Who is Yogi Bhajan?
In India, Jogi Bhajan worked as a custom officer for the Indian Boarder Patrol. Somehow, he lost his job, left his family and went to Amritsar, holy city of Sikhism. He claimed that he did nothing for four years but scrub the floors of the Golden Temple. He left India in 1968 for Canada. He had a work visa, but, admits himself that no one wanted him around, or would give him work. Somehow, he was given a ticket to Los Angeles, because his work permit had expired in Canada.
When Bhajan arrived in the United States in 1969, he began promoting himself as a yogi from India. Bhajan always talked about the day he landed in the LA airport...he calls it "the day I knew"...He always tells the story that the moment he saw all the riches (he called it "MAYA") in LA, known as the "City of Angles" that his destiny was great. He was destined to stay in America and started
to realize the vision of bringing Kundalini Yoga to the West. No matter that in the beginning not a single person was present in his classes; he came to teach and he proceeded to speak to the empty hall.
In the turbulent, drug culture of the 60s, Yogi Bhajan first reached out to the youth. He recognized their experimentation with drugs and “altered states of consciousness” expressed a deeper desire to experience a holistic, liberating sense of awareness and a longing for family, for connection with themselves and one another. Soon realizing that pharmaceuticals provided, at best, a cheap imitation to the peaceful, inner euphoria they could get naturally from Kundalini Yoga, and at worst, had debilitating physical and mental side effects, young people began flocking to his classes, arriving by the busloads. He created a family, known as 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) and soon 3HO teaching centers began springing up across the United States and throughout the world.
He sparked a movement whose many tendrils have wound their way into our culture. Yogi Bhajan blazed a trail, which today, after more than 30 years of determined effort on the part of 3HO and the Kundalini Research Institute, yoga and meditation have gained widespread acceptance in the West. This popular attention speaks not only to the proven benefits of yoga and meditation, but to the increasing public interest in spirituality and a healthy lifestyle.
About Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is considered the most comprehensive of yoga traditions, combining meditation, mantra, physical exercises and breathing techniques; it is a Raj Yog, encompassing the eight limbs of yoga into a singular practice of excellence and ecstasy.“Kundalini” literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.” This poetic metaphor alludes to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within each of us, and enables us to merge with – or “yoke” – the universal Self. Fusing individual and universal consciousness creates a divine union, called“yoga.”
The focus of Kundalini Yoga is on one’s personal experience and awareness through the practice ofkriya and naad. We awaken the kundalini in order to be able to call upon the full potential of the nervous and glandular systems and to balance the subtle system of chakras and meridians within the body. “Kriya” is an orchestrated pattern of movements, sound, pranayam, mudras, concentration and meditation that automatically guide the energies of the body and the mind to a specific result or change of consciousness.