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▬ In This Issue ▬
From Me to You
Sat Naam and greetings from Maastricht, The Netherlands!
What a strange summer we are having! I miss traveling to be in the large 3HO community gatherings that typically highlight my summers – the Summer Solstice Sadhana in New Mexico and the European Yoga Festival in France. But I must say, it was incredible to see a small miracle unfold with the 3-day Summer Solstice eSummit, as more the 7,000 people registered! The programs were very uplifting and captured the irreplaceable experience of group consciousness. Sitting with 800 people online for morning sadhana held a potency that surprised me. Now I am looking forward to the 3HO Europe Peace Prayer Day online on August 1st. Keep an eye out for the details of this event.
The impact of the coronavirus is being felt by all of us, in big and small ways, all around the world. So much rapid change, and the massive amount of uncertainty we are all facing, naturally makes us all feel unsettled, maybe even unmoored. The typical and familiar pillars on which we had grounded our sense of identity and security are shaken or perhaps even crumbled. Deep questions arise around who we really are, and who we want to become. I feel very blessed to have my personal Kundalini Yoga practice, it centers me when I feel shaky; it grounds my innermost sense of identity and Self into my highest, most expansive place. My daily sadhana connects me to my True Identity, so I can remain relaxed and flexible, even in the midst of so much stress and uncertainty. For these gifts, I bow in gratitude to the Universe. I hope your personal practice, of whatever form, type, history, or style, is supporting you through these difficult times as well.
If you need some support for how to use the teachings of Kundalini Yoga to help you right now, KRI is the place to come! Our online bookstore, The Source, has lots of Kundalini Yoga eBooks in both English and Spanish. Our Aquarian Development Series has free webinars you can participate in live, or via pre-recorded video. And we are still planning on holding, virus restrictions allowing, our Level One Teacher Training program in Bali in November. What a great way to emerge from your quarantine – by deeply immersing yourself in the Teachings of Kundalini Yoga, building lifelong positive habits, and learning how you can share this yogic technology with others!
As a fun and positive expansion, we are hosting different teachers from our huge KRI international community to lead the monthly meditation. It is wonderful to see new faces and experience their powerful energy as they teach. Do you want to lead a monthly meditation? Let us know and share the light.
Many blessings to you,
CEO, Kundalini Research Institute
Meditation of the month
Sierra Siri Prakash Bullock Lives in Bali with her ocean-dwelling husband and Green School attendee teenage son. She is pivoting through the shapes and shifts of the Aquarian age while identifying with mainstream labels called Woman, Mother, Wife, L1/ L2 KRI Kundalini Teacher, and KRI Professional Trainer. Credentials from the Piscean age include the following degrees and certificates: Bachelor Science Special Education & Deaf Studies, Master Science Holistic Nutrition & Education, Certified Body Worker from the Institute of Pyscho-Structural Balancing, and Reiki Level 1 and 2.
She is the founder and director of NorCal Women’s Camp Inc., a non-profit organization in Northern California. Founded 17 years ago, their events have changed the lives of thousands of women. When her family moved to the Philippines, Siri Prakash was inspired to help build the community, organizing and teaching at the first KRI Level One Teacher Training program in 2017.
“My Intention: I am, I AM, aligning with the tendencies of the Cosmos that wants to bring all things into their fullness of being.”
Full Length Meditation Video Available Here.
Yoga is One-World - Yoga e Negritude
It is a reality to be confronted that there is an absence of people of color in the world of yoga and other self-care practices. Do a simple Google search and see for yourself the lack of representation of Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) in yoga media. Inspired to take action, the Yoga e Negritude project was born in Brazil, coordinated by Sunderta Kaur, a Kundalini Yoga teacher, and hosted by the Brazilian Friends of Kundalini Yoga (ABAKY)
“We questioned the predominance of white people in Kundalini Yoga classes and the difficulties of black people to attend due to economic and cultural issues,” explained Sunderta. “We, teachers and students, got together to discuss these issues and thought about actions that could promote equality. One of the outcomes was photo essays with black teachers and students from our classes in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) based on the understanding that an image enhances the power of expressing and communicating with others.”
What has resulted is a remarkable photo essay called “Yoga e Negritude.” These pictures are amazing! Bursting with energy, spirit, and consciousness, a host of beautiful images welcome us to yoga as one-world.
“Our image, our vibration, and our vigor reflected in these images awaken us to a process of appreciation and recognition of the places that belong to us,” says Prakash Sangeet Kaur of ABAKY. “Our color belongs to all places and to all eyes. It is a recognition that awakens us in the purest form that exists.”
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these images smash the barriers that exist in yoga in a way that no dialogue can. KRI is looking forward to highlighting these images on our new website as we move to a more inclusive and informed paradigm. It is time to break down the barriers in yoga.
“Racism is the most explicit form of the social barriers that separate human beings according to color, loaded with value judgment,” says Devaroop Kaur of ABAKY. “For people with black bodies, integration into society comes with the denial of their history, their faith, and their way of life. It is a denial that has many forms of expression and it impacts the potential in us of what is most vital and connective … our self-love, self-appreciation, and self-care. For years, black bodies were marked and perceived by themselves as unworthy of love and, above all, of self-love. And it is in this reality, in the dance of that polarity, that we are called to serve.”
See for yourself and celebrate the experience of yoga as one-world - Yoga e Negritude
If you enjoy these photos, consider supporting the Yoga e Negritude project with a donation. The way to support ABAKY in Brazil is to send funds through PayPal, using the email Comunicacao@abaky.org.br. All donations go towards funding the studies of BIPOC children at Miri Piri Academy in Brazil.
Image provided by Bernard Machado
There is a lot more work to be done.
Research Evidence for Yoga Practices in the Treatment of Respiratory Tract Infections
by Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
There are credible strategies with reasonable supportive research evidence for the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI’s), including yoga and other mind-body practices, which can enhance immunity and disease resistance while reducing their risk of occurrence, incidence/frequency as well as their severity and duration. However, the cure for the common cold virus, once you have it, has been elusive. At most, existing treatments in both conventional and complementary/traditional medicine have only been able to either manage the symptoms to relieve discomfort or possibly shorten the duration and or severity of URTI. For example, there is arguable evidence for the efficacy of vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc.
Although there are no published research studies of significance that have demonstrated the efficacy of mind-body practices, such as yoga, for reducing the duration or severity of an existing cold, recommendations for specific yoga practices and postures can be found in abundance with an internet search. It is likely that postures, breathing techniques, relaxation, and meditation can provide some symptom relief associated with the well-known benefits of these practices on stress, mood, and well-being that are of value with any disease. Given the efficacy of these practices as prevention in reducing URTI frequency and severity, likely through enhancement of immune function, it is conceivable that mind-body practices may also reduce the duration and severity once a URTI has started, but the research to evaluate this is yet to be done.
There is an ancient ancillary yoga practice that may have efficacy for the treatment of an existing acute URTI, and that is known as Jala Neti Kriya, practiced regularly by many regular yoga practitioners. Referred to in the medical literature as nasal saline irrigation (NSI), it involves flushing of the nasal passages with a saltwater solution commonly using a neti pot. There is good evidence that this practice is useful for allergic rhinitis and sinusitis, and studies are showing that it actually prevents the occurrence, incidence/frequency as well as the severity and duration of URTI’s. Proposed mechanisms as to how NSI may address acute URTI symptoms have been described in a 2015 Cochrane systematic review published by an Australian research team and include: “clearing excess mucus, reducing congestion and improving breathing. It is thought to improve mucociliary clearance by increasing the ciliary beat frequency. As well as relieving sinonasal symptoms, saline irrigation may remove infectious material from the sinuses and reduce cough associated with postnasal drip.” This review evaluated five published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of NSI in participants with acute URTI’s and concluded that there is limited evidence for benefit on symptoms. Two of the evaluated trials reported a reduction in the outcome of time to resolution of URTI symptoms but it was not clinically significant. One trial showed multiple statistically significant outcomes for the NSI group at follow-up, including reduction of sore throat, nasal secretion and secretion type, nasal breathing score, and a health status score. A more recent systematic review for SNI treatment of acute URTI in children and infants published in the journal Pediatric Respiratory Reviews analyzed four RCTs. The authors concluded that “Quantitative analysis of the trials showed that SNI is beneficial in the treatment of certain rhinological symptoms. It appears to reduce the incidence of URTI and its complications in the acute phase and in the long term.” However, they did not find benefit for respiratory symptoms.
Perhaps the most convincing RCT study of SNI for the treatment of the common cold was led by Dr. Sandeep Ramalingam of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the UK and published in the journal Scientific Reports in 2019. In that study, 33 otherwise healthy participants who were studied within 48 hours of the onset of a URTI and practiced regular SNI reported multiple symptoms in a diary and took nasal swabs for analysis of the virus. The intervention arm subjects showed a significant average reduction in illness duration of 1.9 days, in the duration of runny nose of 1.8 days, in blocked nose of 2.7 days, in sneezing of 1.5 days, in cough of 2.4 days, and in hoarseness of voice of 1.7 days. Furthermore, both over-the-counter medication use and the degree of URTI transmission to others within their household contacts both dropped significantly by 36 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Finally, the objective outcome measure of viral shedding (when a virus replicates inside your body and is released into the environment) from the analysis of the swabs was also significantly reduced, suggesting an inhibitory effect of SNI on the virus activity itself. Interestingly, given the pandemic of COVID-19 (a coronavirus), the authors analyzed a subset of subjects in the trial who had different coronaviruses during the study, and in a paper entitled “Hypertonic saline nasal irrigation and gargling should be considered as a treatment option for COVID-19” in the Journal of Global Health, reported that these subjects had similar improvements as all of the other participants in the 2019 study. Furthermore, they also referenced their elegantly conducted in vitro laboratory research trials on the effect of the salt (NaCl; sodium chloride) in SNI on viral activity. In those studies, they found that NaCl has an antiviral effect that works across viral types in a mechanism in which the chloride ion is shown to enter the cells, which then leads to the production of hypochlorous acid by the cell, which is the active ingredient in bleach that is well known to inhibit viral activity. These results appear highly timely and significant, although the authors cautiously concluded that, “It is unclear if hypertonic saline nasal irrigation and gargling is also effective in COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2; a trial is therefore urgently needed.” Given the lack of known treatments effective for acute URTIs, the benefits of both the mind-body practices and the Jala Neti SNI technique within yoga practices appear to have significant potential as nonpharmacological treatments with very low risk of side effects that are both simple and easy to perform. There appears to be significant future research potential for these approaches to URTI treatment.
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.
Aquarian Development Series: Professional Development for Teacher Trainers
Wednesday July 8th 11:00-13:00 EDT. Join us live on Zoom - replay available one week later.
Our earthly experience is based on the balance of day and night, what is known and what is unknown, inside and outside. Each of us is given both the radiant, cozy light of our soul that is connected to all that exists, as well as what is hidden below our conscious awareness.
Mastering this inner polarity is the goal of yoga and meditation. The only way to truly accept that polarity we see in the world is to do it for ourselves first within. When we face our own shadow with courage and clarity, many gifts are unveiled to us. The capacity to hold the depth of this universal duality with compassion is a key foundation to continue growing as a teacher of truth. Accepting what is gives us the contentment and vitality to make the impossible possible day to day.
As sacred, powerful, and impactful as the Teachings are, the shadow of the genesis years of the Teachings and personality of Yogi Bhajan are an opportunity for us to go deep. Please join KRI and Deva Kaur from Florida to continue this work together.
Presented by: Deva Kaur has been practicing & teaching Kundalini Yoga & Meditation for over thirty years under the guidance of Yogi Bhajan. She created Yoga Source with Karen Darrow to create a sacred space for all different types of yoga & uplifting practices to have a cozy home here in South Florida. Deva Kaur is from Yoga Source, in Davie, and in Coral Springs, Florida.
July 14th, Tuesday 5PM EDT (New York)
Ramdesh Kaur shares with the Academy and KY Teachers how to be sure to use welcoming and inclusive language for all body types. Posture delivery cues, ways to allow and support all kinds of expression of this beautiful human body to feel welcomed, comfortable, and safe in your Kundalini Yoga offering.
Presented by: Dr. Ramdesh is the author of The Body Temple: Kundalini Yoga for Body Acceptance, Eating Disorders, and Radical Self-Love, and is also the author of Yoga and Mantras for a Whole Heart with co-author Karan Khalsa. She has many best-selling guided meditation albums that create deeply healing and accessible meditation experiences for all.
She is the host of Spirit Voyage Radio with Ramdesh on Unity FM and iTunes, a weekly podcast that brings mantra and meditation to over 300,000 listeners each year, and she is the founder of the Spirit Voyage Global Sadhanas, an online global meditation community of over 25,000.
July 14th, Tuesday 5PM EDT (New York)
Join us for a conversation with Gabrielle Congrave Baggenstoss, so that yoga teachers and trainers can be aware of what sex trafficking is and how to prevent harm to women/children in this world today. You will find out clear definitions, the intersection with trauma and addiction, and what you should know as a yoga teacher when you want to teach at a Crisis Center or for women recovering from Sexual Abuse. Walk away with understanding & practical tips.
Presented by: Gabrielle Congrave Baggenstoss is a Coordinator and Advocate at Support Within Reach, a sexual violence resource center located in Northwestern MN. She is an E-RYT 200 and a YACEP, holding certifications in Hatha in the Himalayan Tradition, Kundalini Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Trauma Sensitive Yoga. Gabrielle also received her BFA in Professional and Creative Writing and works primarily with SEY (sexually exploited youth) using creative writing as art therapy and yoga to facilitate healing from sexual trauma. Gabrielle is a survivor of heroin addiction and commercial sexual exploitation.
Friday, July 17, 12-14:00 Eastern Time (New York)
Whatever the global situation might be presenting you with, this is an invitation to consider how we can come together as a community to create a connection. Our time together will explore this territory in a safe, supportive, and even playful environment as we bring the nuances of our personal experience into presence in our collective container.
This virtual gathering will offer a relational space to discover our common humanity through the practice of deep listening and embodied presence. This is an experiential and experimental event, where we lovingly step into new ways of being together and hold space for a deeper and more personal understanding of community to emerge.
We'll engage in a social presencing process and have an opportunity to share with each other in a meaningful way.
Presented by: Natasha and Lorenz Sell have been guiding and facilitating small group interactions since 2012. They are co-founders of sutra.co, a software platform designed around small group learning online. Sutra supports the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, leadership programs at UNICEF and the Presencing Institute, as well as many other organizations and individuals in creating online learning experiences that foster deep connection and communication.
Their work integrates a masters study from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with Theory U work from MIT professor Otto Scharmer and Immunity To Change methodologies from Harvard professors Robert Keegan and Lisa Lahey.
Join us Friday July 24th at 12 Noon EDT (New York City)
As with a Kriya or a difficult yoga posture, we hold the space to find comfort in the discomfort of the experience. We can hold a similar space for conversations around our community’s relationship with diversity and inclusion. This workshop will require us to relax into the discomfort as we learn a few concepts, integrated with storytelling and dialogue. Here’s your chance to ask questions of our presenter and of each other.
Presenter Bio: Vedya Amrita Kaur is a KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Aquarian Trainer Academy Member and a Board member of the Kundalini Research Institute. She has taught for 16 years in various venues: yoga centers, gyms, social activist seminars, and corporate retreats across New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. Vedya Amrita loves the opportunity provided by seemingly unlikely pairings, such as partnering with Buddhist monks, Baptist Reverends and more illustrating a wonderful blending of technologies. Vedya Amrita is the owner of Glowing House, Inc. a wellness experience specializing in Colon Hydrotherapy; Ayurvedic Counseling, and the healing benefits of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. Vedya Amrita’s enthusiasm, empathy, and love allows for a thriving space of empowerment and transformation.
Connect – Engage – Lead
Moving Forward Together as Trainers in the Aquarian Trainer Academy
KRI will have its first annual Global ATA Trainer Forum & Online Summit on July 9 – 11, 2020. Trainers from different regions of the world will engage, dialog, and work together towards collective change.
A Global Online Forum & Summit
For many years KRI has offered Trainer Forums in regions around the world –Australia, China, Europe (European Yoga Festival), Malaysia, Mexico, South America (Chile, Brazil, and soon Argentina), USA (Summer and Winter Solstice), and this year we had planned a meeting for all trainers in South Africa. Due to Covid-19 we had to cancel the meetings at Summer Solstice and the European Yoga Festival, which provided the opportunity for a creative solution: a global online Forum & Summit.
Culture, Communication, and Community
This has been the theme for the past three years for all of the regional Forums and little did we know how well this would prepare us for the Forum & Summit. During these years, we have focused on how to listen deeply to one another and how to be authentic in our communications; we have reframed Poke-Provoke-Confront-Elevate into a formula for compassionate understanding, and we have explored what it takes to build trust. We have identified these skills as foundational blocks to sustain supportive communities that are grounded in shared values. This work had begun and now we can apply these experiences to our next step together.
Connect – Engage – Lead
These three words are seeds of intention for each day of the Forum & Summit. On Day One we will connect, getting to know one another and building a container of understanding that allows for open, creative dialog. Participants will be welcomed with music and joy. There will be time for small group sharing with different cultures, as well as time for meeting within one’s own region and language to discuss what is important on a local level. Day Two we will engage through the process of Open Space Technology (OST). Participants will self-initiate topics to explore, and thus the agenda will be determined by these critical conversations. These OST discussions serve as a starting point for how we, as a community, choose to move forward. Throughout this three-day process, new leaders will arise. Day Three asks of those leaders and all Forum & Summit participants to consider what they are taking on and how we will, as a collective body, lead the way into the future.
The allegations against Yogi Bhajan, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the call for racial and social justice worldwide, demands that we self-reflect as individuals and as a community. The Global Forum & Online Summit serves to initiate this process of examining the values, the culture, and the service that we are called to do together.
The Global ATA Trainer Forum & Online Summit is open to all who are in the Academy, as well as those who are interested in joining. There are two tracks to allow trainers in every time zone the possibility of attending.
For more information, to view the schedule, and to register please go to: https://na.eventscloud.com/ehome/534606
KRI JULY 2020 Newsletter Specials
Senses of the Soul
Emotional Therapy for Strength, Healing and Guidance
By 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 your 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
A Taste of India
Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa, PhD
- *Secrets from the Ancient Ayurvedic Science of Life
- *An Indian Cookbook for the Health-Conscious Gourmet
- *Over 180 delectable kitchen-tested recipes
- *Complete Instructions for serving an authentic Indian
Recipes to uplift the soul and open the heart, Bibiji’s cooking philosophy is that the love you put into the food you make is the purest nourishment of all. In A Taste of India, you will discover tips for preparing
food at home that fulfills the palate and brings your healing touch into your food and your home.
Regular Retail: $18.95
KRI Recipe of the Month July 2020
Taken from “A Taste of India, Second Edition” by Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa, PhD
Two Variations on Garbanzo Flour Pancakes
These recipes are for savory pancakes that are high in protein and gluten-free.
Garbanzo Flour Pancakes with Mung Bean Flour
1 cup garbanzo flour
1 cup mung bean flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1¾ cups water (approximate)
1 cup chopped onions
¾ cup peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed dry red chilies, or to taste
½ teaspoon oregano (ajwan) seeds
1 tablespoon Kasoon Methi (available at Indian grocers)
In a large bowl, mix together the two flours and baking soda with enough water to make a pourable batter, being sure that no lumps remain. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Heat a skillet or flat pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Pour or ladle about ¼ cup of batter into the pan.
When the bottom of the pancake is golden brown, flip with a spatula and allow the second side to cook. (When both sides are golden brown; if you want to make it crispy, touch each side with oil and cook each side for 30 seconds longer.) Repeat with remaining batter, adding a teaspoon of oil before each ladle of batter.
Serve with yogurt.
Yield: 16 pancakes“
Garbanzo Flour Pancakes with Mashed Potatoes
1 cup garbanzo flour
½ cup mashed potatoes
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1¾ cup water (approximate)
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup chopped onions
¾ cup peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed dry red chilies, or to taste
½ teaspoon oregano (ajwan) seeds
1 tablespoon Kasoon Methi (available at Indian grocers)” “1 tablespoon Kasoon Methi (available at Indian grocers)
olive oil for cooking
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, mashed potatoes, and baking soda with enough water to make a pourable batter, being sure that no lumps remain. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Heat a skillet or flat pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Pour or ladle about ¼ cup of batter into the pan.
When the bottom of the pancake is golden brown, flip with a spatula and allow the second side to cook. (When both sides are golden brown; if you want to make it crispy, touch each side with oil and cook each side for 30 seconds longer.) Repeat with remaining batter, adding a teaspoon of oil before each ladle of batter.
Serve with yogurt.
Yield: 12 pancakes
▬ In This Issue ▬
Sat Nam. Greetings from New Mexico! Spring will bloom for us in New Mexico in a few weeks. The vernal equinox brings a balance of light and dark, holding the polarities of the day in equal portions. It is a natural process, balancing the light and dark, and for the Mother Earth it is a time of renewal. It is also time for us to balance our own light and dark and renew our spirit of community. As many of you know, I am currently serving on a Collaborative Response Team formed by the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation to address allegations of misconduct by Yogi Bhajan. In March, we have directed an independent investigation to be launched by An Olive Branch. An Olive Branch has extensive experience in performing thorough and compassionate investigations of this nature for spiritual communities worldwide. I encourage anyone to speak with them if you have relevant information supporting or contradicting the claims of sexual misconduct that we are addressing. You may contact them by emailing here and all contact can be held in strict confidence. The report from An Olive Branch will be made public and is expected to be released in June. In this time of tremendous stress, anxiety, pain, and challenge, please join us in a Global Community Meditation for Healing. We are chanting the sacred sound current of Ra-Ma-Da-Sa to bring our voices together for healing and upliftment. We are moving forward with a busy summer in New Mexico and we will process the results of the investigation together with you. No doubt there will be a path forward as we assess and respond to the reality of the present. We are hosting the Level 3 Mela, followed by Summer Solstice Sadhana, Level Two, and then Level One Immersion. The sun will shine bright and our hearts will open and glow with that energy. These teachings work and the evolution of spirit that we witness each summer is always amazing! Warm regards, blessings, and happy spring, Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO KRI
By Priti Darshan Kaur
By Tori Zirul, M.Sc. and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Burning and radiating pain, as well as limited range of motion; symptoms of neck pain range from headaches to tingling fingertips and, in severe cases, can compromise quality of life. Neck pain is a generalized term for various mechanical or neuropathic cervical spine conditions. The cervical spine is composed of seven vertebrae, C1-C7, and eight nerve roots. Each vertebra in the spinal column has a hollow center called the foramen; this allows the spinal cord to extend from the brain to the lumbar spine in order to deliver messages from your body and its parts to your brain or vice versa. Degenerative changes to the foramina puts stress on the nerves leading to pain and neuropathic disorders. Additionally, mechanical causes of neck pain originate from tightness in the muscles of the neck or back. Despite the different causes of chronic neck pain, the presenting complications are similar. Whether if it is nerves or muscles causing symptoms, chronic neck pain could create limitations such as a more sedentary lifestyle, compromised dexterity and functional ability, and depression. Furthermore, physical symptoms create their own set of challenges in the social and professional lives of those suffering. Symptoms could become so severe that affected individuals need to take medical leave from work or face the difficult decision of spinal surgery. In 2019, the World Health Organization classified neck pain as one of the leading causes of disability, estimating that between one and three to one and five individuals, including children, suffer from neck pain or musculoskeletal conditions. There are multiple risk factors for neck pain including: genetics, sleep disturbances, psychopathology such as anxiety or depression, and lifestyle like smoking or physical inactivity. In addition, there are gender differences, with a higher prevalence of neck pain in women as compared to men. The ultimate cause of neck pain remains unclear and treatment is generally geared towards pain management and easing stiffness. Prescription medications and opioids have, traditionally, been go-to treatment options used to mask the debilitating effect of chronic neck pain. While muscle relaxers and opioids can help alleviate symptoms and anti-inflammatories ease the muscles, habitual use comes with a cost. There are significant risks to these options like side-effects, dependency, and prolonged structural misalignments, and so other treatment strategies have been under investigation. In 2019, a paper in the Journal of Clinical Medicine concluded that the most effective mode of treatment for neck pain is physical exercise. It reviewed multiple treatment modalities from education to psychological approaches to targeted or general exercise. Recently, education of pain neuroscience has been a popular approach to treatment, however, it is more effective when combined with somatic interventions. This allows for an awareness of the body and the knowledge of pain aggravators, while simultaneously strengthening the body. Generally, results are largely inconclusive, however, multiple studies support the idea that exercise appears to be an effective modality for pain. The combination of breath work, physical-postures, and meditation with mindfulness allows for ease of stress and tension in the mind and body. Poses like cat and cow or cobra (Bhujangasana) specifically target spinal health by increasing flexibility and mobility. In addition, the mindfulness aspect of yoga is manifested and applied throughout daily activities and help change the mental-distress and emotional reactivity that are known to be associated with pain perception. Furthermore, breathwork has been shown to help alleviate the stress and emotion response on the body through the autonomic nervous system, thereby relieving tension in the body and relaxing the musculature and nervous system hyperarousal. While there is a need for more research, yoga is beginning to gain popularity due to the aforementioned holistic nature of both the physical and mental and emotional benefits. In one of the earlier investigations of yoga for neck pain, Andreas Michalsen and colleagues published a paper in 2012 on the impact of yoga as a treatment for neck pain. The study included a 9-week yoga program to elucidate its usefulness as compared to a self-care and exercise education program for pain management. During the 9-week period, subjects participated in a weekly, 90-minute, Iyengar yoga class. Participants in both groups were evaluated for relief in pain and changes in mood like depression, anger, fatigue, etc. The study showed pain reduction and demonstrated improvement in assessed psychological outcomes like depression and fatigue. However, this study was relatively weak in that it was a short-term study that used a relatively small sample size and the control group also showed improvement. In a 2017 meta-analysis in the journal Clinical rehabilitation, Holger Cramer et al. in Germany evaluated 3 studies including a total of 188 patients with chronic non-specific neck pain comparing yoga to usual care. They concluded that a consistent yoga practice had benefit for neck-pain and associated factors like quality of life and mood. The paper showed that the yoga interventions that included meditation and breathwork appeared to be more effective than those focusing more on the physical exercises and postures. Overall, the analysis confirmed the benefit of yoga as a complementary treatment and the need for more research. In addition to the meta-analysis above, Cramer et al. also published multiple studies on the benefits of yoga for neck pain. The research published included long and short-term studies for yoga as treatment for chronic neck pain. Of the various studies, different styles of yoga: Iyengar, Viniyoga, Hatha Yoga, and non-specified varieties were tested. Although there were reported improvements like decreased pain, increased range of motion, increased quality of life and mood, from each study, there was no significant correlation between the style of yoga and its corresponding benefit. Furthermore, there was no obvious correlation between increased frequency of practice with increased well-being demonstrated in the studies; practicing once weekly appeared to be sufficient. However, a sustained long-term practice that was continued beyond the duration of the study showed favorable outcomes. Cramer’s studies supported the concept of adding yoga to conventional treatment plans due to physical and mental benefits of yoga with its low associated risks of practice. Researcher Naime Ulug and colleagues studied the effectiveness of Pilates and yoga for neck pain using ultrasound imaging as an outcome measure and published their results in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine recently in 2018. The treatment program spanned 6-weeks, the first half was class-based, while the second was independent and home based and compared yoga, Pilates, and targeted neck exercises in respective groups. The study found, a neck muscle associated with head and neck extension, in the group practicing Pilates, but not yoga. The increased size of the muscle was used as an indicator of improved strength. While Pilates was the only exercise group to show changes in muscle, all groups showed improved quality of life and range of motion, with decreased markers for disability and pain. Although, the study had limitations like partial supervision, short duration, and no progressive resistive exercise, it introduced a useful new diagnostic methodology of ultrasound imaging, and confirmed the benefits of complementary practices like yoga and Pilates. Neck pain is a major global health concern with no current ideal conventional therapy. Overall, there is promising supporting evidence for the use of yoga as a tool for neck pain management. Future research with yoga is necessary to determine the best duration and frequency of practice and the best types of exercises to receive maximum and targeted benefit for neck pain reduction. Investigation to study the independent contribution of postures, meditation, and breath-work associated with a yoga practice is also needed. In addition, it would be beneficial for studies to include more rigorous documentation on drop-outs and adverse effects as most studies have reported that as problematic. Although, additional research with larger sample sizes is needed to move this area of research forward, there is encouraging evidence supporting the usefulness of yoga as a complementary treatment option to reduce neck-pain and increase quality of life in this disorder. Tori Zirul is a certified yoga instructor, reiki healer, and scientist. She received her M.Sc. in Molecular Biology, with a concentration in virology, and finds immense joy in writing and speaking about the fields of science and yoga. It is her passion to combine the practice of yoga with the conceptual understanding of how it changes people from the cellular level. She is perpetually driven by a child-like curiosity that is especially evident in her love for science, yoga, art, and travel. 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.
[one-half-first] Your Own Infinity The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan Compiled by Hargopal Kaur Khalsa Infinity, God, the Unknown! Infinity, God, the Unknown! There are countless names and approaches towards the Infinite. Yogi Bhajan shared many ways to connect with that exalted elevated state of consciousness. Some of these paths are included here. Take a peek and see what resonates with you. “Self-Realization is God realization… What is your self-realization? This is yourself. Know it, feel it, touch it.” -Yogi Bhajan Included are 26 Kriyas and Meditations, all given by Yogi Bhajan to provide you with the experience of rising above your finite self and merging with the infinite, creative consciousness. Hargopal Kaur, having had a career in aerospace, now devotes herself to teaching Sat Nam Rasayan®, yoga and meditation; facilitating family constellations; and serving clients. She also compiles books based on Yogi Bhajan’s teachings. Her passion is to uplift and help people grow and feel better – emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Through her own meditative practice, and having studied with Yogi Bhajan, Guru Dev Singh, and Bert Hellinger, she is focused on emptying herself so that she can clearly, neutrally, compassionately serve. Hargopal is based in Los Angeles and teaches in the US, Canada, and Europe. PAGES: 320 Retail Price: $24.95 Promo: $21.28 Ebook: $16.19 (10% off)
The 21 Stages of Meditation Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, PhD Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan Defined by Yogi Bhajan and elucidated by Gurucharan Singh, The 21 Stages of Meditation is a key work in deepening your understanding and experience of meditation. Ranging from Upset and Boredom, to Humility, Graceful Enlightenment, and the Sage, explore these stages and more; explore three distinct meditative journeys, which culminate in the pinnacle of contemplative awareness-Stage 21-The Infinite Pulse. Regular Retail: $44.95 Promo: $38.21 Ebook: $21.59 (10% off)
Timeless Wisdom from Yogi Bhajan DVD Series 3 Kundalini Yoga Class DVDs and 3 Kundalini Yoga Lecture and Meditation DVDs in two complementary collections. Kundalini Yoga Class Series (These all have yoga sets) Eliminating Inner Anger DVD Refining the Spirit DVD Angular Body Energy DVD Kundalini Yoga Lecture and Meditation Series (These are lecture followed by meditation) Winning Through Trust DVD Reaching the Real You DVD Discover Your Soul DVD Retail: $19.95 per DVD Promo: $16.96 [/one-half-first] [one-half] Taken from: From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition). Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Trea Jaaraah- Trinity Life Roots with Tofu
▬ In This Issue ▬
Sat Nam and greetings to you from New Mexico! It is February and Valentine’s Day, so we always take this time to reflect on Love. Yogi Bhajan, throughout his many years of teaching, had some wonderful perspectives on the topic of “Love.” Yogi Bhajan said, on July 29, 1996, “The fact is that if a person has not experienced the love of his or her soul within one’s self, there is no chance that this person can go out and love.” He goes on to say in this lecture, “If you do not have the sensitivity so that your soul can live in the subtle body - and your subtle body is as sophisticated as anything in the universe can be, if you do not produce elegance, grace, and sophistication in your mind, manners, and attitude, and if you do not come from that infinite altitude and you do not ascend to that altitude, then you cannot descend into love. The higher your being is, from here the love comes.” Speaking of love, I had a birthday last month - my 70th! I am grateful for all the love and prayers that came my way from all over the world. It is occasions like this when I feel the depth and breadth of our KRI family and the incredible power of your blessings. You have to see the birthday cake that Shabd Simran Kaur and Kamal Prem Singh baked for me! It was called the “Yogi from the North” and it was as delicious as it was beautiful. So, Happy Valentine’s Day to all the teachers of KRI. Our present to you are a couple of wonderful booklets that can help you understand two important areas of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings.
“Guru Yoga & The Technology of the Tratakum” by Yogi Bhajan (compiled by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, PhD) PDF Version“The Art of the Gong in Kundalini Yoga Meditation” by Yogi Bhajan (compiled by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, PhD) PDF Version In case you don’t know, registration is now open for our Level One Teacher Training Immersion in New Mexico and our Level Two program “Lifecycles and Lifestyles”. If you are considering becoming a teacher of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®, I invite you to join us in Espanola this August. And if you are already a Level One certified teacher, then join us, after Summer Solstice Sadhana, for the “Lifecycles and Lifestyles” program that will include many new features. I hope to see you this summer! In God, I dwell, Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO KRI
By Nikhil Rayburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM2), also called adult-onset diabetes, is a metabolic disease that was formerly only diagnosed in midlife but is now impacting younger adults and even children. This disorder is characterized by defects in insulin production and action, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels, which can lead to serious medical consequences. Long-term complications from diabetes account for more adult cases of vision loss, end-stage kidney disease, and amputations than any other disease. In addition, diabetes significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and may be linked to cancer. DM2 is largely a lifestyle disease caused by inadequate physical activity, diets rich in highly-processed foods and refined sugars, and elevated levels of life-stress. Twenty-eight million people in the United States have DM2, and more than 80 million are considered to be at high risk of developing it, a state called prediabetes or metabolic syndrome. Worldwide, more than 350 million people are estimated to have DM2, a disease affecting many developing countries with limited resources. The high cost and relatively low effectiveness of conventional treatment have resulted in an economic burden estimated to total $322 billion annually in the United States. Conventional treatment aims at controlling glucose levels through medications, education, and behavior change schemes. However, behavior change is notoriously hard to enact because the same environmental and social conditions that gave rise to the disease-causing behavior are still in place. Pharmaceutical treatment drawbacks include dependency, resistance, and adverse long-term effects. Consequently, there has been a concentrated search for non-pharmaceutical treatment and preventative measures. Behavioral treatments such as lifestyle interventions addressing the risk factors of obesity and sedentary activity reduce the development of diabetes by as much as 58% and decrease the need for medications. However, current conventional behavioral lifestyle interventions have limited effectiveness; this is a factor that may likely be improved with yoga. Yoga interventions address several DM2 risk factors and bring a much-needed holistic approach to DM2 treatment. In yoga, physical exercises are linked to lifestyle and behavioral changes that include diet, relaxation, and stress management. A lesser-known aspect of yoga is the social support that a yoga class or community provides and social support is strongly linked to improved diabetes self-care and clinical outcomes. Yoga is better known for increasing fitness and physical function, thereby improving both glucose metabolism and psychological health. At the same time, yoga promotes and supports weight loss and thereby addresses obesity which is a major cause of DM2 onset and complications. Finally, the two most beneficial and consistent outcomes of yoga are an increase in mind-body awareness and stress-coping ability. This leads to a host of positive downstream effects including improvements in healthy behaviors, avoidance of unhealthy behaviors, better sleep cycles, balanced neuroendocrine status, improved metabolic function, and reduced inflammatory responses. There is convincing research that shows that yoga improves mindfulness and mind-body awareness, and this may well encourage individuals to gravitate to healthy behaviors such as exercise and healthy food choices, and away from unhealthy habits such as consuming junk food. This is all due to their enhanced experience of the positive effects of these behaviors. Evidence suggests that stress may play a major role in the development of diabetes, which is why relaxation techniques, such as are found in yoga, could serve as a very effective complement to other lifestyle modifications. Therefore, there is every reason to believe that yoga should be efficacious in preventing and treating DM2. Metabolic Regulation Studies evaluating yoga interventions in patients with DM2 found that yoga normalized metabolic functions which resulted in increased insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and improved lipid profiles. These beneficial effects of yoga on glycemic control are well documented. A recent review in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy looked at the evidence for the benefits of yoga in adults with DM2. Peer-reviewed studies published between 1970 and 2006 looked at the effects of yoga on diabetes and diabetes risk factors in a broad range of outcomes, such as insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, elevated blood pressure, and excess body weight. Each of these factors is strongly implicated in the development and progression of DM2. Despite considerable variability in design, clinical measures, and target populations, most trials reported positive changes in at least one of the outcomes related to DM2 and in clinical outcomes as well. The most recent review of research on yoga therapy for DM2 was published this year by Kim Innes of West Virginia University in the Journal of Diabetes Research. Researchers found 33 papers reporting findings from 25 controlled trials (12 of them RCTs) representing 2170 participating research subjects and concluded that “collectively, the findings suggest that yogic practices may promote significant improvements in several indices of importance in DM2 management, including glycemic control, lipid levels, and body composition. More limited data suggest that yoga may also lower oxidative stress and blood pressure; enhance pulmonary and autonomic function, mood, sleep, and quality of life; and reduce medication use in adults with DM2.” Improved Sense of Well-Being In a pilot study conducted by Shanti Shanti Kaur Khalsa and Guru Parkash Kaur of the Guru Ram Das Center for Medicine and Humanology (founded by Yogi Bhajan in Espanola, New Mexico to apply the practices of Kundalini Yoga for therapeutic populations), they applied 3 questionnaires to evaluate the effectiveness of an 8-week Kundalini Yoga and lifestyle intervention program in diabetic patients. One of these was the Audit of Diabetes Dependent Quality of Life, which measures individuals’ perception of the impact of diabetes on their quality of life. Improvement in quality of life was measured in 9 of 11 participants. The second scale was the Profile of Mood States which consists of subscales measuring the following moods: anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and vigor. There was a statistically significant improvement in all of the above mood states following participation in the diabetes program. The third measure was the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy - Spiritual Well-Being, which measures a faith factor as well as a meaning-and-peace factor. There was a statistically significant improvement in spiritual well-being following participation in the diabetes program as measured by this scale. The evaluation showed that most participants found the components of the program extremely helpful especially in the areas of mood, stress management, quality of life, and ability to relax. Although such findings support the efficacy of yoga as a therapeutic intervention to improve quality of life and stress management, larger randomized control trials are required to substantiate the results. Assist Controlling Glucose Levels There is now a growing number of studies with larger sample sizes showing that yoga can have a positive impact on diabetes. For example, an Indian study from 2015 highlights the efficacy of yoga in controlling blood glucose levels in patients with DM2. The study was conducted at the Department of Physiology and Diabetic clinic of a teaching hospital over a period of two years. The subjects were 30 middle-aged male diabetic patients and an equal number of non-diabetic volunteers made up the control group. The significant decrease in blood glucose levels after yoga in both the experimental and control groups indicates the potential role of yoga as preventive and treatment strategies for DM2. In addition, there is some reason to believe that yoga may rejuvenate or regenerate beta cells of the pancreas which can normalize insulin production. Given its positive effects on metabolic regulation, physical well-being, and mental health, yoga can be considered as a cost-effective and non-invasive adjunct therapy for treating DM2. With few exceptions, the studies document beneficial changes in yoga program participants and suggest improvements in several risk indices mentioned previously such as glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and pulmonary function. However, several of the current studies have small sample sizes which prevent the generalization of findings. The therapeutic potential of yoga in the face of a worldwide epidemic of diabetes warrants additional research, which will require more funding from our public health institutions. This would likely prove to be a valuable investment given that conventional pharmaceutical treatment comes with a number of side effects and limited efficacy. Yoga is potentially a highly cost-effective protocol to treat and prevent DM2 since it addresses the underlying causes along with symptoms. 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. 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.
[caption id="attachment_2396" align="alignright" width="500"] photo credit: Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune[/caption]
Davinder Singh and Harisimran Kaur Khalsa are two people who make a big difference for those who have found themselves homeless in San Diego. Together, as a beautiful vision and mission of their marriage, they founded the Duwara Consciousness Foundation (DCF) dedicated to helping people, including those less fortunate than us, to come together in a comfortable and safe environment to share meals, experiences, life events, and even deep friendships!DCF offers the county’s only 100% donation-based mobile food operation. With their mobile food-truck, Davinder and Harisimran are committed to providing good, nutritious, hot meals to those who need it most. Right now, they are serving food 3 times a week, offered by welcoming volunteers who serve a big dose of respect and love as well as food. The goals of their project are to alleviate food insecurity, promote nutrition and health, and promote relationship-building for San Diego County’s most vulnerable populations. They plan to expand their current food-trailer operation to 10 meal-serving locations per week and are working hard to attract funds and volunteers to make this happen.
Here at KRI, we are always seeking to improve the accuracy of our manuals and printed kriyas to ensure that our trainers, teachers, and students get the most authentic delivery of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. We’d like to bring your attention to several updates that have been issued for The 21 Stages of Meditation - one in 2012 (click here) and again in 2017 (click here). Be sure to make a note in your copy of the book. All changes to KRI books and manuals may be found here at Publication Corrections, so please check back periodically. And if your eagle-eye spots a typographical error, an error in a kriya, or just something that needs improvement, please contact KRI at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the beautiful people of KRI! Did you know that there is a Lecture Topic in the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings on “Love”? Lecture Topics are fun and interesting to use because much of the hard work of searching has already been done for you. From the home page, next to the search bar, you can select Lecture Topics and see what topics have already been researched. See for yourself what Yogi Bhajan says about the rich topic of "Love." Thank you, again, to all of you who make this resource what it is today! Your continued support allows it to grow and evolve to include all of Yogi Bhajan’s lectures in one free resource. Thank You!
[one-half-first] 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
- Kundalini Yoga
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Other lifestyle traditions
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 years of teaching 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
The 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) [/one-half-first] [one-half] From: From Vegetables with Love Recipes and Tales from a Yogi's Kitchen Revised and Expanded New Edition Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Masoor Daal—Spicy Red Lentils
[two-thirds-first] [/two-thirds-first] [one-third] The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund
Level Three Teacher – Realization
KRI Specialty Training - SuperHealth
Yoga for Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric condition that was previously classified as one of the anxiety disorders, specifically as a personality disorder, but is now classified in the new diagnostic category of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders. Patients with OCD experience uncontrollable and continuously reoccurring thoughts or obsessions and/or compulsive behaviors that are severe enough to interfere with their lives. Obsessions include symptoms such as uncontrollable fear of germs or contamination, aggressive thoughts, unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts on sex, religion, or harm, and insistence on things being symmetrical or in order. Compulsions are uncontrollable, ritualistic, or habitual behaviors in response to obsessive thoughts such as excessive cleaning or handwashing, ordering objects in a very precise way, counting, and repeatedly checking to see if everyday tasks have been done. Symptoms of OCD have been portrayed by actor Jack Nicholson in the movie As Good as It Gets and actor Tony Shalhoub in the TV series Monk. Although these showed some humorous circumstances, OCD is a bona fide mental health disorder that can cause significant suffering. The USA Network that aired Monk, launched a public service campaign to increase awareness of OCD and its treatment and the show's website provides OCD information. The overall prevalence of OCD in the population is about 1 percent, with about half of patients exhibiting a serious impairment; it is higher in females and is highest in young adulthood but decreases with age. Potential risk factors for OCD include a genetic predisposition, specific abnormalities in brain structure and function, and childhood trauma although the underlying cause of this disease is unknown. Conventional treatments have included pharmaceuticals, psychotherapy including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and brain stimulation therapies. However, despite significant improvements with these treatments many patients are still left with significant symptoms, suggesting the need for additional treatment strategies. Research on mind-body therapies, such as progressive relaxation, have shown some benefit. One of the first reports of meditation/mindfulness for OCD was a single-patient case report published in 2008 involving mindfulness researcher James Carmody showing that an adapted form of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program yielded significant improvement in the score of the clinician-administered Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (YBOCS), the most common clinical instrument for this disorder. At a 3-month follow-up, the patient exhibited only mild OCD symptoms with improved quality of life and functioning including return to full time work. However, he noted “a need for continued mindfulness practice in order to refine his ability to bring ‘mindfulness to everyday OCD.’”. Subsequently, a number of OCD studies including randomized trials (RCTs) have demonstrated the efficacy of mindfulness-based treatments such as the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy program (an MBSR derivative) and so-called “third-wave” therapies, melding mindfulness-related practices with CBT. A 2019 review of “new-wave” OCD treatment studies in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry by authors from the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in India, identified 40 published trials that provide encouraging evidence for these therapies on OCD symptoms. The basic premise behind the use of meditation/mindfulness-based approaches is the increase, with practice, in the self-regulation of attention, which is at the heart of meditation and yogic practices as originally described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. This ultimately leads to the capability of meta-cognition, the skill of self-regulation of thought processes and the realization that one’s true identity/self is beyond thought processes, and therefore that thought processes can be regulated, even if those thinking patterns are dysfunctional, as they are in OCD. An example of this can be seen in a quote from a subject in a 2012 qualitative study of MBCT in Germany: “When this urge comes, like let’s say, I want to step out right now and wash my hands, that I then first pause for a second and remind myself to also be mindful with myself…”. Recent research on mindfulness-based approaches is now actually investigating which specific aspects of mindfulness are most effective in countering obsessive intrusive thoughts (OITs). A 2018 paper in the journal Mindfulness concluded that “…acting with awareness and acceptance may confer protective characteristics in relation to OITs, but that the observe facet may reflect a hypervigilance to OITs. Mindfulness-based prevention and intervention for OCD should be tailored to take account of the potential differential effects of increasing specific facets of mindfulness.” Research on yoga practices for OCD actually predate studies of meditation/mindfulness alone. In 1996, a case series yoga-for-OCD-treatment study was published in the International Journal of Neuroscience by David Shannahoff-Khalsa. The intervention consisted of a series of physical exercises followed by multiple specific meditations that incorporated posture, breath regulation, and mental focus (some of which could be practiced for up to 31 minutes) intended to reduce anxiety, stress, and mental tension from Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. It also included a key yoga practice thought to be specific for OCD, a specific left-nostril breathing meditation that included breath retention after the inhale and exhale. Most of the subjects completing the trial showed a substantial average improvement of 54 percent in YBOCS scores at three months, with some of these experiencing continued improvement up to one year. This study was followed by an RCT published in 1999 that added researchers from the Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego. The primary treatment group practiced an hour-long version of the Kundalini Yoga practice from the earlier study, whereas the other group practiced relaxation response and mindfulness meditation practices for 30 minutes. After 3 months of treatment, improvements in the yoga group were significantly greater than those in the meditation group on the YBOCS and on another measure of obsessive compulsiveness and mood disturbance. Subjects in the meditation control group then underwent the yoga protocol, and the now-combined treatment group showed continuing additional improvements in YBOCS scores continuously through the 15-month evaluation. The degree of improvement at 3 months was clinically significant and on a par with conventional pharmaceutical treatment suggesting that this yogic therapy is a viable, and potentially preferable, behavioral intervention. The latest RCT study of Kundalini Yoga for OCD in Brazil has been published in the prestigious journal Frontiers in Psychiatry in November of 2019. For this study, Shannahoff-Khalsa was joined by a team that included researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Sao Paulo, and together completed a larger RCT with a similar design to the study in the 1999 paper, with the control group practicing the relaxation response meditation. After four-and-a-half months of treatment, the improvement in the YBOCS score was significantly better than that in the control condition. Subjects completing the yoga treatment experienced a 40 percent improvement, which was similar to that for the previous study; about one third of the patients in the yoga group were in full remission from the disease. In addition, secondary measures from validated questionnaires for mood disturbance, anxiety, and depression also showed improvements with yoga that were significantly better than the control group. In a second phase of the study, in which control subjects then also underwent the yoga treatment protocol, the results for the YBOCS and secondary measures were again similar to the previously published RCT in which improvements continued through about one year of treatment time. The authors concluded that Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan “shows promise as an add-on option for OCD patients unresponsive to first-line therapies”. The only other trial evaluating a yoga intervention for OCD was published in 2016 by a NIMHANS research team. This trial was largely designed as a preliminary test and refinement of a hatha yoga protocol but did include a small single group treatment trial. This study reported a statistically significant improvement in the average YBOCS score for 10 subjects completing two weeks of the treatment with score improvements similar to those for the Kundalini Yoga trials. Clearly, there is now reasonable preliminary evidence for yoga as a treatment modality for OCD. The meditative component of yoga may be one mechanism by which yoga is exerting clinical improvements, and it remains to be determined how much the postures and breath regulation practices may also be contributing. Additional research is warranted for yoga as a behavioral treatment that provides an additional option for patients, which is free from side effects of pharmaceuticals and may provide benefits in patients who have had experienced insufficient improvement with conventional treatments. 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.
[one-half-first] KRI Specials for January 2020 Rebirthing 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 that keep you from living your best life-awakened, rejuvenated, and present to your purpose. Rebirthing courses by Yogi Bhajan are some of the most talked about classes he offered in his 35 years of teaching. 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
Rebirthing 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 l 2. Rebirthing ll 3. Rebirthing lll 4. Rebirthing lV 5. Unloading Your Pain & Fear l 6. Unloading Your Pain & Fear ll 7. Unloading the Pain of Perpetual Memories l 8. Unloading the Pain of Perpetual Memories ll 9. Release Your Garbage 10. Ardh Kechari Kriya 11. Getting Rid of Transit Memories l 12. Getting Rid of Transit Memories ll 13. Removing the Fears from the Fifth Month in the Womb l 14. Removing the Fears from the Fifth Month in the Womb ll 15. Clearing the Magnetic Block from the Womb l 16. Clearing the Magnetic Block from the Womb ll 17. Cleaning the Clutter of the Mind l 18. Cleaning the Clutter of the Mind ll 19. Cleaning the Mind l 20. Cleaning the Mind ll 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! Mantra: Personal Guidance through the Power of the Word By Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Khalsa, PhD, Bhai Sahiba of Sikh Dharma International This book contains hundreds of beautiful mantras to recite and repeat for personal needs like clarity, healing, intuition, peace, self-esteem, stability, trust and wisdom. 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. The mantras in this book have been lovingly collected, translated, and commented upon by the devoted wife of Yogi Bhajan. Retail: $39.95 Promo: $33.96
[/one-half-first] [one-half] Stop the drums of war
KRI January Recipe of the Month Excerpt From: Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi's Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition) Hearty Winter Borscht
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund
Is Yoga 5,000 Years Old? The Archaeology of Yoga Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. In understanding the history of when yoga practice began, perhaps the most seminal historical scripture has been Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, approximately 2,000 years old, in which the description of the process and psychology of yogic meditation is thoroughly described. Other texts around the same time include the meditative practice and teachings of Buddha and the description of meditative practice in the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads (dated to approximately 200 B.C.E. and possibly a little earlier). In the Katha Upanishad (1-III-9) is text describing the act of meditation using the analogue of a charioteer guiding horses to represent control of attention over thoughts: “…the man who has a discriminating intellect as his driver, and a controlled-mind as the reins, reaches the end of the path – that supreme state of Vishnu.” The word “yoga” does appear in the older Vedas; however, the context of its use is more as a state of unitive/transcendental consciousness rather than as a contemplative behavioral practice. As noted in the online Encyclopedia Britannica, “The prehistory of Yoga is not clear. The early Vedic texts speak of ecstatics, who may well have been predecessors of the later yogis (followers of Yoga)”. Therefore, given the uncertainty of the references to actual yoga practice in the Vedas, a more conservative conclusion as to the history of yoga practices would be to associate it with the other texts above. We can therefore say with confidence that yoga/meditation practice is “thousands of years old.” To put a more exact number on it, yoga is at least 2,500 years old. However, there have been numerous instances in books and internet sites that refer to the origin of yoga as being 5,000 years old, far earlier than can be justified by the scriptural texts noted above. For example, there are statements on websites: “Yoga, a 5000-year-old practice, still suited for the modern era” and “The development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago…”. A Yoga Alliance web page states that “Yoga was developed up to 5,000 years ago in India…”. There is also a paper in the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Health Practitioner entitled “Yoga: 5,000 Years Young”. Even Indian government institutions entrusted with representing and promoting yoga have clearly stated that yoga practice is this old (See: https://www.mea.gov.in/in-focus-article.htm?25096/Yoga+Its+Origin+History+and+Development). So, where does this significant 2,500-year extension of the origin of yoga practice come from?
Indus Valley: Stone seal excavated from Harappa show a figure in a yogic pose, circa 3,300-1,300 BC. Photo was taken at the National Museum of India by the author.In the early 1920’s, notable archaeological excavations in Pakistan and northern India revealed the existence of a previously unknown ancient civilization centered around the Indus river that was contemporaneous with other ancient societies such as Mesopotamia. This civilization is now known to have existed between approximately 3,300 and 1,300 B.C.E. and has been called the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappan Civilization after one of the major excavated towns. Among the many artifacts unearthed were small stone seals, which were used as stamps for making impressions, typically for trade purposes. One carved image appears to be the classic yoga meditation posture, with legs folded in a sitting posture with the arms extended and resting on the knees. The artifact pictured was on display in the National Museum of India in New Delhi earlier this year. The similarity of this posture to the meditative posture was not lost on the archaeologists and historians who quickly began surmising that this civilization was possibly involved with yoga practice. As of 2002, there were a total of 16 artifacts unearthed depicting this yogic-like image, including a copper plate. These artifacts also include symbols, which are suggestive of a script or language; however, it has yet to be deciphered, and so we cannot confirm that these artifacts are representing yoga practice. We cannot rule out the possibility that this posture is related to some other behavior and activity. Of course, sitting cross-legged on the ground is not a unique way of sitting, especially in ancient times. These yogic-like artifacts have been discussed in a 1981 paper entitled “An Archaeology of Yoga” by Thomas McEvilley in the journal, RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics. He thoroughly presents the arguments of multiple scholars and historians who have argued for the conclusion that yoga practice existed in the Indus Valley civilization, but he also convincingly provides strong possible counter-arguments that make these conclusions questionable.
Artifacts excavated from Harappa appear to show figures with eyes “overshadowed” and focused at the tip of the nose.In addition to these yogic seals, there are other artifacts which some scholars have suggested are also yoga-related. A well-known male limestone bust from excavation at the Indus Valley town of Mohenjo-daro has had some of its characteristics attributed to meditative practice. In a very early report shortly after its discovery, it was suggested that the eyes appear to be partly closed and to be focused at the tip of the nose as is consistent with early descriptions of meditative practice.
Seated Figurine: Seated figure with hands in Anjali Mudra. Photo was taken at the National Museum of India by the author.In a chapter within the 1953 book The Art and Architecture of India, there is an interesting discussion on the features of a limestone torso from the Indus Valley town of Harappa, which has the abdomen extended. The author suggests that this is consistent with yogic abdominal breathing: “The fact that the figure appears pot-bellied is, therefore, iconographically correct and truthful. It is not intended as a caricature in any sense, since this distension resulting from yogic breath-control was regarded as an outward sign of both material and spiritual well-being.” There are a number of clay figurines discovered which are in seated postures with hands pressed together in prayer pose. (Anjali mudra or Namaskar pose; see the photo of one of these taken at the National Museum of India). However, as with the yogic seals, there are alternative possible interpretations of these artifacts that cannot be dismissed lightly, so there remains uncertainty as to the association of these artifacts with yogic practices. It is understandably tempting to attribute yoga’s origins to the Indus Valley civilization, as these images are very striking in their similarity to yogic practices. However, until the script is deciphered, or other stronger evidence becomes available, we cannot be truly definitive. On the other hand, does it really matter whether yoga is only 2,500 years old and not 5,000 years old? Clearly, this is not important with respect to any modern-day practical purposes, as we can still be confident that these are truly “ancient” practices. For those with a passion and curiosity for history and archaeology, this is a deeply interesting question. There is significant hope that we will ultimately find the answer; it is estimated that 80% of the Indus Valley civilization sites remain to be excavated, suggesting that there is very likely more definitive evidence to come, and perhaps even an Indus Valley Civilization analogue to the Rosetta Stone that would allow understanding of the script. Stay tuned. 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.
21 Stages of Meditation Under the Blue Skies of New Mexico By Priti Darshan Kaur The 21 Stages of Meditation in Espanola was a priceless opportunity to experience deeply transformational energy. When you first look at the 21 Stages of Meditation, it appears to be a systematic process of moving from one stage to the next to achieve an elevated state of being. The program presents itself as a meditative journey to deepen the experience of the Self within the mind. One can embark on the 21 Stages with the belief that if your heart and mind are focused on every meditation, then the Infinite Pulse is awaiting to expand your radiance of Infinity. This is all true, and is in fact what I experienced, but it was totally not what I imagined it to be. The experience of 21 Stages of Meditation is something that defies words and must instead be felt from your inner core. As we progressed through each stage of meditation, Nirvair Singh and Dr. Japa Kaur guided us deeper into ourselves, continuously highlighting that this was an experience of our own mind. And although this message was delivered repeatedly, I did not understand or accept it until I experienced my mind witnessing its own thoughts, like an observer in a fascinating play. When this level was reached, the deep contemplation of the kriyas allowed for the intimate exposure of patterns, egos protective mechanisms, and outdated belief systems that kept me separate from my own divine radiance- our direct link to the Source. I witnessed the way my mind used fantasy, to even further the illusion of reality, to escape from moments that I found uncomfortable. The witness of this repetitive dissociative pattern allowed me the space to recognize where this occurs across the many facets of my life. I was able to shine a light on the shadows of my own blind spots and chose to elevate myself towards the awareness of being present in the now. There was an acceptance of 4-D reality, as it is, and that to truly experience life I had to participate in it right here - right now. Elevating this one pattern immediately changed my expression of communication with myself, with others, and with my relationship to the living world. It liberated the pieces of me that were stuck in a cage of illusion and in doing so, moved me closer to the light of Truth. Every time we dropped deeper into the meditative states and had longer experiences of shuniya, the zero state of nothingness, more patterns would be exposed to me; more light would shine in dark places; more self-imposed cages would be lifted; and more identity of Truth would reveal itself until Sat Nam truly vibrated through my every cell. This expansive process was possible through the strong stability of the group energy, combining meditators of all experiences, ages, and disciplines. Some of the attendees were Kundalini Yoga practitioners and some had not done any type of yoga in many years. Regardless of experience, credentials, or background everyone contributed exponentially to the group meditative state and to the process of exposing and witnessing the Self. Nirvair Singh’s historical perspective provided unbounded wisdom that penetrated everyone. His delivery of the teachings was clear, concise, and centered around the experience of dropping into the mind, witnessing it, and then expanding further into it: witnessing the mind, witnessing the mind witnessing thoughts. There was a direct link to the tangible feeling of the existence of Infinity, a concept that was only as far away as the moment of right now. The delivery allowed for accessible understanding, sustained concentration, and intimate awareness of the experience. Japa Kaur equally added value to the program, bringing her medical knowledge and intuitive ease to provide another layer of understanding of Yogi Bhajan’s mastery of energetic anatomy and the meridian system. Japa was able to anchor the teachings in a grounded place in our body. She worked with showing us how the meridian lines were effected through the mudras and postures, and how intelligently connected these kriyas are to their presented effects. This understanding gave us a deeper connection to each posture and a deeper trust in the graceful space that was being held. Along with her intellect, Japa also provided the gentle reminder of humanness and consciousness. Her humility and humor grounded the experience in the now and demonstrated the ways that this practice is about being real. The most memorable part of the 21 Stages of Meditation was not only the development of Self that continues on after the course, but the experience of deep transformation within a community who support this elevation of consciousness. Even though most of the program was spent in the solitude of your own awareness, there was an energetic bond between the participants, forged and nurtured by spending time in the container of meditation together. These bonds created an enduring family - a family that exists beyond the confines of time and space. No matter what your experience or capacity for meditation is, this course is for you. This course is for everyone! To truly know is to experience, and we hope to share this experience with you at our next 21 Stages of Meditation in Espanola, October 11- 18, 2020. With big love to you on your journey. Priti Darshan Kaur is an events coordinator at KRI for the Level One Immersion, Level 3 Mela, and 21 Stages of Meditation. Her life is dedicated to integrating Truth, relaxing into peace, and serving the beings of Mother Earth. She loves all things that expand awareness and consciousness.
Aquarian Development Series Sat Nam, 2019 has brought to life the Aquarian Development Series (ADS), a wonderful new learning opportunity at KRI to support trainers, teachers, and the global Kundalini Yoga community. ADS brings a diverse range of information about Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan to the public by harnessing the wisdom of many members of the KRI community through their expertise and generous hearts. ADS will expand your knowledge of Kundalini Yoga and hone your skills as a teacher and a trainer. This new series of on-line courses and webinars supports you by offering cutting-edge knowledge and skill enhancement opportunities. These 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.
Level Three Teacher – Realization Have you considered starting your KRI Level Three certification? It is a wonderful process of expansion and growth that you will cherish. "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 The Level Three Program is a personal journey to Self-Realization. Refine your authentic identity as a Teacher and deepen your unique relationship to the Sacred. It is a 1,000-day commitment:
• 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)Note: You must be Level One and Level Two (having completed all 5 Level Two Modules) certified to apply for the Level Three program. Apply to the Level Three program here. Submission deadline is January 15, 2020.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Happy Holidays to our beautiful Kundalini Community! May this month be one of connection and contemplation as the year winds down and we enter into the colder quieter months (at least that is true here in the Northern Hemisphere). This month we will be exploring way to ‘Heal Your Back with The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings’. In the days leading up to Winter Solstice on December 21st, we will be studying some of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings surrounding back pain management, emotional contributors to back pain, and Kundalini Yoga that supports back health. All of our generous donors in will receive a free copy of the e-Book, Heal Your Back Now!, by Nirvair Singh Khalsa. Look for our daily emails starting December 17th, as we journey through the various regions of the back and Yogiji’s teachings on strengthening this vital core structure. “Ninety percent of you shall suffer back pain at the age of thirty-six onward, some even earlier... [This is] because we do not stretch it properly, there is no fault. Fault is not in our back, lower back [pain is the result of] our not caring for it. When you don't care for something for a long time, it starts hurting to draw the attention and that's what the lower back does.” Yogi Bhajan November 16, 1990 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 2019 comes to a close, we pray that you and your loved ones are blessed with health, prosperity and abundance. Waheguru!
KRI December Newsletter Specials
KRI Newsletter December Recipe of the Month A Wonderful Holiday Cake Recipe for whatever you might want to celebrate! Excerpt from: From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi's Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition) Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Walnut Spice Cake Yield: 2 9”x12” or 3 8” layers or about 30 cupcakes
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund
KRI Level One Immersion in Bali KRI is once again hosting Level One Immersion Teacher Training in Bali April 25th to May 23rd, 2020! Bali is a beautiful island of warm sun, soft breezes, and calming vibrations. Join us this spring in the forest village of Ubud, Bali to develop your skills as a Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. Level One Training is an intensive experience in Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Together with a community of globally diverse, but like-minded seekers, you will make new friends who can support you on your path of evolution. The natural beauty of Bali supports your transformation, and the experiences you share with your fellow students often form solid foundations for life-long friendships. If you have considered teaching Kundalini Yoga, this is the time for you. Join us for 28 days in Ubud, Bali to develop your skills as a Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga. Certification requirements continue for the following 6 months. Early registration rate ends on November 30th, 2019. Last year’s Bali Immersion Training sold out, so register now and don’t delay! Be a teacher in 2020 – Serve your world.
550th Birth of Guru Nanak On November 15th of this year we celebrate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Guru and author of the Japji Sahib, the beginning prayer of the Aquarian Sadhana. Guru Nanak’s message of Ik Ongkar “We are All One” offers a revolutionary way of being in the world as both distinctly sovereign and interconnected to all life, guiding us through the pain and violence of our times. The students I teach at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles find solace and inspiration in the Sikh teachings that promote love rather than fear and hate and promote service for each other without thought of reward. They look to the examples of Bhai Ghaneya, a Sikh of the Tenth Guru, who cared for all soldiers on the battlefield, giving life-sustaining aid and water - even to the opposing Mughal troops. The Sikh examples of compassion in the midst of violence and suffering inspire us to see the divine light shining within each and every being, beyond political, religious, and social divides. It is this same light of awareness that was sparked by Guru Nanak who taught the values of Nirbhao and Nirvair - to be fearless warriors of love without enmity, to stand for the rights of all people because they see humanity as One. The Janamsakhi, traditional stories about the life of Guru Nanak, tell us that at the age of thirty, Guru Nanak went into the Kali Bein river in Sultanpur Lodhi, Punjab to bathe and was lost for three days. People thought him a dead man. On the third-day, he arose out of the river reciting his enlightening message of the divine interconnected Oneness of Creator and creation, Ik Ongkar, Sat Nam, which Sikhs continue to recite in their daily morning Japji Sahib. It is also said that Guru Nanak dressed in many religious garbs, sometimes as a Sufi and sometimes as a yogi, proclaiming, Na koi Hindu, Na koi Musalman, “there is no Hindu, there is no Muslim,” as a response to the politics of his day and the divisive nature of categories and boundaries that divide us. He shared this unitary message across the world through song as he traveled with his Muslim rabab-playing companion, Bhai Mardana. These songs became enshrined in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the holy granth of the Sikhs, and have cultivated my own worldview. During my childhood my mother would softly sing the bedtime Song of Praise, Kirtan Sohila. My favorite part was always Guru Nanak’s Aarti in Raag Dhanasari, which I now sing to my two young daughters.
Sahas tav nain nan nain heh tohi ka-o sahas moorat nanaa ayk tohee. Sahas pad bimal nan ayk pad ganDh bin sahas tav ganDh iv chalat mohee.
A thousand are your eyes yet you have no eyes; a thousand are your forms yet you have no form; a thousand are your feet, yet you have no feet; a thousand are your noses to smell, yet you have no nose.Guru Nanak’s ability to express a clear vision of the Divine with such depth and simplicity allows us all, young and old, to recognize this infinite light that shines within all creatures and throughout all creation. Our teacher, Yogi Bhajan, would convey Guru Nanak’s message by saying “If you can’t see God in All, you can’t see God at all”. This statement has echoed as a reminder throughout my life to recognize the divine light that shines within all life, to rejoice in the love that connects us, and serve all in this blessing. On this 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, may we all remember to not merely recite, but to live Guru Nanak’s teachings of Ik Ongkar Sat Nam. The truth is, we are All One, under the same sun. Nirinjan Kaur Khalsa-Baker teaches Sikhism and Indian Religions at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles as Instructor of Theological Studies, Acting Director of the Master of Yoga Studies program, and former Clinical Professor of Jain and Sikh Studies. She has been a student of the Gurbani Kirtan parampara on the jori-pakhawaj since 2000 and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Fall is one of my favorite times of year in New Mexico - the beautiful fall colors and coming together with family and community. This month, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. It gives us an opportunity to reflect on all that we have and are grateful. It is a sweet time of year for many of us as we gather together with family and friends and celebrate the abundance in our lives. No matter the challenges we face, we can always find time to feel grateful. I want to take a moment to share our deep gratitude for all of our generous donors. You are what make The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® this invaluable resource of Yogi Bhajan’s lectures. Without your contributions, love and support, we would not be able to make these teachings available online to the world for free…Thank you! On Thanksgiving Day in 1979, Yogi Bhajan gave this message that was sent out to all 3HO Ashrams:
I will like to be with you, my dear fellow Americans, on this day in the spirit of God and in the bountifulness of this land. We call it the “home of the brave.” A land where human rights are voiced, now and then. A land where our spirits are free. A land where we can still do what we can do, but the events around this world of ours are not very helpful at this time. There is a lot of heavy pressure on us - how we have to act, and [where] we have to go, and how we have to grow. The drama that we are a first-rate power is being challenged by many, many little situations. So today, on this Thanksgiving Day, we have to be very grateful to God and keep ourselves together. Yogi Bhajan, November 22, 1979Somehow, this message seems as appropriate today as it did 40 years ago. Keep-up is still the mantra of our times. Thank you, again, to all of you who make this resource what it is today! Your continued support allows it to grow and evolve to include all of Yogi Bhajan’s lectures in one free resource. Thank You!
KRI November Newsletter Specials
The Master’s Touch On Being a Sacred Teacher for the New Age Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga This book is for every student of Truth. Whatever path you have chosen, it will give you an understanding of the true meaning of mastery. In this superb collection of teachings from his “Master’s Touch” courses, Yogi Bhajan, one of the most pragmatic spiritual Teachers of our time, explains the path of the Teacher. He does it with wit, compassion, and a practical sense of the challenges of daily life. Retail: $49.95 Promo: $42.46
The Masters Touch Video and Lecture DVD Series Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® On Being a Sacred Teacher for the New Age This is for every teacher of Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan®, and for everyone on the spiritual path. In July of 1996 and April of 1997, Yogi Bhajan did what he loved best - training Kundalini Yoga teachers - in Master's Touch programs in Española, New Mexico and Assisi, Italy. His enthusiasm, his stated mission, is apparent in the compelling lectures from these courses which make up this masterpiece of instructive wisdom. Yogi Bhajan told the student-teachers, "You are born to be a Teacher and shall teach, but in His Name, and to all, big and small." The class meditated daily with Yogi Bhajan to develop these attributes and more: Tuning into Your Aura, Meditate on Your Self as a Yogi, Discover the Beauty & Heaven Within, Experience the Essence of a Teacher, Develop the Guidance of the Soul, Healing Breath Formula, Elevated Caliber of a Spiritual Teacher and Opening the Lock of the Heart Center. Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga Volume One: The Golden Rules of a Teacher Volume Two: Overcoming the Complexes of Life Volume Three: The Grace of Kundalini Yoga Volume Four: The Teacher & the Student Volume Five: Descending God & Ascending Human Volume Six: Projecting as a Teacher Volume Seven: A Self Surrender to the Higher Self Volume Eight: Trouble Comes into Your Life When You Ask for It Regular Price per DVD: $19.95 Promo per DVD: $16.96 You can also get the entire 8 Volume Set for the everyday discount price of $119.70! KRI November Recipe of the Month Tomato Mung Bean Soup Excerpt from: From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi's Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition) Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Yield: 8 servings
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund
The Aquarian Development Series 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
- 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.
The Student Bill of Rights 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.
Body Image Portrayal in the Yoga Print Media 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.
Be You – A Level One Immersion Experience 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings 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.
KRI October Specials of the Month
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 Promo: $16.96 per DVD Or $74.95 for any 1 of the 3 full sets of DVDs, a 25% discount from retail. KRI October Recipe of the Month Taken from: 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
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21 Stages of Meditation in Espanola this Fall
Yogic Slow Breathing: A Better Way to Ventilate By Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. The 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 included 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 the public 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% increase in oxygen consumption above baseline, the relaxed breathing that immediately followed, showed little indication that the subject had been exerting himself. A very thoroughly done 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 yield 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 South-Western 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. Reprinted from KRI Newsletter, February 2017 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. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Searching the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® – Tips and Techniques Searching the Library of Teachings for a special topic of interest is one of the most functional and versatile aspects of the Library. I find that I use this quite a bit – either for preparing for class, writing on a topic, or just following the trail of my curiosity. There are several ways to approach searching. Words and Phrases In the Library of Teachings, search words are used in a very similar way to searching Google. You can use a keyword and that is always an easy way to start. But because the Library is so extensive, a single word search is likely to bring up dozens, if not hundreds, of lectures. A good way to narrow down your search is to use double-quoted phrases in the search text. For example, "yoga of awareness", can be treated as an exact phrase in a search and give you more specific results. Searching also supports NEAR, AND, OR, grouping with parentheses ( ), and negation with a minus sign ( - ). You can combine all of these elements of the grammar together to easily form complex queries. Here is an example of how to use these tools, and remember AND, OR, and NEAR must always be uppercase:
September KRI Newsletter Specials KRI presents: The Everyday Series Books to explore your Yogic Life Everyday Grace The 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 The 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 The Heart of Being Guru Prem Singh Khalsa 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 every day special price on the Combo Pak of all 3 Everyday books for $39.95. 25% off regular retail. Available anytime!
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Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Yogi Bhajan Yogi Bhajan’s birthday is in August and each year Hacienda de Guru Ram Das in Espanola hosts a party to celebrate the event. Join us Saturday, August 24th, for an evening of Kundalini Yoga, meditation, music, food, and friends. Together we rejoice in celebrating the life and legacy of our teacher, Yogi Bhajan.
Stress and the Path to Vitality - KRI’s Level 2 Vitality & Stress Transformation By Jaijot Kaur Stress is one of the most commonly used words in the English Language! According to World Frequency Data, it ranks in the top 1%. Seriously. In case you haven’t heard, everybody is stressed! In stark contrast, attending KRI’s Vitality & Stress Level Two Teacher Training was like a honeymoon adventure of a lifetime. Returning home, everyone commented, “Wow, you’re glowing!” I felt it, too, after spending 6 days in Espanola, New Mexico. It is a big effort but getting away is worth it - every single time. Every summer in New Mexico at Level Two, you can:
- Enjoy the healthiest, most fresh, and delicious foods.
- Practice yoga and meditation for several hours a day, expanding your individual and group consciousness.
- Live in community with a massively diverse group of Kundalini Yoga students and teachers of all ages and from all continents of the globe (except Antarctica, so far).
- Add some serious expansion to your teaching repertoire.
Self-Regulating that Thing in Your Neck: Research on Yoga for Thyroid Function by Tianyu Tang, M.S. and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Sitting in front of our neck below the Adam’s apple is a butterfly-shaped gland named the thyroid. Small but important, it regulates numerous metabolic processes in our body by producing two main hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The function of the thyroid gland is regulated by a feedback mechanism that involves the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland in the brain. When thyroid hormones are low, the hypothalamus produces thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), which then signals the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), causing the thyroid to produce more T4. Problems with any of the three components of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis may cause thyroid disorders. Over 12 percent of the total U.S. population will develop a thyroid disease over their lifetime. The two most common thyroid disorders are hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), which occur in about 5 percent and 1 percent of the U.S. population, respectively, and are most common in women. Hypothyroid symptoms include fatigue, depression, joint and muscle pain, cold intolerance, weight gain, slowed heart rate, and menstrual irregularities. Common causes include Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder, iodine deficiency, thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, and congenital hypothyroidism. The excessive thyroid hormones in hyperthyroidism cause metabolic processes to speed up with symptoms including irritability, trouble sleeping, muscle weakness, heat intolerance, weight loss, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, and menstrual irregularities. Graves’ disease, another autoimmune disease, is the most common cause, but other causes include thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, and excessive intake of iodine, and thyroid hormones. Traditional treatments for thyroid disorders are medications or surgery. Hypothyroidism is usually treated with levothyroxine, a hormone replacement medication. Hyperthyroidism is most often treated with antithyroid medicines and beta blockers to manage symptoms. Another common and effective treatment is radioactive iodine, whereas surgery to remove part of the thyroid is the least-used option. People with thyroid disorders sometimes choose complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) to help manage the side effects and anxiety that come with traditional treatments. Some scientists have suggested that yoga and meditation may lead to neuroendocrine changes that affect thyroid function. Werner et al. suggested in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine in 1986, that meditation could affect the secretion of hypothalamic factors and pituitary hormones, leading to more efficient functioning of the HPT axis. More recently, Singh et al. stated in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice in 2011, that yoga is well-suited to the needs of thyroid patients. Specific yoga practices have been recommended for maintaining thyroid gland function and metabolic processes as a complementary therapy. The intricate interplay between stress and thyroid hormones is especially important for autoimmune thyroid disorders, such as Grave’s and Hashimoto’s diseases. These disease symptoms are often worsened due to inflammatory responses triggered by chronic stress. Lifestyle changes, which incorporate strategies to counteract chronic stress such as physical exercises, diet, restful sleep, and relaxation techniques including deep breathing and yoga, can help in the long-term management of thyroid disorders. Studies showing the benefit of yoga practice for those with abnormal thyroid conditions have been positive. Maske and Barnwal conducted two consecutive studies in India, which showed yoga to be effective adjunct therapy to medication in treating hyperthyroidism. In their study published in the International Journal of Applied Research, 40 patients with clinical hyperthyroidism were assigned to either yoga practice or control, and both groups were kept on medication for 6 months. After practicing hatha yoga 30-minutes daily for 3 months, participants showed significant improvement in T3 level, whereas the control group experienced no change. In their other study published in the International Journal of Medical and Health Research, 40 female patients with hyperthyroidism were assigned to either yoga or control. After 3 months, participants experienced a significant decrease in T4 level, whereas the control group experienced no change. Studies have also shown the positive effect of yoga in treating hypothyroidism or its related symptoms. In a study published by Nilakanthan in 2016, 22 women with hypothyroidism underwent 6 months of yoga practice for 1 hour a day, 4 days a week, and continued to take thyroxine during intervention. Measurements post-intervention showed improvement in lipid profile as well as thyroxine medication dosage, despite no significant reduction in serum TSH. In another study conducted by Banerjee in 2019, 150 women with obesity-induced hypothyroidism experienced improvement in both body weight and TSH level after 45-min daily yoga and diet intervention for 4 months, as opposed to a medication and diet intervention. This study therefore recommended yoga for women in metro cities in India to reduce obesity and hypothyroidism. A case-study published by Gowda et al. in 2017 reported a 50-year-old man who underwent a tailored yoga and naturopathy intervention, and successfully managed his metabolic syndrome and hypothyroidism. At the end of 6 weeks, he experienced improvements in all physical measures including TSH level, went off medications, and reported better overall health. These positive effects were sustained after 12 weeks, as he continued the prescribed diet and yoga, implying that lifestyle changes are safe and effective interventions. In a study conducted by Swami et al. in 2009, 20 females with hypothyroidism underwent 6 months of 45-minutes daily pranayama and meditation. Their pulmonary function tests and TSH level were significantly improved. The authors suggested that the changes in pulmonary function may be due to improved respiratory muscle strength and air entry. In a study conducted by Singh et al. in 2011, 20 female hypothyroid patients reported significantly improved quality of life across all domains using the WHO QoL Scale, after practicing 1-hour daily yoga for 1 month. The study showed that yoga is helpful in managing hypothyroid disease symptoms, such as those related to energy levels, weight changes, physical appearance, and psychological motivation. Studies conducted in populations with normal thyroid functions show mixed results on the effect of yoga on thyroid function. An early prospective study published by Gordon et al. in 2008 investigated the effect of yoga and physical training on 231 patients with Type II diabetes randomized into three groups: yoga, physical training, and control, and found no changes in thyroid hormones in any group over the 6-month period. In a 2018 study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Hormones, 20 young, healthy women in Iran were randomized into a yoga group, where they practiced hatha yoga 90-minutes daily, 3 times a week for 8 weeks, and a control group where they continued routine activities. Results showed no effect of yoga intervention on any thyroid hormone levels. A 2016 study conducted by Chaturvedi et al. in India compared the effect of hatha yoga and physical exercise on a range of biophysical indicators in 216 perimenopausal women. Despite changes in other parameters, TSH levels did not change in either group and did not differ between groups. In another study published in 2017 in India, researchers recruited 50 healthy volunteers to practice yoga 75-minutes daily, 6 days a week for 41 days, and again no change in thyroid function was observed after short-term yoga practice. On the other hand, two studies have reported TSH reduction with yoga and meditation in populations with normal thyroid functions. In a study by Werner et al., 11 healthy young men with an average of 7 years of meditation practice experienced a continuous decline in TSH level, with no consistent changes in serum T3 or T4 levels over a 3-year period of Transcendental Meditation practice. In a randomized control trial conducted by Rani et al. in India, 126 women of reproductive age with menstrual irregularities underwent either medication plus Yoga Nidra or medication only. They performed yoga for 35-40 min a day, 5 days a week for 6 months. Results showed a significantly higher decrease in TSH level along with other reproductive hormones in the yoga group, compared to the control group, suggesting that Yoga Nidra was helpful in reducing symptoms of menstrual abnormalities and hormone imbalances. In summary, existing studies have demonstrated the positive effect of yoga and meditation as complementary therapies for thyroid disorders. The benefits are most likely brought about by increased physical activity and relaxation, leading to improved regulation of the HPT axis and better management of disease symptoms. Yoga practice improves the regulation of the psycho-neuro-endocrine and immune systems and results in a more balanced state of health. Future studies that utilize a large sample size, more generalized populations, and randomized study designs are warranted to confirm and extend these findings. Tianyu Tang grew up in China with a childhood love for singing, dancing, and reading. After gaining a liberal arts education from the U.S., she continued her graduate training in public health and epidemiology with a focus on cancer research. She stumbled across Kundalini Yoga in 2014, and has since found tremendous peace, creativity, and self-expression in this practice. She has worked in private research, international NGO, and academia. Currently she lives in Beijing and is exploring venues for her passion in teaching, writing, and working with children.. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Library of Teachings’ Feature: Audio Download Did you know that you can download any audio lecture on the Library of Teachings? Plus, it’s free! Download a lecture and listen to it anywhere - in the car, at the gym, or on your lunch break. I use this feature when I travel - downloading a lecture for a long airplane ride is especially handy. I attended many lectures by Yogi Bhajan in person, but I find that I absorb and understand his lectures more now than when he was sitting on the stage in front of me. Also, many of the lectures from the early 1970’s are in audio format only, and these I find especially interesting – filled with unfiltered gems about Kundalini Yoga and the early days of 3HO. The amount of information in each lecture is just amazing and I am so grateful to be able to benefit from them now. The download feature is located to the bottom right corner of the audio timeline, in the three little dots. By clicking on it, you can download the full audio and listen to it anytime without internet access!
August Newsletter Specials from KRI New Book! Your Own Infinity The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan Compiled by Hargopal Kaur Khalsa Infinity, God, the Unknown! Infinity, God, the Unknown! There are countless names and approaches towards the Infinite. Yogi Bhajan shared many ways to connect with that exalted elevated state of consciousness. Some of these paths are included here. Take a peek and see what resonates with you. “Self-Realization is God realization… What is your self-realization? This is yourself. Know it, feel it, touch it.” -Yogi Bhajan Included are 26 Kriyas and Meditations, all given by Yogi Bhajan to provide you with the experience of rising above your finite self and merging with the Infinite, Creative Consciousness. Hargopal Kaur, having had a career in aerospace, now devotes herself to teaching Sat Nam Rasayan®, yoga, and meditation; facilitating family constellations; and serving clients. She also compiles books based on Yogi Bhajan’s teachings. Her passion is to uplift and help people grow and feel better – emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Through her own meditative practice, and having studied with Yogi Bhajan, Guru Dev Singh, and Bert Hellinger, she is focused on emptying herself so that she can clearly, neutrally, compassionately serve. Hargopal is based in Los Angeles and teaches in the US, Canada, and Europe. PAGES: 320 Retail Price: $24.95 Promo: $21.28 Ebook: $13.47 (10% off)
Blessings 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 Ebook: $8.99 (10% off)
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Slowing Your Spontaneous Breath Rate: Supportive Research by Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Unlike animals, the respiratory system is under voluntary control in humans, which has allowed for the development of voluntary breath regulation practices in yoga and other behavioral disciplines such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong. The aim of these breathing practices is to change psychological and physiological state in a beneficial way. Research on slow yogic breathing has demonstrated numerous psychophysiological effects including reduction of autonomic arousal, increase in heart rate variability, improved oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange, and changes in the respiratory system’s sensitivity to these gases. An interesting feature of yoga and slow breathing practice over the long term is the capability of reducing spontaneous breathing frequency, that is the respiratory rate when one is alert and relaxed and not actively trying to control the breath in any way. In the general population, the spontaneous respiratory rate is commonly between 10 and 20 breaths per minute and often involves little movement of the abdomen and is predominantly a shallow, more rapid chest breathing pattern. Slow yogic breathing emphasizes movement of the abdomen, or so-called abdominal or belly breathing, which allows for deeper breaths. It is likely that slower abdominal breathing is the more natural and healthful breathing frequency than the higher 10-20 breath per minute rate and, in fact, this slow breathing comes naturally to infants and children. Over time, as we age, people tend to adopt the chest breathing pattern. Contributing factors to this change may be higher levels of stress and/or anxiety, which tend to alter breathing to faster rates, and cosmetic/psychosocial factors such as avoiding the undesirable physical appearance of having the abdomen extended. In yoga and pranayama practice it is believed that the respiratory pattern can be modified over time to the more beneficial, slower, abdominal breathing pattern and some research has supported this contention. In a Belgian study published in 1981 in the Journal of Applied Physiology, the spontaneous breathing patterns of 8 accomplished hatha yoga practitioners showed markedly different respiratory characteristics as compared with control subjects matched for sex, height, and age. The spontaneous breath rate in the yoga practitioners was 5.5 breaths per minute on average, significantly lower compared with the 13.4 breaths per minute in non-practitioners. Accordingly, the tidal volume (the lung volume of air displaced between normal inhalation and exhalation when breathing normally), in the yoga practitioners was 1.03 liters, significantly larger than the 0.56 liters in the non-practitioners. The authors suggested that the slower breathing rate was directly attributable to effects of the yoga and pranayama practices over time, proposing hypothetically that these changes could be mediated either by changes in stretch receptor characteristics in the chest or by a chronic reduction in sympathetic drive. However, a weakness of such a retrospective study of individuals who self-selected into yoga practice is that it is not possible to exclude the possibility that people with altered breathing patterns are naturally attracted to yoga practice. To address this concern definitively, prospective randomized controlled trials with naïve subjects are required and a number of studies have done exactly this, thereby addressing this concern. In a research study by a French team of investigators published in 2005, 16 subjects who had not practiced yoga previously underwent an intervention of yogic ujjayi breathing involving very slow, deep breaths at 2 to 3 breaths per minute with a sustained breath-retention after each inspiration and expiration. They did this for 20 to 30 minutes daily for 2 months. The researchers reported that the spontaneous respiratory frequency was signiﬁcantly reduced from 19.6 breaths per minute to 13.6 breaths per minute, and also that the increase in the duration of the exhale contributed most to this slower breathing pattern. One of the most recent studies to confirm this capability was conducted in India with 60 subjects naïve to yoga practice aged 20-50 years. They practiced slow breathing at a rate of about 6 breaths per minute for 8-10 minutes twice daily for 3 months. Their respiratory rate before the intervention was 20 breaths per minute and was reduced significantly to 17 breaths per minute afterwards. The study also reported a statistically significant reduction in spontaneous resting heart rate as well as a significant shift from a predominantly chest-thoracic breathing pattern to a breathing pattern with more abdominal-belly movement. Although such studies are supportive of the ability of humans to self-regulate their breath frequency to become lower, scientists often need additional information that elucidates the mechanisms involved before they can be definitively convinced. This is difficult in human subjects given the challenge of recording neural activity within the central nervous system. It would be ideal if there was an animal model of this phenomenon that would lend itself more easily to such mechanistic study. Fortunately, we now have a rat model of slow breathing. A research team from Emory University published a paper in 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Physiology entitled “Slow Breathing Can Be Operantly Conditioned in the Rat and May Reduce Sensitivity to Experimental Stressors”. In this study they were successfully able to condition rats to breath slowly over multiple training sessions over 2 weeks by using a flashing light stimulus, which rats do not like. In the conditioning training with exposure to the flashing light, rats were able to turn off the light when they reduced their respiratory rate below a threshold respiratory rate of 80 breaths per minute (rats breath much more rapidly than humans). The conditioned rats reduced their average respiratory rate significantly from an average of 92 breaths per minute to 81 breaths per minute. This result shows unequivocally that it is possible for mammals to change their spontaneous respiratory rate with training. However, the study took an important step further by then challenging both the normal and slow-breathing rats with stressful stimuli. An animal model of this phenomenon would lend itself more easily to mechanistic study and, fortunately, we now have a rat model of slow breathing. Studies have shown that slow breathing has numerous psychophysiological benefits and that breath regulation is one of the most commonly used practices immediately following initiation of yoga practice by beginners. There is, therefore, a significant potential for promoting the value of breath regulation practices in society, particularly slow breathing, which is relatively easy to learn and implement in day-to-day, real-life circumstances. The demonstration that humans can slow their spontaneous respiratory rate with practice, and the virtue of having an animal model of this that will lead to future research on the mechanism of these changes, suggests that we are moving quickly towards certainty and confidence regarding the practical benefits and application of slow yogic breathing. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Downloading Videos and Creating Video Clips Did you know that all lectures that include video have the capability for users to download or create video clips of specific parts? This is so helpful when you are practicing a kriya from the lecture, or if you find a segment of the lecture you want to keep in your file or forward to a friend. Follow these easy steps to learn how to do this. Downloading videos The download feature is located to the bottom right corner of the video screen, within the three little dots. By clicking on it, you can download the full video and watch it anytime without internet access! Example  [one-half-first] Click image to view larger version [/one-half-first] [one-half] Click image to view larger version [/one-half] Sharing video clips This is a very useful tool for saving or sharing a small portion of the lecture, for example saving a kriya to share in your yoga class, send to a friend, or save in your phone for your own personal practice.
KRI July 2019 Specials New Book! Your Own Infinity The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan Compiled by Hargopal Kaur Khalsa Infinity, God, the Unknown! Infinity, God, the Unknown! There are countless names and approaches towards the Infinite. Yogi Bhajan shared many ways to connect with that exalted elevated state of consciousness. Some of these paths are included here. Take a peek and see what resonates with you. “Self-Realization is God realization… What is your self-realization? This is yourself. Know it, feel it, touch it.” -Yogi Bhajan Included are 26 Kriyas and Meditations, all given by Yogi Bhajan to provide you with the experience of rising above your finite self and merging with the Infinite, Creative Consciousness. Hargopal Kaur, having had a career in aerospace, now devotes herself to teaching Sat Nam Rasayan®, yoga, and meditation; facilitating family constellations; and serving clients. She also compiles books based on Yogi Bhajan’s teachings. Her passion is to uplift and help people grow and feel better – emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Through her own meditative practice, and having studied with Yogi Bhajan, Guru Dev Singh, and Bert Hellinger, she is focused on emptying herself so that she can clearly, neutrally, compassionately serve. Hargopal is based in Los Angeles and teaches in the US, Canada, and Europe. PAGES: 320 Retail Price: $24.95 Promo: $21.28 Ebook: $13.47 (10% off)
The 21 Stages of Meditation Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, PhD Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan Defined by Yogi Bhajan and elucidated by Gurucharan Singh, The 21 Stages of Meditation is a key work in deepening your understanding and experience of meditation. Ranging from Upset and Boredom, Humility, Graceful Enlightenment, and the Sage, explore these stages and more; explore three distinct meditative journeys, which culminate in the pinnacle of contemplative awareness, Stage 21-The Infinite Pulse. Regular Retail: $44.95 Promo: $38.21 Ebook: $18.89 (10% off)
- Featured European Trainer Forum workshops – Psychology & Kundalini Yoga with Haridevta Kaur How to Lead a Rebirthing class with Sukhdev Kaur Mentoring Skills presenters TBA Skill Building in Content Credits for Philosophy and/or Anatomy & Physiology presenters TBA All Forum Workshop: Economic Diversity in Kundalini Yoga – Coming Together to Share Resources presenters TBA All Forum Workshop: The Legacy of Kundalini Yoga presenters TBA
- AUSTRALIA: Australia Kundalini Yoga Festival October 7, 6:00p – 9:00p & October 8, 9:00a – 6:00p
- CHINA October 26 – 27, times and location TBA
- WINTER SOLSTICE: Hampton Inn, Lake Wales, Florida, December 14, 8:30a – 5:30p & December 15, 8:30a – 12:30p
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The Genesis of Yoga Therapy Research by Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Historically, yoga has been fundamentally a spiritual practice to attain unitive states of consciousness or the samadhi state. However, given the fact that yoga employs both physical (asana, pranayama, relaxation) and cognitive (meditation) practices to foster self-regulation and optimize human functioning, its relevance to restoring optimal functioning in disease states has been an obvious possibility. Even in the 15th century Hatha Yoga Pradipika are statements attesting to the benefits of specific yogic practices in reducing obesity, removing abdominal disorders, fatigue, and edema and generally “destroying all diseases” including leprosy. By the beginning of the 20th century, we see the systematic application of yoga as a treatment for therapeutic conditions in India. The Yoga Institute in Mumbai documented the application of yoga as therapy to 124 patients in 1918-19, reporting “Symptom relief in most cases. Occasional verification by physician.” In a two-year period from 1920-22, 2,000 patients were treated with the identical claim of clinical improvement. Similarly, the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, founded in 1924 and also in Mumbai, was reporting in its 1930 volume of its research journal Yoga Mimamsa that “nearly two thousand people have been treated…as…patients. People suffering from constipation, dyspepsia, auto-intoxication, nervous debility, asthma, piles, seminal weakness, heart troubles and a variety of other diseases have found great relief from Yogic Therapy.” Unfortunately, such vague descriptions of clinical benefit clearly failed to meet any kind of acceptable scientific or clinical criteria that provide confidence in attesting to the safety and efficacy of yoga therapy. Even as late as 1964 in a four-paragraph report by Higashi in the prestigious medical journal Lancet we are still provided with minimal documentation of specific quantitative details of clinical improvement. In a Tokyo sanatorium, they applied a daily 10-minute pranayama practice over a year to 50 male schizophrenic patients. The clinical outcome is marginally and vaguely described with the text: “About the beginning of the third month, we noticed that the patients gathered spontaneously at the usual place. When the session ended a quiet atmosphere prevailed for some time. Moreover the average number of patients participating was 81% as against 56% in the previous year.” It’s conclusion stated, “An exercise which controls breathing favourably influences the psychiatric regimen.” Given the proliferation of yoga therapy in India, yet conducted without adequate research and clinical documentation, the Ministry of Health of the Government of India created a committee in 1960 led by well-known leading yoga researcher Dr. B.K. Anand to evaluate yoga therapy claims. It collected information from 71 institutions across India, visiting 19 select institutions, and yielded the 1962 Ministry of Education 72-page document entitled “Report of the Committee on Evaluation of Therapeutical Claims of Yogic Practices.” It concluded that for lack of proper data and the personnel adequately trained to collect such data, it was not possible for it to evaluate Yogic therapy claims. It further stated, “Unless a scientific assessment of the patient treated by Yogic therapy is organized under controlled conditions, it will not be possible to evaluate the important therapeutic claims of Yoga." Finally, in 1966 we see the publication of perhaps the first acceptably-reported biomedical research evaluation of yoga therapy by Vahia, Vinekar and Doongaji in an 8-page paper in the British Journal of Psychiatry. In this case series study conducted with the Kaivalyadhama Institute they describe results of 4 to 6-week yoga therapy sessions with patients at the K.E.M. Hospital in Mumbai. A table in the report describes multiple characteristics including demographics, diagnoses, treatment durations, and quantitative percent improvements for 30 patients with psychosomatic conditions such as anxiety, depression, headache, insomnia, cognitive difficulties and other stress-related symptoms. They further included 3 detailed case reports that were presented in the format and with the amount of detail that would be viewed as reasonable from a modern clinical research presentation perspective. It was not long after this that we see the first humble clinical trial publication in yoga therapy published in Yoga Mimamsa in 1967, to be followed by the first randomized controlled trials on yoga for hypertension by yoga researcher Chandra Patel in the U.K. in the early 70’s. From that first 1967 trial of yoga for asthma through to 2003, there were approximately 150 clinical trials published, a number which tripled to about 450 publications 10 years later by 2013. We are now fortunately in the position in this field in that we are experiencing an exponentially increasing growth in the number of clinical yoga research studies and publications with more and more of the rigorous randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses necessary to justify recommendation of continued yoga therapy research and implementation of yoga interventions in modern medicine. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Have you explored the Historical Notes tool in the Library of Teachings? This delightful feature allows users to view Historical Notes while reading or viewing a lecture or kriya. Historical Notes are notations done by students in the class, pertaining to the kriya, at the time the original lecture was given. You will notice that the notes vary widely - some are just a few handwritten lines while others are typewritten text with hand-drawn diagrams. You can gain valuable insight from the Historical Notes, picking up emphasis and perspective that only first-hand experience can give. These Historical Notes are made from scanning the original documents contributed by legacy students. We then create the notes as Adobe documents that are downloadable for readers. To Search for lectures that contain Historical Notes:
- Simply enter the topic into the search-bar on our homepage (see Example  below searching for the topic "Love")
- Next look for the 'Filters' to the left of your search results and select the plus sign next to 'Media.'
- Under 'Media' you will see the option 'Historical Notes.' It will note the number of lectures that contain Historical Notes (in the sample below it shows there are 12). Click on 'Historical Notes' and it will take you to the results of this search.
- Once you select the lecture and you want to view the Historical Notes, click on this icon: The student notes will pop-up in the document. (See Example  below.)
- Featured Summer Solstice Trainer Forum workshops – Consciously Leading Rebirthing Workshops with Dr. Krishna Kaur and Sant Kaur I AM with You – Facilitating the Flow of Collaboration in Community with Puranjot Kaur and Jai Gopal Kaur The Hidden Challenges of Mentoring with Siri Neel Kaur, Tarn Taran Kaur, and Awtar Kaur Level Two: Vitality & Stress with Deva Kaur All Forum Workshop: Global Racial Inclusion to support Diversity & Inclusivity in the Academy with Dr. Japa Kaur, Vedya Amrita, DukhNiwaran Kaur, and Awtar Kaur All Forum Workshop: The Legacy of Kundalini Yoga with Nirvair Singh and Krishna Kaur
- EUROPE: Chateau Anand, Saint Pierre de Maille, France New Times! July 25, 8:30a – 5:30p & July 26, 8:30am – 12:30p Register Here
- AUSTRALIA: Australia Kundalini Yoga Festival October 7, 6:00p – 9:00p & October 8, 9:00a – 6:00p
- CHINA October 26 – 27, times and location TBA
- WINTER SOLSTICE: Hampton Inn, Lake Wales, Florida, December 14, 8:30a – 5:30p & December 15, 8:30a – 12:30p
KRI June 2019 Specials The 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 Ebook: $13.49 (10% off)
Art & Yoga Kundalini Awakening in Everyday Life by Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa “The sole purpose of life is the soul.” — Yogi Bhajan Learn to express your soul’s longing, delve into images that awaken your imagination and speak of a truth yet unexplored. Allow Art & Yoga to take you on a journey to your intuitive, creative and authentic self—the True Being, awakened! This book is for anyone interested in yoga and the arts. It explains how to create a daily Art and Yoga practice. It provides step-by-step guidelines for producing art and doing yoga as complementary practices individually, in a group, or in community. Yogis will find creative exercises to deepen their experience of yoga, while artists will discover simple, yet profound yoga and meditation practices that will help their creative flow, focus, and intuition. Along the way, we will draw inspiration from the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, nature, artists of the past, and recent developments in healing and spirituality. Retail: $29.95 Promo: $25.46 Ebook: $16.19 (10% 0ff) KRI Recipe of the Month for June 2019 To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of 3HO, KRI is featuring another way to prepare mung beans that is amazingly delicious! Excerpt From: From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi's Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition) Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Spicy Mung Beans with Mustard Greens Yield: 4–6 servings
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Research on Yoga for Pregnancy by Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Pregnancy may be accompanied by several uncomfortable symptoms, which vary from woman to woman. Some common discomforts include backache, sciatica, and hip aches which could be caused by weight-gain, changes in center of gravity, and a loosening of the pelvic joints. Another common challenge is the development of varicose veins due to the increased pressure on the legs, the pelvic veins, and the increased blood volume. In addition, due to the increased pressure on the rectum and perineum and the increased likelihood of becoming constipated in later stages of pregnancy, it is common for women to develop hemorrhoids. Heartburn is another common pathology caused by pressure on the intestines and stomach. Finally, other prevalent challenges in pregnancy include nausea and vomiting, edema, incontinence, and headaches. Apart from physical discomfort, women may also experience psychological changes, with between 14-23% of women struggling with depression during pregnancy. While quality of life scores during pregnancy tend to be very good, some risky areas include partner life satisfaction, the limitations of physical changes, and fears surrounding labor. Pregnant women are increasingly turning to yoga as a complementary and integrative modality to manage the physiological and psychological challenges of pregnancy. Yoga helps to tone the deep muscles of the spine along with the abdominal muscles that support the spine (these muscles are known as the “core”), which facilitates the recruitment of these deep muscle fibers for stabilization. As a result, yoga may be effective in alleviating leg cramps, backache, and strengthening the pelvic floor. In addition, yoga exercises may help with venous blood return thereby mitigating varicose veins and improve fluid circulation to prevent edema. It appears that yoga may also improve placental perfusion and alleviate endothelial dysfunction thereby reducing the risk of pregnancy-related disorders such as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), and preeclampsia. Yoga also encourages relaxation, internal focus, and slowed breathing patterns, which are useful to manage fears, anxiety, and depression as well as prepare the practitioner for childbirth. Yoga classes may also provide a supportive environment where women can share their experiences, which may relieve feelings of loneliness and improve quality of life. Several qualitative reports support the benefits of prenatal yoga, such as a 2017 study from the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health at Saint Louis University, MO. Over six months, fifty-two (52) women were randomized into either a yoga group engaged in a one-hour yoga class or a control group that received a presentation on exercise, nutrition, and obesity in pregnancy. The study highlighted a shift in attitude whereby women who participated in yoga reported a more positive attitude towards exercise and yoga. For example, yoga participants felt that yoga was a low intensity exercise that would not hurt their baby and gained self-efficacy by agreeing that they could impact their weight gain in pregnancy with regular exercise. A more recent 2019 study also found that prenatal yoga increases self-efficacy for labor by building confidence and competence by positive story-telling, affirmative language, pain management strategies, and a lower somatic response to stress. The stress management benefits were found to be of particular benefit to pregnant, urban, African-American adolescents who have high rates of stress and depression during pregnancy as well as higher rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Indeed, a 2015 community-based qualitative study found that focus groups of low-income pregnant African-American teenagers were interested in yoga classes for stress/depression management and relationship building. Health care providers should focus on these needs when designing future intervention strategies. There is currently a growing body of evidence supporting the use of yoga interventions in pregnancy. A 2015 review of the literature examined 15 articles from the USA, India, Taiwan, Korea and Thailand published from 2008 to December 2013. The researchers concluded that 10 of those studies showed positive changes in maternal psychological or birth outcomes. Another review of Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) from 2004 to 2014 concluded that yoga interventions presented with lower incidences of prenatal disorders, lower levels of pain and stress, and higher scores in relationship. In addition, the researchers found that yoga was more effective than walking or standard prenatal exercises. Furthermore in 2017 after a systematic review of interventions targeting pregnancy-related low back and pelvic pain (PR-LBPP), the authors concluded that yoga may provide pain relief for PR-LBPP as well as some meaningful functional improvements. Indeed, yoga may contribute to a reduction of pregnancy discomfort and so researchers in Taiwan set out to measure the impact of yoga on women in the third trimester of pregnancy. The experimental subjects took part in a 12-14-week prenatal yoga program of 3 sessions per week and reported significantly fewer pregnancy discomforts than a control group. A 2014 study from Brazil also found yoga to be effective at reducing pain in pregnant women, specifically lumbopelvic pain, which is a major problem for the majority of pregnant women. In this study, pregnant women were randomized to either a yoga group or a postural orientation group based on an instructional pamphlet for a 10-week intervention. The yoga sessions consisted of traditional Hatha yoga poses as well as focused breathing patterns, introspection, meditation, and relaxation. Pain intensity was assessed at the beginning and end of each session and researchers found that the median pain score was lower in the yoga group. The experimental group also had a decreased response to lumbar and posterior pelvic pain provocation tests. In addition to the physical benefits highlighted above, yoga may also be an effective strategy to address the stress experienced during pregnancy. The natural bio-physio-psycho-social changes of pregnancy may cause increases in stress and researchers from the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation in India aimed to ascertain whether an integrated yoga practice could decrease the stress response in healthy pregnant women. The researchers found that, not only did perceived stress decrease by 31.57% in the yoga group, it actually increased by 6.60% in the control group. In addition, the guided relaxation period in the yoga group correlated with increased parasympathetic activity and decreased sympathetic activity as measured by frequency bands on the heart rate variability spectrum. In a landmark study, researchers examined the effect of prenatal yoga on the stress and immunity salivary biomarkers from 16 to 36 weeks of gestation. Ninety-four healthy pregnant women were randomized to either the yoga intervention or a routine prenatal care. The intervention consisted of two weekly 70-min yoga sessions. Salivary cortisol (stress marker) and immunoglobulin A (immunity marker) levels were collected before and after yoga every 4 weeks. The results revealed that the intervention group had lower salivary cortisol and higher immunoglobulin levels, and infants born to women in the intervention group weighed more than those born to the control group. These findings indicate that prenatal yoga can significantly reduce pregnant women’s stress and enhance their immune function thereby suggesting it is a viable therapy for this population. Another common psychological challenge of pregnancy is depression with up to 20% of pregnant women in the US experiencing depressive symptoms. The numbers are similar in Korea where researchers set out to determine the effectiveness of yoga in the management of prenatal depression. Their review of the literature included six RCTs, and the authors determined that integrated yoga interventions, including relaxation, visualization, breathing patterns or meditation, were associated with a significant decrease in depression levels. However, purely physical-exercise-based interventions did not achieve statistical significance in their improvement of depression scores. A more recent metanalysis from 2019 by the National University Hospital in Singapore included six (6) studies with a total of 405 pregnant women. Researchers found a statistically significant improvement in mood associated with yoga interventions. Despite the promise of yoga as a complement or alternative to pharmacological options, the authors note that the evidence is preliminary and participants only had mild depression. Nonetheless, these improvements are significant since a prompt and effective treatment of maternal depression during pregnancy is important, as depression is an independent predictor of negative maternal and fetal outcomes. Despite the limitations of small sample sizes, lack of consistent randomization, different outcome measures and varying intervention lengths, the current body of evidence highlights that yoga is a promising modality to address a variety of physical and psychological health challenges in pregnancy. Although yoga is generally considered safe in pregnancy, pregnant women are advised to avoid hot yoga due to the increased risk of neural tube defects and other malformations among fetuses exposed to excessive heat as well as the risk of overstretching due to muscle and ligament laxity in pregnancy. Finally, researchers in Taiwan are experimenting with social media to deliver mindful yoga programs for pregnant women and finding that this new approach, using technology, may be a feasible way to reach women in the comfort of their own homes. 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. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® This month, we celebrate Teacher’s Day in the United States on May 7 - a big shout out to teachers, everywhere, including all of our wonderful Kundalini Yoga teachers. One thing I love about working for the Library of Teachings is that the KRI staff are all dedicated practitioners, and many are teachers, of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. From May 4th to May 10th, we are hosting the annual Spring Fund Drive for the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® to raise funds to support the maintenance and development of the Library. Beginning with the May new moon, we will be exploring the Library of Teachings through the eyes of the people who work here at KRI, showing you the ways they use the Library. Maybe you will see something new and be inspired to expand how you use the Library of Teachings. I think you will find their perspective interesting and motivating in your own journey with © the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. For those of you who have already contributed to our Spring Fund Drive, thank you! As many of you know, even though the searchable database is incredible, there is more work to do! 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 by Yogi Bhajan. The 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 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. Tune-in to your inbox for our emails or if you have missed any of the emails, visit our The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Facebook page to catch up!
KRI May 2019 Specials Merging with the Infinite Merging with the Infinite Teachings of Death & Dying Preparation, Process & Prayers The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan Edited by Hargopal Kaur Khalsa Life poses many questions. Dying is one of them: What do we do at the moment of death? For the most part, we deny death. We never really look into the nature of death as a cycle of life. We never examine our reactions; therefore, we never give ourselves the chance to practice how to die as Warrior Saints, gracefully and courageously. Our denial produces either fantasy or fear in the subconscious, which blocks prosperity and creates dis-ease in our lives and our relationships. We must learn how to confront the moment of death and determine our Self within it so that we can ‘cross over’. “If a person doesn’t know how to die and doesn’t know where the grace is or how to confront that last moment, what is the purpose of life?” - Yogi Bhajan Retail: $19.95 PROMO: $16.96
Physical Training Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® 5-DVD Box Set This 5-DVD set follows Yogi Bhajan’s teaching Physical Training, commonly called “PT,” at the Ranch in Espanola on five consecutive days in the summer of ’94. Perfect for establishing a weekly workout with Kundalini Yoga. New inset video demonstrates the posture and timing for each exercise so you can follow along with ease. Original videos have been color corrected and audio has been remastered to help bring the experience alive. Keep up and keep fit! Retail: $39.95 Promo: $33.96 KRI Recipe of the Month for May 2019 Excerpt from: From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi's Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition) Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa. Yogi Bhajan's Trea Jaaraah— Trinity Life Roots with Tofu Yield: 6 servings
Happy Earth Day!
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The Role of Yoga in Treating Inflammation: Getting in Line with Self-healing by Raj Kaur Khalsa (Naila Omar Khayyam Alieva), Ph.D. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Inflammation is a disordered physiological response or consequence of immune reactions to acute injury or a chronic condition and has been associated with a number of diseases. Inflammation involves local or global changes in blood vessels, nerves, and tissues with symptoms including pain, redness, immobility, swelling, and heat of the affected area. Additionally, inflammation of internal organs, often associated with chronic conditions, may also occur and could include fatigue, nausea, mouth sores, chest pain, abdominal pain, fever, rash, joint pain, sleep disturbance, depressive mood, irritability, and mild cognitive difficulties with attention and memory. Chronic inflammatory diseases are the most significant cause of death in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks chronic inflammatory diseases as the greatest threat to human health. Worldwide, three of five people die due to chronic inflammatory diseases like stroke, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Inflammation is actually a defence mechanism in the body and a part of the body’s normal immune response. Infections, wounds, and any tissue damage would not be able to heal without an inflammatory response. In cases where harmful stimuli have not been removed and the inflammatory response has been maintained for a long period of time, the body develops chronic inflammation, which itself can eventually lead to disease conditions, including allergies, skin problems, and some cancers. Inflammation can also affect organs in so-called autoimmune diseases, in which the immune system attacks its own tissues as if they are threats to health. Examples of some autoimmune chronic inflammatory conditions include inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), kidney (nephritis), large intestine (colitis), and joints (rheumatoid arthritis). Diagnosis of acute or chronic inflammation involves blood examination to evaluate the increased level of several inflammatory biomarker molecules including gamma globulins, C-reactive protein and fibrinogen. Additionally, patients with chronic conditions would have additional biomarkers assessed, including pro-inflammatory cell-to-cell signalling cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor alfa (TNF alfa), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8). In several research studies, up or down regulation of the expression level of several pro and anti-inflammatory transcription factors have also been assayed. Recently, the possibility of detecting salivary cytokines was assayed in several randomized controlled trails (RCTs), which provided promising results on non-invasive sampling among yoga practitioners even during practice (before and after breathing exercises, for instance). There are several lifestyle-related risk factors associated with the development of chronic inflammation, such as obesity, unhealthy diet, smoking, stress, and sleep disorders. Altogether these factors induce accumulation of chemically aggressive free radical molecules, an increase in visceral body fat, and higher production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. There are several conventional drugs currently available to treat both acute and chronic inflammatory conditions and/or reduce accompanied symptoms. Depending on the type and severity of symptoms, patients might be prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophens (paracetamol), and Tylenol (even though these only reduce pain without affecting the inflammation itself). In more severe cases corticosteroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS), and biological response modifiers (BRMs) might be administered. Anti-inflammatory treatments are prevalent in all known schools of traditional medicine, such as Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and Russian herbal medicine. Known remedies include a root known as devils claw, the wood spider or grapple plant (Harpagophytum procumnens), the Hyssop plant, ginger, turmeric, and, in some cultures, cannabis. Behavioural strategies, including lifestyle and dietary changes and mind-body practices, provide another useful tool for treating inflammation. Recent reviews have summarized the research on the benefits of mind-body interventions (MBIs) such as yoga for reducing inflammation in acute and chronic conditions. Even though it is not completely clear how MBIs work at the molecular or cellular level, several hypotheses have been proposed based on recent research advances. First, it has been shown that MBIs reduce expression of gene activity involved in the inflammatory response that are induced by stress. Several studies indicate that these practices are associated with downregulation of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) pathway, reduced signalling through the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-jB, increased activity of the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) family transcription factors, and upregulation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Potential mechanisms for these effects include alterations in neuroendocrine, neural, psychological, and behavioural processes. Second, yoga breathing exercises and meditation have been demonstrated to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1 beta, IL-6 and TNF-alfa and have a positive impact on depression, anxiety, cognition, and pain. Lastly, yoga and other practices are well known to directly stimulate the vagus nerve. It was found that an increase in vagal tone is correlated with the capacity to regulate the stress response and likely contribute to resilience and the mitigation of mood and anxiety symptoms, which ultimately might reduce inflammation symptoms. A significant number of RCTs have been conducted to address possible benefits of MBIs on inflammation status of both healthy and diseased individuals. A positive effect of a yoga-based lifestyle intervention was demonstrated in RCTs on groups of healthy individuals exposed to occupational hazards by three independent groups of researchers in India. There was only slight induction of pro-inflammatory factors observed after 12 weeks of regular yoga training as compared with a control group of non-yoga practitioners, in which the induction of proinflammatory factors was significantly higher. This suggests that regular practice of yoga can protect against inflammatory diseases and metabolic risk factors. Another example of the prophylactic role of yoga is from studies on metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is a well-known precondition associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, defined by increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body weight, and an increased level of numerous biochemical proinflammatory factors. In several recent RCTs conducted independently in Hong Kong and India, it was shown that MetS symptoms were decreased after 12 weeks of regular yoga practices in the study in India and after one year in Hong Kong. In India, healthier choices in diet (dietary interventions) were also included in the intervention. In both cases, it was concluded that yoga and dietary interventions may have an important role in prevention of inflammatory conditions. In the case of already developed pathologies, yoga might help to reduce post-treatment inflammation conditions and thereby expedite the healing process. In two independent yoga studies on breast cancer survivors (at Ohio State University (OSU) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)), it was reported that there was reduced activity of NF-kB, increased anti-inflammatory transcription factors, increased proinflammatory cytokines and also improvements in symptoms such as persistent fatigue and vitality in the group assigned to 12 weeks of 90-minute twice weekly hatha (OSU) or Iyengar (UCLA) restorative yoga classes, as compared with the control group. Such improvements are valuable for this population, since cancer survivors are known to be more than twice as likely as individuals without a cancer history to have these symptoms associated with poor health and disability. Another example of yoga-based complementary/adjunct therapy is research on patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is a severe chronic inflammatory system disease affecting both psychological and physical health. Comorbid depression is an important psychosomatic factor in this condition, which negatively interferes with the process of recovery. In a recent study from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi comparing yoga plus RA medication versus RA medications only, the addition of yoga practice to conventional RA treatment re-established immunological tolerance, shown at the molecular and cellular level, along with a significant reduction in depression score. Significant improvements were observed in RA patients after just eight weeks of yoga practice that included, exercises, breathing, and meditation practices as compared with a control group. In summary, there is an increasing body of research evidence on the positive effect of yoga, other mind-body practices, yogic healthy lifestyle and diet on inflammatory conditions. Long-term yoga and meditation practitioners have been shown to exhibit stronger immediate gene expression changes as compared to short-term practitioners, which in turn evokes the downstream health benefits. However, the “Achilles’s heel” of any behavioural approach is its need for discipline, commitment, and active participation from the patient, in contrast with much of conventional allopathic medicine where drugs and treatments are usually administered to the patient. In this respect, the role of patient self-care and behavioural strategies is very important for success in addressing the widespread occurrence of inflammation and inflammatory conditions. Naila Omar Khayyam Alieva (Raj Kaur), PhD, is yogi and scientist. She is a certified Kundalini yoga instructor and Gong sound therapy practitioner. Naila teaches Kundalini Yoga and organizes yoga events and workshops in Singapore. She is also an active research scientist at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Singapore. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® April brings very beautiful but windy weather here in New Mexico, a reminder that winter has passed and spring is here! April also brings Earth Day, a celebration of our beloved Mother Earth. As many of you know, Yogi Bhajan advocated for the environment at every opportunity. He encouraged everyone to take care of themselves and the earth in a conscientious way. Here’s an excerpt from Earth Day (April 22nd) in 1990. “Start looking at His creation as part of him. Start respecting it, and loving it, and start to be gentle and kind. You don't have to do any other exercise, you will be fine. Start seeing the spirit and soul of every human being. Look bright and beautiful and saintly - you represent God… Now, you are trying not to pollute yourself and not to pollute the earth. A consciousness has set in, a time has started, and there shall be growth. Mankind will live in nobility, peace, and tranquility and that's a reality. It's not anybody's affair, it is everybody's affair. We are all part of One and One is part of all. It's my prayer that we guide ourselves to that righteousness. My prayer and my request is that you have an obligation to create a lot of joy, a lot of happiness, and elevate yourself so that the pollution can be counteracted with a joy in the body and in beings, so that you can feel wonderful and healthy. With this blessing and these prayers, may your life be very fulfilled and noble. I wish you the best of luck. Be prosperous, be generous, be kind, and be compassionate. Walk like angels, complete and perfect, pure in your psyche, and God shall walk with you. Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa. Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.” Read the original lecture for more teachings on how to uplift our consciousness and better care for this precious earth. I love the reminder that our earth is an extension of God, just as we are a representation of God. To all of you who support this important work of preserving the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, we cannot thank you enough! Your endless support and generous gifts are keeping this resource growing and improving all the time.
KRI April 2019 Specials KRIYA Yoga Sets, Meditations & Classic Kriyas From the Early Years of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® • Challenging physical kriyas from the 1970s and 1980s • More than 100 Meditations, including Visualisations, 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
News From KRI - March
News From KRI - February
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund
Parkinson’s Disease and the Research on the Efficacy of Yoga by Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disorder that is characterized by tremors, stiffness, or slow movement, although symptoms may vary greatly in patients. Symptoms may begin on one side of the body and worsen on that side, even when the symptoms are bilateral. Risk factors for the disease include exposure to certain environmental toxins, old age and having a relative with PD. In fact, researchers have identified specific genetic mutations that cause PD, but these are uncommon except in the rare cases of family members affected by the disease. Nearly one million Americans will be living with PD by 2020, and men are 1.5 times more likely to have PD than women. In PD, certain neurons in the brain gradually break down or die and many symptoms are due to the loss of those neurons, which are responsible for the production of a chemical messenger called dopamine. Clumps of microscopic substances within brain cells called Lewy bodies are also an important marker of the disease. Conventional pharmacotherapy treatment is symptomatic and either increases or substitutes for dopamine. Although medications help patients manage their problems with movement and control the tremors, the efficacy of the drugs diminish over time, and side effects include hallucinations, swelling, impaired urination, and compulsive behaviors. Since there is currently no proven pharmacological therapy that can modify or halt the progression of PD, physical exercise may be a viable complement to manage the inherent decline of the disease. Recent evidence suggests that patients with PD who exercise might experience motor benefits such as improved mobility, balance, and gait velocity as well as non-motor improvements in mood, sleep, cognition, and quality of life. Other complementary therapies such as massage, acupuncture, deep brain stimulation, gene therapy, and herbal treatments may offer similar motor and non-motor benefits and alleviate some drug-induced side effects. In fact, over 50 percent of PD patients in the US use complementary or alternative therapies in addition to, or instead of, conventional treatment. Yoga and meditation rank amongst the most highly used modalities. Notably, the perceived efficacy of meditation is striking, with 85 percent of patients finding this practice helpful in reducing symptoms of stress, tremor, muscle tightness, anxiety, and improving clarity of thought. Since yoga combines meditation and physical benefits of exercise and breath regulation, it may prove to be an effective complementary treatment to PD, certain to be at least as effective as meditation alone. In an early pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) at the University of Kansas, thirteen patients with mild and moderate stages of PD were randomly assigned to either a yoga intervention or a control group. The intervention consisted of twice-weekly sessions for 12 weeks. Researchers found that in as little as 6 weeks, the patients’ scores on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), a clinical measure of health-¬related Quality of Life (QOL), was significantly improved. This improvement in UPDRS scores could be explained by improved motor symptoms such as decreased falls and improved balance as well as non-motor symptoms such as decreased anxiety and stress. Given the progressive nature of PD, the absence of deterioration of self-reported symptoms and improvements in clinical outcome scores suggest that yoga may be an effective intervention. Researchers from Joseph Signorile’s lab at the University of Miami set out to determine how yoga would compare to exercise. Forty-one (41) patients with PD were randomly assigned to a power training (PWT) intervention, a high-speed yoga program, or a non-exercise control group. The yoga group practiced for one hour, twice per week for 12 weeks, and participants held a static pose for one breath before quickly transitioning to the subsequent poses in the series. The researchers found no differences between the yoga and the PWT group, but both programs significantly improved physical performance on a variety of outcome measures such as balance, walking speeds, and fall risks in older (60-90 years) PD patients. Another study from Signorile’s lab also found that three months of a Power Vinyasa yoga program was associated with increased speed of movement, less joint rigidity, increased muscle strength, and improved QOL scores. Given these findings and the exceptional level of exercise adherence, this form of power yoga could be a viable intervention to increase physical function in PD patients. Additional studies support the therapeutic use of yoga as a rehabilitation intervention for individuals with PD. In a 2018 pilot RCT, patients received an eight-week Hatha Yoga intervention which included postures, yogic breathing (pranayama), and meditation. In contrast to the previously mentioned research, the breathing in this intervention was slow and focused, and the postures were held for multiple breaths. The quantitative findings are consistent with previous studies such as improved balance, motor function, and gait. Furthermore, the additional qualitative reports acquired suggest improved home and community mobility, formation of new supportive relationships, and increased ease in dressing themselves. This study further supports including a yoga intervention as community-based rehabilitation for individuals with PD. Recent studies by Cheung et al. at the University of Minnesota focused on determining the safety and feasibility of yoga interventions for PD patients. Since increased risk of falling often accompany the progression of PD, Cheung et al. devised a 12-week intervention of twice-weekly yoga classes to address the unique concerns of the PD population. For example, postures focused on increasing the range of motion in the spine, hips, and shoulder girdles, which are particularly affected by the motor symptoms of PD. In addition, to improve balance and safety, all mats were positioned around the edges of the room next to the walls of the studio so that patients had an additional support for transitions and standing poses. The researchers deemed the program feasible with 90 percent of participants attending more than 75 percent of the classes and four out of 19 participants attended all the classes. Also, since no adverse events were reported, yoga therapists who seek to implement yoga for PD patients can consider the safety precautions employed in this intervention. In another study, they set out to determine the effect of yoga on oxidative stress since the latter plays an important role in the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in PD. Although the participants in the 12-week yoga intervention had good adherence and the participants reported that they “definitely enjoyed” the classes, there was no major difference in oxidative stress markers between the intervention and the control group. Despite these encouraging findings, further research with larger sample sizes is needed to uncover the underpinning mechanisms of the action of yoga and to determine the impact of yoga on oxidative stress in PD patients. An upcoming trial comparing yoga with stretching and resistance training was recently completed in March 2018. The primary outcome measure from this study will be the level of psychological distress measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and therefore help us broaden our understanding of yoga’s ability to address psychological distress among patients with chronic neurodegenerative illness. 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. 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.
Kundalini Yoga Music in Refugee Camps in Greece An Open Thank You to Kundalini Yoga Musicians Worldwide Today, I want to shout-out a big Thank You! to Snatam Kaur and all the Kundalini Yoga musicians worldwide. Your music has made all the difference for me and many of the people I teach. In November, I started teaching yoga at Skaramagas, one of the biggest refugee camps in Greece. I first got involved in the refugee situation back in 2015 when I went to Lesvos for a weekend. In 2016, I briefly taught at another refugee organization in Athens, but then I got busy writing my book, and since that time, I hadn’t been involved at all. Last fall, when I saw a post for volunteers to teach yoga at Skaramagas, I thought it was a good opportunity to see if I could be useful. Teaching yoga in these environments is always tough. The students are a mix of nationalities and cultures. Some speak Farsi, some speak Arabic, some speak other languages, and they can’t necessarily understand each other, much less me. I teach women, and they almost always have children so there are usually lots of toddlers running around. Most of the women have never done yoga so I am teaching a room full of beginners who can’t always understand what I am saying and who have to mind their children while they are taking the class. I’ve always felt safe, and the environment has always been clean, but the classes can be chaotic and unpredictable. I’ve had moments when I’ve questioned if I was offering any actual value. But the reason that I think the classes are helpful is not because of me, rather because of the Kundalini Yoga music I play during class. Kundalini Yoga music is very specific. It is based on Kundalini Yoga mantra and is designed to benefit your psychology, raise your energetic frequency, and soothe your mind. It works, and I see the results time and time again, especially in these environments. The class starts off chaotic but at some point–usually about 30 minutes into it–the energy settles, the kids start to calm down, and everyone becomes more relaxed and focused. The beauty of Kundalini Yoga music is you don’t need to participate much—you just need to have it playing in the background. I’ve had students later come to tell me they were having a really bad day and then suddenly the music from a class the day before popped into their heads, and they began to feel better. It’s soothing. I’ve noticed it myself and have started playing it in my bedroom while I sleep. I swear, it makes a huge difference. The path of a musician isn’t an easy one, and I imagine the path of a Kundalini Yoga musician must be even harder. It’s a tiny, niche audience in a difficult and competitive professional field. I wonder if as a musician, you sometimes think of quitting. But they say music is one of the few things that can unite and connect the whole world. Live Aid, a benefit concert organized to raise funds for relief of the Ethiopian famine, broadcasted globally with over 1 billion people watching back in 1985 – almost 40 percent of the world population at the time. So, while it’s a hard path, it’s also an extremely powerful gift. So, to Snatam Kaur, Hari Rai Kaur, Siri Sadhana, and all the other Kundalini musicians out there, if you read this, you probably didn’t know your music was being played in refugee camps in Greece. But it is. And it’s making a big difference. So, thank you. Lynn Roulo is an American Kundalini Yoga and Enneagram instructor living in Athens, Greece. She teaches a unique combination of the two systems, combining the physical benefits of Kundalini Yoga with the psychological growth tools of the Enneagram. She has written two KRI approved books combining Kundalini Yoga and the Enneagram. She blogs about living in Greece and about her journey from being a San Francisco CFO to an Athens Yoga instructor. You can learn more about Lynn and her journey here.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® We hope you have had a wonderful start to 2019! It is hard to believe we have arrived in February already, a month when some celebrate love and romance with Valentine’s Day. Instead of only expressing love to those around you, we invite you to take it to a deeper level. Yogi Bhajan taught about love and often highlighted the importance of self-love as the first step to experiencing the love at all. He explains in this lecture from 1989: First learn to love yourself; an empty glass doesn't quench anyone’s thirst. First love yourself and show how much you love yourself. You can let people bask in your radiance and shine. Then love someone and you always will live in heavens while on earth. He continues: I hope and pray that you will wake up. Awakening the Kundalini is opening the third eye. It means seeing the unseen; it means being practical and calculating; imaginative and realistic; truthful and self-loving. ~Yogi Bhajan, August 9, 1989. Ram Das Puri, New Mexico This lecture from August 9, 1989 is accompanied by the original video lecture. Take some time to watch the entire lecture that he gave at teen summer camp at Ram Das Puri. May you continue to celebrate this New Year with self-love because what he said is true, “an empty glass doesn’t quench anyone’s thirst!” As always, we cannot thank you enough for your continued support and monthly gifts. We are so grateful for all that you do for The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings. Keep up, and you will be kept up!
KRI Specials for February 2019 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
- Kundalini Yoga
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Other lifestyle traditions
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 was 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 These are also sold in 3 sets of 8 each for $120.00 per set, which is 25% off regular retail!
Kundalini Yoga with the Master DVD Series The Kundalini Yoga with the Master DVD Series is your chance to practice demanding physical kriyas 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 Newsletter February Recipe Excerpt from: From Vegetables with Love Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen Revised and Expanded New Edition Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Walnut Oat Bars Yield: 16 bars
News From KRI - January
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund
“I said, ‘How come? You have eyes you can see through, you have ears you can hear with, your tongue is speaking, what else do you want? Twenty percent of people do not have eyes. There are thousands and hundreds of thousands of people who do not have ears.’ “Sometimes, for very minor things, we become so obnoxious, so rude, so crude, that we say things that are not understandable. We want to close the year 1987 with the idea that we are here, we want to rejoice, we want to be happy. We understand the tragedies, we understand bad things happen to us. But we also understand that, in spite of all the bad things, we are here and being here is a triumph over tragedy. We want to start the new year with a simple idea that our anchor with the Guru and God shall come through. That is what actually Ang Sang Wahe Guru means…. “Happiness lies in compassion. When you are willing to give and you give without expecting any intake or reward, only then are you happy. Happy is not because of money. If money or jewelry or clothes can buy you happiness, or Italian food or French food or Swedish cheese can buy you happiness, then those people who have all that should be happy and everybody else should be unhappy. Two-thirds of rich people are unhappy and [only] one-third of poor people are unhappy. The standard of unhappiness is based on a one factual fact - People who do not count their pluses and do not live in gratitude are unhappy. People who just count their pluses and live in gratitude are always happy.” I am looking forward to a great new year filled with pluses and gratitude with all of you! Speaking of greatness, KRI is honoring an individual and group in 2019. The KRI Board has selected Jagat Guru Singh Khalsa and the TOGO West African Teachers and Trainers for their many years of service, steadiness, and dedication to Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. I am very happy that we can honor them on our web site for all of 2019. Read more about the KRI 2019 Honors. Start the New Year with a great product for your health and well-being from KRI. Original Classic Yogi Tea in bulk is available at the Source. We buy the bulk organic Yogi Tea mix directly from our Yogi Tea plant in Imola, Italy. It is said that when you travel the world and you find someone from our community, you will hear the words “Sat Nam” and you will get a cup of Yogi Tea. Make sure you have a pot of Yogi Tea always on the stove! May we live in gratitude and service in 2019, Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO KRI
We are KRI - The Seal of Approval for Specialty Courses As the teachings of Yogi Bhajan grow and spread across the world, fantastic training courses that focus on specific needs are being developed by sensitive and talented teachers and trainers. KRI supports these efforts and encourages the diverse application of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan®. Here at KRI, it is our job to ensure that the teachings are conveyed with accuracy and portrayed with integrity. We have a system in place for the approval of yoga manuals, books, CDs, DVDs, research articles, website content, on-line products, or translations of existing KRI publications. After a thorough content and technology review, KRI awards the KRI Seal of Approval to all products that faithfully portray the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. When you see the KRI Seal of Approval, you know that you can trust the content. Now, KRI has expanded these efforts to allow Specialty Courses to earn the KRI Seal of Approval. The KRI Seal of Approval honors those Kundalini Yoga Specialty Courses that successfully meet the strict standards of KRI review, a sign to students that the teachings of Yogi Bhajan that are included in the course materials have been thoroughly reviewed for accuracy and integrity. Are you developing a course that includes the teachings of Yogi Bhajan? We encourage you to validate your material and earn the prestigious KRI Seal of Approval. The best time to contact KRI is early in your course development process. Working hand in hand with KRI minimizes the need for costly after-the-fact changes. We understand that you may already have developed and been teaching your course. Either way, we are here to work closely with you to help you obtain the KRI Seal of Approval. Contact Sadhu at email@example.com for more information and for an initial consultation. Learn more: about KRI Specialty Courses that have already been approved and are being successfully delivered. It may inspire you to launch your own course!
Yoga for Enhancing Sports Performance: Making a Better Athlete by Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D Reprinted from the April 2018 KRI Newsletter 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. Since self-regulation and performance enhancement are 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 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 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. It 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 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. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® So many generous donations came through last month in our Year End Fund Drive! We cannot thank you enough! Thank you!! Your gifts fuel the growth of this incredible resource of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings. Your support is such a blessing. We hope you are having a wonderful start to your new year. For many of us, this time of year brings a renewed sense of commitment to our daily practice and commitment to health, wellness, or anything we want to shift in our lives. In this lecture, Yogi Bhajan wishes his students a prosperous year and reminds them about the importance of daily Sadhana and trusting their Dharma. He says; “Do not worry. The key word for this year, which can give you all the life you need, is your sadhana. Sadhana is such a beautiful companion. She will pull you from nothing to everything. But it requires a discipline on your part, and it requires a continuity. We have become Dharma within ourselves - complete and desirable. Some of us, under some circumstances, doubt that very much. Doubt is natural. But when you don't doubt, you have dharma. When you doubt, you don't have dharma. Doubt is an individual faculty to see that we require this doubt. No, my friends, that is not the right mental stage. The correct mental stage is when you let your mind watch what God wills, without doubt. How beautiful you will look. How saintly you will look. How radiant you will look. Many people will love you and experience you with calmness, tranquility, and quietness. And from your strength, they will grow - that is also the Shabad. You emit light that touches the boundary of other people’s arc line and aura. They enrich themselves, and this grace is called the best of the human race. I wish you a prosperous, prosperous, prosperous New Year … Bless all, bless the Khalsa in this coming year with prosperity and with success, with happiness and with unity. Bless the world with peace. May all have their dreams come true.” Yogi Bhajan, December 31st, 1998. Read or listen to the original lecture here on The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®. What a beautiful reminder at the start of the New Year focusing on Sadhana and Dharma, two elements that affect every aspect of our lives. May this year be one of prosperity and joy for all. May your Sadhana strengthen and your Dharma be ever-present in your mind. Thank you for continuing to support the preservation of these teachings!
KRI Specials for January 2019 Rebirthing 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, DVD Lecture Series Includes 24 classes 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 l 2. Rebirthing ll 3. Rebirthing lll 4. Rebirthing lV 5. Unloading Your Pain & Fear l 6. Unloading Your Pain & Fear ll 7. Unloading the Pain of Perpetual Memories l 8. Unloading the Pain of Perpetual Memories ll 9. Release Your Garbage 10. Ardh Kechari Kriya 11. Getting Rid of Transit Memories l 12. Getting Rid of Transit Memories ll 13. Removing the Fears from the Fifth Month in the Womb l 14. Removing the Fears from the Fifth Month in the Womb ll 15. Clearing the Magnetic Block from the Womb l 16. Clearing the Magnetic Block from the Womb ll 17. Cleaning the Clutter of the Mind l 18. Cleaning the Clutter of the Mind ll 19. Cleaning the Mind l 20. Cleaning the Mind ll 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! Mantra, Personal Guidance through the Power of the Word by 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 2019 Recipe of the Month Black Channa with Mustard Oil Excerpt From: From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition) Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Yield: 6 servings
News From KRI - December
Level One Immersion Training in Bali April 21 – May 18, 2019 The decision to become a Kundalini Yoga instructor is a big one. Everyone’s reasons to commit to this training are different, but it is always a point of transformation in their lives. For many, that powerful transformation is what students are seeking. After going through Level One Immersion Training, one’s perspective on life changes and nothing is the same again. Join KRI in the spring of 2019 on the blessed tropical island of Bali for 28 days of Level One training among the indigenous beauty of the culture and the people, steeped in spiritual and ceremonial tradition. Our training home is the Ananda Cottages in the village of Ubud. In the 11th century, the great Hindu priest Markandya Rsi, was on pilgrimage from Ubud to the great Mother Temple of Bersakih, on Mount Agung. On the way, he noted some sacred places, one of which was the hill where Ananda Cottages now stand, a happy and holy place. Ananda means “bliss’ in the ancient Sanskrit language. It is a perfect location for KRI Level One training. The Teacher Training team for the Bali Immersion is Sat Siri Kaur, Nirvair Singh, Sat Purkh Kaur, and Amrit Singh. These senior Teacher Trainers will guide you in how to build your grace and character. They will lead you through this program with inspirational and challenging lectures, kriyas, and meditations that will confront your self-imposed limits. You will discover how to live and teach from your highest and purest consciousness. We would be delighted to have you join us in Bali for this amazing 28-day journey of self-discovery and transformation. “You want to be Teachers. Then, you have to rise above all people. You have to rise above yourself also, and then everything becomes minor. What becomes major is the answer to the call of duty.”
– Yogi Bhajan, April 21, 1997
Kundalini Yoga and Quantum Physics By Amy Carpenter, LCSW, CYI
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Join us this month as we explore “Move your Body – Lift your Spirits” with The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®. In the darkening December days as we approach the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, we will be exploring the ways that Kundalini Yoga can be benefit your fitness regimen and, at the same time, launch our Year End Fund Drive for the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings. As told to us by Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Director of Research at KRI: "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, flexibility, relaxation, deeper respiration, and decreased recovery time from heavy workouts. "The meditative aspects of Kundalini Yoga provide substantive psychological benefits for athletes that include improved stress and emotion regulation, 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." Watch your email inbox for the fund drive in December to learn more about the way that Kundalini Yoga can benefit your workout. As you dive in to the holiday season and turn your attention to coming together with family and friends, buying gifts, and traveling, let these words remind you of the simple gifts you can give yourselves and each other:
Yogi Bhajan December 26, 1997As always, thank you so much for your continued support. People like you are keeping this resource evolving and growing into an online resource of precious teachings. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to improve your experience with the database!
Aging: Maintaining Health and Functionality with Yoga by Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D Between 1960 and 1994, the population of those 85 years and older in the United States grew 274 percent and this fact, coupled with increased longevity, is significant since the elderly spend three times more on healthcare than their working counterparts. Therefore, it is important to understand better the pathophysiology of aging and possible therapies to slow its negative effects. The normal aging process results in several physiological changes. For example, there is alteration of pulmonary mechanics, respiratory muscle strength, gas exchange, and ventilatory control, which are the collective outcome of degradation to anatomical structures such as the bronchioles, alveoli, and intercostal muscles. The renal system is similarly affected by aging since the loss of the kidneys’ cortical tissue directly affects the filtration rate, which results in fluid and electrolyte abnormalities and eventual renal insufficiency. While specific pathological features have not been identified for gastrointestinal tract senescence, changes in neuromuscular function, changes in the structure of the gastrointestinal tract itself, and changes in the absorptive and secretory functions all alter normal gastrointestinal processes. Likewise, the size of the liver decreases after the age of 50, leading to decreases in protein synthesis, such as clotting factors. Common endocrine changes include menopause in women and a slow decline of testosterone in men. T-lymphocyte-mediated immunity is also impaired and the elderly are more susceptible to infections and communicable diseases. As far as neural changes, the elderly lose 6 percent to 11 percent of their brain cortex, which can lead to a decline in cognitive functioning and may also facilitate neurodegenerative processes such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s diseases. As to the underlying mechanisms and contributors, genetics are estimated to explain only 35 percent of lifespan and the physical and cognitive declines of old age. Aging is in fact a multifactorial process that which includes lifestyle factors such as diet and stress. It is interesting that the only kind of diet so far associated with longevity is a plant-based diet as seen in epidemiological studies in Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda in California amongst other so-called “blue zones” of long-lived populations. Social, family, and community support has also been a significant factor in determining health and mortality. Managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular physical activity can all promote longevity. Yoga may provide many of the benefits of exercise such as maintaining cardiovascular and respiratory function but can also lengthen telomeres, which are the ends of the chromosomes important for genomic integrity that are known to deteriorate with chronic stress and aging that are, therefore, genetic markers of cellular health and aging. Both healthy behaviors and mind-body interventions positively influence telomere integrity. Given that mind-body practices, such as yoga, have positive influences on stress, resilience, and health-related behaviors, there is good evidence that yoga has a positive influence on aging. For example, certain meditative forms of yoga, such as Kundalini Yoga (Kirtan Kriya meditation specifically), have been found to increase cerebral blood flow in areas of the prefrontal cortex associated with attention and has been shown to enhance memory through increased connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) of the brain, an area commonly involved in neurodegenerative disorders. Yoga breathing practices (pranayama) may also contribute to longevity by reducing stress through increasing activity of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and down-regulating the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Indeed, yogic breathing stimulates the afferent vagus nerves, which are the primary peripheral pathway of the PNS. Yoga research has shown improvements in physical functioning in the elderly. In a recent meta-analysis, Australian and Swedish researchers reviewed six trials of relatively high methodological quality, totaling 307 participants, and found that yoga-based exercises resulted in small improvements in balance and medium improvements in physical mobility in people aged 60+ years old. Therefore, yoga may counteract immobility and fractures from falls which are both associated with senescence. A 2017 study at the Picardie Jules Verne University in France also found improvements in physical functioning, specifically proprioception. With aging, gait initiation is impacted due to functional degradation, but the researchers found that a group of elderly yoga practitioners had more lower leg muscle activation and a more stable gait initiation pattern when compared with a physically active group of elderly walkers. Lastly, a 32-week study from the University of Southern California (USC) compared twenty older adults averaging 70 years old who attended 60-minute Hatha yoga classes. The program incorporated physical postures as well as pranayama, and the results revealed significant improvements in physical function and lower-extremity strength, which correspond to the biomechanical improvements noted previously. In addition, numerous cognitive benefits were found in the elderly who yoga practice. In a 2005 study conducted at the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program of the Massachusetts General Hospital, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to assess cortical thickness in 20 participants with extensive meditation experience. The participants were not monks, rather typical western meditation practitioners. While some were meditation teachers, others pursued traditional careers in fields such as law and healthcare. The researchers found that meditation may be associated with structural changes in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive, and emotional processing. These findings are significant, because they suggest that meditation may impact age-related declines in cortical structure. A subsequent study from the Israelita Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil was the first study to examine the brain cortical thickness (CT) in elderly female yoga practitioners relative to controls. Twenty-one female elderly hatha yoga practitioners were recruited from the local yoga studios, and their brain CT was compared to 21 yoga-naive women of the same age, and physical activity. The study found significantly greater CT in the left prefrontal lobe in the women who had trained in yoga for a minimum of 8 years. These findings, once again, suggest that yoga practice may have a positive impact on mental health among the elderly through its neuroprotective effects. Researchers have also investigated the impact of long-term yoga or meditation practice on fluid intelligence, a cognitive function involving the ability to solve new problems, use logic in new ways, and identify patterns. This capacity tends to peak early in life and decline as we enter old age. With the rapidly shifting technological landscape, the capacity to maintain fluid intelligence into old age will be critical in order to remain relevant and adaptive. In this study, fluid intelligence declined slower in long-term yoga practitioners and meditators relative to controls. The functional neural networks of yoga practitioners and meditators were also more resilient to damage compared to those of control subjects that did not practice. Furthermore, a study from the University of Illinois found that eight weeks of regular yoga practice resulted in improved working memory performance in sedentary older adults when compared to a stretching control group, thereby indicating that the mindfulness component of yoga is critical in its efficacy. These improvements were mediated by a decreased stress response as measured by salivary cortisol measurements (a biomarker of stress) and suggest that yoga may restore the balance in the stress-regulating systems in older adults, thereby preventing cognitive decline. Studies in the field of molecular biology have shown that there are quantifiable changes with aging, specifically in genomic expression, in which changes in the activity of specific genes can be quantified as well as changes in the integrity of genes and telomeres. Since yoga can decrease oxidative damage to DNA and reduce cellular aging, researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the premier medical research and clinical institution in India set out to determine whether yoga can impact telomere stability. Their 2018 review of the literature revealed that yoga may have a protective effect on telomere length and the telomerase enzyme responsible for maintaining the telomeres. Indeed, yoga may upregulate enzymes that degrade reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby preventing oxidative damage to telomeric DNA sequences, which may explain these findings. In another study, AIIMS researchers set out to explore cellular aging through a prospective single-arm study. After just 12 weeks of a yoga and meditation-based lifestyle intervention, 96 healthy individuals had significant improvements in biomarkers of cellular aging compared to baseline values. ROS and cortisol were significantly lower and telomerase activity significantly increased, suggesting a reduced rate of cellular aging in yoga practitioners. In summary, these encouraging findings suggest that yoga may be a viable strategy to slow down the aging process and maintain both physical and cognitive health into old age. Future trials with larger cohorts and long-term follow-ups will help us better understand the mechanisms underlying the beneficial biochemical changes induced by yoga practices. 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. 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 Holiday Specials
News From KRI - October
Blessed, Blessed is Guru Ram Das. He who created you has also exalted you. Perfect is your miracle. The Creator Lord Himself has installed you on the throne. “The God creator Himself created this. Have no doubt about it. Even if you doubt, it won't work. Your anxiety creates insecurity, your insecurity creates doubt, and your doubt creates hell for you. But if it is true that you have to be anxious, why don't you create anxiety and anxiously wait and let Guru Ram Das’s compassion come through? Within you, through you, around you, and all of you. If that understanding is God, then you have to do one thing. Live in no guilt. You live in the guilt to the hilt, you don't appreciate yourself.” My “go to” mantra, in times of distress, is to chant “Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru.” It is my way of creating a space of peace and getting out of my predicament by giving it up to Infinity through my understanding of Guru Ram Das. It engages the bhakti facet of my personality. This month of Guru Ram Das, we also remember the passing of Yogi Bhajan on October 6, 2004. The night that he died, the entire ashram gathered at his Ranch and chanted from the heart to Guru Ram Das as they prepared his body to leave his Ranch for the last time. Even at that time of great sadness, the love of Guru Ram Das carried us high on wings of love. Try it for yourself and enjoy the peace and grace of Guru Ram Das. It always works for me. All love in Divine, Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO KRI
A Crash of Thunder and All Things Change by Shanti Kaur Khalsa Fourteen years ago in the afternoon of October 6th, Yogi Bhajan breathed his last breath. At home on his Ranch, surrounded by family and students, he made that final journey and crossed into the subtle realm of spirit. For as long as I live, I will not forget the sounds, sights and sensations of that day. Yogi Bhajan had been ill for a long time and was bedridden. The week before, he had his students push his wheelchair around the ashram to look at and touch each and every thing along the way. And although he then pronounced to all that he would live another six years, this rare excursion from his Dome had the joyous feeling of a blessing and the somber weight of a last goodbye. On Monday, October 4th he started the process of withdrawing into that state of consciousness between life and death. Dark clouds gathered, and the afternoon was battered with thunderstorms. While that is a normal occurrence in summer monsoon season, by fall, New Mexico is usually graced with clear skies. But those three days in October, the sky roared and boomed like I had never seen before. On Wednesday afternoon, there was a wild, whooshing wind that ripped through the ashram with crashing thunder. I was not surprised when the phone call came that Yogi Bhajan had passed. When I arrived at the Ranch, Yogi Bhajan’s wife, Bibiji, was sitting in the living room with a tear-stained face. “Call everyone, Shanti,” she said. “Let them come say goodbye.” At such a time when the heart was crushed, it was a measure of her compassion that Bibiji thought of the sangat and the feelings of others over herself. Within the hour, the whole ashram gathered at the Ranch. Friends, family, students, and visitors alike sat together and chanted, “Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru.” In small groups of two or three, everyone had the chance to come into the Dome and say their personal farewell to their teacher. Finally, when everything was ready, we opened the Dome door to bring his still body to the waiting ambulance. The sangat opened a path, and he was brought through the chanting crowd. As we shut the ambulance doors and it began its slow crunching roll over the gravel parking lot, I was struck with the reality that all things had suddenly changed. The chanting to Guru Ram Das rang in my ears and floated around me and carried my heart through the days ahead. Although Yogi Bhajan has been gone from this realm for 14 years, I still feel his presence in each Kundalini Yoga class, no matter where it is taught. His legacy flows through his teachings and these are a gift to us. I am grateful to the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings for preserving his voice and his message, not only for me but for all his students and the generations of seekers and students to come. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings! 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 remembrance of Yogi Bhajan’s life as we honor his passing on October 6th and the celebration of Guru Ram Das’s Birthday on October 9th. 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, Yogi Bhajan taught us of Guru Ram Das Ji’s ability to manifest miracles, emphasizing Guru Ji’s qualities of selfless service, humility, grace, healing, kindness, and protection. 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. 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 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.
Research on Yoga as a Therapeutic Intervention for Prostate Cancer by Nikhil Ramburn and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system and is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. Cancer of the prostate manifests as an abnormal proliferation of cells. Although some men do not have any symptoms, prostate cancer is typically associated with painful or burning urination, blood in the urine or semen, difficulty emptying the bladder, and painful ejaculation. While researchers do not know the exact causes of prostate cancer, they have determined that certain genetic changes, whether inherited or acquired during a person’s lifetime, contribute to the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, a high consumption of red meat or high fat dairy products slightly increases the risk, while other risk factors include radiation or chemical exposure, older age (typically over 40), and a family history of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men after skin cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer death with about 1 in 41 men predicted to die from this disease. Although there are now a variety of conventional treatments for prostate cancer including surgeries, radiation, hormone therapy, and chemotherapy among others, reports suggest that 25-50 percent of prostate cancer patients use at least one complementary and integrative medicine modality. Acupuncture is popular and effective among patients who experience hot flashes as a side-effect of androgen-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. A 2013 review of the literature on exercise and cancer found that populations who were more active had less side effects from anticancer therapy and greater chances of recovery. Yoga offers many of the benefits of exercise, but in addition, yoga is likely to also better improve stress, mood, pain perception, and self-efficacy in patients with cancer. Indeed, research has shown that yoga can improve quality of life and sleep-related outcomes in patients with lymphoma and breast cancer. The 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, which incorporates meditation, body scan, and gentle yoga, in an early pilot study on 10 patients with early stage prostate cancer and 59 patients with breast cancer, showed significant improvements in overall quality of life scores, symptoms of stress, and sleep quality. The improvements in quality of life were associated with a decrease in activation of the stress hormone – cortisol. A follow-up study reported significant improvements at 6 and 12 months, showing that improvements in stress were maintained and that cortisol levels continued to decrease systematically over the course of the follow-up. The patients’ immune systems were likewise improved with a reduction in levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition to stress, epidemiological data suggests that lifestyle choices such as diet may play an important role in cancer prevention. In 2003, in order to elucidate the effect of diet on prostate cancer, the lab of Dr. Dean Ornish (a pioneer of plant-based dietary intervention) conducted the Prostate Cancer Lifestyle Trial (PCLT), a randomized controlled trial (RCT), in which 93 men were assigned to either a control group or a vegan diet intervention group. The diet consisted of low-fat foods, legumes (including soy), whole grains, fruits and vegetables. In addition, the patients participated in stress management, psychosocial group support, and exercise programs including gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing, and meditation – this could therefore be considered a yoga lifestyle program. Adherence by intervention group participants was excellent at greater than 80 percent. They had a 4 percent decrease in prostate specific antigen (PSA, a measure of disease severity) whereas the non-intervention control patients had a 6 percent increase in PSA and 6 of those patients had to resort to conventional cancer treatment. Furthermore, no patients in the lifestyle intervention group needed radiation, surgery, or androgen deprivation therapy. Finally, when researchers exposed in vitro cancer cells to the serum of the lifestyle group patients, they observed 8 times more cancer growth inhibition than the control group serum, suggesting that this treatment approach had significant effects at the cellular and molecular level. Cancer diagnosis and treatment is associated with significant psychosocial problems including stress, anxiety, denial, and exacerbated conflict with partners that needs to be addressed. Interviews with 44 of the participants in the PCLT group of the study after one year found that the lifestyle change intervention resulted in greater overall optimism and hope. In addition, patients experienced greater emotional availability and decreased conflict with their partners. Subsequent follow-up data also revealed significantly improved lifestyle behaviors compared with controls resulting in enhanced health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) scores and decreased stress. After 2 years, 27 percent of control group patients had reverted to conventional cancer treatment compared to less than 5 percent of the lifestyle group patients. These encouraging findings suggest that early-stage prostate cancer patients may be able to avoid or delay conventional treatment for at least 2 years by making changes in their diet and lifestyle. Although the PCLT improvements in quality of life and mood and in the inhibition of cancer growth are important, molecular and biological outcomes, as strong objective outcome measures, are very worthy of analysis. Telomeres, which are protective DNA–protein complexes at the end chromosomes tend to shorten with disease and serve as a prognostic marker of risk, progression, and mortality in many types of cancer. In a pilot study funded by the US Department of Defense, Dr. Ornish and colleagues looked at the effects of a 3-month comprehensive lifestyle modification (with similar dietary and yoga-related practices to the PCLT) on 30 men with early stage prostate cancer. They found significantly increased levels of telomerase (the enzyme that counteracts telomere shortening). The researchers also identified significant modulation of biological processes that have critical roles in tumor growth and concluded that the intervention may change gene expression in the prostate. Remarkably, in the 5-year follow-up to this study, the relative telomere length in the experimental group continued increasing from baseline but decreased in the control group, therefore suggesting that long-term adherence to lifestyle changes can reverse damage to chromosomes. The first study to examine the feasibility and benefit of a yoga program for prostate cancer survivors and their support persons was conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada. The yoga sessions ran weekly for 7 weeks and were 75 minutes in length. Participants were guided through gentle breathing, increasingly challenging yoga postures (as their flexibility improved over the 7 weeks) and 15 minutes of final relaxation in Shavasana pose. All the study participants, including their care-givers, reported significant improvements with regard to stress, fatigue, and mood after yoga. The researchers concluded that yoga therapy for prostate cancer survivors is a feasible intervention due to the high program adherence rate and the acute benefits for all participants. In another landmark study, researchers from Neha Vapiwala’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania looked at the feasibility of an intensive yoga intervention for prostate cancer patients receiving outpatient radiotherapy. Although 18 of the 45 patients who started the program were unable to attend the requisite minimum number of yoga classes due to conflict with their radiation treatment times and the yoga class schedule, 12 of the remaining 27 participants attended over 50 percent of the classes. The results revealed reassuringly stable scores in erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and quality of life. This prompted the researchers to conclude that a structured yoga intervention of twice-weekly classes was feasible for the cancer patients during a 6-9 week course of outpatient radiotherapy. They then conducted an RCT in which experimental group participants received twice-weekly yoga interventions over the 6- to 9-week courses of radiation therapy. Throughout the treatment, the yoga cohort reported significantly less fatigue than the controls. The sexual health scores and QOL emotional scores were also significantly higher in the yoga group. In summary, these encouraging albeit preliminary findings suggest that yoga may be a viable complementary treatment for prostate cancer patients. The findings support the need for validation with larger cohorts and methods such as electronic activity tracking to better understand the underlying biochemical changes induced by the yoga practices. Future studies should address the previous limitations of attrition, unaccounted comorbid factors, bias, and small sample sizes. Future trials can also help us better understand the barriers to continued participation in yoga for prostate cancer survivors. 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. 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 October Specials of the Month I Am a Woman: Creative, Sacred & Invincible Selected Lectures from the Women's Teachings Yogi Bhajan, PhD, Master of Kundalini Yoga Retail: $39.95 Promo: $33.96
I Am a Woman: Creative, Sacred & Invincible Essential Kriyas for Women in the Aquarian Age Yogi Bhajan, PhD, Master of Kundalini Yoga Retail: $29.95 Promo: $25.46
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News From KRI - September
Deepening your Core Capacity at Level Two Mind and Meditation This summer I had the blessing of taking the KRI Level Two Mind & Meditation module in Espanola, NM. I had taken Lifestyles & Lifecycles eons ago but had not participated as a learner with a “beginner’s mind” for a very long time. Whereas the Level One program gives the Foundations of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, the Level Two modules are about Transformation and deepening your core capacities, character, and consciousness. In the words of Yogi Bhajan, “I am just trying to make you change, because you want to change but you don’t change. I know you. It is very difficult for you to leave your habits. First we create habits and then our habits create us.” Six days of intensive study with our four extraordinary trainers from South Africa, Canada, and the United States, along with the Master himself through daily video classes, answered a personal prayer — to have the time and opportunity to delve more deeply into my Self after decades of “doing” in the world. Over fifty students from around the world came to do the hard work, as described by Guru Nanak, of “Conquer your own mind and you will conquer the world”. I observed and experienced unique qualities in this group, even as we were all working on ourselves. There was always kindness, generosity, compassion, humor, and love in the room. A key component of the training program is ongoing personal meditations, journaling, and small group meetings for ninety days – transformation doesn’t happen in a New York minute! A few members of my small group offered to share their experience for this article. “I would recommend “Mind and Meditation” Level Two Teacher Training to every teacher. The level of teaching went beyond my expectation. The content of the program is rich, illuminating, and expanding. It has accelerated my spiritual growth and development and catalyzed a new depth in my own practice. In this training I achieved a level of depth and understanding of the mind that I have not been able to reach before. I am deeply grateful for these teachings and these teachers.” Liv Amrita Kaur “As always, the precise curation of the teachings – the commitment of time and devoted labor by all who serve this work of Love – awakens my heart. The program design conveys a wealth of information in a short time, while inviting compassion and personal depth. The leaders are clear, purpose-full…and fun! Mind & Meditation set me on a whole new course with my practice and my teaching.” Dharam Inder Kaur “My psychic fields were cleared out, my personal sadhana was deeply strengthened, and I received wisdom and practices that I know will support me and the students I share them with for many years to come. Creating the space in my life to take this training, surrounded and supported by other Kundalini Yoga teachers, was one of the best investments of time, energy, and money I’ve made this year. The gift that keeps on giving. Mind & Meditation was my second Level Two module, after taking Vitality & Stress. Together they are super powerful!” Christine Arylo, Feminine Leadership Advisor and Author We hope to see you next summer for Vitality & Stress! Blessings to all, Sangeet Kaur Khalsa (Espanola) Sangeet Kaur discovered her singing voice at the age of 8, and studied music performance at the University of Toronto. After several years of singing with Canada’s first professional chamber choir, she became a longtime student/teacher of Yogi Bhajan in 1978. Sangeet Kaur is well-known as an accomplished singer and recording artist. She serves tirelessly in her local Sikh community, in her home studio, and via the internet --mentoring others to find their own true voices.
SAVE THE DATE – Vitality & Stress in New Mexico
The History of Self-Regulation: Early Western Medical Interest By Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. The ability to self-regulate internal states, either physical, mental, or emotional, is a fundamental construct underlying not only the field of mind-body medicine (which includes yoga), but also much of what is in the broader field of behavioral medicine. The practices in this realm include cognitive and meditation skills, relaxation techniques, and the contemplative mind-body practices of yoga, tai chi, and qi gong. Through these practices, one acquires the skills of regulating functions including physical movement, respiratory activity, cardiovascular functions, and cognitive and emotional activity and reactivity. Research studies have confirmed that yoga practice can lead to significant improvements in muscular tension, neuro-muscular activity and coordination, basal respiratory rate, blood pressure, heart rate, cognitive performance, meta-cognition, and management of mental stress and reactivity of emotion. The control of some of these functions is mediated through the direct command of the central nervous system including the ability to consciously relax muscles and change respiration rate – this is somewhat self-evident. What has been of more interest scientifically, with respect to self-regulation, is the ability to exert control over processes believed to be automatically regulated, such as the autonomic nervous system, which can affect changes in the activity of internal organs and functions including heart activity, blood pressure, and metabolic rate. This is because historically, and even currently, in the field of medicine these activities have been believed to be out of the control of conscious will. One of the most well-known measures of this self-regulation of autonomic function is heart rate. Historically, what is of particular interest, are the early descriptions of instances/cases in the West that have suggested the feasibility of this kind of self-regulation. William James was a very notable philosopher, psychologist, medical doctor, and Harvard faculty in the late 19th century. In fact, the Department of Psychology on the Harvard University campus now bears his name, William James Hall. He was a pioneer in the field of psychology who gained widespread recognition from his seminal 1890 textbook The Principles of Psychology, a tome of 1,200 pages taking 12 years to complete. He also had the opportunity to interact personally with yoga master and proponent Swami Vivekananda during his visits to Boston in the late 1800’s. This influenced his work in research on contemplative states and practices, and meditation specifically, culminating in his landmark 1902 book The Varieties of Religious Experience. He was one of the early academics to recognize and describe the mind-body interaction and the capacity for self-regulation. In his 1890 text he wrote a clear statement of the mind-body connection: “Mental states occasion also changes in the calibre of blood-vessels, or alteration in the heart-beats, or processes more subtle still, in glands and viscera. …it will be safe to lay down the general law that no mental modification ever occurs which is not accompanied or followed by a bodily change.” He then cites cases of “exceptional individuals” reporting direct effects on the heart rate at will –a famous medical anecdote of a Colonel Townsend who could stop his heart at will and a 1889 report on voluntary control of the heart by a Dr. S.A. Pease. The case of Colonel Townsend can be traced back to its first description by George Cheyne M.D. in his 1733 book A Treatise of Diseases of all Kinds. He recounts being called to examine Townsend with two medical colleagues near the end of his life, as he was on his death bed suffering from a terminal disease. It was Townsend’s wish to convey to them an experience/phenomenon in which “…composing himself, he could die or expire when he pleased, and yet by an effort or somehow, he could come to life again.” Despite cautions by the doctors not to do a demonstration given his condition, the Colonel insisted, and Cheyne describes the event of that morning.
- “We all three felt his pulse first: it was distinct, tho small and [weak]: and his heart had its usual beating. He composed himself on his back, and lay in a still posture some time: while I held his right hand, Dr. Baynard laid his hand on his heart, and Mr. Skrine held a clean [mirror] to his mouth. I found his pulse sink gradually, till at last I could not feel any, by the most exact and nice touch. Dr. Baynard could not feel the least motion in his heart nor Mr. Skrine the least soil of breath on the bright mirror he held to his mouth; then each of us by turns examined his arm, heart and breath but could not by the nicest scrutiny discover the least symptom of life in him.”
- “As we were going away, we observed some motion about the body, and upon examination, found his pulse and the motion of his heart gradually returning: he began to breath gently and speak softly: we were all astonished to the last degree at this unexpected change, and after some further conversation with him, and among ourselves, went away fully satisfied as to all the particulars of this fact, but confounded and puzzled, and not able to form any rational scheme that might account for it.”.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings! We have just completed this year’s Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund campaign. Your contributions, big and small, are all an important part of our success. Building the Endowment Fund will be a project for many years to come, Thank you! Our prayer is that over time we can raise enough funds to create an endowment fund of $11 million to support the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings in perpetuity. This may sound like a lofty goal, but as Yogi Bhajan said;
[one-half-first] KRI September Specials of the Month 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 was 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
Art & Yoga Kundalini Awakening in Everyday Life by Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa “The sole purpose of life is the soul.” —Yogi Bhajan Learn to express your soul’s longing, delve into images that awaken your imagination and speak of a truth yet explored. Allow Art & Yoga to take you on a journey to your intuitive, creative, and authentic self—the True Being, awakened! This book is for anyone interested in yoga and the arts. It explains how to create a daily Art and Yoga practice. It provides step-by-step guidelines for producing art and doing yoga as complementary practices individually, in a group, or in community. Yogis will find creative exercises to deepen their experience of yoga, while artists will discover simple, yet profound yoga and meditation practices that will help their creative flow, focus, and intuition. Along the way, we will draw inspiration from the teachings of Yogi Bhajan, nature, artists of the past, and recent developments in healing and spirituality. Retail: $29.95 Promo: $25.46
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) Eliminating Inner Anger DVD Refining the Spirit DVD Angular Body Energy DVD Kundalini Yoga Lecture and Meditation Series (These are lectures followed by meditation) Winning Through Trust DVD Reaching the Real You DVD Discover Your Soul DVD Retail: $19.95 per DVD Promo: $16.96 [/one-half-first] [one-half] KRI September Recipe of the Month Raita — Two Ways Excerpt From: From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition) Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa Tamaatar Raita
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News From KRI - August
The kirtan finished, Ardas [the Sikh prayer], happened and I didn’t stand up [like I should have]. I think they forgave me with the idea that, because I am Siri Singh Sahib and I am a yogi, perhaps I have gone far away so I did not care like a normal person to get up. They forgave me. Finally, it came time for prashad [the sweet food distributed at the end of the Sikh service], and I didn’t move my hands. Now that is something very challenging - that somebody wants to give you prashad, but you don't accept it. Finally he gave the prashad to the person at my side and I slowly start slipping back [to consciousness]. I looked down and there was a beautiful kitten sitting in my lap! I don't know how it came in. I don't know why he selected me, but I was sitting right there with the kitten. I slowly put it to the side. The man who was giving prashad offered me a very big handful of prashad and I took it. Then he said, ‘It must have disturbed you. Sometimes these cats come in and we do not know from where.’ But to me the kitten came to listen to the kirtan. It came to listen to the Ardas. And I had an obligation to my little guest. I was the host. The next day, in the evening … we came back and the head Granthi [clergyman] called to me and said, ‘Yogiji, these days you really have reached God and beyond. I was watching you that day and you never got up, you never even took prashad. You were gone. What a state of ecstasy!’ I said, ‘Thank you, little cat.’” Visit our online store for digital downloads of your favorite Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® books and manuals. Now you can have all your teaching materials, including our new Summer Solstice offerings, on your Kindle, iPad, or Computer! We have a special price on a collection of all 38 KRI books and manuals - The Aquarian Collection. Here is a closing class prayer that Yogi Bhajan gave on his birthday, August 26th, 1985. “May God’s grace be with you. May He elevate your consciousness. May your soul shine. May you develop in you the confidence of relationship of the love of God and the grace of your being. May you all walk with confidence. May your body be radiant, your mind be sacred, and your soul victorious. Sat Nam.” I will be with you during the chanting on August 26th! All the best with blessings, Nirvair Singh Khalsa CEO KRI
Bali Save the Date
Yoga and Meditation for Epilepsy - Reducing Excitability by Ishpreet Singh, M.B.B.S. and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D. Epilepsy is a disorder in which recurrent seizures are caused by abnormal electrical discharges in the brain. A person is diagnosed with epilepsy if they have two unprovoked seizures (or one unprovoked seizure with the likelihood of more) that were not caused by some known and reversible medical condition. There are different types of seizures. Generalized onset seizures affect both sides of the brain or groups of cells on both sides of the brain at the same time. On the other hand, focal onset seizures can start in one area or group of cells in one side of the brain. Epileptic seizures are the result of excessive and abnormal neuronal activity in the cortex of the brain and often brought on by factors such as stress, alcohol abuse, flickering light, or a lack of sleep, among others. An electroencephalogram (EEG) to look for abnormal patterns of brain waves and neuroimaging (CT scan or MRI) to look at the structure of the brain are also usually part of the diagnostic evaluation. In the United States, epilepsy affects an estimated 2.2 to 2.3 million people. The key driver of direct costs in epilepsy is medical service expenditures, which are substantial. However, the overwhelming majority of total costs are attributable to indirect costs such as job absenteeism. For general epilepsy populations, total annual direct healthcare costs per person ranged from $10,192 to $47,862 and epilepsy‐specific costs ranged from $1,022 to $19,749. These costs are a healthcare burden that needs to be addressed. Epilepsy cannot usually be cured outright, but pharmaceutical medications can control seizures effectively in about 70 percent of the cases. The mainstay treatment of epilepsy is anticonvulsant medications, possibly for the person's entire lifespan. Trials of single medications are recommended initially. However, if this is not effective, two medications simultaneously may be prescribed. Medications available include older antiepileptic drugs such as phenytoin, carbamazepine, and valproate and newer ones which include lamotrigine, levetiracetam, zonisamide, etc. Adverse effects from medications are reported in 10 to 90 percent of people. Most adverse effects are dose-related and mild and can include mood changes, sleepiness, or unsteadiness in gait. Certain medications have side effects that are not related to dose such as rashes, liver toxicity, or suppression of the bone marrow. Importantly, up to a quarter of people stop treatment due to adverse effects and some medications are not appropriate during pregnancy. Therefore, there is a need for alternative, nonpharmacological interventions. There is credible and mounting evidence that yoga and meditation practices can improve stress, psychophysiological hyperarousal, and psychological well-being, and may be helpful in treating clinical problems such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. The relationship between stress and epilepsy is well known. Stress leads to release of glucocorticoids, neuropeptides, and corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which can excite immature hippocampal neurons and cause seizures, resulting in a vicious cycle. A majority of adult patients with medically refractory epilepsies have mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Yoga and meditation interventions may modulate the disturbed limbic system activity in such patients and may help to maintain normal homeostatic conditions. Stress reduction and subjective feelings of well-being may be important factors contributing to seizure reduction and EEG changes ascribed to some forms of meditation. Yoga is thought to achieve seizure control through experience-related plasticity or through a shift in autonomic output toward relative parasympathetic dominance. Other proposed mechanisms of yoga benefit include EEG desynchronization and activation of inhibitory circuits through vagal nerve stimulation. One study has suggested that yoga training stimulates the vagus nerve, which may be relevant because electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve has been shown to decrease seizure frequency by 28 to 38 percent. There is therefore a positive rationale for the therapeutic role of yoga and meditation practices. However, there has been controversy about the link between meditation practice and the neurological disorder of epilepsy. Some have suggested the concern that brain states induced by meditation could be conducive to triggering seizures in epileptics or could trigger epilepsy with patients with no known history or risk factors for epilepsy. The proposed epileptogenic influence of meditation is based on observed meditation-induced alterations in neurophysiology (hypersynchrony and increased coherence of brain activity) and neurochemistry (release of glutamate and serotonin). A study in 1993 found a significantly large incidence of complex partial epilepsy-like signs and experiences in meditators compared to controls. The study presented data of 221 meditators who displayed these signs compared to 860 non-meditators. However, several studies on patients with epilepsy practicing meditation have actually demonstrated improvement in seizure frequency and duration and EEG profile. A study published in 1995 has shown that experiences of unbounded awareness (transcendental consciousness) during meditation are correlated with specific physiological changes, e.g., global increase in EEG coherence, slowing of respiration and heart rate, and increased basal skin resistance. These changes are not epileptic-like and are not pathological but are positively correlated with intelligence, creativity, and mental health. A number of studies have further attested to the safety and efficacy of yoga practices in epilepsy. Two unblinded randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in 1996 and 2008, recruited a total of 50 adults with refractory epilepsy and compared any type of classical Indian yoga to control conditions with no intervention or interventions such as yoga-mimicking exercises or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Results of the overall efficacy analysis showed that yoga treatment was better when compared with no intervention or interventions other than yoga. These data also suggested that yoga may have a role as an adjuvant therapy in the management of autonomic dysfunction in patients with refractory epilepsy. A recent review paper on mindfulness-based interventions for epilepsy published in 2017 described three RCTs with a total of 231 participants in the USA (n = 171) and Hong Kong (n = 60). Significant improvements were reported in depression symptoms, quality of life, anxiety, and depression. Despite positive findings, the authors noted significant design limitations including unclear or high risk of bias, low statistical power, lack of measurement of longer-term effects, limited accounting for confounding factors, no measures of home practice, and poor reporting of randomization procedures, adverse events, and reasons for subject drop-outs. This systematic review concluded that there is limited evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in epilepsy, however preliminary evidence suggests it may lead to some improvement in anxiety, depression, and quality of life. In summary, yoga interventions may contribute positively to the treatment of epilepsy by enhancing quality of life and by decreasing seizure activity. Yoga interventions can be integrated into an outpatient clinic with good results, are noninvasive and low cost, and can be conducted even in the presence of language barriers and cultural differences. However, much more rigorous research needs to be conducted in this field and yoga can only be justified as an adjunctive treatment to antiepileptic drugs at the present time and should not generally be used as the sole treatment method. Ishpreet Singh is a medical doctor and researcher from the Dayanand Medical College in India. He has worked extensively in India and USA with individuals with mental health and neurological disorders and is inclined towards integrating eastern yogic and meditation methods into mainstream medicine. He is an avid practitioner of Kundalini Yoga and meditation and brings this as a tool to help people heal, addressing deeper causes of illness and disease. 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.
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® As many of you know, August is a special time of year for us. Yogi Bhajan’s birthday brings an opportunity to celebrate and remember our beloved teacher. His words and wisdom have given us a technology that transcends time. Here at the at The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings we are working hard to preserve his words in their original form. We are gearing up for our Summer Fundraiser in honor of the birthday of Yogi Bhajan. From August 22nd to 26th, we will be raising money for The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings Endowment Fund. Our endowment is a savings account for the future of the library that, when full funded, will pay for the expenses of preserving the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. It will allow us to continue offering this precious resource, for free, to the future generations of yogis. Stay tuned as we will be sharing the easy ways that you can contribute to the Endowment Fund. “I hope you will give a chance to your future and see your future, and you will put every negative, positive, neutral, nothing, everything into it. So that when your children become people tomorrow, they should pray for you.” Yogi Bhajan, January 7th,1990 As we celebrate his life and the legacy of Yogi Bhajan, remember the infinite ways in which your life has been impacted by these priceless teachings and how they have profoundly changed who you are as a person. As you feel the depth of their impact and see their presence in each day, please consider giving back to the teachings! Your gifts will help build the Endowment Fund to support the Library of Teachings being offered to the world for free… for generations to come. “Guru has laid the path, let us walk it. Let us not serve the lineage, let us serve the legacy” Yogi Bhajan, January 31st, 1993
Chetna Yatra Make this your year to experience India – The Guru Ram Das Chetna Yatra Have you longed to travel to India and see the Golden Temple? Make this your year to celebrate the birthday of Guru Ram Das in Amritsar. Join us October 23rd to 28th for the Guru Ram Das Chetna Yatra. Chetna is a beautiful word that means to “awaken.” This yatra will be a trip of seva and devotion to awaken the love of Guru Ram Das in the sangat and in ourselves. “Yatra is a holy journey. We must go into the center, the heart center. It is a journey on earth to one’s ‘Isht’ - one’s higher self, one’s altar. It is a self-purification. So, we go from here to designated holy places and we have no other work but to get up in the morning, to meditate, to go to those beautiful surroundings. Sometimes our mind hassles us, but we do conquer it. This is the purpose of Yatra.” –Yogi Bhajan The schedule of the Yatra will be:
- On October 23rd and 24th, together with our Kirtan jathas (musical groups), the Yatra will attend programs around Amritsar, the home of Guru Ram Das. Most mornings will be at your leisure for meditating at the beautiful Golden Temple, fantastic shopping, and exploring the city Amritsar.
- On October 25th, we will join Miri Piri Academy and the huge sangat of Amritsar in the streets for a procession in honor of Guru Ram Das ji. That night, we will attend the famous Raag Kirtan Darbar to hear classical Kirtan, including our own Chardi Kala Jatha.
- On October 26th, we will celebrate Guru Ram Das’ birthday with tens of thousands of devotees at the Golden Temple. The crowds will be big, and our spirits will be soaring!
- On October 28th, we will complete the Yatra with Sunday Gurdwara at Miri Piri Academy, tour the campus, and enjoy langar at the school.
[one-half-first] KRI August Specials of the Month The Master’s Touch On Being a Sacred Teacher for the New Age Yogi Bhajan, PhD. Master of Kundalini Yoga This book is for every student of Truth. Whatever path you have chosen, it will give you an understanding of the true meaning of mastery. In this superb collection of teachings from his “Master’s Touch” courses, Yogi Bhajan, one of the most pragmatic spiritual Teachers of our time, explains the path of the Teacher. He does it with wit, compassion, and a practical sense of the challenges of daily life. Retail: $49.95 Promo: $42.46
The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan The Power of the Spoken Word Yogi Bhajan, PhD This is a book of timeless wisdom transmitted by one of the great teachers of the age. It has the power to make people happy in moments of sadness and to lift their spirits in times of depression. It is a powerful tool to clean the subconscious mind and to replace negative thought patterns with positive ones. Its inner secret is the power of the spoken word. Retail: $15.95 PROMO: $13.56
Laws of Life The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan Edited by Hargopal Kaur Khalsa Over the years, Yogi Bhajan outlined hundreds of Laws to live by. This book is a small gem, a collection of Yogi Bhajan quotations and meditations for living a life of joy, kindness and compassion. The law of happiness is, “Let things come to you.” What comes to you will make you happy. What you go after shall make you miserable. -Yogi Bhajan Retail: $14.95 Promo: $12.71
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 Lullaby 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) [/one-half-first] [one-half] KRI August Recipe of the Month Bring a fiery taste of Summer Solstice back home with you! Summer Quinoa & Veggie Salad Excerpt from: From Vegetables, With Love: Recipes and Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen (Revised and Expanded New Edition) Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa
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News From KRI - July
Calling All Trainers in Training! Are you in the process of becoming a trainer? Are you available to immerse yourself in the process of personal growth as a trainer? Then the Trainer in Training Program in Espanola this summer will be perfect for you. We want you to join us this summer! In July and August each year, KRI provides a Level One Immersion Teacher Training program in Espanola, NM USA and offers a parallel program in trainer development, fondly called the “TNT Program.” This program is a good opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the process of developing as a trainer. TNTs come from all over the globe to form a community of support for the student teachers. TNTs have come from South Africa, Cambodia, Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, Poland, Canada, Thailand, China, Japan, Israel, Argentina, Germany, Australia, and from across the US. Many TNTs go on to become Lead Trainers and bring Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training to their respective countries. Are you next?! At the Immersion, the TNTs support students through their development into a Level One Kundalini Yoga Instructor while receiving training themselves from KRI Senior Trainers such as Sat Siri Kaur, Siri Neel Kaur, Sat Purkh Kaur, Dev Suroop Kaur, and Nirvair Singh. All of this in New Mexico, the land of enchantment that Yogi Bhajan called “God’s true home.” During the program TNTs participate in all aspects of the training including:
- Attending a 5-day Training Week with the staff concentrating on developing individual and team growth,
- Meeting each morning with the TNT Coordinator for support and coaching,
- Facilitating a group of students from the beginning of the training through certification,
- Participating in the 2.5 hour “Long Ek Ong Kaar” meditation in honor or Yogi Bhajan’s birthday,
- Joining people from around the world as we celebrate the Life and Legacy of Yogi Bhajan at the Ranch on Yogi Bhajan’s birthday,
- Practicing Aquarian Group Sadhana with the students and the sangat of Hacienda de Guru Ram Das, and