations on Natural Gynecology.

I am a certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher and I have been teaching yoga in shelters for two years. This grant will support the expansion of these classes to more shelters in Mexico City. The women in the shelter are high-risk women who needed to leave their homes and protect themselves and their children  from abuse. We will expand the weekly classes to two more woman’s shelters and do it for another 15 months. 

Ariane Mesquita and her team are trained in this work and with this grant will serve many more women who are working to uplift their lives and the lives of their children. 

Azahara Lorica - Bringing Kundalini Yoga to the Autistic Community in London, UK

Azahara Lorica

Bringing Kundalini Yoga to the Autistic Community in London, UK

Azahara Lorica (she/her) is a qualified school teacher who is passionate about teaching herself how to manage her autism with Kundalini Yoga and other educational resources. She is also an Autism Support Worker in an Autism day center where she is able to use her knowledge and understanding of autism to help individuals on the autism spectrum make progress in their lives, achieve their goals and access the community.

Azahara believes that the nature of repetitive movements, mantra, pranayam, and deep relaxation of Kundalini Yoga can be extremely beneficial for improving the lives of people with autism and making them successful individuals in their communities.

 

Bernasho Thandi Sikalangwe - Bringing Kundalini Yoga to Mozambique and Zambia

Bernasho Thandi Sikalangwe

Bringing Kundalini Yoga to Mozambique and Zambia

Once upon a time in the early 2000’s, I felt an impulse to look for yoga and I didn’t even know what it was. I was led by a deep desire to move my body. Martial arts, dance or any physical discipline could have done the trick but somehow I insisted on trying yoga. At that time in my country, Mozambique, it was impossible to find yoga classes. Mine is an officially declared christian nation and this has shaped what is acceptable or not in Zambia, an arid dessert for yoga! My personal journey in yoga began with Hatha Yoga and then moved to Kundalini Yoga. At one time there was a thriving community of Kundalini Yogis in Mozambique – but mostly they were expats. I was often the only black face in a room of white yogis. There is a longing to practice yoga in Mozambique by the people of Mozambique. 

Through this grant I will have the opportunity to:

  • To spread kundalini Yoga and make it as widespread as all other kinds of yoga in Mozambique.
  • To create an opportunity for Zambians who wish to do the Kundalini training but have no funds to study with the goal to create a Kundalini Yoga training in Zambia.
  • To bring Kundalini yoga to Zambia so that people can benefit in the immense way that I have benefited not only from the training, but the technology itself.
  • To help my yoga students access the healing I have had the blessing to access through this practice.

I long to create a thriving Kundalini Yoga Community that one day can sponsor a Summer Yoga Festival with students from Africa attending.  Summer Solstice is too far away and too expensive.

Franck Inihazwe - Making Kundalini Yoga accessible in Bujumbura, capital of Burundi, Africa

Franck Inihazwe

Creating a sacred space in Burundi to practice and teach Kundalini Yoga for people to heal from trauma

My name is Franck Inihazwe, I am 30 years old and I was born and raised in Bujumbura, Burundi, where I live today. I successfully completed the KRI Level One teacher training at Club du Lac Tanganyika in 2014 and I have been teaching Kundalini Yoga since 2015. The practice of  Kundalini Yoga made me realize the inner potential in me and I overcame trauma caused family and life issues. Before this daily discipline, I had almost no hope and a lot more anxiety about my future. All this because of the misbehaving of my father who was a drunk and did not take care of the needs of my family. At a very early age I was obliged to work and contribute to the family needs.

When I started yoga, I found hope, peace and grace in everything I wanted to do. I was able also to bring joy and happiness in my family and my inner most circle. I started to impact more youth’s lives using this practice as way to overcome trauma and many more difficulties that  they face on daily basis. My  life has changed thanks to the Kundalini Yoga. That is why I vowed to myself to never be tired to reach those unserved and vulnerable young people who need this life changing lesson in order to brighten their life and help them to find hope. In Burundi there is more youth who suffer from trauma due to political conflict that continuously happen since 1993. Kundalini Yoga can contribute a lot in life of more than one. And this is something I devoted my time and energy. As for me, to live is to serve.

Burundi has been torn by years of various civil wars and there is no longer a place to learn or practice Kundalini Yoga in the city of Bujumbura. Worse, the traumas from the brutal wars have left many people in shock, suffering from shattered self-esteem to complete despair and with this added to poverty, mental illness is now rampant. I have been working with 2 fellow KY teachers and a psychologist to help heal these ailments and give people whose lives were shattered a chance to heal.

The project is to establish a Yoga Center for people seeking to heal, students, practitioners and teachers alike, to be a reference point for Kundalini Yoga. To create a cozy refuge where people come to practice and be healed by the technology of Kundalini Yoga.

Julia Gabor - Kundalini Yoga for Ukraine Refugees

Julia Gabor (Karta Narayan Kaur)

Serving Ukrainian Refugees with Kundalini Yoga

I am currently living in Budapest, Hungary and I have lived in several European countries. I have worked in leadership positions in  multinational companies for much of my professional life. When I connected with Kundalini Yoga it made a tremendous difference in my relationship with myself and with others, the teachings and the practice transformed my management style and life style. 

I am a Level 2 Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher serving those in need mostly throughout Europe. For over 4 years I have supported people releasing what is in the way to follow their own truth and take a massive jump in their lives. I have been providing individual support for people in crisis and executives with addiction challenges. I teach online classes to international groups and one-on-one on ADHD, PTSD, nervous breakdown, depression, chronic fatigue, lung cancer and addictions. 

When the war began in Ukraine I began to serve those living in Ukraine and refugees from the war in my country and elsewhere. The practice of Kundalini Yoga helps relax the nervous system and brings a bit of peace in the middle of the trauma.

My daily disciplined practice has sustained a deep commitment to the teachings of Kundalini Yoga. Furthermore I have a strong commitment to be present for people in a vulnerable situation and to share the teachings in order to have a tool to face anxiety, fears, insecurities and get a clear goal and strategy to move on.

John Gushua - Programs for youths, adults and the marginalized people living with HIV/Aids and pregnant women in Nairobi, Kenya

John Gushua

Programs for youths, adults and the marginalized people living with HIV/Aids and pregnant women in Nairobi, Kenya

John is a trained contemporary dancer who arrived in the world of yoga practice in 2009. Six years later, John has become an experienced registered yoga teacher with diverse certifications, skills and experiences. He has completed his 200hr teacher training with the Africa yoga project (under the methodology of Baptist power vinyasa yoga), has become a certified yoga alliance and KRI certified  kundalini yoga teacher and is a certified AYFIT (Acro-yoga) teacher. He also works with children with various disabilities both from his community and various NGOs. 

He is very passionate about the combination of yoga, art and dance and its benefits for self-expression and  self transformation. He took this a step further by becoming trained as an art and yoga therapist. 

He founded Yogartec company in which he hosts art and yoga therapy workshops across Nairobi, Kenya. He is working with local disadvantaged communities and as well as members of his own community as a volunteer, sharing the practice of Kundalini Yoga for free to the disadvantaged groups e.g. People living with HIV/Aids, pregnant women and children. John’s classes are enjoyable, thoughtfully and artistically designed to have a therapeutic effect for the students participating. The grant money from Kundalini Beyond Borders will allow him to expand his services throughout Nairobi and make Kundalini Yoga accessible to so many in vulnerable populations.

Rajni (Puranjot Kaur) Lerman - Kundalini Yoga for the Low Income Residents in Hot Springs, SD

Rajni (Puranjot Kaur) Lerman

Kundalini Yoga for the Low Income Residents in Hot Springs, SD

Rajni (Puranjot Kaur) Lerman is a yoga teacher and community organizer. She integrates her skills to bring people and projects together in creative ways. She loves creating experiences that support personal and/or planetary healing. Since moving to Hot Springs, SD in 2015, she has been deeply involved with the community. She has founded and supports several initiatives in town, some of which include the Hot Springs Farmers Market, Black Hills Sustainable Living and the Change For Peace Movement.

Following intuitive guidance throughout her life has exposed Rajni to a variety of traditions, spiritual practices and powerful tools, such as Kundalini Yoga. With gratitude and openness, she enjoys sharing these practices with others. Guiding with care, compassion and a commitment to serve, Rajni inspires others toward expressing their own unique truth.

Rajni currently offers classes in Kundalini, Gentle and Yin/Yang yoga, as well as a 5 element dance practice and Gong Baths at Moccasin Springs Spa. Private sessions and workshops can be arranged by request. She is excited to extend these offerings to people in her community who may not have the opportunity to participate. 

 

Nominate a teacher to receive the KRi honor

Do you know someone who is doing outstanding work? We would like to know! Please fill out the following form to nominate someone.

Nomination period for 2022 has closed. If you would like to nominate someone for 2023 come back in November 2022.