Dr. Sat Kirpal Kaur Khalsa
There are few people who have had more impact shaping the Yogi Bhajan legacy organizations than Sat Kirpal Kaur Khalsa. She was with Yogi Bhajan from the very beginning and, unlike many of us, she has the incredible gift of organizational vision that she applied to everything she did. Sat Kirpal Kaur fearlessly jumped into the projects Yogi Bhajan gave her and, from nothing, created enduring structures, service, and relationships.
Sat Kirpal moved to Berkeley in 1965 where she met her husband, Dr. Sat Kirpal Singh. She earned her Ph.D. in Developmental and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. However, there was a lot more going on in Berkeley in the late 60’s than biology! Berkeley was home to the beat movement, the evolving counterculture, civil rights, and the epicenter of the Vietnam War protests. The Sat Kirpals were strongly impacted by the profound energy of the times.
It was in Berkeley, in the spring of 1969, that the Sat Kirpals began practicing Kundalini Yoga. Later that summer they met Yogi Bhajan for the first time, beginning a life-long journey of commitment and self-discovery. Yogi Bhajan married them in the spring of 1970 after which they moved to Los Angeles for his daily classes. She attended the first White Tantric Yoga course ever taught – which lasted for ten days! Throughout her life, Sat Kirpal Kaur has continued to attend White Tantric Yoga courses, more than 200 in total.
In 1970, Sat Kirpal Kaur moved with her husband to Eugene, Oregon and they founded the Guru Ram Das Ashram. She initially did research at the University of Oregon and he established a very strong Kundalini Yoga program at the University. They co-founded the Golden Temple Bakery with other people from the ashram, which eventually evolved into Yogi Tea and Yogi Products.
Sat Kirpal Kaur helped build Khalsa Women’s Training Camp (KWTC) in 1976. She was dedicated to preserving the lectures of Yogi Bhajan and making them available to all people. Long before there was the internet or even computers, Sat Kirpal Kaur initiated the transcription and publication of Yogi Bhajan’s lectures at KWTC. She continued this seva for 15 years, documenting those amazing summers.
In 1981, Sat Kirpal Kaur established Sikh Dharma Foreign Education (later becoming Sikh Dharma Education International) to serve parents interested in educating their children in India. For 8 years she and her team built an educational and spiritual program for western children in India, creating the basis for what has become Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar.
She was part of the International Khalsa Council in the early years, serving as Chief Whip and then as Secretary General and CEO of Sikh Dharma. Her organizational skills helped establish the Khalsa Council as a leadership body for Sikh Dharma International throughout the world. She retired in 2009, but the systems she established continue to endure.
In the early 1990s, Sat Kirpal Kaur joined KRI and established a successful publishing division. She compiled, edited, and assisted in the creation of more than 25 books and manuals for KRI and Sikh Dharma that are still published today. She formalized the KRI review process, standardizing the KRI Seal of Approval.
Although formally retired, Sat Kirpal Kaur remains involved with the Sangat in many ways. Sat Kirpal Kaur draws and paints, enjoys nature hikes, kirtan, traveling, and time with others. She is currently developing a book on Yogi Bhajan’s teachings about the multiple facets, relationships, and roles of women to be published by KRI in 2018.
Sat Kirpal Singh is a retired Biology professor from Northern New Mexico College (Espanola). Their daughter, Sarab Shakti Kaur, currently works in the legacy non-profits and their grandson is Hargobind Hari Singh, known for his mantra music creations.
Nguyen Tien Nghia
Tien has been drawn to the spiritual path of yoga for as long as she can remember. Although she calls Bangkok home, her spiritual journey has taken her around the world. Born in Vietnam, Tien first experienced yoga in Pakistan. Her search has drawn her to Europe, Africa, America, and through-out Asia, setting her roots down roots in Thailand.
Tien became certified as a Level One Instructor in 2003 and is currently advancing towards her Level Three certification. She has taught in 25 Level One programs across the Asia-Pacific Region including Australia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Singapore, and of course mainly in her home country of Thailand.
In Asia, Tien is a beacon of light for those searching for a path of higher consciousness. She has been part of the core organizing team in KY Asia (together with other trainers and under the guidance of her mentor, Sunder Singh Khalsa) managing yoga courses, festivals, and teacher training programs. Tien has made a significant contribution to Kundalini Yoga by teaching in the academic setting. In Thailand, she has presented programs at the Bangkok Patana British International School, the Chiva Som Academy, and Chulalongkorn University. Her boundless energy has served so many people with love including women, children, families, and those with physical and mental challenges.
Coming from an educational background, for Tien, teaching is a sacred privilege and not a duty. She teaches Kundalini Yoga to serve people in their search of fulfillment and growth, in their own speed, space, and time. Tien supervises and supports local (Thai) teachers in their personal development and service to their own communities, rural and urban alike, using the teachings and technology of Kundalini Yoga to uplift and heal.
KRI honors Nguyen Tien Nghia for her service to the people of Asia, spreading the healing technology of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®.