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 21, 2013
go Shakta's Indian Yatra - at the Maha Kumbh Mela!  
go Free Conference Call with Shakta  
go Teacher Training in Richmond, IL - Begins in June!
go KYL's February Theme - Yoga for Prosperity and Abundance
go Divine Alignment Weekend with Guru Prem Singh
go Level 1 Teacher Training - Prince Edward Island (Spring & Fall 2013)
go Level 2 Teacher Training - PEI Canada - May 2013 - Housing Fees Reduced!
News & Notes...
go Yoga Class Schedule
go Yogi Bhajan Quote
go Moon Watch
News from India - Part 2

Maha Kumbh Mela

The largest religious gathering in the world!
(or, how to spend quality time with 100 million of your friends)
Yogi Wearing SombreroMaha Kumbh Mela - Allahabad, India (Feb. 17 & 18)

The 55-day ‘Maha’ (meaning ‘Great’) Kumbh Mela Hindu festival in Allahabad, India, is the largest religious gathering of humanity on Earth. The festival, which began in January and ends this month, is on-track to welcome 100 million pilgrims as they bathe in the holy waters of the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers.  Click Here to watch the opening procession in which the dignitaries parade into the camp; notice that one's status is reflected by their "ride" - Elephant being the highest form of transport.  This event is surprisingly diverse, where else could you see a yogi wearing a sombrero?  For a more complete understanding of this event please view The Holy Dip video.

This "mega mela" takes place every 12 years at the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers (and the mythical Saraswati River) on a site that is just 8 square miles in size. Preparations began months and months before as the mudflats of the delta were transformed into a tent city (40 thousand "toilets" were installed). The masses of people at the Kumbh are actually visible from space!

In addition, Shakta is teaching at the “4th International Conference on Indian Knowledge Systems - Ayurveda and Yoga – Where Science Meets Consciousness” which is being held in a special compound right in the midst of the Kumbh Mela! Besides two morning Kundalini Yoga and Meditation classes Shakta is also presenting a special 45-minute session during the Main Conference on the topic of ‘The Lunar Woman, Solar Man, and Relationships;’ which you can read here.

AGRA (Feb. 19 & 20)
Although not a temple, traveling so far from home and not seeing the Taj Mahal in India seemed like a shame (click on image 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 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. Shakta points out the best shops to purchase inlaid marble, carpets, shawls and then we’re off to Shakta’s favorite tailor in the whole world, Bunty Kwatra of Kwatra Brothers. On Shakta’s first trip to India in 2000, Bunty was single-handedly 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 Indian shoppers. But, they rebound quickly and Bunty helps with color, cut and neckline selections. Our outfits will be ready in the morning and delivered to our hotel, too!

Jaipur – The Pink City (Feb. 21 & 22)
Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber who ruled from 1699–1744. Initially, his capital was Amber which lies 11 km from Jaipur. He shifted the capital as the population increased... and as water became scarcer. He actually consulted several books on architecture and architects before making the layout of Jaipur. Finally, Jaipur came into existence on the classical principles of Vastu Shastra and other classical Indian treatises.

The Maharaja was a lover of astronomy, mathematics and astrophysics. He hired many skilled craftsmen to aid him in designing many buildings including the Royal Palace in the center of the city. He divided the city into nine blocks, of which two contain the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were built, along with seven strong gates. For the time period, the architecture of Jaipur was very advanced and considered the best in India.

We rode elephants up into the Amber Fort and visited the Jantar Mantar, the famous open air observatory built in 1734 by the Maharaja. (This was - surprisingly! - one of Shakta’s favorite sites!) One of the instruments – the Yashi Yantra – depicts the 12 signs of the zodiac. Another – the Jai Prakash Yantra – determines the precise coordinates of various stars and planets. All of the instruments in the Jantar Mantar can still be used today ... accurately!

It was in 1876 that the entire city of Jaipur was painted pink to welcome Edward, Prince of Wales. Today, Jaipur remains painted in pink, giving it a remarkable, magical and distinctive look all its own.

We then have a day of travel which includes the famous trains of India.  Most of us know that Brittan ruled India for nearly 90 years, until Mahatma Gandhi began his quiet protests that led to India's independence in 1947.  When Indians are asked about the impact of British Rule, they reflect upon these three gifts that were left:  English language, the trains, and cricket (Indians are crazy for this game!).  The Indian rail system transports over 25 million passengers daily.  In any case, Shakta and her crew took a train to Amritsar (in the "executive coach").


AMRITSAR
(February 24 & 25)
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. The Buddha himself was said to visit this pool with his disciples. The fourth of the Sikh Gurus, Guru Ram Das, laid the foundation of the Golden Temple as 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 begins very early—at 3 am or so—as we board 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 seem to automatically 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 felt immediately. We stare in awe, with reverence and love at the serene Harimandir Sahib (hari = the fresh, inherent healing energy with each of us, God; mandir = temple; sahib = honorific or master).

We walk down the marble steps to the perkarma (marble walkway) where we bow 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 Siri Guru Granth Sahib from where it is kept each night to 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.

After our visit to Amritsar we depart by train to New Delhi once more. Our tour ends with a final day of sightseeing in Delhi before boarding our late night flights back to the USA.

We depart on the evening of Feb. 26th... the Full Moon! What an auspicious ending to a most beautiful, often challenging, yet, life changing journey to the incredible experience that is India!
 
Conference Call...
Free Conference Call with Shakta

3-Minutes to a New You

Saturday, March 9 - 8 am Central Time
On this free "Three Minutes to a New You" conference call Shakta will share simple, easy-to-use techniques that can totally change the way you relate to yourself and the world. Designed for you if you’re busy, are looking for some quick and effective methods to reduce the effects of stress, to improve your health and simply, to create some peace of mind. These are some of the best of east meets west ... ancient yogic techniques backed by western scientific study ... proven tools for immediate, positive and long-lasting results.

Shakta will focus on four key areas... your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual potential. You’ll learn to bring balance and calm into any situation, to increase your mental clarity and to immediately shift your perspective. And, all of this can be done in just three minutes!

Then ask all the questions you want about one or both of KYL’s upcoming Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training courses. The Richmond, Illinois, course is 8 weekends over 8 months in McHenry County, Illinois. The Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, course is 11 days in the spring and 11 days in the fall (with monthly conference calls in between the two 11-day sessions)!

Phone lines are limited for ‘3-Minutes to a New You,’ so, reserve your space ... now! Click Here
New KYTT this June
Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training

in Richmond, IL

with Shakta Kaur
plus an incredible team of
Visiting Teacher Trainers!

8 Weekends - June 2013 to January 2014
For the first time ever, Shakta is leading a Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training course in Richmond, Illinois.   The village of Richmond is over 150 years old (map  Located 55 miles northwest of Chicago, 11 miles south of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and 44 miles southwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

The Richmond KY Teacher Training course takes place on 8 weekends over 8 months beginning June 7-8-9 at a beautiful private home. There are 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms at the home which are available to those who might need to stay overnight during the course!

This program is based on the comprehensive science of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. It is certified by the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). The course is registered as an RYT-200 with Yoga Alliance (YA).

In this Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training course you learn the fundamental principles and practices of Kundalini Yoga. You embark on a tremendous journey of self-growth and personal development as you develop the skills to instruct students in Kundalini Yoga and Meditation should you so choose.

This is a 220 hour course of which 180 are classroom hours of instruction in a well-defined curriculum including:

• Yogic Philosophy & The Origins of Kundalini Yoga • The Chakras
• Sadhana—Daily Spiritual Practice • The Ten Bodies
• Yogic Lifestyle, Diet & Nutrition • The Art of Relaxation
• The Art of Self-Healing • Sound and Mantra
• The Role of a Kundalini Yoga Teacher • The Science of Breath
• Teaching Kundalini Yoga Postures, Kriyas & Meditation • Anatomy & Physiology


Links for more details:   Brochure     Registration Form     Register Online
KYL's Theme...
Yoga for Prosperity and Abundance

KYL's Theme for February
Come to KYL in February as we continue our annual ‘Yoga for Prosperity and Abundance’ series! Every class during the next eight weeks will use yoga postures, meditations, mantras and the gong to release old habits of scarcity and bring in new habits of abundance.

Raise your self-esteem, conquer self-animosity, eliminate negative thoughts and affirm your worthiness to receive through special yoga and meditation classes where you will learn:
How to Recognize Prosperity
The Power of Blessing
Gratitude as a Vibration
How Intuition Helps Us Receive
How to Tap Opportunities
Tithing as a Tool to Receive More
About the Breath of Prosperity
Your Prosperity Consciousness
How Forgiveness Creates Wealth
How to Go from Misfortune to Good Fortune
and More Techniques to Open You to the Flow of Prosperity.
Click Here to pre-register for classes! Or, simply drop-in to the class of your choice!
Master of Postures at KYL!
Divine Alignment

a weekend workshop with Guru Prem Singh

Sat. March 2 - 8 am to 6 pm
Sun. March 3 - 10 am to 5 pm

Fee is $300 ($159 for one day only – either Sat. or Sun.)

Guru Prem SinghCome join ‘posture master’ Guru Prem Singh Khalsa when he visits KYL for two days of postures, alignment and bandhas study! Yogi Bhajan himself named Guru Prem the ‘Posture Master!’ Once you spend time with Guru Prem in March you’ll see why! Guru Prem Singh has taught and practiced yoga all over the world for over 35 years. He is a Teacher Trainer of Kundalini Yogis and an advanced Ashtanga Yoga practitioner. In Chicago he’ll share with you the tools of his trade in ‘Divine Alignment’ and letting your Heart Rule!

You will learn:
  • Correct Alignment in Sitting, Standing and Reclining
  • Basic & Advanced Asana Fundamentals
  • New Tools to Unlock Patterns of Tension in the Body
  • How to Safely Approach More Challenging Asanas
  • The Bandhas’ Applications and Uses
  • How to Connect with the Earth while using Gravity to Your Benefit
  • Warm-up exercises/stretches to open up the hips and shoulders, plus,
  • Much, much more!

Guru Prem Singh is the author of three books--'Divine Alignment,' ‘The Heart Rules’ and 'Everyday Devotion.’ His wisdom, expertise and insights are beneficial to both beginners and more advanced yogis.

No matter where you’re at in your ‘divine alignment’ you will benefit from these two special days with Guru Prem Singh. So, come learn the basics, challenge yourself and have even more success on your yogic journey!

Click Here to register. Download Flyer
Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainings in Canada
The Art & Science of
Improving Yourself

KYL's 12th Level 1 course!
Prince Edward Island, Canada - Begins Spring 2013

  Brochure     Registration Form     Details

Course Dates
     Session 1: April 29 to May 9, 2013 (arrive 4/28, depart 5/10)
     Session 2: Sept 24 to Oct 4, 2013 (Arrive 9/23, Depart 10/5)

Registration is now open!
     $2,900 (enroll by Feb 28; pay-in-full by April 29)*
     $3,200 (enroll by Feb 28; make 7 payments)*
     Reserve your place with a $500 down payment!

Level 1 in Prince Edward Island (PEI) begins in the spring of 2013! Eleven days in the spring and eleven days in the fall with conference calls every month in between (plus a final conference call in November). This is an ideal way to immerse yourself in the teachings while having plenty of time to integrate what you’ve learned once you’ve gotten back into your regular routine at home.

It has been one year since the graduation of the first-ever class of Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teachers in the Maritimes. And, we have received many requests in this past year for dates for the next 220-hour Level 1 Aquarian Teacher Training course on Prince Edward Island. Click Here to see images from the 2009-2010 Level 1 course.

So, we are happy to announce that the second Level 1 Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training course led by Shakta Kaur on beautiful Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada is now available for registration! Click Here for the brochure.

Come experience the teachings of Yogi Bhajan in an environment loved by many as a destination location. You will reside with other teachers-in-training in resort-quality accommodations** and have access to scenic landscapes, beaches and an environment that will soothe your soul. Organic, vegetarian meals will be prepared on-site for us every day by our own chef, too!


* US funds or checks drawn on US banks only.
** Accommodations and meals are a separate fee depending upon room choice. See Registration Form for details.
Level 2 Teacher Training - Prince Edward Island
   
Prince Edward Island, Canada

Level 2 - Vitality & Stress

Housing Fees Reduced!

New Venue - McLean House Inn

Class Friday, May 24 - Wednesday, May 29, 2013.
(Arrive Thursday, May 23/Depart Thursday, May 30.)
Reminder: Monday, May 27 is Memorial Day in the USA.


Flyer     More Details     Housing Options

Yogi Bhajan said, “Life is based on two things: no stress and you are together; too much stress, there is nothing expected of you.
Join us on beautiful Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, as you explore your vitality and relieve your stress in this unique six-day course! Yogi Bhajan often said we could revitalize ourselves in as little as 15 or 20 minutes.
 
  • $450 – Prior V&S Graduate
  • $1,099 – KYL Level 1 or Level 2 Alumni
  • $1,199 – IKYTA Members
  • $1,299 – Regular Rate


Come learn to:
  - Recognize the signs and symptoms of stress in ourselves and others.
  - Use small amounts of stress to strengthen the nervous system and develop caliber.
  - Call on positive emotions to handle stress better.
  - Review basic lifestyle habits from the perspective of stress and vitality.
  - Become a spiritual warrior who doesn’t create more stress through worry, drama or fear.
  - Invoke the limitless healing space to bless and uplift yourself and others.

Each day we study with Yogi Bhajan in a DVD class and meditation. In addition we work both individually and in groups, exploring the key concepts and ideas in Vitality & Stress. In addition, we enhance our vitality and rid our body and mind of the effects of stress through kriyas, meditations and other processes.

Our Lead Trainer is Mahan Rishi Singh Khalsa, D.C. Lodging and meal information coming soon.
Moon Watch
CURRENT MOON

New Moon - February 10

11 Days After - February 21

Full Moon - February 25

(Above Dates Adjusted for Central Time Zone)
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."

Waxing Moon
... is the time between the New Moon and the day before the Full Moon. During this time the energy of the body moves into your higher centers (chakras). This is the time to bring new things, new people or new relationships into your life or to accelerate the progress of your special projects.

11 Days After New Moon
Yogi Bhajan taught that this is the day when you are in balance. The glandular system readjusts itself on this day. Your metabolism is changing, so if you eat very lightly (green foods) or if you live just on water and lemon today, your health will be perfect. Eat very lightly during the day. Eat only one meal and drink lemon and water the rest of the day.

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.

Yoga Class Schedule  (view online)
Kundalini Classes
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
12:15-1:00 pm ($12)
6:00-7:00 pm ($14) - not on Friday
  • Sunday
10:30-Noon ($18)
(After Sunday's class join us for a vegetarian potluck.)
(Class fee discount of 17% with a 6-Class Pass)
Other Events
Year 2013
  • March 2-3, 2013  · Guru Prem Singh Postures Workshop
    Both Days - $250 ($300 on Feb. 17); Single Day - $159
  • April 29 to May 9 & Sep. 24 to Oct. 4, 2013  · Canada (PEI) Level 1 Teacher Training
    First 11-Day Session (4/29 to 5/9)
    Second 11-day Session (9/24 to 10/4)
  • May 24 to 29 · Canada (PEI) Level 2 Teacher Training
    "Vitality and Stress"
  • June 6-8 · Richmond, IL KYTT Teacher Training
    Level 1 - 8 weekends over 8 months
A Thought From Yogi Bhajan
"
We are not asking you to become religious. We are definitely asking you to become spiritual. For God’s sake, find your soul. Find out where you have come from, what you are doing here and where you are going. Look at the map of your life.
"