Yogi Bhajan, Ph.D., Master of Kundalini Yoga (aka Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji) came to the United States in 1969 and founded the 3HO nonprofit that same year. In 1970 he completed his first teacher’s training and went on to formalize the certification and training of teachers internationally. The Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) was officially formed as a non-profit corporation on February 1, 1972
Yogi Bhajan was the student of two Masters. Sant Hazare Singh declared Yogi Bhajan a Master of Kundalini Yoga at the age of 16 ½. Guru Ram Das, the Fourth Sikh Master, gave Yogi Bhajan his own Gur Mantra many years later, in the early years of his teaching in the West.
Kundalini Yoga was taught from Master to student for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years and intersects with the lineage of the Sikh Masters such as Guru Nanak, Guru Ram Das and Guru Gobind Singh for the past 500 years. Its sources include many other yoga Masters of the Northern Punjab region of India as well as the unique contributions of the Gurus in the use of naad and Shabd Guru. Guru Nanak started the Udasi line through his son Baba Siri Chand, a Master who served and taught for more than 100 years. He taught to all existing lineages of that time and educated several of the Sikh Gurus in their youth.
Yogi Bhajan taught that, through the practice of Kundalini Yoga and meditation, your glandular and nervous systems are stimulated and your capacity for creative potential is heightened. You gain inner vitality to compensate for the adverse effects of stress so you can excel in life.
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is also known as the Yoga of Awareness; its focus is on self-awareness and delivering an experience of your highest consciousness. The technology of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is a science of the mind and body, to elevate the spirit, which has no boundaries, no discrimination. Therefore, it is for everyone, universal and nondenominational.
Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is a householder path; that is, it is practiced by those with families and jobs as opposed to a renunciate’s path of celibacy and removal from society, which was the usual path of a yogi.
Kundalini yoga classes are a dynamic blend of postures, pranayam, mantra, music and meditation, which teach you the art of relaxation, self-healing and elevation. Balancing body and mind enables you to experience the clarity and beauty of your soul. No previous experience in yoga is required for you to achieve results with your very first class.
Men of great knowledge actually found out about the chakras –their workings, their petals, their sounds, their infinity, their co-relationship, their powers. They found that the life of a human is totally based on these chakras. This total science gave birth to Kundalini Yoga. -Yogi Bhajan, The Aquarian Teacher
KRI is entrusted with The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan and safeguards the purity, integrity, and accuracy of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan by:
- Developing 3 levels of International Yoga Teacher Certification
- Preserving the teachings legacy for the future online Library of the Teachings
- Awarding the KRI Seal of Approval to products that successfully meet the standards of KRI Review
- Providing services and resources for Kundalini Yoga students and teachers via online services and upgraded Yogi Bhajan Products
Española, New Mexico, where Yogi Bhajan resided for many years, is the home of the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) and the KRI International Training Center.
The Kundalini Research Institute licenses international training programs around the world and certifies Level One, Two and Three Kundalini Yoga Instructors, Practitioners and Teachers, respectively—this program is called the Aquarian Teacher and is affiliated with Yoga Alliance here in the United States. KRI also has a training program for trainers known as the Aquarian Training Academy, which licenses Lead, Professional, Associate and Intern Level Trainers.
Certification as a Level One Instructor is a 250-hour program which includes
- Postures, Kriyas & Meditation.
- Role of a Kundalini Yoga Teacher.
- Yogic Philosophy & the Origin of Kundalini Yoga.
- Yogic & Western Anatomy.
- Humanology & 3HO Yogic Lifestyle.
Certification as a Level Two Practitioner is a 250-hour program which includes five separate modules:
- Conscious Communication
- Authentic Relationships
- Lifestyles & Lifecycles
- Mind & Meditation
- Vitality & Stress
Certification as a Level Three Teacher combines an experiential, 10-day program, plus an individualized community-building service project and peer-review for certification.
Beyond kriya and the traditional structure of a Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® yoga class, the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan comprise a vast array of topics, which he called humanology: philosophy and Sikh Dharma, lifestyle teachings, communication, relationships and marriage, nutrition, hygiene, child-rearing, women’s and men’s teachings, meditation and mudra, Naad Yoga and mantra, numerology and much more. In this way, Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is known as a Raj Yoga because it incorporates aspects of all paths of yoga: service, devotion, posture, breath, sound, concentration, wisdom and so on.
As an international school, Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® has senior-level teachers and trainers across the globe. Major international centers include: Munich, London, Madrid, Lisbon, Vancouver, Toronto, Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Belo Horizonte, La Paz, Cape Town, Togo; and in the United States there are major schools in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Miami, Boston, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Phoenix.