Greetings from New Mexico!
We are celebrating the birthday, life and legacy of Yogi Bhajan at Hacienda de Guru Ram Das this month. It is always a really fun celebration. There is a special Sadhana on Yogi Bhajan’s actual birthday, which is August 26. We will be chanting the Adi Shakti Mantra for 2.5 hours. Chanting the Adi Shakti Mantra (Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru) was the first early morning Sadhana that we practiced in 3HO. It has been referred to as the DNA of Kundalini Yoga. On that morning we also chant the Guru Mantra of Guru Ram Das.
two mantras are chanted all over the world on
Yogi Bhajan’s birthday. If you have not done it
before, you must! I highly recommend it. This
sadhana is challenging, blissful and uplifting.
There is something special about the expansive
connection that I feel on that morning. I feel
connected to all those Yogis chanting around the
world all at the same time. Check with your
local Teacher about the time and place that it
will be chanted in your locale. Here is a
Krishna Kaur teaching about the Adi Shakti
consider teaming up with other local yogis and
teachers to make a donation to
The Yogi Bhajan Library of
Teachings ™ in honor of Yogi
Bhajan’s birthday. This resource is doing so
much to bring Yogi Bhajan’s teachings alive and
accessible for free to Kundalini Yogis all over
you done the Tratakum meditation recently? Many
of you have used Yogi Bhajan’s Tratakum picture
for meditation. If you have the picture already,
try putting an orange color matte around the
Yogi Bhajan picture. Yogi Bhajan recommended it
for increased Jupiter energy. It will create an
enhanced experience of healing and vitality.
Bhajan answered a question about Tratika
meditation in May 1995. He said, “ Oh Tratika,
Tratika is a very personal form. It is the most
powerful exercise on the planet, if a man can
perfect it. Through Tratika, you can move all
the elements. In Tantric, it is that we clear
the subconscious and give a new start. But in
Tratik, it is me and my elements. It is a very,
very perfect, personal Sadhana.”
Tratika meditation on the Tratakum picture was
my first forty day sadhana in the very early
70’s. I had many wonderful experiences and
insights during that practice. We have a
of an early publication from KRI about the
Tratakum and Guru yoga if you would like to
the way, so there is not confusion, Guru yoga is
one of the traditional kinds of yoga. Yogi
Bhajan was adamant that he was not a Guru. He
was a teacher, guide and a deliverer of the
sacred teachings of Kundalini Yoga.
buy a copy
of the Tratakum picture at
our online store. This picture was recently
refreshed, pixel by pixel, by Ram Jiwan Singh in
Los Angeles. Ram Jiwan Singh recently passed
away. He told me in an email before he passed,
“I’m happy to have served by refreshing the
Tratakum image. It was blissful work. I’m also
happy that the image is out there again helping
many in their meditations”.
In gratitude, and sending you many blessings,
Nirvair Singh Khalsa
CEO Kundalini Research Institute
Sat Nam from The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings™
August is such a special time of year for
all of us at The Yogi Bhajan Library of
Teachings®. Yogi Bhajan’s birthday on August
26 brings an opportunity to celebrate and
remember the source of the transformative
teachings we are working to preserve through
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®.
Every August, The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® asks Yogi Bhajan’s students all over the world to make donations to help support our work. We like to call it the Birthday Fundraiser. If you’re grateful for how Yogi Bhajan’s teachings have touched your life, consider making a birthday gift donation to The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®. The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® is dedicated to providing transcripts, videos and audio recordings of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings, as well as kriya write-ups and much more online free to students worldwide! Your contribution to The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings® is a powerful way to help carry the legacy of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings into the future.
When I was considering what I wanted to share with you in the newsletter this month, the month of Yogi Bhajan’s birthday, I wanted it to be something that really honors the true essence of his teachings. I asked myself, What is at the core of what Yogi Bhajan taught? For me, at the heart of his teachings has been that we must evolve ourselves to a place where we can uplift others and inspire consciousness in everyone we meet. Yogi Bhajan gave this lecture at the Espanola Gurdwara on his Birthday in 1990.
“Unfortunately you understand prosperity and prosperity only in the terms of the Earth, good job, wealth, good family, good things around, but that's one part of it, second part of it the wisdom the mind and third part of it is carrying people to higher consciousness, higher level, getting them out of the mud these are the three aspects of life. Those who live for themselves, I'm not asking them they are selfish but they are no less than that, such people have only enjoyed their one third of life, those who have become wise and have expanded, they have used their wisdom to improve their life over others, they are also selfish, they have lived two third of their life, but those who have used everything to help other and expand others and give them all, they have lived complete life. Because the God who gave you the self when you used that self for His creation then you are selfless otherwise you are selfish.”
“A carpenter takes a wood makes a piece of art out of it, that's a Sikh. The touch of a Sikh is touch of a chisel it must bring art and beauty and excellence out of the dead stone, there's no two opinions this religion is the reality of creation for the Creator and in compassion and kindness it is the best use of life.”
This lecture holds so much wisdom, give yourself this gift and watch the complete video lecture.
Let us all take Yogi Bhajan’s birthday month as an opportunity to ‘bring art and beauty and excellence’ to everything we do and everything we are.
Thank you to all who donate regularly and who have supported us over the years! If you haven’t already, consider making yourself a monthly contributor to The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings®. Every gift plays a part in making this invaluable online resource grow!
Shabd Simran Kaur Adeniji
The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings™
Kundalini Research Institute
Find us on Facebook “The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings”
August Recipe of the Month
Yield: 4–8 servings
4 russet baking potatoes
½ cup oil
3 onions, chopped
¼ cup ginger, minced
1 bulb garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon crushed red chilies or cayenne
8 whole cloves
Seeds of 3 cardamom pods
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup soy sauce
½ pint cottage cheese
4 slices cheese, cut in half
1 bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup pineapple, chopped and drained
Bake potatoes for about 1 hour, until nice and soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet and add onions and ginger. Sauté until onions are well done, then add garlic and spices. If spices are sticking to the pan, add more oil. Cook until browned. Add soy sauce. Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides and combine with the onion mixture. Add cottage cheese. Refill potato shells forming mounds on top. Cover with slices of cheese and broil until melted and golden. Garnish with bell peppers and pineapple.
Excerpt from: Foods for Health and Healing: Remedies & Recipes, by Yogi Bhajan, PhD.
August Specials from KRI
The Master’s Touch
This book is for every
student of Truth. In this
superb collection of
teachings from his ‘Master’s
Touch’ courses, Yogi Bhajan
explains the path of the
Teacher with wit,
compassion, and a practical
sense of the challenges of
Laws of Life
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
The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
The Master’s Touch
You can also get the
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Have you been teaching yoga in schools or wanting to pitch a yoga program to your local school? We hope Dr. Sat Bir’s article this month provides you some general insight and direction for how to approach teaching yoga in a school near you!
The Rationale for Yoga in Schools
By Ajeetdev Kaur (Kerry Vanden Heuvel), M.A. and Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.
Children and adolescents living the United States today are faced with many stressors, including problems with family and peers, the pressure to perform well and succeed academically, and the many physical and emotional changes that come with puberty. If unmanaged, chronic stress can lead to significant mood disturbance and is well-known as a risk factor for psychiatric conditions. In fact, a comprehensive research survey has revealed that the cumulative prevalence of psychiatric problems by age 21 exceeds 80% in the United States suggesting that these conditions are nearly universal in our youth. Furthermore, another survey study indicates that the majority of psychiatric conditions in adults have child-adolescent onsets. Therefore, there is a great need to address this high mental health burden in children and adolescents and to also prevent the occurrence of psychiatric disorders in adulthood. A growing number of educators, parents and students believe that schools need to provide more than academic instruction in order to ensure that children are not only successful in school, but also in life. However, the modern education system is faced with the pressure to enhance the academic performance of students, resulting in a lack of time and resources for developing students’ life-coping skills.
An important recent construct relevant for the behavioral competence of youth is so-called social and emotional learning (SEL), which refers to the processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) strives to advance SEL science, evidence-based practice, and policy, and provides a published guide to existing programs that are believed to be effective for SEL. In an ideal world, CASEL would see every school in the nation providing evidence-based SEL programming to all students in preschool through high school.
The practice of yoga is effectively a form of SEL, with potentially additional advantages. With yoga practice, students start developing the ability to regulate their stress and emotions, to develop full awareness of their mind and body, and improve their physical health and functioning through the physical movements and postures, breathing exercises, meditation practices, and relaxation techniques. These are skills which lead to improved functioning and coping overall, thereby preventing the risk factors for impaired mood, behavior and health. Encouragingly, the Kripalu Yoga in Schools program has just recently been included in the CASEL guide, and it is likely that other contemplative practice-based curricula will be added in future. Traditional SEL programs are often challenging to integrate into the standard academic curriculum, mostly due to limited time and resources. School-based yoga programs, on the other hand, have the advantage of possibly being integrated relatively seamlessly into existing standard physical education class settings.
There is a growing number yoga programs being implemented in public schools across North America. Research on these programs indicates that offering yoga programs within the school curriculum is an effective way to help students develop self-regulation, mind-body awareness, and physical fitness, resulting in the promotion of SEL skills and positive student outcomes. School-based yoga research is in its infancy, however it is important to note that it is a growing field. Most existing studies are preliminary and have focused on elementary school students with limited studies on the long-term effects of yoga in schools. School-based yoga programs have been shown to improve behavior, mental state, health and performance, while at the same time preventing much of the stress experienced by students. Specifically, studies have revealed that yoga interventions produce positive effects on several factors such as emotional balance, the ability to concentrate, cognitive efficiency, anxiety, negative thought patterns, emotional and physical impairments, emotional and stress reactivity, and negative behaviors. Several studies have also found the beneficial effects of school-based yoga programs on teacher-perceived factors such as classroom behavior and SEL skills, concentration, mood, ability to function under pressure, hyperactivity, attention, adaptive skills, behavioral symptoms, and internalizing symptoms.
Additionally, a small number of studies have examined the effects of school-based yoga physiological outcomes and found that yoga participation was associated with decreased cortisol concentrations, more stable breathing patterns, and improvements in heart rate variability. A credible hypothesis regarding the meditative/mindfulness component of yoga practice, is that they increase mind-body awareness, which in turn leads to positive behaviors; specifically, an increased awareness of the rewarding feelings and experiences that occur when one engages in positive behavior, encourage more of that behavior. For example, after yoga training, students may find that they are no longer attracted to junk food, because they become acutely aware of the negative bodily response and sensations after consuming it. Recent neurobiological hypotheses suggest that yoga may exert its beneficial psychological effects through physiological mechanisms that calm the nervous system, possibly through the stimulation of the vagus nerve, as a result improving stress management and self-regulation. Other recent studies suggest that yoga may enhance several aspects of physical fitness, such as improved respiratory function, increased exercise adherence, and reduced obesity risk factors. There are also studies suggesting that yoga is as effective as, and in some cases better than, standard physical exercise in the improvement of positive health-related outcomes.
The movement of yoga in schools shows promise for improving a variety of student outcomes, however, the need for more studies and future research is critical. Because school attendance is mandatory, yoga in schools may play a vital role in helping children establish healthy lifestyle behaviors from an early age. Therefore, the implementation of yoga in schools could have far-reaching implications for school health, and also for society as a whole. In summary, there is a need for SEL skills for our youth, existing research suggests that yoga provides SEL skills that improve mental and physical heath in childhood, and, therefore, school-based yoga programs may as a result have long-term implications for health in adulthood. Currently, grassroots efforts for yoga programs in schools across North America have been increasing, but more studies showing the benefits of these programs will be instrumental to expanding the presence of yoga in schools. The scientific rationale for yoga in the public schools described in this article has been more fully articulated in a peer reviewed manuscript that is currently in press in the Journal of Children’s Services (Yoga within the School Curriculum: A Scientific Rationale for Improving Social-Emotional Learning and Positive Student Outcomes; Butzer B, Bury D, Telles S, Khalsa SBS), which we hope will be of use as a supportive document for yoga-in-school program administrators in justifying the application of their programs in school settings. We are hopeful that yoga could become a well-accepted and universal part of school curricula.