Tag Archive | Yoga

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:



In honor of the New Year, enjoy the video of Kaliji Talks: Check In With Yourself

Be inspired by the Flow! Here is an online class recorded by TriYoga International during an online TriYoga Festival:

Post Published By: Rebecca Binaka Swinden

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE: Dec 21, 2013 to Jan 5, 2014



Dec 21, 2013 – Jan 5, 2014

Winter Solstice Practice

Saturday, December 21, 2:30-5pm

with Christine (Citrinī) Ware

 Join in a quiet, centering practice on the first day of winter, celebrating the shortest day of the year and the transition that returns us to more light. The practice will promote and deepen the meditative atmosphere through the trinity of posture flow, rhythmic breathing, and meditation.

 Celebrate the New Year ~ with TriYoga!

Wednesday, January 1, 2:30-5pm

with Christine (Citrinī) Ware

 Come relax, rejuvenate, and celebrate the coming of the new year with a deep yoga practice! During this symbolic time of transformation and reflection on the past and future, mindfully begin the new year, commit to mind-body health, and connect with the Source.

 TriYoga Anniversary Practice

Sunday, January 5, 2:30-5pm

with Christine (Citrinī) Ware

 Celebrate TriYoga on the Anniversary of Kriyavati, the day when the Flows first moved through Kaliji. Through our practice, we will honor and celebrate the Flow.

 Students of all levels are welcome.

For our planning, pre-registration is requested.

 Each workshop: $30

$5 discount for advance registration (paid 1 week in advance)


if you were a registered student or purchased 2+ Flexibility Passes during 2013, one of these workshops is on us

our thank you to you! ~

Happy Holidays!


OBSTACLES? How To Remove and Transform Them




~ 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


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! ~

TYTT Highlights: Basics Dec 1, 2013

TriYoga Teacher Training (TYTT) is a valuable resource to have in our community. Whether one is inspired to follow the path of sharing and teaching TriYoga or just deepening ones own practice, attending a TYTT workshop is invaluable. Through teacher trainings, we gain subtle knowledge and are able to refine how we share this knowledge to be as clear and as concise as possible.

The TriYoga Center of Philadelphia, with senior teacher Christine (Citrini) Ware, was excited to  host their monthly 4 hour workshop for TriYoga Basics interns looking to become certified in Basics.  The workshop was also used by others as a way to  deepen their practice. TriYoga Basics is the first level of TriYoga. In Basics, we learn the fundamentals of the flows including spinal waves, proper alignment, economy of motion (and words) as well as prop use. There are 5 Basics series, of which the interns explored speaking through Basics Water Series 2 Variation 2 and Fire Series 3 Variation 2.  All the interns did an amazing job guiding the whole class through the sequences. Each intern is clearly committed to their process towards teaching and advancing their understanding of TriYoga.  Here are some of the lovely highlights of Sunday’s workshop:


GroupClassBasicsTYTT13Dec1-1016 GroupClassBasicsTYTT13Dec1-0914-2 GroupClassBasicsTYTT13Dec1-0922HelenaChild2TYTT13Dec1-0810 GroupClassBasicsTYTT13Dec1-0856 GroupClassBasicsTYTT13Dec1-0846

Hope to see you next time!

Postand Photos By: Rebecca Binaka Swinden

On A Mat Near You: Meet Barb

We are pleased to introduce to you our lovely TriYoga teacher Barb “Bhavani” Knabb.  Here are a few Q&A’s to learn more about our fellow “flow-er”.BarbMeditationWoodsIMG_1530

How did you find TriYoga or did TriYoga find you? Were you practicing yoga before TY?

I found TriYoga in West Chester, summer 1996.  I was in physical discomfort from running and an aerobics with weights program.  I knew of yoga, and had wanted a practice for a long time.  I’d tried books, tapes and nothing connected with me.  I felt I needed a person, a teacher.  I knew I was hOMe with my first TriYoga class.  I asked what my homework was & returned the next week & all the weeks since then.

Where do you find your inspiration to roll out the mat regularly?

Daily practice is wonderful.  It doesn’t have to be long and involved, I just have to show up.  I felt benefits from practice after a few weeks in 1996, and never wanted to go backwards, towards pain.  I never regret spending time on the mat.
What is one of your favorite memories with your practice? with Kaliji?
I first met Kaliji in the Berkshires in October, 1999 when she offered a Prana Vidya weekend workshop.  I was dumbstruck when she approached me, and deeply impressed by her warmth & how comfortable and safe I felt in her presence & in the workshop.  That weekend I learned that Teacher Training would be offered to deepen one’s own practice.  I signed up.
How would you describe your teaching approach with TriYoga?
Hmmm, curious question.  I love Basics.  Follow the rhythm & flow of breath & energy.  Economy of motion and words.
What gets you excited about life? Favorite activities outside of TriYoga?
I love to walk.  Especially in the woods with my husband, with steady rhythmic breath & pace.  Listening & observing nature.  A walking meditation.
I love to cook whole food.  We make our breads & crackers as much as possible.  We grow many vegetables, and eat from the garden as much as we can.  Today’s salad was spinach & lettuce from the garden – in November!
This winter will mark 37 years my husband and I have been together.  We started out baking bread and hiking, and we’re still baking bread and hiking.  Living with my husband keeps me excited about life.
Interview by Rebecca Swinden


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

A Complete Yoga System: The Branches of Yoga and the Eight Limbs


Experience the kundalinī-inspired sequenced flow
of yogāsana (postures) synchronized with prānāyāma (rhythmic breath) and mudra (focus).
The result is increased energy … physically, mentally, and spiritually.
This gives the mental clarity to manifest one’s life with greater awareness.
– Kaliji
TriYoga is a complete yoga system. To what does this refer, and how might this distinguish our classes or practices from other yoga classes? There are various ways that I understand and experience TriYoga as a complete yoga system.

Yoga refers to “union” and comes from yuj, to unite or connect; the act of yoking, joining, attaching, and harnessing. It encompasses the union of body, mind, and spirit. It also refers to the system or path by which we may attain complete union with the Supreme Spirit: the union of the individual with the Universal.

There are many “branches” of yoga, such as jñāna yoga (the path of wisdom or knowledge),
nāda yoga (the path of sacred sound vibration), karma yoga (the path of selfless
service/action), bhakti yoga (the devotional path), and haţha yoga (the path that balances
prāna; the path that balances sun-moon; the path that unites āsana, prānāyāma, and mantra –
or posture, breath, and focus). Many yoga classes today focus only on haţha yoga, or on one
aspect of haţha yoga. TriYoga not only incorporates and expresses all aspects of haţha yoga,
but all “branches” of yoga. In our haţha yoga classes, we may focus on sustained and flowing
postures, breath, and concentration/focus, yet the incorporation of music that calms and
elevates the spirit is an expression of nāda yoga. There is also an expression of both nāda
yoga and bhakti yoga in our kīrtan sessions (such as Chant Club). In our pursuit of yogic knowledge, whether expressed in learning about postures/Flows or whether expressed in other ways of seeking wisdom, jñāna yoga is expressed.

TriYoga also incorporates all of the “Eight Limbs” of Classical or Raja Yoga (the royal path).
The Yoga Sūtras are attributed to Patanjali, a sage from a couple of thousand years ago. He
detailed these eight limbs as
(1) Yama (moral principles or “restraints,” such as ahimsā, non-harming)
(2) Niyama (disciplines, such as svādhyāya, self-study)
(3) Āsana (posture)
(4) Prānāyāma (breathing practices)
(5) Pratyāhāra (sense withdrawal)
(6) Dhāranā (concentration)
(7) Dhyāna (meditation)
(8) Samadhi (expanded awareness)

Some forms of yoga focus on certain limbs more than on others. For example, some yoga
classes exclusively teach āsana; some focus on breathing practices; some focus on meditation.
There are also some yoga schools and teachers who believe that one must master each of the
eight limbs in succession prior to pursuing a practice in the next limb. TriYoga integrates
practices involving all eight limbs, for they all point us toward and move us into integration
and, ultimately, union. Of course, if a TriYoga student or practitioner has a particular
propensity or need to focus on one limb more than on another, this is also supported by the
method and teaching.

Finally, TriYoga is systematized. This systematization is expressed in the way that the
postures and Flows are systematically taught from Basics to Level 7, as well as the
systematized levels of Prāna Vidyā practices (incorporating Prānāyāma, Pratyāhāra, Dhāranā,
and Dhyāna practices), and in the ways that practices from each of the eight limbs intertwine
and integrate as one progresses in the practice. There is recognition in this systematization
that it is helpful to have a foundation of an ethical, moral, and disciplined lifestyle to help one
consistently pursue a haţha yoga practice. Furthermore, meditation and expanded
consciousness naturally arise from freeing the body of tension (through āsana and Flows),
calming the mind (through breathing practices, sense withdrawal, and concentration), and
developing the body-mind capacity to remain focused and still. We have all experienced how
difficult, if not impossible, it is to meditate when the body is full of tension/pain or when the
mind is active and thoughts are racing (the “monkey mind”). As complete yoga practices are
pursued systematically and regularly, yoga, as in “union,” is experienced and embodied.