Planting the Seeds of Kundalini Yoga in the Ivory Coast
Dr. Arjan Kaur Khalsa is a dear friend and chiropractor in Espanola, NM, as well as a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor. She recently returned from a trip to the Ivory Coast, sharing Kundalini Yoga with the people she met. She is amazing, and I am honored to tell you her inspiring story:
It has been two weeks since my trip to Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Africa. This is a place that does not leave my soul easily.
West Africa….what was I doing there? Somehow the hand of God delivered me to this place, in spite of my protests about lack of money, time, and energy. Getting on the plane, I took a deep breath and said a little prayer to get me there and back safely. That was my entire goal for this trip because I had no idea what I was getting into. But here is the beautiful silver lining to my uncertainty…
As soon as I landed, my heart melted opened as my hosts opened their arms to me. Waking up the next morning, doing my Sadhana listening to Hari Rai Kaur’s ‘Guru Ram Das’ chant, the djembe players starting their morning call to the dancers outside. I had tears of joy streaming down my face that would not stop for the next 30 minutes. Cote d’Ivoire had me at ‘Akwaba’, which means not only ‘welcome’, but ‘we-welcome-you-with-love-and-we-are-so-happy-that-you’re-here-sharing-our-beautiful-land’.
We had intended to teach classes several nights, but as life goes we stayed in the flow of our group and started with one class, held in Maria’s courtyard with about 15-20 people. The tune in with ‘Ong Namo’ was chanted powerfully and clearly by all of the men and the few ladies in dresses sitting on chairs, purses in their laps. We spoke about how energy flows in our bodies and how our Kundalini Yoga is really about becoming more aware of ourselves and our surroundings. We did a bit of Humanology, talking specifically about foods for health and healing and using plants and foods found in the markets for healing digestive issues, headaches, and fevers.
I spent 2 days doing my Chiropractic work in the SOS Children’s Village, treating the caregivers and folks from the surrounding neighborhood. These were my favorite days in Cote d’Ivoire. Madame Coulibaly (the head nurse at the orphanage) had people lined-up for me to treat. I did my work and then had them sit with Cedric, the local teacher, to do some easy chair yoga to alleviate headaches, neck strain, and upper back tightness. We had our little ‘clinic’ running smoothly by the end of the morning.
They do not have easy access to yoga manuals written in French and this was needed. I had reached out to Hari Charn Kaur from KRI to see if we could get KRI manuals in French to take over for my trip. A sincere ‘Thank You’ to Atma Singh from France for donating Kundalini Yoga manuals in French! Cedric was so grateful for the manuals and for the opportunity to continue his practice without having to translate material from the English.
My prayer is that we, as a community, continue to reach out to those countries who are ready for what we have to offer and that we can expand in our giving, prosperity, and service to include the whole world. My intention is to help each of us remember and share the deep wisdom of Africa, to remember the passion and love that is Africa, and to bring that gift to the rest of the world.
And whenever you are ready to join us on our next trip, I would love to share this experience with you.
With love and prayers, Dr. Arjan K Khalsa