Guruatma K Khalsa

healing from the inside out

December 7, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

Chronic Critical Illness client listens to her body’s craving for eggs.

A client shared this with me:
After one particularly bad night, I woke up with a huge craving for eggs. Which I do try to avoid. But I decided to eat them, and I got an egg and potato burrito. Ate the eggs and potatoes, but not the flour tortilla. Within a very short period of time, I felt my body stabilize. The brain fatigue faded. I slept well that night.
My response:
YEAH for you!! to listen to your body and eat the eggs you were craving, even though that is a food you try to avoid.
Allow me to share my experience, for a reason in you:
I used to have cravings for jello on and off in my life.
It’s not the candy-colored, sweetness of jello that I’m wanting.  Jello was something we ate when we were kids and I never made or ate jello as an adult.
But i crave it sometimes.
…and guess what I figured out.
It’s the GELATIN I’m craving.  Jello is thickened with a component of horse’s hooves – CARTILAGE!
When the Relapsing Polychondritis disease is active in me, it’s attacking and disintegrating/eating my cartilage.  Thus the craving before a relapse.
I’ve gone to the health food store and bought vegetarian jello thickened with non-animal products like Vegetable Gum. That jello did not do the trick; my craving was not satisfied.
So, I really ‘listen up’ when I’m craving jello.  It’s a wake-up call and I learned to quit judging it and honor my body’s inherent wisdom.
It doesn’t mean I go eat jello with all the sugar and colorings in it.  I just really notice and pay attention to the ‘heads-up’ message and act accordingly – go to my nutritionist and seek out and remedy the sources of stress that are pushing out of my healthy perimeters.
I also crave marshmallows when I’m stressed for an extended period of time, when I’m getting deficient in the nutrients that sustain me.  Once again, it’s not the sugar in the marshmallows that I’m craving – they also are made with gelatin!
And so it goes.
…same with eggs.  If I’m craving eggs (which I do all the time), I eat eggs.
…same with meat.  If I’m craving meat, I bless my resistance and reservations and go get some, offering sincere gratitude to the animal whose life is serving me.
Somewhere in my 5 yr course of chemotherapy when I was also taking so many Px drugs, I was craving meat like crazy but I had been a vegetarian for about 20 yrs and didn’t eat meat for religious and humanitarian reasons.
All my doctors and my nutritionist encouraged me to eat meat.
I resisted and I ended up needing a blood transfusion because I got so anemic.
The blood transfusion helped me gain my strength immediately but the procedure was a heavy experience and receiving someone else’s blood put me through my  changes.
After that transfusion I changed my mind and if I ever craved meat (I always knew I needed it when my hands would start shaking), my husband went right out and got me a medium rare hamburger.  Immediately, my hands symptom went away.
During that era, my friend’s mother helped me learn how to make some meat dishes at home, too.
Now in my life, I eat meat when I crave it.  I buy the best quality meat from free roaming, grass fed beef.  Sometimes I eat chicken or turkey, too.
I’m doing that right now because I had foot surgery 2 months ago and I’m wrestling with re-entry since I spent so many weeks immobilized with my leg elevated and I haven’t yet been able to return to the full exercise program my body really needs to be strong. During this era, my body is craving meat and I’m obeying.
A couple years ago I worked with an Ayurvedic doctor and she told me that it made perfect sense and was warranted in their system that meat and drugs balance each other out.
That was very affirming to hear but I also know that

I don’t necessarily need to have any school or system of belief outside of my Self to justify MY BODY’s needs.

It is what it is.
I’ve learned to move my judgements out of the way and JUST BLESS IT …and find the gratitudes therein.

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here: http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

“Like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yogic-Tools/129885223739500

October 23, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
0 comments

what happened to ‘the musician who was too tired to sing’? – here’s her testimonial

I had no clue just how very sick she was when she wrote to me (read her inquiry) and said she just couldn’t sing anymore, but after listening to more of  her story and witnessing Sangita/Renee King’s remarkable recovery, I invited her to compose a guest blog.  I’m very moved and deeply impressed that this woman’s cane now resides by her fireplace at home; she bounded up my steps the other day to visit me and I’m so happy for her, knowing that the light of her spirit shines, once again – this is a highly spirited woman who believes so much in the power of the word, and her voice and songs are loved by all whom she touches.  Sangita is a Lighthouse!  Her story is true and very inspiring to me and it’s my honor and joy to share it with you, herein:

October 18, 2013

I honestly can’t believe it has been 73 days since the 8/6th blog that Guruatma wrote about my condition.  I’m the singer and musician that had lost her voice and enthusiasm for life because of years living with chronic pain and debilitating spinal degeneration.

 I wrote on 8/1/13 “I still suffer with chronic thoracic back pain that is exacerbated with severe TMJ that has now resulted in almost total disintegration of my right jaw joint. I have extenuating complications with scar tissue in my right lower abdomen.” 

The incident that caused my pain:  I had a severe car crash in 1986 which almost paralyzed me.  I was driving 80mph without a seat belt, lost control of the car in a sharp curve, went into a rapid spin, and crashed rear end first into a massive oak tree.  My back and neck laid the seat flat and I was found underneath the seat with the back end of the car smashed all the way up to my body but not touching it.  That wreck left me with pain that eventually led me to becoming highly addicted to pain medications.  In and out of emergency rooms, hospitals and doctors; I tried everything to remedy the pain.  The herniation in my thoracic spine was at the T-6-7 level which is an uncommon herniation that innervated my diaphragm and pericardium.  Resulting surgery was contraindicated because of the mortality and morbidity rate. 

I lived in constant pain in my mid back that attenuated down the right side of my spine in the lower back—it was constant and the result over time was an onslaught of stronger and stronger pain medications, anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants.  My tolerance to these harsh medications increased over time, and I found myself going from Oxycontin, Dilaudid and eventually to 100 mg vials of Demerol.  In the beginning it was 3 or 4 vials at a time but eventually culminated into me being prescribed 60 – 100 mg vials—that’s 6000 mg/month which I was prescribed 2 shots/day.  There were days when I did more than 2/day – I lived to die in pain, and that is not a life. 

I turn to Yoga:  I turned to yoga in 1989 when I was taken flat on my back after being in the emergency room and unable to fulfill a singing engagement.  I went to a Chinese acupuncturist in San Antonio where I was treated for 3 days by him with acupuncture needles and herbal remedies.  I do not remember much as I was in and out of consciousness with this doctor.  When I regained consciousness,  I was free of pain and felt very light, like I was floating – he gave me several herbal concoctions and showed me 2 wall charts which looked like lines going through the body with points everywhere – I later learned after years of yogic study that those were meridian pathways, and that what he did for me during that 3 days was to unblock my Pranic pathways which had blocked the flow of energy in such a way where the pain had spiraled into a trapped loop of pain exacerbation.  It was upon leaving his office that he pointed his finger at me and said with great conviction that “if I didn’t do yoga, I was going to die young!” 

I believed him – I was only 30 years old at the time and I had tried yoga in the past but never stuck with it – upon leaving his office, it became my path – I later became Hatha & Kundalini yoga certified; and I studied Ayurveda – it was during those years I met Guruatma.

 I experienced great strides of welcome relief through the years until the pain returned with a vengeance in 2000 when my T-6-7 disc was re-herniated – I wasn’t ever able to completely recover momentum.  My pain kept spiraling downward until I was told in 2005 that I needed a pain pump – I went for the trial and was a candidate but refused it out of fear and conviction that I could beat this.  Once again, I detoxed off of all medications, returned to yoga and eventually spiraled down again when my right jaw joint deteriorated and caused my body to go into a severe spasm, once again impairing my spinal injury. 

Another pain management doctor led me once again to the conclusion that I would have to have a pain pump, as my tolerance was unprecedented.  I was sent to a pain psychologist to prepare me for that eventual procedure. 

At that time (6 months ago), I was unable to get around without a cane.  There were days when I just sat in my chair day in and day out going nowhere, doing nothing.  My husband had to help me up and help me down.  He had to help me to the bathroom, and I was in and out of emergency rooms.  I wanted to die – I’m a singer, a yogini, a musician and a healer – and here I am unable to stand being in my own body.  I had resigned myself to the looming reality of a pain pump.

My saving grace: Then one day, I get a note from Guruatma – she always kept up with me from time to time because we got to know each other through the years at the Khalsa Women’s Weekends and at Kundalini Yoga Central in Houston.  She has always been a dear friend and mentor as I love the Sikh ways and resonated with the way she delivered the yogic technology of Yogi Bhajan.  Anyway, she asked me how I was doing – it was a light message, and my response was dark and very bleak as I had all but given up on ever coming out of this.  I was literally weeks from the final juggernaut that would’ve initiated a pain pump.  It was at that crucial crossroads that she told me that it was not my adrenals, but my pranic body that was shut down.  She explained how the neural pathways were confused with the pain loop and that they had memorized the chronic pain response perfectly.

 I knew intuitively that I needed to start singing again but I couldn’t bring myself to play my guitar or utter a sound.  I told her of my desperation, and her prescription was for me to spend 3 minutes/day for 40 days singing whatever came out of my mouth—and if I couldn’t do that to sing 1 minute/day but to be consistent so that I could reestablish a new pathway and enliven my prana and subtle bodies.  I couldn’t do 3 minutes – I couldn’t even do 1 minute the first day.  I touched my guitar and thought about it the first day.  The 2nd day, I picked up my guitar and strummed while thinking about it.  The 3rd day I played 2 of my original songs – “When I’m Out of My Mind”, and “Looking Back”.  From that day forward I felt an opening, ever so slight that led me to overcome.

As a result, I made an appointment to see Sharon Wetch – my colonic therapist in Brazoria, TX because I was so constipated from the pain medications.  She told me about a nutritional supplement called “ZEAL” (a pink powder), that she believed might help.  I was skeptical, but took it anyway like she said—every morning – the first day my well being shifted; the 2nd day I had a feeling of hope that I hadn’t had in a very long time; and, 3 days later, she called to check on me – and I was hardly using my cane.  I told her at that time that I couldn’t imagine the idea of a pain pump and that I was going to tell my doctor about Zeal– on the 5th day my cane was on the mantle and by the end of the week I was at a family function without my cane playing with my little cousins.  I even got on the trampoline and bounced a bit freaking all of my family out. 

Because of Guruatma’s wisdom, I was able to access my own intuition and will to live.  She has been gifted with an ability to simply but powerfully state an intention that opens the doorway to the body’s innate intelligence.  Her gift combined with the synergistic blend of the healing properties of ZEAL has opened me up body, mind and soul to a life full of pain-free passion today. I am sharing my story with everyone and reconnecting to my life purpose with vitality and purpose.  I’m singing & teaching yoga again in less than 3 months!!  Thank you for witnessing my journey with me. 

My website is:  www.Likemagic.zealforlife.com  (an affiliate link)

Sat Naam –

Renee King-Sonnen “aka” Sangita

 

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

“Like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yogic-Tools/129885223739500

 

 

September 15, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
0 comments

The Yoga of Hearing Loss & Chair Yoga Class – guruatma’s notes & 5 hand-outs – Houston Hearing Loss Assn Presentation 9-14-13

page 1

9-14-13 Hearing Loss Association presentation

The Yoga of Hearing Loss

 let’s tune inguided breath series/an exercise in awareness:

/eyes 9/10ths or fully closed, or you can read the captions

/back of hands on thighs, thumb and index finger touching

/’root’ to Mother Earth through your feet (toes, balls, heels)/backs of your legs where they touch the chair/sit bones

/feel the sensations of gravity holding you in the chair

/push off your sit bones and make your spine tall

/pull your head back a little like you’re holding an orange under your chin

/now, just observe your breath

/are you breathing?

/is there movement in your belly?

/is your chest lifting & dropping?

/can you feel your heart breathing?

/where is that breath coming from?

/Long Deep Breathing:

-hands on belly below navel/base of rib cage/upper chest (3 stages of inhale – see hand-out)

-and back down for exhale (3 stages)

/open out the belly and pull the breathe into the deep into the capillaries of the lungs on the inhale

/pull belly in to contract the diaphragm & deflate the lungs on the exhale

 

page 2

-it’s an honor to be here with you today/ long-time & true connection

-has anyone ever done yoga?

1)for 9 months in womb

2)by my experience of it, i believe we, with hearing loss, are great yogis

-some people think:

/you need a mat and trendy clothes to do yoga

/some people think yoga is about twisting your body like a pretzel

 -well, how ’bout us who have to s-t-r-e-t-c-h:

/to accept the condition of hearing loss in the first place and figure out how to function and survive through each day

/to learn all this new technology and figure out our hearing equipment

/to learn how to communicate our needs to the people we interact with – huge part of hearing loss!  Teri and my Dad (“Maybe you can help me with something.”) gave me suggestions.

 /and bust our butts, twist and bend all over the place to get everything set up for each new hearing event we encounter in our day, day after day, including and especially the holidays & special events with all that extra jazz – the OMG-do-I-have-enough-batteries???yikes!!help! kind of awareness that comes with managing all our adaptive equipment – lol

-WE are great yogis! because we constantly make the choice to “Stop relating to anything that limits you.”

the primary tool in yoga is our breathall we need we already have!

 

page 3

-the truth is, nobody can really tell you what yoga is – because you have to experience what yoga is

 -yoga exercises are like a mirror – they show us where we need to stretch, where we need to open and where we need support

-the word ‘yoga’ comes from the biblical word ‘yoke’ /like how 2 animals are coupled together, bound by a singular collar and purpose, to pull a cart

-look at your hand-out – a bunch of words that I will make real for you

-yoga is the union of an individual finite consciousness (I AM) with an infinite consciousness (I AM THOU)

 – the ‘little me’ (finite) unites with ‘bigger me’ (infinite)

-ie:  the individual consciousness of guruatma, the ‘little me’ – “OMG, I’m deaf!” presenting with the unawareness, fear, vulnerability, shock, isolation

UNITES WITH a living, breathing, tangible representative of the infinite consciousness, that being HLA – YOU!

 

page 4

-now look how creative this gets! – my husband has to get on board because he’s married to me/in comes all my family to research & discover captioned TV & phone/Teri T-switch gets delivered to our front door & introduces us to SHHH/I get to laugh because Mary captioned a play at the 1st meeting we went to/Les, who’s ‘been there done that’, so I listen up!, educates me about eqpt/we get the lesson from Maurice’s father who insisted she go to regular schools/Rynda and Max do their magic/my husband gets to hang out with other spouses who understand his world – yeah for taking care of my husband!/Nancy goes to captioned movies with me/it goes on and on into the present/here I am giving this presentation today

-so you see how you are my infinity, my platform of elevation – how beautiful is that!

we’re here in conscious, will-full union to support and serve each other’s highest good by the grace of the ‘condition’ that challenges us all, brings us together and yokes us to eachother

this is our living yoga!

 -for me, yoga is about:

/being a student in and of this universe.  just like being in school – pay attention, do your homework, research and pass the test, to be in the knowing

 /that awareness starts with me and that’s called SELF AWARENESS

/about taking care of yourself – your body, mind and spirit

 /and I found there’s a huge opportunity for developing and practicing self-care/self-acceptance/self-nurturing/self-love in the hearing loss arena which is exactly why I am here.  I really needed to take that course! because I was very insecure and taking care of everybody but guruatma

 

page 5

take a pause…….

 

-because all life is based on sound, hearing loss is a tremendous and serious challenge because it threatens our very survival

-it’s not just about losing the physical sense of hearing our environment

-when our exquisitely constructed and profound system for reading and grasping, understanding  the world around us is compromised in any way and to any degree, we are:

/forced to deal with letting go of our attachments on many levels (ie: nature/music/family/social/personal health/entertainment)

/faced with emotions like frustration/feeling limited/anger/grief that come up with the changes and lessons

 

page 6

 -with all challenges comes stress and yoga can give us tools

/build protection from outside influences

/for conquering our fears as we navigate through the changes and lessons

/for learning to accept what is

/coping skills to develop patience and

/maintain a spirit of “keep up”

/relaxation skills that recuperate and strengthening our nervous system

/to help us tune into the subtle messages that are everywhere

-maybe you have a different experience but to me, hearing loss is exhausting – all day long we are confronted with our natural and necessary huge desire to hear, to be connected and to understand.  even when we’re alone and especially when our equipment is turned off, we’re ‘on call’/alert and working hard to understand our environment

-there really is no break – give yourself big-time credit for that!

-and know that the energetic output needed for moving through our typical day absolutely requires extra maintenance, care and consideration

 

page 7

-for me, being deaf is my yoga – NOTHING is as hands-on, constant and relentless in my life as getting through each day being able to hear

/not even my marriage which they say is the highest yoga is that demanding – lol

hearing loss is taxing on the nervous system:

/in a state of constant urgency

/anxiety/groping

/so much effort –  sense of being ‘at attention’, like a soldier

/shame & guilt

/disconnection/separation/loneliness (what Helen Keller said – blindness separates you from things and deafness separates you from people) – that was the biggest thing for me when I was jerked out of the natural, continual flow of communication

-example:  not being able to hear sat kartar’s jokes and how that affected both of us as individuals and as a family

/not feeling comfortable in our environment/un-easy-ness (like when hearing aids are off at nite)

/grief for loss of music and entertainment – biggie for me!

/loss of the sense of control

/defining boundaries is a whole new frontier – tell Comtek PA System story, how I held my transmitter for other people for 10 yrs until I figured out they ‘had a part’ and then, how to invite them to hold it

/dealing with the resistance/reservation coming from some people we have to communicate with

 

page 8

-I have adapted a discipline of counseling and encouraging myself to

 /trust that I’m hearing what I need to hear

/communicate spirit to spirit and heart to heart

/tune into what we call in the yogic world, the ‘Unstruck Melody’

/zero-in and practice picking up information in round-about and subtle ways

/for example:

 -eyes – how hard (almost impossible for me) it is to talk to someone with sunglasses on

-eyebrows

-foreheads – yeah for wrinkles on our foreheads!

-body language

-‘caption-call’ telephone operators typing to tell us that the person we’re talking to is crying – “caller crying”

-etc, etc

 

page 9

-the greatest tool in yoga is our breath – all we need we already have

-breath control is vital because the breath can:

/cool us down/bring us to neutral state/relax us

/give us a ‘charge’ of energy/bring us to attention

/keep us alert & focused on the only thing we can really control, which is the moment – the past is gone and no one knows the future

-we practiced Long Deep Breathing – extending your breath on either side will

 /take out the garbage on the exhale (talk about not taking out the garbage and what that would be like in your home)

/we are recycling carbon dioxide & toxins if shallow breathing

/bring in new life-force/potential/fresh options on the inhale

 

page 10

(if time permits)

other yogic tools that I learned to incorporate in the face of my hearing loss:

/stop resisting the emotions – allow the impact/sit with it and absorb it – feel it.  Feelings have impt information and need to be expressed (if i stuff them, i end up eating over it)

 /rest periods are a yoga exercise, too! – take a break from hearing during the day

/conscious communication

/practice gratitude – it takes as much energy to complain as to find something to be grateful for in the moment

 /forgiveness work

FYI:

 /the days I do my yoga and meditation, I am far more flexible, relaxed and self-confident

 /and therefore better at coping with the challenges and promoting myself successfully through that day

 

page 11

 chair yoga:

 

1)   alternate nostril breathing – balances the brain

 

2)   spinal flex

/this is what to do when you only have time for one exercise

/massages all 26 vertebrae

/chest/heart center opens on inhale

/cave in the belly/pull the navel center towards back of chair on exhale

/head rides on shoulders – like rider on a camel

 

3)   rest – the rest period is an exercise, too – pay attention to your body sensations and the breath

 

4)   spinal twist

/hands on shoulders/fingers in front/thumbs behind

/spine is tall and straight

/chin slightly tucked like you have an orange under it

/inhale left (mantra- pro: ‘sut’)/exhale right (pro:’naam’)

/’Sat’ means Truth/’Naam’ means Identity

/My identity is true.

 

5)   rest/allow the sensations

 

6)   shoulder shrugs

/inhale up/exhale down

 

7)   rest

 

8)   neck rotation

/arms stretched out to the sides, palms up

/inhale turn head to left/exhale right

/pull root lock

 

9)   rest

 

page 12

closing:  (in easy pose)

 

You live by your breath, you die by the breath, you are born by the breath.  (Yogi Bhajan quote.  www.3ho.org)

 

Relate to your own breath of life. Hear your breath. Feel it in your body.

 

Whenever you have a desire that needs to be fulfilled, breathe consciously like this and ask the breath of your life to communicate with the source of that breath to give you everything you need.

What can give you life, can give you everything!

-Inhale deeply and hold the breath and offer your desire to the infinite. Let it go.

-Inhale again and hold the breath and see yourself healthy, happy and whole. Let it go.

-Inhale and embrace all of us present today.  See us all going back out into the world with the light and unity we share. Let it go.

-Inhale and embrace of your family and friends, community and city. Let it go.

-Inhale deep and project your light, your love and peace on Mother Earth and to all the creation. Let it go.

 

page 13

 business at the end:

1) invite them to my class (5 yrs teaching this class):

Free Chair Yoga Class for the Handicapped and for Seniors

City of Houston

METROPLITAN MULTI-SERVICE CENTER

1st and 3rd Friday of every month

9-10:30am

1475 West Grey  77019

832-395-7333

2) for more information on Kundalini Yoga, go to www.3ho.org or www.kri.org

 

3)  Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here: http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

“Like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yogic-Tools/129885223739500

 

4)  4 hand-outs (pages 14-17), plus cookie recipe (page 18)

 

5)  serve Yogi Tea & Gluten-Free Macrobiotic Cookies – yum!

 

6)  This presentation is Copyright Guruatma Khalsa @ yogic-tools.com

 

 

page 14  HAND-OUT#1

Hearing Loss Association Presentation

September 14, 2013

 

The Yoga of Hearing Loss with guruatma

 

yogic-tools.com

gahere@gmail.com

713-526-9988

 

 

 

Yoga acts as a mirror. Each breath, each movement reflects to us who we are and how we are, moment to moment. We look into the mirror of yoga and see the places that need support and the places that need to open. The postures teach us about ourselves. They bless us with immediate  feedback.      Julie Rappaport

 

 

for more information on Kundalini Yoga – www.3ho.org

page 15  HAND-OUT #2

Some people think yoga is a religion.  Some people think yoga is for vitality and strength.  The word yoga, as we in the West understand it has come down from the biblical word, yoke.  Yoga is the union of the individual’s unit consciousness with the Infinite consciousness.

 Classically, your potential self is infinite, whether you know it or you don’t know it. The fact remains that every human mind belongs to infinity and to creativity. But in practical action, it is limited. So a technical know-how is required through which a man can expand his mental faculties in order to bring about the equilibrium to control his physical structure and experience his infinite self.

That’s all yoga means in very simple terms.

 

If you can control your breathing,

you can directly control your mind.

 

You are alive by the breath, you are a product of the breath.  The moment you are in touch with your breath, the universe pours into you.

 

 

Happiness is proportional to your rate of breathing.  As much oxygen you have, that is how much strength you have.  You need 21% oxygen in your super-beautiful wonderful blood.  Man can manufacture anything but blood – that only your self can create.

 

The above 4 quotes are Copyright The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

 

page 16  HAND-OUT #3

 

ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING for Chair Yoga

 

-In this “U Breathing” exercise, the breath is always relaxed, deep & full.

-Relax the back of the left hand in the lap, thumb & first finger touching.

-Use the thumb of the right hand to close the right nostril, & the index 
finger or ring finger of the right hand to close the left nostril. (teach modifications/depends on use of fingers)

-Close the right nostril.  Now gently & fully inhale through the left nostril.

-Then close the left nostril. Now exhale through the right nostril.

-Then inhale through the right nostril.

-Close the right nostril & exhale through the left nostril.

-Continue repeating, alternating nostrils after each inhalation.

Benefits of Alternate Nostril Breathing

Creates whole brain functioning by balancing the right & left hemispheres.

Creates a deep sense of well-being & harmony on the physical, mental, 
& emotional levels. Is both integrating & grounding.

Can help with headaches & other stress-related symptoms.

Inhale left, exhale right: Helps to make you calm & integrates 
unwanted negative emotions and stress. Excellent by itself before bed.

Inhale right, exhale left: Gives clarity & positive mood. Helps us to focus 
on what is important.

Left nostril breathingthe Moon energy – cooling, receptive, calmness, empathy, sensitivity, unifying – cleansing phase of breath cycle

Right nostril breathing:  Sun energy – warming & projective, vigor, concentration, alertness, will power – nurturing phase of breath cycle

 

 guruatma at yogic-tools.com                          www.3ho.org

 

 

page 17  HAND-OUT #4 – Mechanics of Long, Deep Breathing (not able to show the graph on this forum)

 

page 18  HAND-OUT #5 – cookie recipe

sugar/gluten-free, macrobiotic cookies

pile up in food processor & do not pre-mix the dry ingds:

1 c almonds     1-1/3 c gluten-free oats

1/4 c raw sesame seeds     1/2 tsp cardamom

pinch of salt   1/4 c ground flax seed   1 c gluten-free flour***

 turn processor on & pour in:

1/2 c organic canola oil &1/2 c slurple (maple syrup)

minimal processing     allow the almonds to remain chunky

 fork onto cookie sheets -i use parchment paper underneath

 flatten them down with fork prongs or fist fingers

use your thumb, make a little pool in the center of each cookie

fill pools with sugar-free jelly

red raspberry/strawberry are my fav color

350 degrees     check at 10-12 min point

rotate pans keep baking till toasty    WATCH ‘EM like a hawk!

cool on racks     makes @ 25 cookies

***proportions for guruatma’s gluten-free flour mixture:


2 c almond meal    2 c tapioca flour    1 c brown rice four

guruatma at yogic-tools.com

gahere@gmail.com

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

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August 6, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
0 comments

musician with chronic & critical illness feels too tired to sing

a lady wrote to me and reported that she’s been feeling so bad for so long that she’s no longer inspired to do the thing she most loves and excels at – she’s a singer; that’s her gift!

she asked, “Why do I resist?”

feeling baffled is normal to those of us who have been fighting for a long time with a chronic illness
i want to start by affirming you for the unenthusiastic and kinda-paralyzed state you’re in, and acknowledge you for what you’re feeling
i sense your pain and exhaustion and just wanted to share with you that i believe there’s a way out of it
the psychic dynamics of  living with constant discomfort and pain can weave itself into a strong and powerful energy pattern, constructing its own nerve-pathway in our brain – kinda like the needle getting stuck on the record player and the song just keeps repeating itself over and over
the brain learns and memorizes the pattern and wha-laa – broken record syndrome.  a force to contend with and thus the resistance you are experiencing
perhaps you could start with just 3 minutes of singing each day
how ’bout 1 MINUTE – do you think you could try that?
nothin fancy-pants; just open up your mouth and belt something out to exercise your diaphragm and open up your lungs, get the pranic life-force moving in your heart center and throat chakras
think about committing to singing just 3 mins/day for 40 days – that would be your meditation
it takes 40 days to break a habit pattern but i bet your spirit would jump up and grow with it right away
and if you just can’t manage to sing, how bout this:
repeat or sing this positive affirmation OUT LOUD for 3 minutes/day:

I FEEL BETTER.  I AM BETTER.  AND THAT IS MY BASE.

there’s a hand position with it – the right thumb and pinkie are together, the left thumb and ring finger are together, hands held out in front of your body with the arms bent at the elbow

Copyright The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

The neural pathways in patients with chronic pain become hypersensitive to pain.

One way to decrease pain is to increase the amount of information traveling down a shared neural pathway, effectively diluting the pain information.

Increasing physical activity, such as yoga, produces this effect.

KRI INternational Teachers Training Manual

Tiredness does not come from the adrenal glands. That is the biggest mistake in the medical field. Tiredness comes from your Pranic Body not working. The Pranic Body is your diaphragm.

When you open up the diaphragm, when you get the diaphragm flexed out, the Pranic Body starts working and there is no more tiredness.  

Dr GCS Khalsa

 

The way to deal with pain is to reduce the signal to the brain which is done by MEDITATION!, yoga, diet and nutrition, etc.

SatSiri Sumler, LMT, NCTMB, RYT, MTI 

click here to Read the update to the musician who was too tired to sing!

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

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July 31, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
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Yogic-tools for Chronic & Critical Illness – Guruatma is Speaking at Abilities Expo Friday, August 2nd – 1pm. Reliant Center Convention Hall E

How to Get What You Need from the Doctor’s OfficeUnknown-3

By Guruatma Khalsa, Teacher, Speaker and Yoga Therapist

Guruatma Khalsa will present the workshopMoving Through the Medical System: How to Get What You Need from the Doctor’s Office, on August 2 at Abilities Expo Houston.

It happens to the best of us. We go through life, unaware that something could happen to turn the whole apple cart upside down. Then, we are diagnosed with a chronic condition or critical illness.

Our lives drastically change.

One of the biggest changes is that we are now required to interact with the medical system, and doctor visits take on a new significance. Rather than going to the doctor’s for routine check-ups, or short-term emergencies, our survival becomes completely interdependent with the medical system—with its brilliance and with its dysfunction; with its successes and with its failures. For those with chronic or critical illness, the issues with the healthcare system are no longer something people debate about on the television. They are something that we live with.

Since I was 19 years old, I have suffered from a very rare auto-immune disease known as Relapsing Polychondritis, and I spent many years in the medical system being misdiagnosed. Eventually, the doctors put the puzzle together and diagnosed me correctly. They gave me 5 years to live. That was more than 15 years ago.

One of the important lessons I have learned is this. When you suffer from a chronic condition or critical illness, this becomes your new job. It is your business to take care of YOU. You have to get educated, you have to become your own advocate, and you need to learn how to get the most out of your appointments with your doctors.

Here are a few tips about how to navigate the labyrinth of today’s medical care system.

The most important tool to get what you need from the doctor’s office is to recognize that the people in the office are human beings too and have a lot going on. They do not see you from YOUR point of view. They see you from THEIR point of view.  You might be the 100th person that day who needs something from them. So it is important to be compassionate.

Say “good morning” or “good afternoon.” Ask them, “Maybe you can help me with something?”

There is an art to being kind, while also holding people accountable for what you need. Get the person’s name and use it. You will be treated differently when you call someone by his or her name. Use good communication.  For instance, if there is a lab test done that day, and you need a copy of it, you can ask the medical office staff, “Thank you so much. Can you let me know what day I can call you, if by that day I haven’t received the results of my lab test?” Create the relationship. Establish a rapport. Help the staff become your allies.

When it comes to doctors, it is important to be clear about your expectations. Doctors are a resource. In their field of expertise, they are like an amazing search engine when it comes to a specific medical condition. But doctors can make mistakes, so get second opinions and third opinions, too. It is your job to keep doing the research until you are satisfied and have a grasp about how to proceed.

Realize that the doctor is also a human being with a heart who went to medical school probably just because he or she wanted to help people. Appreciate what they are doing for you. You have a small window of time with your doctor. Be honest and put all your problems on the table, and get his or her best answer. Sometimes, your doctor will send you to another expert. When you go to the doctor’s office, be as prepared as possible so you can get what you need.

Write down your questions ahead of time. Bring a person with you who will take notes while you are speaking with your doctor. Have a check-list and do not leave the office until everything on your check list has been addressed. If you are too sick to organize your visits like this, reach out and ask for help. Family and friends can support you this way. There are also social workers and medical advocacy groups to access.

These are some things I have learned in my life-journey with the medical system. At the 2013 Abilities Expo in Houston Texas, this year, I will get more specific and I will give you tools about how to get what you need from the doctor’s office. In the meantime, please visit my website: www.yogic-tools.com.  You can download the booklet, Yogic Tools and Chronic and Critical Illness: 6 Stages and 22 Steps. This free booklet offers personal guidelines, based on my own experience, about what to expect and how to navigate a chronic or critical illness.

article written by Ek Ong Kaar K Khalsa and Guruatma

 

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

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July 18, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

sadhana – daily spiritual practice for those of us challenged by chronic and critical illness

The price of ecstasy is Sadhana.    5-23-84   YB

 “SADHANA”- it’s definitely one of the fattest files in my 35-year-old 3HO archive collection, and it’s FULL of Yogi Bhajan’s words reminding us how important sadhana (daily spiritual practice) is and heralding its promises.

One quote in that vast and mighty pool of incentive stood up, got in my face and to this day talks to me BIG TIME!

I made it into a poster and hung copies of it in my house.  It was my intention to memorize it and let it saturate my psyche, but my real goal was to feel it!

For many years, I’ve been contemplating my Self in relation to this proposition and because I noticed that I have the tendency to ignore it, I still refer to it.

Many people have spotted it and asked for a copy, so I realize it hits a mutual nerve, resonating with the Aquarian Sutra, “Recognize the other person is you.”  It’s always comforting to know I’m not alone.

In order to really ‘get it’, though, I had to trip all over my ego’s natural tendency to be highly-judgmental and on my case – compare, compete and confusing me.

Those who practice discipline

 have to be very generous to themselves. 

Discipline should never be rigid.

 Discipline should be self-acknowledging,

so that you can go along with it.   

3-27-97  YB

 I remember at some point in my 5-year tour on the chemotherapy front, I came to a point where I felt totally worthless and depressed because my whole life was wrapped around doctor appointments, running after medical paperwork and keeping track of so many prescription drugs that we filled a 12-muffin cupcake tin to organize my daily nutritional supplements and Rx pills.  When I was home, I drifted between the couch, the bathroom and my bed.

The whole drama kept escalating and after I lost my hearing in chemo, I experienced a profound sense of separation from people, nature and the normal flow of life.  I complained a lot because I really missed the noise of the birds and my husband even had to tell me when it was thundering.

The ‘Quality of Life’ issue was coming up on the table for discussion because I was in an unforgiveable amount of pain and at that place where those of us challenged by chronic and critical illness feel like we’re losing ground and can’t handle it anymore.

On top of all of that heaviness and because I had lived in a 3HO ashram for over 20 years doing group sadhana and serving in our community, I was hyper-aware that I wasn’t doing my sadhana or anything for anybody else!  My life sucked and I just wanted to die.

Whenever Gurudev Singh, Master of Sat Nam Rasayan came to Houston, I got to have a healing appointment with him and I’ll never forget his words to me at this particular point in my healing journey.  Because I was deaf, his assistant wrote down his comments for me and so I was blessed to have his wisdom and recommendations IN WRITING to refer to over the years and all the way up until today when I am sitting here with those notes in my lap:

“Do your discipline. Your pills, etc. etc.

– all that is your discipline.” 

BINGO!  He gave me the key – THAT was my sadhana!

Because it was so true, it was easy for me to make the simple adjustment in my psyche and give myself permission to let go of my judgments and relax in the truth.  In one fell swoop, I did an about-face that released me from all of that extra upset.

I had created an earthquake around already-stormy waters, and all because I was hung up an expectation of myself that just wasn’t realistic or self-acknowledging, so that I could go along with it.

As long as I had to do it anyway, why not relax my resistance, allow it and bless it -for my own sake and the good of all concerned.

That one little hukam (spiritual directive) grounded me, gave me back my innocence and ‘opened up the space’ by offering me a realistic and reasonable option that worked for me.

Yeah – I can do this!  I already had a natural gift for organization and time proved that no one was better at managing all those pills, papers and appointments than me.  Taking on this discipline as a spiritual endeavor was a simple act of self-acknowledgement.

With the fresh attitude of “this is my spiritual discipline”, I could think straight and things smoothed out a bit as I found a new balance.  Stepping up and devoting myself to this new sadhana ignited my creative spirit and gave me a strong sense of my Self.

I could definitely feel it, the healing power of my inner strength tearing down the shackles of my despair and insecurity.

…and that’s the promise of sadhana – purposeful fulfillment.

So, I learned that our personal sadhana comes through us designed in many different fashions and by way of each of our life’s unique paths and patterns.

…like a mother whose normal life routine gets thrown to the winds when her new baby is born

…like the devotee who pushes past the temptation to stay in bed and gets up in the ambrosial hours before the sun rises to recite Japji and do their yoga and meditations

…like the animal lover who takes under their wing yet another homeless, sick puppy

…like God-only-knows how many unique expressions of personal commitment are happening on a daily basis, sustained by the invincible spirit of how many conscious beings carrying out their intention to rise up, rise UP to the call of higher consciousness, living their devotion to that ideal.

Gurudev’s advice deeply impressed me.  I was parched and he lead me to a spring of cool, clear waters.  When I was suffocating and thrashing about in the throws of a contraction, he reminded me to breathe.  He shined a light on the truth in my space at that moment, revealing a platform of peace and grace for me to perch upon, a place where self-acceptance and self-love exist without conditions.

Start there and be oh, so very generous to yourself.

“You love your children?  You do.  They are beautiful.  Isn’t that innocent soul in you also your life child?  Have you kissed your soul?  Have you hugged your soul?”  2012  SSS Lecture – Communicating with your soul… the source of prosperity.

 Satnaam and sweet blessing to all.

 

This article was posted as a blog in July of 2013 at:  http://www.3ho.org/community/your-stories/price-ecstasy-sadhana

 

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here: http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

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July 17, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
0 comments

testimonial from a client challenged by a critical illness – 7/17/2013

Guruatma, quite simply, carried me through the most traumatic period of my life.

Due to ongoing facial reconstruction surgeries secondary to a serious diagnosis I was often overcome with fear, shock and trauma for almost two years. While I had to deal with the terror of each surgery, loss of employment, strains on my family and loss of social life as I knew it,  it was the loss of faith in a benevolent Universe that was most upsetting to me. Added to the trauma of a facial defect and ongoing surgeries with uncertain outcomes,  I was a mother caring for a young child  looking to me for strength and stability. 

 Not everyone could deal with the kinds of emotions I experienced nor would I feel comfortable sharing them with just anyone. What is that special something that enables one to have a healing experience with another person? I really don’t know, and it seems wrong to even try to analyze it. I just know that Guruatma  seemed to know exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it. She always gave me way more than I asked for. She gave me strength when I had none.  She helped me find some faith again.  She kept this experience from crushing me and gave me tools to help myself. 

Anonymous July 2013

More testimonials

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

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June 21, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
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guruatma’s speaking at Houston Abilities Expo, Friday, August 2nd – Reliant Center, 1pm

the 2013 Houston Abilities Expo will be at Reliant Center August 2-4th.  here’s their website:
you may have attended one of my CHAIR YOGA Classes for Chronic and Critical Illness, the Handicapped and for Seniors at the expo in the past

this year i’m one of the featured speakers!

and i’m giving a 1 hour presentation on

  How To Get What You Need From The Doctors Office – 

The Yoga of Moving Through The Medical System

Friday, August 2nd at 1pm

 

i strongly suggest you find a way to attend the expo – it is an amazing and mind-expanding experience!
there are aisles and aisles of SO MANY RESOURCES represented there with many new ideas for us to consider incorporating in our lives – services and products to help make our lives easier and more fun!
you can register for the expo free on-line at http://www.abilitiesexpo.com/houston/vregister.html
or just register at Reliant the day you come
i’ll send out another posting closer to the event

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

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June 17, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
0 comments

“What other choice do I have?” – chronic & critical illness survivor challenged by MS

a precious friend of mine just died from complications of MS, and i’m trying to get used to a world without her in it.  she was the coolest lady, a very talented and prolific artist and spiritual warrior the likes of which was very inspiring to me and everybody she met.  she had just  celebrated her 52nd birthday

i met her in my Healing Arts Class at our City of Houston facility for the handicapped and seniors where i now teach my Chair Yoga Class.  when i got better and started working, i no longer had time to attend that class that i loved so much, but i kept up with some of my classmates

i used to go to Cynthia’s house and help with her with filing papers and organizing drawers, wrapping Christmas presents – stuff like that which her hands could no longer do.  she had special adaptive tools to that allowed her to continue to paint but shuffling papers through her hands was no longer an option

each time i’d go, the progressive and debilitating nature of the disease she was challenged by took away yet another freedom and ability to do something she used to be able to do – those countless things we all take for granted

i’d ask her, “how can you stand it?” and she’d answer, “what other choice do i have?”

she never complained, like i surely would be doing if that happened to me

she taught me surrender and acceptance, and a whole bunch of other things…

i attached one of her paintings and here’s a poem she wrote that was in her commemorative booklet:

Division

by Cynthia H

 

My life is divided.

To before and after.

An innocent now challenged.

Now forever challenged.

 

Numbness is now a struggle to move.

Heaviness beyond imagining

In my body,

                mind,

                     soul.

 

Two words spoken create the division.

Each day after is a mystery,

How will it show itself?

 

Always inside me.

Silently consuming…yet teaching me

Patience?  Acceptance?

Blessing?  Curse?

It is both.

 

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

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June 14, 2013
by Guruatma Khalsa
1 Comment

yoga modifications – make yourself at home on the floor using pillows, or do Chair Yoga!

My name is Ruby aka Livsangat. Several years ago I met Guruatma at Yoga Central in Houston, TX.

Although I live in New Mexico now, I still consider Guruatma THE ‘go-to person’ when I have questions about my personal practice and I have continued to gratefully access her wisdom over the past several years.

Recently, I began teaching Kundalini Yoga after becoming certified in Santa Fe last year, and I noticed that many of my students seem to be uncomfortable in easy pose.

Having them sit on the edge of a pillow helped some, but many knees were still pointing straight up to the heavens and I was concerned about it. Halfway thru the class there were painful expressions and leg’s being released VERY  S-L-O-W-L-Y.

I’m sure I am not the only one who has experienced students with this issue, as it seems to be a common one.

I thought it might be helpful to summarize and share what Guruatma taught me when i asked her about this:

Yoga is a mirror that shows you where you need to open up and where you need support.

Look at the truth of where you’re at and JUST BLESS IT – we start by simply noticing it and allowing it, not reacting to it.

If we can’t relax and open up the lower three chakras, the energy is bound at the lower triangle and can’t rise up the spine.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, if our base isn’t rooted and comfortable, we are not relaxed.

If we see knees up, like how a lot of men sit because they don’t have wide hips like women, the first thing you’ll notice is that there are bent backs, a hunching forward and a kinked neck to raise the head and eyes – now how comfortable is that?

How can the spinal fluid and blood, and the kundalini energy travel up a bent spine, get through the passageway at the back of the neck to rinse the brainstem and flush the brain?

This is not an optimal position to work and stretch from because they are already compensating and can hurt themselves.

Offer support in the form of pillows – tons of pillows, all kinds of pillows.  The star-shaped Padmani Pillows are the best for all kinds of floor adaptations and Guruatma’s students love them!

Work with your student one-on-one, get down on the floor with them, demonstrate yourself and then let them try different pillows and ideas for ways of folding, stacking and tucking them. The whole class will learn from listening and observing, and they may even decide to experiment and try some new ideas to adjust themselves. They will all see that you are committed to their comfort and don’t want them to injure themselves.

Start by raising the buttocks on different kinds (shapes, heights, thickness) of pillows. Many people fold a thin, soft-foam pillow in half ,like a “V”and wedge the open ends at the base of their spine.

Then, support the knees. Pillows can be stacked, or folded and tucked under the knees so that the knees can completely relax down on them – holding and discomfort is not an option.

If the knees are up, the pelvic floor is not in alignment – that’s not comfy.

If need be, the student can sit up against a wall with pillows behind and under them.

Or, the legs can be let out straight with the back up against a wall and the buttocks raised. If this is still uncomfortable and the spine is not straight, suggest a chair.

They can go from wall to chair, to the wall, to the floor.

No judgement & no comparing.

Encourage your students to start by accepting where they’re at and to lend support where it’s called for.  Otherwise, we set ourselves up for having to work through fresh consequences.

Guruatma told me that her Chair Yoga Classes were born out of her own personal investigation, experimenting to get herself comfortable in yoga class.

Ruby Renshaw

www.rubyrenshaw.com

Guruatma serves as a mentor for those who suffer from chronic or critical illness, as well as their family members. To inquire about or schedule a one-on-one session, click here:http://yogic-tools.com/services/contact-us/.

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