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Journey to the Kundalini Research Institute

By Sat Kirtan Kaur Khalsa

My husband and I recently decided that we were ready to leave Los Angeles and make Española, New Mexico our new home. With the Aquarian Age right around the corner, everything has started to feel more intense for me. Living in a fast paced, highly polluted city like Los Angeles seemed to really magnify some of the obstacles of our times. So, on May 25th, we said goodbye to all that we knew and hello to a quiet, peaceful town that over 300 Kundalini Yogis and Sikhs have called home for several decades. This town is also home to an invaluable 501 (c) 3 non-profit known as the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). Before moving to Española, I knew very little about KRI. I mean, they’re the ones that collect our fees from teacher training, right? It turns out that KRI does a whole lot more than that. I have been lucky to learn about many of their projects, and it has been very humbling. 

First off, what happened to all the thousands of audio and video recordings of Yogi Bhajan teaching? Month after month, KRI and The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings have been safeguarding them in a climate-controlled, highly secure storage facility here in New Mexico. Not only have they kept them intact and safe, but they have also been working for the last couple of years to create a highly intelligent, online database. This online database will make every teacher and student’s life significantly easier. Need a kriya for depression? Enter key words into the database and you will find literally everything Yogi Bhajan ever taught about depression and be able to listen to the video and audio immediately. Looking for a lecture from a certain timeframe but can’t remember the exact date? Enter the date range and you are on your way. Need some audio for a class about a specific subject? You will find it on this database in no time. 

KRI also oversees the Reach Out—Teach Out program, which extends the reach of Kundalini Yoga into communities and areas not otherwise served by these teachings. There are now Kundalini Yoga programs in rural Florida, mainland China, West Africa, and beyond. Reach Out—Teach Out provides scholarships to international students to become Level One Instructors.

One more fascinating area is the department of research. Imagine, if you will, that every school in America (or even the world) and every hospital in this nation has incorporated Kundalini Yoga into their programs. America would truly be revolutionized by this! Yoga would no longer be an exciting health fad, or a practice for the well-off, it would become as routine and acknowledged as brushing your teeth. Virtually every home would know the benefits of yoga and apply it to lead more fulfilling and peaceful lives. How do we possibly get to that point? Research! Despite yoga’s popularity and the many benefits experienced by those who practice it, such “anecdotal” evidence is insufficient to facilitate the incorporation of yoga into the healthcare and educational systems. As with any new practice or treatment being considered by the medical community, research validating the physical and psychological benefits of yoga is a necessity. Carefully designed and executed research studies that convincingly and scientifically demonstrate the effectiveness of yoga will be required before it can be broadly applied to a large number of populations. We can all thank KRI for being the fore-bearers of this paramount work. Check out Dr. Sat Bir Singh Khalsa’s article in the most recent KRI newsletter for more information on KRIs Research Programs.

As Yogi Bhajan’s 82nd Birthday approaches, my husband and I have decided to donate to the Kundalini Research Institute and the Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings. What better way to celebrate this legacy than by supporting the safeguarding, expansion, and research of these teachings? 

I invite all of the teachers, students, and practitioners of Kundalini Yoga to consider doing the same thing during the next few months. Whenever we donate money, we are sending a powerful signal to the Universe that we support this cause. Our prana, our life force, was used to earn money; prana is the true wealth, and by putting your funds into this great 501(c)3, you put your prana into KRI. 

For more information about KRI and The Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings, please visit http://www.kundaliniresearchinstitute.org/

For more creative and fun ways to celebrate Yogi Bhajan’s birthday, please visit: http://www.yogibhajan.org/bday