The Kundalini yoga I teach was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan. I am a certified teacher of this yoga.
Recently, Pamela Dyson published Premka, White Bird in a Golden Cage. It is an account of abuse she received from Yogi Bhajan while working for him. Since the publication of this book, scores of others have come forward to describe their own abuse at his hands or within the Yogi Bhajan community.
3HO, KRI are organizations that represent the community of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. They, and the community at large are in turmoil, some believing the stories, some not, some remaining steadfast in support of Yogi Bhajan, some rejecting his teachings altogether.
I, personally, believe the stories being told. There are too many and too realistic to have all been fabricated. I, like everyone else, have been shaken to my core. for I believed what I had been told, that Yogi Bhajan was a good guy. I find the behavior described about YB to be reprehensible. Some human behaviors are not to be tolerated regardless of whether we can find forgiveness for the perpetrator or not. I stand opposed to all abuse in all forms. On a higher level, I always find forgiveness, but on a practical level, abuse must never be tolerated, regardless of who is doing the abusing.
I started practising Kundalini yoga about 12 yeas ago and was certified to teach in 2011. Nothing in my life has more dramatically changed my life for the better than Kundalini yoga. Since the first class, it has spoken to me, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and has changed me dramatically. I came to this yoga in my early 60's and, after a lifetime of living in my thinking mind and living largely in stagnation, I was suddenly opened into a new world where changes in my energy occurred for which I often struggled to find the words to describe. I am much more at peace spiritually than ever before. I used to think only other people changed. Now I know I have changed big time. After a lifetime of repetitive mistakes, numerous marriages, much drinking and smoking, I have changed for the better. I have gone through some very tough times and it is honest to say that the practice saved my life.
I never met Yogi Bhajan, I am not Sikh. I have only been marginally involved in the Kundalini community at large. I have never been a follower of spiritual leaders except to gleen what I deemed as truth from them. Someone criticised me saying that if I taught and practised Kundalini yoga, then I was a follower of Yogi Bhajan. Not logical. I also studied Kung Fu. I know little of the philosophy and even less of the Chinese culture from which it was born. The practice is the practice. It is an entity in and of itself. I learned about fighting and I learned about Kundalini yoga. Yogi Bhajan does not own yoga or spiritualaity.
Where this yoga came from is now in question. Some say Yogi Bhajan invented it and that it didn't have ancient origins. I don't know. I think more will be revealed over time. The thing is, it works. If YB invented all of it, he would have to have been a frickin genius. I rather doubt that. He may have added to it but I don't think he gets all the credit.
I will continue to teach this yoga as I have learned, knowing that it works and has great value. I do this with clear conscious, following what I know to
I will also continually say to students in the classes I teach that they should keep their own power and give it away to no one. I will say what I believe when I am teaching but no one should believe it just because I said it.. The goal is to get our own intuition, our own connection with the infinite and follow our own muse. Certainly we can learn from others but it should first pass muster in our own minds and hearts. We each get to see reality in a slightly different way than anyone else. That is sacred in my book. We have responsibility remain true to what we see, share it, and adapt as we see fit.
My thinking on all of this is evolving as I digest and more info comes forth. I think that is what we are all doing. As my understandings change, I will change what I write.
For now, let's have some fun and do some Kundalini yoga!
Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss.