Guruatma talks with Ana Calvo in a No Barriers Interview aired Feb 2014 HCCTV on the topic of Adaptive Exercise. Guruatma talks with Ana about yoga and its benefits, how she believes if you’re breathing you can do yoga and describes how….AnyBODY can do Yoga! She also shares about her Chair Yoga Class in Houston and her upcoming book Chronic & Critical Illness, Healing from the inside out.
How did you start practicing Yoga?
GA: I was very sick for a long time, doctors were stumped and medicines not working, I felt like I was gonna die and was desperate
tried a yoga class at a Kundalini Yoga Center
what hooked me was how I felt during and after the lay-out we did after the yoga set – soooo good!!
seemed like it was the first time I really relaxed since I was very young
started going to yoga classes on a regular basis
gave me a strong foundation and brought my whole life into a balance
had a 17 yr remission from the autoimmune disease I’m challenged by since I was 19
I needed to learn how to RELAX – Stop and FEEL IT.
Why should an individual consider yoga?
A) -Kundalini yoga is an instant tool – everything you need to practice it is already with you
it takes 3 mins to gain control of yourself if you’re stressed out and anxious
B) -Kundalini yoga is a powerful & transformative healing tool for the body and mind and spirit – change happens fast!
C) -our closest relationship is with our Self
all relationships require work
Kundalini yoga is a great way to work on your relationship with your closest friend – YOU
What are some of the main principals of yoga?
A) the only place where you have control is in this moment
the past is gone, the future can’t be known
what choice are you making in this moment in order to not squander it?
it takes the same amount of energy to complain as to find a gratitude
B) a law of the whole Universe is one of the main principals of yoga – For every sequence you initiate, there’s an equal and opposite reaction Newton’s law of force
If you choose not to exercise your body, there’s a price to pay.
If you don’t find a way to control your perpetual mind, there’s a price to pay.
C) yoga acts like a mirror and shows us who we are: self awareness
reflects back to us where we’re at moment to moment
it’s not about the poses – it’s about what happens to us while we’re doing the pose
we pay attention to how you feel and notice where we need to stretch and open up, and where we need support (big theme in Chair Yoga)
D) self-acceptance and self-love – where you’re at is perfect where there is no place for judgment
Today you are YOU
That is truer than true
there is no one alive
that is YOUer than YOU Dr Seuss
in Kundalini Yoga we call it satnaam. sat means truth naam means identity – My identity is true.
extra on principals of yoga:
THE WORD YOGA COMES DOWN THROUGH THE BIBLICAL TERM ‘JOG’ WHICH MEANS ‘TO YOKE’
SO THINK ABOUT THE BINDING TOGETHER OF TWO ANIMALS WITH THE PURPOSE OF MOVING A CART FORWARD.
YOU TAKE THAT COW AND THAT DONKEY AND YOU BRING TOGETHER AND ACTUALLY LOCK THEM UP TOGETHER, MAKE THEM BE IN RELATION WITH EACH OTHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF PULLING THAT CART FORWARD
in yoga we bring together:
A) the ‘little me’ – the ‘limited me’ stuck in this body and subject to our mind and all the conditions that we’re wrapped up in
B) and the ‘infinite me’ – connected to the source, the force that created us and is choosing to interact with us at the very most basic and fundamental level of providing us with our next breath
you can’t buy your next breath at WalMart!
where is it coming from and what is our part in receiving it?
the source which knows no limits and has the answer to all questions is available to us with every breath
this is the yoking, the relationship we are consciously choosing to have (just like when we scroll through our iPhone contacts and select a contact to text or call) that is exercised through yoga – awareness of (hello – oh!) and tapping into the source of infinite wisdom
Kundalini Yoga is called The Yoga of Awareness
Can anyone do yoga?
anybody can do yoga
every BODY can do yoga
if you can breath, you can do yoga
modifications can be created for a person who is missing a limb or has lost control of parts of their body, people in wheelchairs, people with neurological and psychological disorders, people laying in bed, etc etc
the most powerful yoga posture is:
to catch yourself when you’re all caught up in the distractions of life at that moment
make the conscious decision to take a deep breath (inhale deeply and exhale deeply) on the spot
and meet that breath with a positive mental affirmation
– that’s yoga and anyone can do it any time, anywhere – no special environment, no pillows, mat, props or special clothes needed
Kundalini Yoga is “the yoga of the householder” who is very engaged in the world and only has a moment or a short time to pause
What should people consider before doing yoga?
always ask your dr before stating a new exercise program
don’t eat 3-4 hrs before yoga class
wear comfortable clothes that don’t bind you
SIP – Self-Induced Pain is not an option!! – it’s not acceptable to hurt yourself doing yoga. No one else can do this for you – it is YOUR JOB to feel and honor your boundaries and not injure yourself.
if you have a “supposed handicap”, find a teacher who understands the arena of working with physical limitations and can help you create modifications that work for you
find a teacher who encourages you to look within for your highest answers
How can you adapt yoga for people with disabilities?
I created Chair Yoga because I needed it for myself!
Martin Luther King – “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do you have to move forward.”
For Chair Yoga, Guruatma added to that – “If you can’t crawl, then shake. If you can’t shake, then vibrate and if you can’t vibrate, then radiate!”
employing modifications aligns with the yogic principal of satnaam – noticing, allowing and embracing the truth of where we’re at in this moment. Choose the option to JUST BLESS IT!
example: yoga exercise for chronic fatigue – so very powerful because it lifts the ribcage up off the heart, flex out the diaphragm, works on the armpit area which controls the NS, the hands control the brain and the clap is to reset the timing of the master gland that conducts our life, the pituitary gland
and so it looks like this: guruatma demonstrates
some bodies can’t do that
there’s as many adaptions as there are individuals – WHAT CAN THEY DO??!! – from full participation in the exercise to the person who is just able to do it like this: guruatma demonstrates
the goal is to find a way to involve and stimulate the area
even the most subtle effort and movement has a powerful effect
NOT MOVING AT ALL = atrophy and eventual death
students will find their own best modifications
positive affirmations are a modification – even if the person can’t move or talk, they can mentally move them through their consciousness
You wrote a 6 stages of dealing with a Chronic illness and how does yoga help?
practicing KY yoga, learning to control my breath and meditate, and adopting a yogic lifestyle saved my life
in the space of my own experience with cci there was fear and guilt, anger and intense loneliness, resistance and grief, and all those normal human contractions that manifest in the space of human struggle – there are powerful and transformative yoga applications for all these issues
Kundalini Yoga WORKED FOR ME and HEALED ME!
– it cooled the fires and diluted the intensity and drama, the heavy energy and downward pull of being so sick
-it made my body flexible and strong
-it healed my immune, glandular and immune systems
-the meditations gave me a tool to soothe and cleanse my psyche and break the patterns that no longer served me
-Kundalini Yoga shifted my focus and expanded my awareness in ways that empowered me to redirected my life and create a new reality for myself
I found my life’s purpose through this life-long disease process – there was a deeper message and meaning to all that I was going through
the ‘little me’ merged with the ‘bigger me’ and I found my soul’s purpose
I was given a ladder to reach my higher self and find fulfillment
Tell me a little about your books?
In 2012 a client from Russia asked me to write a book. She wanted to know how to beat her illness, heal herself and find happiness. She was desperate and said she found too many people who can give advice but can’t give an example. She said, “We are both human beings. If she can do it, it means that I can do it.”
I’m writing a book and telling the story of my life with the intention of helping people challenged by a cci
I’m sharing what I learned on the cci warfront and my journey of self-knowing; I’m including some of the yogic tools I used to heal myself
I’m challenged by a very rare autoimmune disease that was misdiagnosed for 25 years. A condition of this disease is that it is a relapsing disorder that attacks and destroys the cartilage in my body – it came and tore up my body and world apart more times than I can count
I’ve been in and out of so many different kinds of medical institutions since I was 19 (private & Medicaid insurance, MDA Cancer Center, County Hospital, out-of-pocket). I’ve been to hundreds of doctors and have 4 legal-size tall file cabinets full of medical records. I lost my hearing in chemotherapy, and was given 5 yrs to live in 1995 – I had to face my death!
because I was not getting better with the medical system, I was forced to investigate alternative medicines and thus, I know that world, too
and I have 36 years of experience with practicing and teaching Kundalini Yoga
so, I have a lot of experience in the arena of battling it out with a chronic illness that turned critical more times than I can remember – and I teach what I know.
It’s every beings privilege to heal themself & that is what the book is about.
extra on the 6 Phases of Chronic and Critical Illness – Healing from the Inside Out
The 6 stages was my way of taking my life story and lessons with cci and organizing it into themes, creating a blueprint for others to refer to and use as a tool for their own journey
When a chronic or critical illness strikes, the effects on a person’s life are not just physical, but emotional, mental, spiritual and energetic, as well. Chronic and critical illnesses bring profound challenges into a person’s world. However, they also offer the opportunity for deep, personal transformation.
Guruatma K Khalsa has spent much of her life personally dealing with chronic and critical illness. This program distills her experience into 22 simple Steps that ad- dress the challenges and changes people with chronic and critical illness have to face. The steps are divided into 6 distinct Stages that a person may need to navi- gate.
Each Step embodies a guiding wisdom and positive affirmation to help face a particular aspect of the journey through chronic and critical illness.
With each Step, Guruatma offers realistic advice, practical resources and yogic tools to help you develop the skills to manage and cope with the issues at hand. These resources and tools will help guide and support the journey of your body, mind and soul through chronic and critical illness.
If people would like to practice adaptive yoga where can they go?
1st and 3rd Friday of every month
CHAIR YOGA FOR THE HANDICAPPED AND FOR SENIORS
We break when the center has summer school for handicapped children.
West Grey Metropolitan Multi-Service Center
1475 West Grey 77019
If you are not registered at the center, come 10 minutes early and fill out a form.
It’s ok to come in late to the class and leave out early.
to contact Guruatma:
yogic-tools.com – look under Classes & Services Tab and then Chair Yoga tab for class info
most impt thing to point out about CHAIR YOGA class:I TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO BREATHE!!! i’m real good at it, livsangattherapists send people to me class for that purpose – i’m famous for it aand my students apply it in their liveslike the lady who did her MRI without drugs the 2nd time cuz she used the breathing techniques she learned in class (she might have a testimonial on the chair yoga testimonial page – name:beatrice)Testimonials