Tag Archive | TriYoga Center of Philadelphia

Kriyavati Celebrations: Jan 5th, 2014

April 11 2013 1290 birthday cakeHappy Birthday TriYoga!

On Sunday, January 5th, 2014 we will be celebrating the anniversary when the Flows moved through Sri Kaliji for the first time. Come join in the celebrations from 2:30pm to 5pm. ($30 Cash/Check)

Here is a wonderful article of Kaliji’s account of Kriyavati Siddhi:
http://www.yogainasia.com/articles_pdf/Kriyavati.pdf

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In honor of the New Year, enjoy the video of Kaliji Talks: Check In With Yourself
http://vimeo.com/6762314

Be inspired by the Flow! Here is an online class recorded by TriYoga International during an online TriYoga Festival:
http://vimeo.com/36031263

Post Published By: Rebecca Binaka Swinden
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OBSTACLES? How To Remove and Transform Them

OBSTACLES? HOW TO REMOVE AND TRANSFORM THEM

BY CHRISTINE (CITRINĪ) WARE, Ph.D., E-RYT

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~ Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha ~

I have been thinking a good deal about obstacles, our relationship to obstacles, and the “removal of” obstacles lately. I’ve also been considering some recent personal experiences with obstacles and I’ve been frequently chanting the name of Ganapati (also known as Govinda or Ganesha). The Indian/Hindu representation of Ganapati is one of a strong and powerful elephant. This image is designed to remind us that we have the power within to remove all obstacles. (At a later time, I will write more about deities and the various Indian/Hindu representations of the Ultimate). As a psychologist, I frequently work with clients who feel stuck, impeded, and mired in hindrances, obstructions, and difficulties, sometimes for years. I believe it to be “magical thinking” and overly simplistic to think that one could chant to a deity that embodies and represents the removal of obstacles in order to remove all obstacles.

And yet…Kaliji has said numerous times that thoughts follow energy and energy follows thoughts, thereby encouraging us to be mindful of our thought content and the effects of thoughts. The field of interpersonal neurobiology also supports the idea that the brain is in constant evolution, even after our formative childhoods, as our neural pathways continuously respond to and rewire themselves based on our experiences, thoughts, and relationships. Yogic perspective and practice further suggest that if we calm the chatter and reduce clutter, Truth is revealed. It makes sense, therefore, that if we calm our physical-psycho-emotional-spiritual-emotional-energetic self and align it with positive intentions (as well as calming and positively influencing our environment over time) that hindrances and difficulties will lessen (and we will also better deal with those that arise). Here is a simple example: I take a roundtrip 10-minute drive on a regular basis. Recently, I have had several interesting experiences with traffic obstacles on this route. On more than one occasion, I have had a regular radio station playing in one direction of the drive only to find that I encountered every red light and several construction zones where I had to wait for the flaggers to change their “stop” sign to “slow.” In the other direction of the drive (not always the same direction or in the same order), I have had a CD playing with chants to Ganapati/Ganesha, only to find that I had green lights and flaggers indicating “slow” immediately, thus a smooth obstacle-free drive. Again, I believe it to be overly simplistic to think that if we simply have our radios set to “remove obstacles,” we will not encounter any. Yet sound and music can alter our moods and our thinking. It is not inconceivable that the sound vibrations and intentions with which we approach situations make a difference… It also seems that something is an obstacle partially based on how we see it. For example, certain “significant” difficulties that I have faced in the past (for example,depression, self-image problems, negative body image, worry about failure) were truly challenging and seemed insurmountable at times. They have, however, ended up being great teachers and have made me who I am today (as a person, a therapist, and a yoga teacher). I feel grateful to have faced and moved into and through such difficulties.

I also watch how others’ encounter obstacles. During yoga practice, students move to the “edge” of a posture or face negative self-evaluations as they arise. I attempt to support my fellow practitioners in observing these challenges as non-judgmentally as possible, inquiring into “bigger picture” concerns. Is this challenge in the thighs who you are? How far into the thigh stretch is helpful and when does it become hurtful? Is the negative judgment accurate? What is helpful in it and what is worth letting go? Who are you really? Recently I had the chance to observe another yoga teacher’s nervousness when she found that I would be her student, as well as a number of other teachers and advanced yogis. She acknowledged her nervousness, moved into it, and did not let it stop her. By the end of the class, she had released it and she and all of her students thoroughly benefited from the class, relaxing deeply and releasing into yoga (as profound, transcendent union). The experience was transformative. It was also a representation of the way in which obstacles are our teachers. We all continuously learn from ourselves, others, experiences. Gurus (teachers) are everywhere.

Some obstacles and challenges are quite temporary (i.e., traffic), some endure for a time (i.e., a job loss or financial difficulties), and some are much less changeable, perhaps even permanent.  For example, our dear, departed TriYoga sister, Debbi Gardner, faced a major and eventually life-altering cancer diagnosis in the last few years. Even in the face of death, she transformed her own and our lives by demonstrating the ability to accept this final transition, prepare for it, and embody and express love. At her memorial, we were blessed by the gift of love as she had found amazing, beautiful, and deeply touching ways to express it from beyond the grave. Through her perspective and example, her “passing over” was no longer an obstacle or something to be feared, but another journey, a transition, a departing from this to the “other side.” (For more on Debbi’s transition, visit http://www.debsway.net). Since none of us live an obstacle-free life, it seems worth examining our relationship to challenges – large and small – including the final challenge of accepting our own mortality, acknowledging that the embodied life we lead is temporary.

“We are all one, no separation.”
– Debbi Gardner

Postscript:

I thought that I had completed this article last night, saving it for a final re-read this evening. But, of course, contemplation of obstacles has its hazards, particularly if we believe that thoughts follow energy and energy follows thoughts… Perhaps Krishna and Ganapati got together for a good laugh at me today; perhaps this was a cosmic test… Our child-caretaker, who is truly reliable, unexpectedly had a mandatory and important appointment that could not be rescheduled in New York City this morning. My husband, between night shifts and ill with a fever and chills for the last two days, could not be asked to take on the children. I scrambled to find an alternative arrangement for them and shifted my client schedule to make it work. As the day progressed, it became apparent that she would not make it home by midafternoon as I had hoped. In the last moments before yoga class, I thought to ask a regular Tuesday evening student, certified in TriYoga, to teach class for me (thank you, Marj!) so that I could return home and relieve the high school student who had already been caring for the children for 6 hours (thank goodness for his spring break!). As I prepared to leave the yoga studio, knowing my class was in good hands, a small pewter circle next to the figurine of a yogi on my office key chain fell to the ground. I had never paid much attention to this circle. It read “Balance.” I and the students still in the waiting room had a good laugh as I said that I had just lost my “Balance.” As I laughed my way out of the studio/office, I thought how comic it really was that, as I was writing about obstacles, I was encountering a number of them (albeit relatively innocuous ones, thankfully). I also thought to myself that I had handled the challenges of this day remarkably well (especially given how I might have reacted to them in the past): with relatively little stress, doing what needed to be done to manage the challenges as they arose.

Then… as if to truly tease and test me – to speak loudly from within “have you forgotten already?” – I took the children out for dinner. Our meal was going splendidly until, for no discernible reason, my littlest one started screaming. SCREAMING, inconsolable SCREAMING. Nothing I could think of to do would appease him – no soothing, no holding, no ignoring, nothing… (I always say that he must be teething when such incomprehensible crying arises). We finished eating as quickly as possible. Then the older one joined in the screaming and crying. We left the premises, my head hung low in embarrassment at the scene and noise that we were creating. In the car, it continued. SCREAMING. I tried to drive quickly, to get home. I tried music. I tried reaching back to pat them. Nothing, just SCREAMING. Then, not believing for a second that it would work or be any different than the other music I had on, I put on “Gam Gam Ganapataye Namaha.” And the screaming and crying ceased, almost immediately, and did not start up again. WOW! (Have you forgotten already? I guess sometimes we just need to be continuously reminded to truly learn and trust).

~ Jai Ganesha! Jai, Jai Ganesha! Jai! ~

On A Mat Near You: Meet Bonnie

BharatiatPianoMeet one of our talented TriYoga teachers, Bonnie “Bharati” Keyser. We asked Bharati a few get to know you questions and here are her answers:

How did you find/start TriYoga? Did you practice other forms of yoga before TriYoga?

I have pretty much practiced TY exclusively since 1995 when I was introduced to it by Paula Sam. I have tried other styles of yoga and experimented very briefly with Iyengar but TY is my home.  No other practice so beautifully combines technique with meditation.  

What are some of your favorite yoga class memories?
My favorite class memory is being in Kaliji’s studio in Malibu when I was there for basics certification. I could hear the ocean behind her voice.  Magical!  My favorite ah hah moments are when I discover I can do a posture which has eluded me.  
What are some of your favorite activities outside of yoga?
When not practicing yoga, I enjoy being outside.  Recently I have begun enjoying hiking.  I love playing the piano but not for an audience.  I haven’t gotten over my perfection issues around my music. I enjoy almost all types of music.  I like knitting and love cats.  I currently have three cats named Lightning, Lakshmi and Kammi.  I love live performances including theater and opera.  I like vegan cooking but try to not preach too much.  People can be very defensive about their food.  I ADORE travel to different countries and learning languages.  
What has been your biggest “surprise” from practicing TriYoga?
I really enjoy meeting different people through TY.  It is wondrously surprising how transformative a consistent practice can be.  I love the constant refinements which come through in TY.  I love that Kaliji truly cares for me and every student.  She is available and welcomes contact.  She says we are all her family.  
Can you tell us a little bit about your approach to teaching?
There is a delicate line I try to observe between correcting and over correcting.  Particularly for new students, they can feel they are “no good at yoga” if corrected too much.  It takes time to develop a trusting relationship with a student so they are receptive to correction.  If I don’t see a student in class for a while. I will try to reach out to them and encourage them to return.  They are usually grateful.  
 
Interview by Rebecca Swinden

What is unique about TriYoga?

“WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT TRIYOGA?”
AND OTHER BACKGROUND QUESTIONS ABOUT TRIYOGA
BY CHRISTINE (CITRINĪ) WARE, Ph.D., E-RYT

What is TriYoga?
TriYoga is a complete method that includes the full range of traditional yoga
practices, including hatha yoga, nada yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and jnana yoga
practices. “TriYoga is in the tradition of the ancient yoga in that it is guided by the
direct experience and intuitive knowledge that arise from the inner flow of kundalini,
or universal life-energy” (Kaliji).

How does TriYoga differ from other styles of yoga?
The TriYoga Flows are similar to other hatha yoga methods in that they include
physical yoga practices, breathing practices, and practices to encourage
concentration and meditation. They include the use of props and modifications.
TriYoga is unique due to the Flows’ distinctive and systematic sequencing, the
wavelike spinal movements, the union of posture, breath and focus, the emphasis on
economy of motion, natural alignment, and pacing, and the systematized Prana Vidya
practices (the breathing practices, concentration techniques and meditation that
balance and increase prana, life energy). TriYoga is also unique because it was not
created, but rather inspired and guided by Kali Ray’s direct experience of kriyavati
siddhi (the spontaneous flow of asana, pranayama and mudra). Kriyavati (the
manifestation of prana, the universal life energy, through hatha yoga) continues to
guide the evolution of TriYoga.

Why is it important that TriYoga is systematized (and for students to progress
systematically)?
There are a number of ways to approach this question. In terms of learning, thesystematization allows students to learn foundational practices first, progressing as
knowledge, understanding, and comfort with the practices increase. With respect to
the physical body, the systematization allows one to build strength, flexibility,
endurance, and balance over time, beginning with simpler postures and sequences, and
progressing over time. The systematization also allows students in earlier levels to
experience more restful, sustained postures that allow for integration of what one is
learning, while students in more advanced classes experience fewer rest postures and
more “meditation in motion.” In terms of energy flow, the systematization allows one
to feel how energy flows through the body and how the practices increase and direct
energy. This is experienced first in more straightforward postures, progressing to
more difficult sequences in advanced levels. In order to maintain dynamic
concentration and release tension to deeply experience meditation, the body and mind
may benefit from more and more challenging sequences as previously learned postures
and flows become effortless. Lastly, TriYoga is systematized because this is the way
that the practices flowed through Kaliji, guiding the development of the system.

Who is Kali Ray?KalijiPhotoonAlter CopyrightChristineWareKali Ray is also known as Kaliji, Sri Kali Lakshmi Deviji, and Swamini Kaliji. She is the founder of TriYoga, a systematized yoga method with Basics to Level 7 TriYoga Flows and Prana Vidya (the trinity of breathing practices, concentration techniques and meditation that balance and increase prana or life energy), as well as hundreds of hand mudras. Kaliji has devoted her life to sharing the ancient, universal teachings of TriYoga. Kaliji is a swamini from the Jayalakshmi Datta Avadhoota lineage, initiated by Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. He recently conferred to her the honorary title of Vishwa Bandhu (Friend of the Universe). Many students throughout the world have been inspired and transformed by her presence, her mastery of the flow and the ageless wisdom inherent in the TriYoga teachings.

How did TriYoga evolve?
As a child, Kaliji was naturally drawn to self-inquiry and meditation. She would
frequently wonder, “Where was I before coming to this planet? Where do I come
from?” After asking these questions, she would feel blissful for a few seconds. She
had other childhood mystical experiences of inner connection. Then during a break
from college, after meeting a man who spoke to her about yoga and eastern
philosophy, Kaliji fell out of a boat during a storm. She thought that she was going to
drown. As she surrendered to this destiny if it was meant to be, she felt immersed in
bliss. After her rescue, she prayed for the Divine to reveal the source of this bliss.
At that moment, in July of 1975, kundalini (the universal life energy) awakened and
for twelve hours she was immersed in bliss. Five years later, on January 5, 1980, Kaliji
was leading a group in meditation. She shared a concentration technique of energy
rising up the spine. As soon as the meditation began, kriyavati siddhi spontaneously
awakened within her, creating the spontaneous flow of asana, pranayama and mudra.
Moved by the powerful energy and beauty of these flows, her students asked her to
teach what they had witnessed. This later became known as the birth of TriYoga.
Since then, the continuing flow of kriyavati (the spontaneous manifestation of
kundalini through hatha yoga) has flowed through Kaliji’s body while in meditation,
revealing TriYoga sadhana (practices).

What is the significance of the name TriYoga?
TriYoga represents the Universal Trinity that manifests the Divine. “Tri” means
trinity. The Trinity can be found throughout creation. In philosophy, TriYoga refers
to body, mind and spirit. In hatha yoga, TriYoga refers to asana (posture), pranayama
(breathing practices) and mudra (‘seal’ or practices to develop focus). TriYoga has its
source in the triple principle of sat (existence), chit (knowledge) and ananda (bliss).
The trinity also manifests as the three energies of the mind: sattva (balance, calm),
rajas (activity), and tamas (lethargy, stability). This Trinity is ultimately the formless
manifestation of the one Supreme Spirit.

What are TriYoga Flows?
TriYoga Flows is another name for TriYoga’s complete and systematic hatha yoga
method. The Flows integrate flowing and sustained postures (asana), breath
(pranayama) and focus (mudra) in systematized sequences. This trinity practice is
deeply meditative and transformative because it arose out of Kaliji’s direct
experience of kriyavati (the manifestation of the flow of prana, life energy, through
hatha yoga). There are seven levels of TriYoga Flows in addition to Basics. The Flows
are comprised of poses that are categorized into seven main posture groups:
Standing, Forward Bends, Spinal Twists, Backward Bends, Balancing, Inversions, and
Sitting. Since the method is systematic, students can progress from Basics to Level 1
and then to subsequent levels as they increase their flexibility, strength, endurance
and knowledge of the method. Through sustained awareness on all aspects of the
practice, the inner flow naturally emerges.