From the time of youth until one leaves the body, the mind is filled with life’s questions. At one time or another, the seeker begins the inner path with self inquiry. During this time, many questions may arise about the purpose and experiences of life and the spiritual practice.
For this reason, questions and answers with Kaliji has been created. The purpose of the answers is to guide you within to the Inner Self where all questions end and the Truth is realized.
As each thought arises one must be watchful and ask to whom is this thought occurring. The answer will be ‘to me’. If you inquire “Who am I?” the mind will return to the source form whence it issued. The thought, which arose, will also submerge. Atma vichara directly leads to Self-Realization by removing obstacles which make you think that the Self is not already realized.
Sri Ramana Maharshi
Philosophy | Sadhana | Right Action and Relationships
- Q: Dear Kaliji,
I have big questions about death. My husband 88years old, is so scared about dying and it is so hard for me to console him, because I myself do not know , what will happen after death. I believe in a sort of transformation into cosmic consciousness, he does not want to talk about that at all, but he is crying with fear when he is alone.
So death is often near to me in this times .....
JAYA GURU DEVI ~
The word 'death' has become associated as a 'scary' term for many. In yoga philosophy it is said that fear of death is one of the five obstacles to peace.
As soon as one passes over, the fear is immediately gone (well, except for some who prefer to take the role of ghosts). It will be revealed that the soul is eternal being and that the soul still exists. The only difference is that the physical body has fallen away and the outer environment is different. Like going on a flight ~ we leave one country for another country. It will look different.
The mind is still as present as ever. The mind will be sharper, as many of the self-limiting thoughts will no longer work in this new awareness. The soul is surrounded by three bodies/vehicles. Two always remain ~ subtle (mental body) / causal (spiritual body).
Loved ones can be reunited ~ family or friends that left earlier are met again. Loved ones who did not incarnate this time around may be remembered:) Parents, family, friends are present on entering this world, and too when we leave. Same as when we arrive to the 'other' realms.
It is rare that one feels 'ready' to leave Earth. Many have friendships that make them sad to leave. Realizing that life continues in the other realms, the fear lessens.
We have one chance per life to leave consciously. It is not wise to lose the opportunity to embrace the departure ~ to embrace the knowing that all is fine. Consciousness is pure and creation reflects this. It is ultimately all for the higher good.
The soul in preparation to exit the physical world should share the last kind words with loved ones. Finish all loose ends. Bring everything to completion. Then get ready ~ for an exciting journey. Upon release of this physical form, the energy that was maintaining it will be free to flow. The bliss is heavenly. But this is just the beginning.....
How we leave this planet is of utmost importance. Our last remaining thoughts in this form serve as a vehicle to guide us out of the body. Let fear release ~ and bravely surrender.
Not everyone who lives their physical form enters heavenly states or cosmic consciousness or supreme bliss. There is a greater euphoria regardless. The immediate difference is that the physical body is no more. The mind is still as ever present. The direct experience that we still exist beyond this body gives great joy to the spirt.
It is a great ride ~ embrace the next life with joy
We come and go many times ~ this is only one of infinite lives. We should be a pro by now.
Life continues. There is nothing to fear except fear.
Life ~ here and beyond ~ is what we make it.
And, it is divine.
JAYA GURU DEVI
- Do you have a suggestion about a specific practice that can be used to send someone in pain positive healing energy? Is prayer, or something along those lines thought of as useful from a yogic perspective?
In Sanskrit the word for prayer is 'prarthana'.
There are a few interpretations of the combination of the root words...
PRAR to ask
DHANA to seek (blessing)
In the Vedic time, prayer was more synonymous with mantra. There are mantras for all requests:)
On various levels, one can focus this energy and send to others. This is called prana healing. Reiki is a method of sending energy to others. Prana follows the mind. When a person focuses the mind, prana will be directed . The conscious state of the sender and the one receiving the energy will determine how effective this will be.
Most do not have enough energy for themselves Yet, some can become a channel for the energy flow. Their love and compassion make them a pure vessel to transmit this energy to one in need. For thoughts to exist, it requires energy. There can be no thought without prana. Gaining control over the mind is the most efficient way to direct energy. Yes, healing with prana is without the yoga tradition. As we lovingly think of someone in need, the healing energy flows in that direction. Ultimately it is refined as shaktipat ~ energy transmission from yogi to disciple.
Yoga says we have three cosmic energies inside:
jnana shakti (knowledge)
iccha shakti (will)
kriya shakti (manifestation)
Through prayer we activate these three energies/shaktis. With our focused thought, we will the desired effect into manifestation. Prayer could be in the form of a positive affirmation. You can begin with clearing the mind with a Sanskrita mantra. The chanting of OM, or another mantra, quiets the mind. Through a calm mind transcending the usual chatter, the prana is directed with greater clarity. Whether through positive thought, prayer, and / or mantra ~the mind is a powerful tool to direct prana. We are always directing prana, consciously and un-consciously.
A yogi with awakened prana flow is a natural healer. The yogi's presence in itself inspires prana to awaken in others. Thus, we seek the company of a yogi....an energy charger:)
"when the heart is pure, all wishes are granted"
- Q: Kaliji had mentioned once that according to the Vedas, 3/4 is destiny and 1/3 is free will. I was thinking how come even free will doesn’t feel so. It seems like even free will is based on His grace, so do we really have free will? There are times when I feel connected with the "Source" that destiny and free will seem to merge.
When one is connected to the source then the question of individual will does not come up. It is in the 'journey' that the percentage varies. The Vedas state that 1/3 is free will and 2/3 is due to our past samskaras. In this case, since it is due to our choices that result in particular karma then we can see the 'little I" is behind this. As one progresses in their spiritual awakening, the samskaras are dissolving, thus karma lessens. Then the higher will becomes prominent and the percentage will change. Eventually 100 percent divine will - iccha shakti.
- Interview with Kaliji in Malaysian yoga magazine (2007)
- Q: Why did you choose yoga as your career?
Yoga is my very breath. It has been with me since birth. As early as my memories go back, I was experiencing various yoga disciplines from within. These direct experiences bring students to learn yoga. Therefore, the thought of yoga as a career never entered my mind. It has been a natural evolution to share yoga daily. It is not a career to me but a lifestyle that I am sharing through the vehicle of Tri Yoga.
- Q: In your opinion, what are the benefits of yoga?
Laughter and more laughter. Where do I start in listing the benefits of yoga? From the sublime to the physical, the benefits are abundant. On a physical level, the body is infused with increased life-force; thus, all functions improve. The five pranas (udana, prana, samana, vyana, apana) that regulate the physical body are brought into greater harmony. The body is dependant on these energies working together. Ultimately, the body becomes free from excess tension; thus, relaxed. In a relaxed state, the health will profoundly improve. In addition, a pure vegetarian diet will substantially add to the benefits. Mentally the mind develops consistent mental clarity. Taking right action becomes natural. A fountain of positive qualities emerge. The mind attains peace. Spiritually, one’s faith, devotion, and discipline is of a high standard. A blissful nature is felt. In higher level of yoga, it is called Samadhi, expanded awareness. It is truly endless.
- Q: Who is suitable to learn yoga?
Everyone. If you can breathe, you can learn yoga. If you can think, you can learn yoga. If you can move, you can learn yoga. It is our very birth purpose. Expand the definition of the word YOGA. It is not merely physical exercises. It is the journey of personal transformation. Yoga is vast. It is the ageless truth that speaks to all.
- Q: Where do you get the idea in creating yoga postures?
I never had the thought to create anything new in hatha yoga. Due to the yoga siddhi, kriyavati spontaneous hatha yoga began to flow through my body/mind. Since it began in 1980 while sitting in meditation, prana has moved my body from within through yogasana, pranayama, and mudra. I remain the witness of hatha yoga emerging from within. These experiences occur regularly. It has resulted in the systematization of Tri Yoga’s hatha yoga method from Basics to Level 7. Over 1000 hand gestures have appeared through my hands. The flow of prana has systematically revealed these ancient techniques for the benefit of others.
- Q: How did yoga change your life?
Yoga is my life and my life is yoga. For a yogi, every aspect of life is uplifted. Yoga affects every aspect of a person’s life. When one begins with hatha yoga, the thought is about stretching the muscles. Later one tunes into stretching the breath as it connects with prana. Eventually one realizes that yoga stretches the mind into higher awareness. My life is devoted entirely to helping others learn yoga. This is the significant change since my childhood.
- Q: What are the difficulties in learning yoga?
Not wanting to face what is inside from body tension to mental stress. What is behind the stress? What desires and attachments create the mind to be stressful? Another is the lack of concentration. There is no yoga without concentration. The yoga practice allows the mirror of the mind to be polished so that self enquiry develops. As one reaches greater mental clarity with the sincere desire to progress in yoga, then the difficulties fade away.
- Q: What are the tips you can provide to the learner?
Practice, practice, practice. A door of opportunity has opened for you. Keep it open and widen the entrance with regular practice. Yoga should be practiced systematically. Merely saying it is systematic doesn't make it so. A master yogi understands the necessary steps, the order of the steps, as he/she has traveled that journey ahead of you. The main thing is to begin a short, simple yoga series. Be regular with the practice. Have the mind focused so the practice is internalized. Learn from a teacher who lives yoga as a lifestyle. When the student is ready, the guru will appear.
- Q: As a yoga master, are there any areas which you think you need to overcome?
Expanding into the ocean of consciousness is eternal. Every moment is a learning opportunity. But the feeling of sat (truth) cit (knowledge) ananda (bliss) is the fabric. This should be felt at all times. In the legend of Sage Dattatreya, He had 24 gurus. He was the first guru so he learned from everyone and from all experiences. Like this story, knowledge is eternal. We continually dive deeper into the ocean of knowledge. With knowledge, everything is overcome.
- Q: What kind of challenges do you face when teaching yoga to the celebrities?
Once one learns a discipline in one area of life, they can apply this skill to another aspect of life. In this way, the great actors also applied discipline to learn their art. This takes focus, concentration, absorption... all the qualities required for meditation. They only need to internalize this skill they have achieved. There are no challenges in teaching them. Their discipline level is an advantage in yoga practice.
- Q: Do you have anything to share with us during the teaching?
Know your aim for practicing yoga. Systematically progress the ladder of yoga. Develop a regular practice. When you practice, be present. Make the most of it. Perfect concentration. The yoga tradition is based on transcendental awareness. To realize the atman joined with the paramatman ~ the inner Self as sat-cit-ananda. This is the essence of yoga sadhana. To prepare for this spiritual realization, the body/mind must be disciplined. In the process, health and peace reign in the body/mind for longer intervals. Be well rounded in your yoga practice with yogasana, pranayama, meditation, yoga philosophy, sangita (yoga music). Yoga is more than a class. It is a lifestyle. It is the very essence of Divinity...
- Q: You speak of surrendering yourself to DEVI. What does that mean?
Jaya Guru Devi
Surrendering means to surrender to that Supreme Power which creates, sustains, and transforms.
It is a continuous process in deepening our understanding of surrender. We need to develop the power to witness, to transcend the pair of opposites. Whatever appears on our path, we still must follow right action and accept the cosmic plan as our highest good.
Seeing our past or future lives is not easy; therefore, it is hard to understand the "why" to our karma. But we can learn to accept that the Higher Power is truly guiding, leading us forward.
The Self is Immortal. The Self has highest knowledge. The Self is forever blissful. To this Supreme Power, one surrenders.
It comes in stages, yet ,at times, through intense prayer and meditation, Surrender spontaneously arises.
Letting go... into DEVI, the Cosmic Power, is the Ultimate Surrender.
- Q: Swamiji has been showing himself in my dreams for about three weeks. What does this mean?
It is very good to experience spiritual dreams. To receive Darshana of a saint is a great blessing, whether in a dream or in waking state. Sometimes the Formless Cosmic Energy will take a yogi's form in a dream. It takes the form of a yogi one can recognize as it helps one to recall the dream. The yogi may or may not know that Their Form is being used. Sometimes one connects with the Cosmic Energy, and then one's subconscious will give it a form to relate to. And, sometimes the Master Yogi chooses to enter the dream. The feeling in the dream is most important. At times one will not be able to understand what the images represent. Still one can concentrate on the feeling that was present in the dream. However, there are times when the dream will directly or symbolically give a clear message. If so, it can be taken as inner guidance to follow. A dream is composed of three energies: Sattvic (balance), Rajas (activity), and Tamas (inertia). Some dreams can be inspiring (sattvic), some dreams are restless (rajas), and other dreams are never recalled (tamas). Each dream consists of past, present, and future images. It takes clarity to understand the meaning of the dream. When the feeling of devotion or spiritual energy is present in a dream, later recall it during meditation. This can inspire the same feeling again, thus deepening the meditation. In this way, dreaming becomes Dream Yoga.
Jai Guru Devi
- Q: Why don't we learn our lessons from previous lifetimes and understand those lessons at the beginning of a lifetime?
These lessons, until they are fully learned, will show up as tests in our life. When the positive action is strong in the mind and the weak action no longer exists, the lessons are then said to be learned.
- Q: How do you know when you are "there?"
You spontaneously . . .
- perform the right action
- feel the energy flow
- develop greater mental clarity
- allow the inner wisdom to guide
- experience blissful knowledge and expanded awareness
Ah, in the flow . . .
- Q: Would you please talk about the Sanskrit term pratyahara?
Pratyahara is the fifth limb of Ashtanga Yoga as founded by the Sage Patanjali in approximately 500 B.C. Ashtanga Yoga is the 8-limb path of yoga.
Pratyahara means to withdraw the mind from the sense objects, to "make a U-Turn back into the Self."
Continually, our minds are pulled to the world by our senses. Pratyahara is the term that reminds us to place our focus where we want it, not to be controlled by any outer force, like a horseman controlling the horse with the gentle discipline of the reins. This is symbolized with Arjuna (mind) being guided by Krishna (Higher Spirit) in the Gita. The yogi controls the power of the senses, then controls the mind.
A yogi applies the wisdom and lives according to the flow instead of giving into the sense pleasures. This does not mean we should not enjoy the beautiful gifts of the world through the senses. But it means we should control our minds by living within the world, but not of the world. We can enjoy creation through the senses but not overuse them; otherwise, we will feel the drain of energy.
For example, when we are full from our meal, we should not allow the sense of taste to make us overeat. If we overeat, we feel tired and lack energy. When in meditation, we should not allow our minds to roam, but rather we should focus it on the desired object of concentration. Then we can feel the heightened energy flow.
Basically, when we follow our inner wisdom, it is the same as applying the skill of pratyahara. That is, we are in the flow . . .
- Q: I've heard the word DEVI used in reference to the Spiritual Self. I would really like to know more.
Kaliji: There are many beautiful names, in various languages, for the Supreme Spirit. DEVI is one of them. DEVI is a name used for the Cosmic Energy, the Universal Flow, the Divine Mother Spirit, the spiritual energy within us all, the Supreme Self.
When we surrender to the inner Self (as opposed to the lower mind), we can feel the deep connection with our True Self. Regular sadhana (yogic practice), right conduct (both in mind and body), and satsanga (positive relationships) support this awakening.
We need faith to believe the holy spirit, DEVI, is truly within us. Then a relationship with DEVI becomes so strong that the mind surrenders to the universal flow and feels at peace.
- Q: Can you give me an explanation of the witness state?
Kaliji: The witness state is a term for witnessing the play of the mind. Ultimately, one witnesses the mind to such depth that the witness is realized as the soul. First, the mind witnesses the body; then the higher mind (according to yoga terms, the Buddhi), witnesses the lower mind.
Often the higher mind is thought of as the witness state. But to be aware of witnessing the mind ,there is a witness witnessing that. It is the Soul, the ultimate Witness in this Dual Consciousness.
Witnessing the highest duality is the Non Dual State . . .
Pure Consciousness ~ the Eternal Witness.
- Q: I've heard DEVI is the Sanskrit word of Divine Mother or Cosmic Energy. Would you suggest how I can visualize this form of the Divine Mother?
DEVI is the name for the Universal Mother. Various spiritual and religious paths speak of the Mother. She can be visualized in any of these forms.
In the Indian tradition, DEVI can be visualized either as one of the deities such as Lakshmi (for prosperity), Saraswati (for knowledge) , Kali (for purification), Durga (the combined energy of the three deities), or any feminine deity that helps in devotion.
One can also feel the calming energy or the bliss inside and focus on this as DEVI.
One can enjoy the vast nature and feel DEVI's presence.
One can see their guru's form, as the mind often requires a form, knowing the form is only a channel for DEVI, the Cosmic Energy.
One can pray to the Mother Goddess to reveal the appropriate form to be visualized.
- Q: How can I feel DEVI? Where is She?
When you takes one step toward the Supreme Spirit, DEVI, She takes 10 steps toward the devotee. We develop faith in Her by coming to the understanding and belief that there is a higher power which creates, sustains, and transforms. We can call this Spiritual Power DEVI. This Divine DEVI resides within and throughout creation.
- Q: Why did the mind appear? Or maybe it is better to put the question that way: how, when and for what reason this mind appeared?
Mind is part of subtle body. Whereas, the physical body appears, the subtle and causal bodies always remain. Thus, there is no question of mind appearing. The vrittis, fluctuations in the mind, can pass through three stages: appear, sustain, disappear.
Mind, called manas in Sanskrita, is to receive the knowledge from the jnana-indriyas (5 senses). Mind is also the 'projection screen' for the chitta (sub-conscious) and the buddhi (wisdom mind).
The mind is necessary for the world. In highest samadhi, asamprajnata, the mind is transcended.
- Q: What is the significance of the number 108 in yoga?
There are several references to 108 from the various yoga paths. Here are a few:
- The number 108 began appearing in yoga philosophy around 6000 years ago with 108 Upanisads.
- Mantra yogis would receive intuitively 108 names of the deities such as the 108 names of Ganapati.
- The original Sanskrit script had 54 letters. Ascending and descending their total equals 108.
- It is said that in the subtle body 108 nadis spring forth from the heart cakra.
- Pranayama yogis found that taking only 108 breaths per day maintains their energy in the higher cakras.
- In numerology, 1 + 8 = 9 ...number of completion.
- Also, the distance between the Earth and Sun is approximately 108 times the Sun's diameter. The diameter of the Sun is approximately 108 times the Earth's diameter. The distance between the Earth and Moon is approximately 108 times the moon's diameter.
- The ancient Indians were excellent mathematicians and 108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) which was thought to have special numerological significance.
- Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2x2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108
- Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 x 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.
- Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.
- Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.
- SHOSHU BUDDHIST
Followers use 108 beads in their malas. They implement the following formula:
6 x 3 x 2 x3 = 108
6 senses [sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought]
3 aspects of time [past, present, future]
2 condition of heart [pure or impure]
3 possibilties of sentiment [like, dislike, indifference]
- The Japanese custom of ringing the bell 108 times:
In Japan, at the end of the year, a bell is chimed 108 times to finish the old year and welcome the new one. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.
NEW ~ More questions and answers with Kaliji here(excerpted from The Seven Treasures of Yoga by Anna Troekes).
- Q: A student today felt nauseous and dizzy after class. She ran ten miles before the class and experienced position vertigo. (She gets dizzy in certain positions after long runs.) Any thoughts on how to work with any long distance runners?
We work with long distance runners similar to everyone else, except they will need additional stretches for the areas in the body that tend to become stiffer through running.
Several people can have the same symptoms, yet it means something different for each one. So the answer given below is just a general answer. If the symptoms persist, then she could check with her doctor to determine what specifically is causing it.
Each experience for the runner is unique depending on the average length of time the runner performs, the type of surface the runner uses, and the previous health condition of the runner.
Usually runners' muscles are tighter, especially the back of the thighs. The tighter muscles contain lactic acid build up. Drinking additional fluid will help to release toxins from the muscles. Those with tighter muscles need to take in more liquids due to the fact that the body consumes more liquid in dealing with excess tension held in the muscles. Fluids help in releasing the toxins from the tight muscles. When muscles hold excess tension, it restricts the blood flow which can be a cause for dizziness as a result of poor circulation.
I have witnessed runners being flexible as yogis; however, they have to work harder at it due to the contraction that running causes. Naturally, running has its good side; running on the beach in the sand with fresh air can feel great for the body/mind. Still the runner will need additional hamstring and thigh stretches to balance the strength and flexibility between the front thigh muscles and the back leg muscles. It is important to keep a healthy working relationship between all the muscles groups.
- Q: I am so busy that my own practice is suffering. Can you advise me regarding this?
I understand your question regarding a busy life. Life by its very nature keeps us busy. With the duties of life such as sleeping, preparation and eating of food, cleaning, and livelihood, we often feel we have little time left over at the end of the day for other higher pursuits. However, we need to have a balance between these necessary duties, as well as time for our relationships and sadhana (spiritual practice). To achieve this balance, we need to clarify our priorities.
First, discover how much time is needed for the personal sadhana. This should include the flows, pranayama, meditation, and additional time for gaining knowledge. Also needed is time for creative expression such as music, art, dancing, gardening, or whatever it might be.
Each individual needs to make a list of their duties, their creative expression, and their spiritual practice. Begin first with allotting time to your spiritual practice. From this, all else will naturally fall into place. Remember, the clarity that comes from a regular spiritual practice brings clarity to all of life. With this awareness, we will find we have extra time which can be used for further self-development and service.
- Q: Boy, it's hard to sit in meditation when you are uncomfortable sitting with yourself!
Meditation is a mirror to let one know how they are really doing in life. When one is flowing in life, doing what they are meant to be doing, then when one sits for meditation . . . Ah, it is all so peaceful.
- Q: I was thinking about repeating mantra during meditation. Can you say something about mantra?
Mantra comes in many forms . . .
Mantra is a Sanskrit word which means "to protect."
A positive mind is the greatest mantra as it gives protection from unwanted thoughts and feelings. Some may feel inclined toward repeating one or more pure sound vibrations to still the wandering mind. Many languages contain sacred sounds, mantras. The yogis use Sanskrit mantras as the Sanskrit language emphasizes the science of sound vibration. For thousands of years, yogis have developed mantra yoga.
A simple and effective mantra to begin with is OM SVAHA.
This affirms "I surrender to the Universal Flow, the Divine Self."
On the inhalation repeat OM; on the exhalation repeat SVAHA.
When uniting mantra and breath, the mantra is repeated mentally using the slow natural breath, or one can listen to a mantra tape to focus on the sound.
During mantra repetition, remain aware of witnessing the process. If the mind begins to wander, re-focus on the mantra. Eventually, the mind will stay focused due to the inner calm that comes from one-pointed concentration.
In deep levels of concentration, the mantra will begin to repeat spontaneously inside. This is called ajapa. Whereas, when we repeat the mantra it is called japa.
As the mind continues to be absorbed in the sound, a profound bliss is the result due to the focused mind.
This blissful state will be accompanied with higher knowledge. When the lower mind is controlled, the inner knowledge, which is inherent in us all, is revealed according to the need.
This blissful knowledge begins to guide us in daily life.
Ah, the reason for mantra.
- Q: I note that in your practice, and it seems in a majority of teaching styles, asanas that are performed on both sides are performed on the right side first. My Integral-influenced training taught us that beginning on the right side was a more left-brain approach, that is, more yang, linear, and assertive, whereas, beginning on the left side was a more right-brain, yin, intuitive, meditative approach. I have followed their example of beginning with the left side but am interested in why the Iyengar and Astanga schools, as well as your own, begin on the right. Please share your valued opinion with me.
I can only answer why TriYoga Flows begin with the right side. I do not know why other systems of yoga practice the way they do.
In TriYoga, yes, it is true that beginning the postures on the right side activates the left brain which is a more linear, logical mind approach, and postures performed on the left side activate the right brain which is a more feeling, intuitive approach. Therefore, we begin on the right side as the body is learning the posture with the logical mind. Once practiced, the body performs it on the left side through feeling. This is how most learn yoga, from the outside - in. However, this is only used in our first stage of systematic approach. When one enters the second and third stages of TriYoga Flows, the intuitive and prana-inspired flows, the side we begin on, no longer matters.
- Q: Are there any exercises to help the heart and spirit become more in touch and open to the flow?
The TriYoga Flows are systematized in such a way that the prana becomes balanced and strong. Due to this, the prana will automatically begin to move to the heart chakra. There is a natural bliss associated with the heart chakra. Feeling this bliss is one of the attributes of being in the flow.
The TriYoga pranayama and meditation sequences also give the energy necessary to be more in touch with the spirit. Pranayama and meditation calm the mind, allowing the spirit to radiate through.
The additional practices of TriYoga, such as chanting, service work, honoring one's dharma (life's purpose), and keeping good company all serve to bring one in touch with the flow. When one is in the flow, the heart opens and the spirit shines.
- Q: The more yoga and related activities I practice, the more uncontrollable energy I have. I feel hyperactive, almost manic. The energy level is wonderful, but how does one focus and corral this tremendous energy?
It may be wise to check with the health and medical field to see if anything is physically wrong.
At the same time, we also check ourselves out. If one is feeling like they have too much energy, then one should do inquiry into their actions and spiritual practice. See if there is anything that is creating the restless energy.
Question your diet, exercise, and sleep patterns; your body/mind actions; your relationships; and your focus to discover what could be causing this. Then make the necessary changes.
Continue with the practices of TriYoga. The systematic approach of TriYoga will balance the energy. The first stage releases the energy blocks. The second stage increases the energy flow. The third stage directs the energy flow. Then one truly enters the flow . . .
At times, one will experience a lot of energy when first starting the practice. This can be a good sign that the energy is moving and changes are taking place. This is a stage that will pass; the energies will balance with the practice and until then, we do the best we can and trust in the flow.
- Q: I am feeling betrayed by my yoga mentor. My personal practice includes several styles of yoga (with TriYoga being what my body most requests). However, I live in a state without any certified Tri Yoga teachers. My introduction to yoga was Asthanga Vinyasa yoga. I have experienced three years of intense, loyal, fulfilling yoga practice. Now, my yoga teacher/mentor has decided that Ashtanga no longer suits his body or his needs and is discontinuing the teaching/assisting of Ashtanga at the only studio near my home. I am feeling quite betrayed by my teacher for allowing me (and other students) to make this style of yoga such an integral part of our lives and then to phase it out without any thought for those us who still feel passionate about it. I am finding that I don't want to attend his other classes due to this betrayal. Is this feeling normal, or am I cutting off my nose to spite my face?
When someone finds a practice they truly enjoy, it is very special indeed. After three years of practice, you probably know the series well enough to practice on your own or with the students who also enjoy this method.
If you enjoy the teacher you've been studying with, then it might be good to experience his new method of teaching to see how well it feels. You won't know until you try it.
There are many methods of hatha yoga. If you enjoyed Ashtanga Yoga, then perhaps you'll also enjoy the method he is now teaching or another method.
If not, then continue to practice what you've learned from him privately or with friends. But by all means, continue the practice of yoga.
In regards to preferring TriYoga, I can understand:)
I'm presently living in southern California, spending the days writing the teachings of TriYoga, and soon will begin filming videos for those students who wish to learn at home.
Enjoy the flow,
- Q: Did you spell your name Kali Rae previously?
Kaliji: I was born with the name Rae. Long ago the "e" was changed to "y." It should only be spelled with a "y" now.
- Q: Are you planning a tour to India for Maha Kumbha Mela in 2001? If so, please let us know your plans; we would be interested in joining you.
Kumbha in the Sanskrit language means "pitcher or pot" and Mela means "festival." In the scriptures of India, pot is referred to as the immortalizing pot of nectar that resides within each soul as well as within creation.
Holy Days are an integral part to India's deep spiritual life. The Holy Days are celebrated on a grand scale but nothing in comparison to the Kumbha Mela which is the largest gathering of people in the world. There have been over 30 million in attendance. Among those attending are yogis and saints who travel from all parts of India, representing the various traditions, to participate in this sacred event. Some of these yogis live in seclusion in the Himalayas and are only available for people during these festivals. For this reason alone, seekers on the spiritual path are drawn to this event.
The ancient astronomers and astrologers calculate the dates that will be most auspicious for purification, knowledge, and transformation. The festival takes place for 41 days beginning in January when the sun enters the sign of Capricorn.
There is a large Kumbha Mela festival held every twelve years at Allahabad on the banks of the Ganges River. There is a smaller Kumbha Mela, yet still very large in attendance, every three years. In the year 2001, the Maha Kumbha Mela will be celebrated in honor of the 144th year, the 12th one.
For more information on the Kumbha Mela, one can read Kumbha Mela - The World's Largest Act of Faith by Jack Hebner and David Osborn. This book is filled with wonderful pictures including the history of the Kumbha Mela.
We went to the Kumbha Mela in 1989. At this time, we have no plans to attend the one in 2001, but as the time approaches, destiny might take us there again. We'll let you know.