Kundalini Yoga in the Loop - 410 South Michigan Ave Suite 514 - Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-4699     www.ShaktaKaur.com     info@shaktakaur.com
Current Events...   Thursday - February 24, 2011
go Shakta & Hari Dev in India - Part 2  
go 'Divine Sexuality' Conference Call with Shakta
go Tallahassee, Florida - Triple Gong & Mantra Night  
go You Are Your Own Teacher
go Teacher Training - Indianapolis - New Start Date!
go Breathwalk® in Canada (June)
go White Tantric Yoga Chicago - April 30
go Conscious Communication - Level 2 KYTT
News & Notes...
go Yoga Class Schedule
go Yogi Bhajan Quote
go Moon Watch
Second Update from India

The Journey Continues
AMRITSAR
The northern Indian city of Amritsar is the home of the Harimandir Sahib--the Golden Temple--founded by Guru Ram Das, and built over a sacred pool of water that has existed since the time of Lord Rama (click photo to enlarge). The Buddha himself has said to visit this pool with his disciples. The fourth of the Sikh Gurus, Guru Ram Das, laid the foundation here at the Golden Temple for a spiritual center for people everywhere to come to cleanse their karmas and be one with the Divine. It is made of white marble and gold plate and has four entrances signifying that it is open to all people of all religions without distinction of caste or creed.

For us the day began very early—at 3 am or so—as we boarded our little bus to take us to the Golden Temple. Outside the main entrance we take off our shoes, dip our feet in a trough of running water and walk up a flight of marble steps. Our eyes well up with tears as soon as we reach the top of the stairs for it is then that we have the beautiful golden structure in our sight. The Golden Temple is as famous for healing in the east as Lourdes is in the west. It holds a special spiritual energy that we feel immediately. We stare in awe, with reverence and love at the serene Harimander Sahib (hari = the fresh, inherent healing energy with each of us, God; mandir = temple; sahib = honorific or master).

We walked down the marble steps to the perkarma (marble walkway) where we bowed our foreheads. It is customary to turn left to go around the entire perkarma before finally reaching the Golden Temple, but, on this morning we were there to witness the traditional carrying of the Guru Granth Sahib from where it is kept each night into the Golden temple. Drum beats punctuate the morning silence along with shouts of ‘Wahe Guru’ as the holy scripture is showered with rose petals on its short journey from one building to another. The saying goes that once in your lifetime you should have “a sight, a sip and a dip” in the holy waters of the Golden Temple, so that all negativity, all bad karmas, and all physical and mental sickness will depart. Later in the day we took our dips at the Golden Temple... in very cold water! Men dip outside in public by stripping down to their undershorts. Women dip in a special enclosed area. The sip takes place by slipping your hand under the water at a separate designated area.

We couldn’t get enough of the sights and sounds of the Golden Temple. Whether you dip or not, just walking across the perkarma and sitting inside the Golden Temple itself listening to the kirtan (devotional chanting) was healing, inspiring and humbling all at the same time.

AGRA
Although not a temple, traveling so far from home and not seeing the Taj Mahal in India seemed like a shame (click photo to enlarge). So, we visited the Taj Mahal, which is a tomb built as a monument by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan for his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal. She was his first wife and she died unexpectedly while in childbirth.

You probably will agree with us that the Taj Mahal is an incredibly beautiful building in photos and books. But, its effect in person seems to take everyone by surprise. It is a magnificent structure that the Indian government is trying to protect from the intense pollution that surrounds it. In fact, tour buses have to park several blocks away from the Taj... which means tourists like us had to run through a gauntlet of very aggressive souvenir dealers.

The Taj Mahal’s white marble is inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones that took 20,000 laborers 17 years to build. We were fortunate to watch them glitter systematically as the early morning sun rose higher in the sky.

History tells us that the Shah was eventually imprisoned by one of his sons. During his imprisonment and up until his death the Shah could only view the Taj Mahal from his prison cell across the river. There is a legend that says the Shah intended for a black marble Taj Mahal built for himself across the river from his wife’s tomb. But, recently researchers have found no evidence that this was, in fact, the intention at all.  It is simply a romantic notion that has got a bit out of hand. So, instead of a black Taj Mahal, the Shah is entombed with his wife in the white marble Taj Mahal.

After our visit to the Taj we make our way into the city center of Agra and to one of Shakta’s favorite tailors in the whole world, Kwatra Brothers. Bunty Kwatra is the proprietor at Kwatra Brothers. In the year 2000 he was responsible for bringing Shakta into the world of color--instead of the ‘all black’ clothing which she had been wearing for over a decade! The fabrics at Kwatra Brothers threaten to overwhelm our newly veteran India shoppers. But, they rebound and Bunty helps with color, cut and neckline selections. Our outfits will be ready in the morning and delivered to the hotel, too!

SARNATH
Location of Buddha’s First Public Lecture after Enlightenment
The green grounds of Sarnath are in calm contrast to the hustle and bustle of Agra’s Taj Mahal vendors. After attaining enlightenment Buddha wanted his five companions who had practiced austerities with him to share in the fruits of his new knowledge. It was in Sarnath that he revealed to them the Four Noble Truths about suffering--the origin and cessation of suffering, followed by the attainment of peace, enlightenment and salvation. This was his first sermon which set the Wheel of Law into Motion. This was in 532 BC and Buddha was 35 years old. His five companions became the first disciples who were joined by the son of a rich householder from the neighboring city of Banares (see below) and 54 of his friends. All of them together became the first monks of the Sangha (order) formed by Buddha. He sent them in various directions to preach his Dhamma (faith). Sarnath is one of the four greatest Buddha pilgrimage sites. Before his Enlightenment, Buddha told his disciples they should visit the four places connected with his life—birth, enlightenment, first preaching and death. We feel very grateful to be here. We enjoy the sunshine as we walk round and round the main stupa (Buddhist shrine that marks the location of an auspicious event) before leaving for Banares.

BARNARES (VARANASI)
The Eternal City. 
Our last two days in India is spent in Banares, the oldest sacred city in India. An author once wrote, ‘The four perils of Banares are widows, bulls, stairs and holy men. You can enjoy Banares only if you survive these.’ That is exactly what we learned as we walked through very crowded and narrow stone-paved lanes with other tourists, boatmen and residents all moving en masse towards the Ganges River and the ghats (steps leading down to the water). We accidentally bumped into cows when they moved where we didn’t anticipate, walked carefully around bull droppings and people-watched the devotees carrying small baskets of flowers, platters with small objects for worship and even a change of clothes. We stopped to buy our own rose petals and strands of marigolds from a street vendor.

The Ganges River (Ganga) is considered the Mother, the Nourisher and Sustainer of all living beings. The epic Mahabharata says, ‘The mere utterance of the word Ganga redeems a sinner, the mere sight of the Ganga amounts to a pious act, to bathe in it or to drink its water leads to the salvation of seven generations and no sooner do the ashes of the dead touch the water than the soul is transported to Heaven.’

Banares is built on a cliff about 100 meters higher than the Ganges River. The ghats line the river for over five meters. Each ghat has its own history, architecture and religious significance. As we climb into our little boat for an early morning view of the activity we learn that the boatmen are the most knowledgeable guides here. And as we pull away from the stone steps leading down to the river we have a beautiful view of Banaras’ historic riverside.

If you die in Banares you are guaranteed freedom from the cycle of birth, death and re-birth. As a result, there are many, many retirement homes here! Death is not a cause for grief. It is a celebration of deliverance from the cycle of re-birth. We see families walking with bodies wrapped in shrouds and tied to bamboo stretchers. The Banares ghats have been cremating bodies for more than 5000 years. Before the dead is reduced to ashes completely a relative cracks the skull with a bamboo pole to free the soul from human bondage. There are electric crematoriums built to save the Ganges from further pollution, but, they face much opposition. Their opponents argue, ‘how can the Ganga--which is all purifying--ever become polluted herself?’

Later in the day we tour the city of Banares which is known for its doctors trained in Ayurveda (ancient art of Indian healing). Banares is also known for its palmists and astrologers. We see shops selling semi-precious stones and gemstones. And, we also find the occasional pirated copy of 3HO music CDs! Our train returns us to the New Delhi airport in just one more day. Until then, however, we’re enjoying the textiles, the hand-made crafts and the little sweet shops that seem to appear around every other corner!
Free Aquarian Age Conference Call with Shakta
New Topic!
Divine Sexuality

Saturday, March 5
8:30 am Central / 9:30 am Eastern

Register
Join Shakta as she shares ancient yogic teachings about men, women, sexuality and the divine. She will draw upon the rich legacy of lifestyle guidance available to Kundalini Yogis.

This call is designed to inform, bring awareness and uplift. Topics of discussion will include:
• Why sex is called the creative sixth sense,
• Ages of sexual development for men as well as women,
• After sex care,
• Sexy foods, and
• Preparing consciously for your next sexual relationship.

Shakta will also answer questions regarding the journey of self-discovery that is called ‘Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training.’ In particular, details about KYL’s Indianapolis, Indiana, Teacher Training program will be discussed.

Click Here to receive the call-in number and pass-code for the March 5th ‘Divine Sexuality’ conference call.  For more information on the Indianapolis Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training:     Brochure      Application Form
Tallahassee, FL

Rumble of gong-storm.  All my cells awash in sound.  Soaks the high desert.

Haiku by Donna Decker of Tallahassee, Florida

Healing Power of Triple Gong & Mantra

Friday - March 18 - 6:30 to 8:00 pm
$15 adv/$20 door
register

Come join Shakta for a special Tallahassee, Florida, edition of the ‘Healing Power of Triple Gong & Mantra!' After some light Kundalini Yoga, three of Tallahassee’s Level 1 graduates will help Shakta deeply relax you with not one, not two, but three beautiful Paiste symphonic gongs. After the gongs you’ll meditate by chanting a mantra designed especially to clear any obstacles impeding your success.

You are Your Own Teacher

An Accident, Acceptance and Kirtan Kriya

by Sat Pavan Kaur Krulitz
Acceptance brings peace. I know this from personal experience. I'll start by telling you my story. I am an active, middle aged woman who had a rollerblading accident and landed on my head.

I don't remember the accident. I do remember waking up in the intensive care unit at the hospital. I didn't know where I was, why I was there or even how long I had been there. It turns out that I had what they called “moderate brain trauma”.

I went from being an intelligent, fit, person to one that couldn't watch TV because the flickering lights and images freaked out my brain, couldn't read a book because my eyes wouldn't track on the page and I couldn't remember what was happening in the story. Moving my body was slow and pretty limited. No balance.

I could have reacted in a number of ways. I could have gotten deeply depressed. After all I was a single mom who couldn't drive, get groceries, cook, do laundry, let alone oversee the kids and get them where they needed to go. My sons were 12 and 15 at the time. I could have been angry or frustrated.

Instead I chose to experience acceptance. This is what I can do right now, in this moment. What could I do?? I could meditate. I had signed up to start Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training at KYL in Chicago prior to the accident. We were given a meditation to do for the 40 days before the start of the course. The meditation is called Kirtan Kriya and uses the syllables Sa Ta Na Ma.  [To get a copy of this meditation, Click Here.]

It didn't matter if I couldn't sit up in a “traditional” meditation posture. Reclining on the couch worked just fine. I kept working with the idea, “what can I do right now?” I would try something and if I couldn't do it, I accepted it for that point in time. I meditated some times more frequently than once a day. I could do it. I did it a lot!

It turns out that Kirtan Kriya--the meditation that I was diligently practicing since I couldn't do much else except watch the fish and sleep--was exactly what my brain needed. Kirtan Kriya is designed to heal the frontal lobes**. My left frontal lobe was the part of my brain damaged by the accident. I’m no doctor, but, even I could see how different it looked from the rest of the brain when I saw the CAT scan when they took out the stitches and staples.

I told my brain to heal itself. I have an obedient brain and it did as it was told. I gave it the tools to do so--Kirtan Kriya. Little by little the things that I could do started outweighing what I couldn't do. I kept up with the meditation regardless. I started Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training 7 weeks after the accident. I realized that falling on my head taught me many of life's biggest lessons--including acceptance.

It doesn't matter how old or young you are. There are always things that you can and cannot do. The question is really do you accept where you are right now? Things change with each moment. Start observing each moment and don't be judgmental. Realize that this is the way it is right now. This is your chance to start practicing acceptance.

You may find some parts of a meditation or kriya* simple. You may have limitations that make some parts not physically doable. Visualize your body doing the meditation or posture even if you can't do it right now. Keep the breath moving as directed even if you need to take a break at some point. You will reap the benefits so long as that is your intention. Listen to your body. You are your own teacher.

For information about Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in Indianapolis, Click Here.
 
* In Kundalini Yoga a ‘kriya’ is a sequence of postures, breath and sound that are integrated together to allow for manifestation of a particular state, for example, a clear mind or a healthy liver.

** Research into the efficacy of Kirtan Kriya can be found in the book "How God Changes Your Brain" by Dr. Andrew Newberg, MD. Take a Look.
Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training - Indianapolis
Level 1 Teacher Training
Indianapolis - May to December 2011

New Start Date - May 13-14-15

Shakta leads the first-ever Kundalini Yoga
Level 1 Teacher Training course in Indianapolis next Spring.

Brochure     Application

Top Five Reasons to take Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training with Shakta Kaur in Indianapolis:

5) receive a direct, internal experience of yoga and meditation,
4) orient your mind toward its proper role as your ‘servant,’
3) stop the repetition of past errors and patterns,
2) invoke your intuition, and
1) make your life easier!

Breathwalk® Training in Canada
Shakta 'aligns' Breathwalk Students in Tallahassee with Shakta Kaur

Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada
June 11-12 and Oct. 15-16, 2011

Payment Plans Available!
Did you know that Breathwalk® helps to relieve:
• Depression • Anxiety • Fatigue • Feeling Overwhelmed • Stress • Obesity • Moodiness • Low Stamina • Emotional Trauma • Poor Circulation • Addictive Impulses...  just to name a few?!
Weekend #1 Participants Receive:
1) Breathwalk® book by Yogi Bhajan and Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, and
2) All 20 Breathwalks in an Illustrated Program Guide.

In addition, those taking Weekend #2 Receive:
3) The Breathwalk® Home-Study and Journaling Guide, and
4) A DVD with Instructor’s support materials including Power Point presentation, research, press clippings along with Breathwalk class and workshop design models.
 Click Here for more information and to register for Breathwalk Training.
White Tantric Yoga
White Tantric Yoga® Chicago
Saturday, April 30, 2011

Registration is now open!
View Details

Regular Rate:  $156 prior to April 17 (then $165)
Seniors/Students: $102 prior to April 17 (then $108)
WHAT IS IT?
White Tantric Yoga® (WTY) is world-renowned as one of the most powerful and beautiful of all subtle energy practices. It is an integral part of the Kundalini Yoga experience. It enables you to break through deep subconscious blocks, so that your mind, body, and soul can act together as one. As a path to personal freedom and awareness, it has been said that this practice can bring success to every area of your life.

WTY is done in pairs as a group meditation. You sit facing a partner and follow instructions given on DVD by the Mahan Tantric, Yogi Bhajan, and repeated by the course facilitator. Every course is facilitated in person by a representative of the Mahan Tantric. Each WTY course consists of between six and eight kriyas. A WTY kriya is a meditation incorporating a yoga posture, mudra (hand position), eye focus (dristi) and mental focus. Sometimes the meditations are accompanied by music. The meditations vary in length from 11 to 62 minutes. There are breaks in between each mediation.

WHAT TO EXPECT
There are no prerequisites for participating in White Tantric Yoga. Beginners will tune into their internal energies and enjoy a deep and sometimes challenging meditative experience. More advanced meditators will deepen their experience and make new inroads to their spiritual awareness. The mere act of registering for a White Tantric Course sends an intention--a message to the universe--that you’re looking for a change and that you want to cleanse yourself. Some people have very specific intentions for White Tantric Yoga. They might have an intention of getting rid of “X,” to heal “Y” or to understand “Z.” In the alternative, if you have an unpleasant memory, you can bring that thought and find relief at White Tantric Yoga—you don’t have to go through it over and over again.

WHAT TO WEAR
Wear loose fitting and comfortable white or light-colored clothing. White combines all the colors and enhances the magnetic field. Bring a white cotton head covering that will stay securely on your head (...there will be white head coverings available to purchase at WTY if you forget yours or don’t have one). Wearing a head covering is for your personal growth and upliftment. It also helps keep your positive energy within. Wear shoes that slip on and off easily because White Tantric Yoga is practiced with the feet uncovered.

Click Here for additional information and complete details about WTY 2011 Chicago.
Conscious Communication - Level 2 KYTT
Tuition Fee Increases March 1st.
Arrange Your Payment Plan Today!


Level 2 "Conscious Communication"

September 9-11 and October 7-9, 2011
with KRI’s Director of Training
Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, Ph.D.

Tuition includes 3 meals daily!
$250 deposit holds your place!
‘Communication is a gift to know. Communication is a gift to understand. Communication is a gift to realize. If you do not use communication for these three things, it is better that you shut up and don’t talk.’ -- Yogi Bhajan

Join us for this unique six-day course (one of five Level 2 modules) to learn how to speak — meditatively and intuitively — not just to talk! The discipline of conscious communication qualifies you to speak each word one-pointedly, faithfully, courageously, directly and simply.

In this course you will learn to:

  • Gather your energy and awareness to support what you intend to communicate.
  • Practice harmonious communication in areas of conflict or confrontation.
  • Consciously communicate at the subtle frequencies of your chakras.
  • Realize prayer as the intimate presence of the Infinite within you.

Gurucharan teaches every day of this course.

Special course fees apply for a limited time.  For KYL Alumni the tuition is $999 - For IKYTA members the tuition is $1,099.  Plan now and save money!  Your deposit of $250 will secure these low rates.

Click Here for more information.

Moon Watch
CURRENT MOON

Full Moon - February 18

New Moon - March 4

(Above Dates Adjusted for Central Time Zone)

Full Moon
You are naturally accelerated on a full moon. You are at your highest energy level. The secretions in your body will be at their maximum, so you don't want your energy being used to consume food. Save your energy to reconstruct yourself. Try to drink only liquids on this day. If you feel you must eat, drink only milk. (But, don't drink cold milk right out of the refrigerator. Milk should be brought to a boil. Allow the milk to foam up and then bring the heat down so the milk is on a slow boil for 5-10 minutes. While cooking it, you may add a pinch of ground turmeric, a pinch of black pepper, a cinnamon stick, or a few pinches of ginger to reduce any mucous causing side effect.)

Waning Moon
... is the time between the Full Moon and the day before the New Moon. This is the best time to remove things, relationships or situations from your life that no longer serve you. It is not generally thought of as the best time to start a new project.

New Moon
The New Moon is when you are at your lowest... energy-wise. It is a good day to fast on lemon and water. Fast from sun-up until the next morning at breakfast, when you "break" the "fast."
Yoga Class Schedule  (view online)
Kundalini Classes
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
12:15-1:00 pm ($11)
6:00-7:00 pm ($13) - not on Friday
  • Saturday & Sunday
10:30-Noon ($17)
(After Sunday's class join us for a vegetarian potluck.)
Other Events
Breathwalk Training

Teacher Training Level 1

Teacher Training Level 2
A Thought From Yogi Bhajan
"
Drop your prejudice against yourself--Number One. Drop your limitation against yourself, and drop your insecurities about yourself. Drop yourself unto the Altar of the Creator. You will never need an alternative. God shall come through in your case, in person.
"