The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund
SUPPORT THE KUNDALINI RESEARCH INSTITUTE & THE LIBRARY OF TEACHINGS
KRI is very excited to announce the launch of a new educational opportunity for teachers and trainers. The Aquarian Development Series (ADS) will serve to expand your knowledge of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® and hone your skills as a teacher and a trainer. This new series of online courses and webinars will support you by offering cutting-edge knowledge and skill enhancement opportunities. Sessions are presented, in both live and prerecorded formats, from expert Teacher Trainers from around the globe on the internet platform called Sutra. Through ADS, you will stay abreast of the new developments in the world of KRI.
We invite you to participate in the launch of ADS. Here are three upcoming pilot courses that you will find valuable:
- Understanding Yoga Research with Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Director of Research at KRI
- How to Present on Video or Webinar Format, with Hari Kaur from New York
- How to Help Students who are Disassociating, with Dharma Singh from Germany, member of the KRI Board of Directors
Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa presents the ADS inaugural live webinar, Understanding Yoga Research on October 9th at 12:30 PM EST. Click here to become a member of Sutra and purchase the webinar with Dr. Sat Bir Singh. The webinar will be made available in a pre-recorded format for those of you that miss the live presentation. Just log into Sutra with your email and password, and enjoy the presentation at your own time and pace.
In easy-to-understand language, Dr. Sat Bir Singh will review some of the basic science underlying the psychophysiology of yoga practices and describe some of the cutting-edge biomedical research studies with relevance to yoga, including:
- Current research on yoga’s effect on psychology, physiology, molecular biology, and brain imaging.
- Models of psychophysiological mechanisms of action and future areas of research.
- Presentation of the significant research that has been conducted on the benefits of yoga as a therapeutic intervention for psychological conditions and as a treatment for medical disorders.
- The use of yoga as a preventive medicine practice for maintaining health, wellness, well-being, and quality of life.
- Research studies done on Kundalini Yoga and its application as an alternative medical modality.
Join us on October 9th for this important webinar and expand your knowledge of current, relevant yoga research. Experience the benefits of participating in the Aquarian Development Series and staying current in the evolving world of KRI and Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
The Office of Ethics & Professional Standards & Conscious Conflict Resolution (EPS)
Introduces: The 10 Rights of a Kundalini Yoga Student
Every student is a partner in the sacred student-teacher relationship. The 10 Rights of a Kundalini Yoga Student was written by the Ethics & Professional Standards & Conscious Conflict Resolution (EPS) Culture & Ethics Committee comprised of members from all over the world. The goal is to empower students as responsible members of Kundalini Yoga communities.
It is available to read and print in 21 languages, in two sizes, and with a choice of two photos. Go online to find the printing instructions for the 10 Rights of a Kundalini Yoga Student to give to your students in their own language. There is a postcard size available along with a larger size suitable for posting in your classroom, studio or yoga center.
Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
Anyone who has picked up a few yoga magazines has probably noticed the predominant type of yoga practice images that are on the cover, accompanying the articles, and even in the advertisements. It is usually an attractive, young, white, thin woman in tight-fitting yoga clothing in a pose that requires an impressive level of flexibility and acrobatic prowess that many long-time yoga practitioners have never even attempted. Given the pressure of a magazine’s priority of selling copies and turning a profit, this is probably not surprising. Subscribers to yoga magazines are predominantly women, and selling using this method has proven effective. The predominance of the limited portrayal is noticeable enough that a few researchers have decided that it is worthy of research and analysis. In fact, there are now at least a half-dozen studies published since 2016 that have analyzed the specifics of this portrayal of yoga, with a view to analyzing and discussing its implications. The Yoga Journal, being perhaps the dominant yoga magazine with 2 million subscribers and a long publishing history going back to the 1970s, has been one of the main sources of data for most of these studies.
A research team led by Dr. Jennifer Webb in the Department of Psychological Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has published four studies to date described below. The first three were published in the journal Body Image. The first study examined the cover images from three popular yoga magazines that were published in a five-year interval starting in 2010: Yoga Journal in the U.S., Om Yoga & Lifestyle in the U.K., and Yoga Magazine which is in both countries. Using a formal coding procedure with specifically trained research assistants, they examined race/ethnicity, body size, shape, and objectifying apparel characteristics of the magazine cover images of 142 female models. These characteristics fell into three thematic categories: socio-demographic attributes, body-related attributes, and body-as-object/body-as-process attributes. The results revealed that over 2/3 of the models were white, almost 90% appeared to be in their 20’s and 30’s, the average appearance was of low weight with a thin and lean body shape, almost 2/3 were in an active yoga pose, and the majority had high body visibility (i.e. clothing that was skin revealing). This was, therefore, consistent with the hypothesized/expected general stereotype.
In another study, this team tackled an analysis of the physical appearance and clothing characteristics of the images of female cover models over the course of 40 years of the Yoga Journal between 1975 and 2015. They conducted a formal analysis of 168 cover images of single female models using a coding and rating procedure. The results showed that over 80% of the images were of a full or ¾ full portrayal of the models’ bodies, which allowed for further analysis of the characteristics of body portrayal. About one-third of the images were underweight, and 62% were of low normal weight. Noticeably, only one cover image (out of 168) was overweight. Body shape was dominated by a skinny/boney appearance (22%) or a thin/lean appearance (58%), and accordingly, breast size was small with 42% flat-chested and 47% small-breasted. In terms of clothing, 13% were wearing a bra or sports bra and 48% were wearing tank tops. In the portrayal of the body position displayed, fully 68% of the covers showed an active yoga posture. In a further analysis of how these covers changed over time, they divided the cover images across four decades. Although several attributes showed no change over time, more images of full or ¾ body portrayals, more thin/lean body shapes and more tank tops appeared in more recent decades, suggesting that the stereotype may be strengthening over time.
The third and fourth studies also worked with Yoga Journal images. One of these focused on the analysis of a subsample of full-page or larger advertisements from 41 issues across four decades of publication. Female model characteristics in the ads revealed 47% of models were non-white, 57% appeared to be in their 20’s and 30’s and their body size was underweight (7%) or low-normal weight (45%), with only one model appearing overweight. More white and younger models have appeared in more recent decades of publication. As with the magazine cover study above, the body images again favored the thin, lean, ideal physique. Their most recent study published in the International Journal of Yoga analyzed 230 images from a specific section of Yoga Journal called “Yogapedia” from 41 issues published in 2015 to 2016. This magazine section provides practice instructions for sequences of postures, accompanied by step-by-step practice images. Once again, the classic stereotypical body portrayal was observed, with over 80% female, 100% white, many (39%) in the 30’s age range, with predominantly (72%) low normal weight appearance. Only 11% were rated to be somewhat overweight, with none rated as underweight, obese, or with any disability.
Two other studies in a similar vein have been published out of the laboratory of Christiane Brems in the School of Graduate Psychology at Pacific University, both of which again focused on Yoga Journal images. Their first study analyzed 702 articles from a subsample of 33 journal issues between 2007 and 2014 and focused on a formal analysis of article content. They reported that postures (40% of articles) and breathwork (49% of articles) strongly dominated the content at the expense of content related to more philosophical/psychological content (i.e. introspection, meditation, absorption, etc.). In an analysis of trends, the postural aspect of yoga in the content was seen to increase over time, whereas there were declines in all of the other types of content including breathwork. The authors noted that “the current depiction of yoga in the popular media as exemplified by Yoga Journal is drifting from yoga’s deeper philosophical roots and becoming more of a fashion statement rather than a holistic lifestyle.”
In their most recent study, they examined 3,129 images from both advertisements and article graphics that were a quarter of a page or larger from a subsample of 33 Yoga Journal issues between 2007 and 2014. They reported that the images were mostly white females (about ¾ of them) who were thinner than average (52%) and predominantly young adults (75%). Only 20% were persons of color and fewer than 2% were heavier than average. Advertisements were more likely to depict females over males, thin body size, and younger age. Trends over time showed a propensity towards increasing female representation over males and increasing representation of a thin body type.
Clearly, the analyses from these studies have confirmed the general perceived representation in yoga magazines of younger, white, athletic females with thin bodies, i.e. the “yoga body”. A significant limitation of these studies is that they have been conducted on a very limited subset of public media, primarily targeted at yoga magazine subscribers and practitioners. What would be particularly useful would be similar studies of more mainstream media portrayals of yoga, which would be more relevant to implications of these portrayals on the perception of yoga by the general population (a couple of research studies have examined Instagram yoga images). The prediction would be that a similar representation of yoga would be observed. The implications of how a very limited portrayal of yoga in the media may affect the general population has been discussed in all of these research articles. The major issues at stake include concerns about the exclusive portrayal of yoga practice as one severely limited by gender, age, body size, race, age, physical ability, and socioeconomic status, which serves as a barrier to practice for those on the other side of the stereotype. If fact, we know that yoga practice demographics are dominated by white females. There is also the issue of potential harm caused by promoting an unrealistic and unhealthy ideal body image (think the anatomically impossible body of the Barbie® dolls – there is actually a “Yoga Teacher Career Doll” version). This may be contributing to a form of “cultural programming” in the media in general that has been implicated in eating disorders. Future research should evaluate the image portrayal of yoga in the mainstream media, elucidate and quantify the actual perception of yoga by the general population, and evaluate potential strategies that might ameliorate the inaccurate perception of yoga practice and the barriers to practice. Perhaps it will be the “Barbie® Scientist Career Doll” that will do this research.
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.
by Sat Amrit Kaur
More than 50 students traveled from around the world to share an experience of Level One Teacher Training in Espanola. It was an experience of growth and awareness and one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. From the first time we tuned-in together, I instantly felt connected to the Golden Chain of students and teachers that extend back in time.
Personally, I was ready. I knew I was on the precipice of transformation, yet I had no idea what to expect. It was apparent from the very start that the next 28 days were going to be intense. Thankfully, I did not feel alone. I knew that this level of intensity is what also attracted my peers. And together we dove deep into ourselves, the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, and the possibilities.
I found myself often curious about the journey it took for each person to arrive in Espanola. The Ashram is itself both a destination and a stopping point on the path of Kundalini Yoga. From the students, trainers, and staff, to the welcoming ashram community and the land that made the container possible, it is all so precious! And a miracle that we had the opportunity to witness and receive. The living-dream of it all was accompanied by the reality of challenge, pain, heartbreak, frustration – it was our chance to confront and overcome our self-limitations and realize more of who we truly are.
Early morning sadhana, long days, practicum preparations, a myriad of emotions, along with demanding kriyas and meditations, provided the setting for a personal rollercoaster ride — and we all experienced our ups and downs. Change was happening on many levels, both inward and outward, and I most valued the safe space that allowed me to allow myself this deeply transformative experience. It was more subtle than dramatic, like the change we sometimes yearn for. Rather, it thoroughly penetrated the parts of me that I had yet to reach.
A favorite moment during the Immersion came after we completed the Healing Ring of Tantra meditation. It was a stormy night and the thunder crashed loudly just as we ended. The rain poured down the hardest I have ever seen and the sky lit up with lightening. As many of us stood to watch nature’s performance we became inspired, so we ran out to the middle of the grass screaming and twirling as the waters washed us clean. Yogiji affirmed he was with us.
In truth, the Immersion is difficult to put into words. I can recall the imprints on my soul left by everyone I shared this experience with, and the transmission of teachings that I will carry wherever I go. I can also name what it has given me – a solid foundation, a connection to yogic lineage, and a newfound trust and self-acceptance.
The Immersion affirmed Yogi Bhajan’s central message: Be You. It takes both strength and vulnerability to embody the essence of Yogi Bhajan’s guidance, plus a good amount of personal commitment and courage. The Level One Immersion reminded me of who I am and what I am capable of. This is the way of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan – to deliver to you an experience of yourself. This is the way of the Aquarian Teacher Training.
Sat Amrit Kaur (aka Ashley Christine Hardy) is from the Mojave Desert of Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a passionate yogini, creative spirit and humanitarian devoted to living her most authentic and joyful life. Her values include vulnerability, creativity, self-expression, service and community. Sat Amrit has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, interned at the US Capitol, worked for doctors, and in the public school system. She now teaches people Kundalini Yoga and meditation, leads movement and dance sessions, and facilitates creative workshops and women’s circles. Sat Amrit works at KRI coordinating Trainer Forums and managing social media. She also has her own business mentoring young women.
Tips and Techniques for Searching the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings – Lecture Topics
Save yourself a bunch of time searching the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings! Chances are you are not the first person researching a particular topic. Many subjects that Yogi Bhajan lectured on extensively have been collected for you. Use the Lecture Topic section and its easily accessible format.
You’ll find a drop-down menu for Lecture Topics on the home page, next to the search bar. Click on Lecture Topics, and you will find 44 broad subjects, ranging from Astrology to Women, listed in alphabetical order as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: A list of Lecture Topics can be found next to the search bar at the top of the home page.
Next, narrow the focus and get more specific in your search. Use the Keywords and Search criteria after the list of Notable Lectures. Deselect from this list to narrow the topic and change the Notable Lectures list. The Keywords and Search list for Lecture Topic “Brain” is illustrated in Figure 3.
Figure 2: All Lecture Topics have a broad description of the contents of the search
Select a topic, and click to open a description of the subject, as shown in Figure 2 for the “Brain.” Below the summary are Notable Lectures for the given topic. Then, you can search for keywords within a lecture. Although I recommend reading the entire lecture, as the context is as valuable as the information itself.
Figure 3: Lecture Topics can be further refined by selecting or deselecting Keywords.
Using the Lecture Topics tool is a quick way to access information that has already been researched. Try it next time you are in the Library and explore with this valuable tool. Open yourself to the wisdom of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan and enjoy the journey! Sat Nam.
Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji, Fundraising Coordinator
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®
Kundalini Research Institute
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The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible under IRS code 501(c)(3).
I Am a Woman: Creative, Sacred & Invincible
Selected Lectures from the Women’s Teachings
Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga
I Am a Woman: Creative, Sacred & Invincible
Essential Kriyas for Women in the Aquarian Age
Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga
I Am a Woman DVD Series
3 Sets of Lectures from the Women’s Teachings of
Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga
I Am a Woman: Practicing Kindness, (Volumes 1-5)
1. Create Your Reality
2. Spiritual Acceleration
3. Act Great and Never Be Turned by Fate
4. Know Yourself
5. The Art of Appreciation
I Am a Woman: Conscious Compassion, (Volumes 6-10)
6. The Known and Unknown
7. The Primal Force of Life
8. Communicating With Compassion
9. The Law of Life
10. Being Me: My Actions Define my Reality
I Am A Woman: The Creativity of the Creator, Volumes (11-15)
11. Creativity through Communication
12. A Woman’s Impact
13. Resolve Your Inner Conflicts
14. The Art of Being a Woman
15. Intuitive Applied Knowledge
Retail: $19.95 per DVD
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From Vegetables with Love
Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen
Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition
Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa
Yogi Bhajan’s Parsley Pilau
Yield: 6–8 servings
Parsley is a digestive aid that is also high in iron and chlorophyll. The combination of ingredients in this dish helps to cleanse and promote a healthy colon, kidneys, maintain potency, and chase away disease and old age.
½ cup ghee or oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
½ cup finely chopped fresh ginger
½ bulb garlic, chopped
1½ tablespoons crushed red chiles
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1½ tablespoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ajwain
1 tablespoon turmeric
1½ teaspoons basil
½ cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
3 cups parsley flakes
3 medium potatoes, chopped
3 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
8 cups water
Heat ghee in a wok or skillet over a medium-high flame. Add onions, ginger, and garlic. Sauté until well done. Lower heat slightly and make a pool of ghee in the center of the onions. Add chiles, pepper, caraway seeds, cumin, ajwain, and turmeric. Let spices sizzle for a minute or two, and then add Bragg Aminos and parsley. Stir and add potatoes. Stir and add drained basmati rice. Sauté 2–3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the flame to low. Cook for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir gently with a fork, cover and let sit for 10 more minutes