I had a meaningful career from the age of 23 to the age of 53. Thirty years in the Detroit Public Schools consumed my time, efforts and passions. I loved it.
I stopped working in 2016 to care for my mom, which I did until she passed in October 2019.
To fill the time, and to put effort and passion into helping people after retirement, Mike and I pursued a hobby, a lifestyle, and a way to stay healthy inside and out as we learned to offer classes and events here in our home, with Music, Yoga, Meditation, and Gong Immersions.
I teach yoga; I’m certified to teach yoga. I have a 200-hour from the Kundalini Research Institute. I have a 300-hour from Ravi Singh and Ana Brett’s Evolving Kundalini Yoga course, which I’ve taken twice. I’ve been doing yoga daily since 2011. I’ve been teaching three times a week for five years. I have attended and led 4 am Sadhana; I have attended Solstice celebrations which had me chanting, mediating, doing yoga, participating in keeping the camp clean, and taking classes about yoga and health for seven straight days from sunup to sundown. I have worn white and wrapped my head in a turban (or some semblance of a turban) to signal that I was trained by a cult. We used to joke, away from the Cult Elders, that yea, we belonged a a Cult, but it was a GOOD cult. Nobody got hurt. Right?
I’ve taken five-day silent retreats. I’ve attended a few yoga festivals, and have taken hundreds of yoga classes in both Michigan and California.
Then in March 2020, Michigan locked down. I sat on the couch with Mike, ate comfort food, and watched YouTube for news about our government, the pandemic, and then all the other great shows out there on cable. My muscles atrophied and my hips became inflamed. I gained the 20 pounds like everybody else.
But the most important thing that happened to this business of yoga, even more important than the shuttering of our doors and the disintegration of my body, was that the revelations of the Cult of Yogi Bhajan came to full, excruciating light. Facebook became a daily hellscape of victims, deniers, nay-sayers, trauma, drama, horror stories, links to even more ghastly revelations, and Total Disillusionment.
Fast forward to today, Summer Solstice June 20, 2021. Each and every one of us who was involved with Kundalini Yoga has had a long road to traverse. We’ve all come to our own conclusions and have found a way to move on one way or the other.
What is Kundalini Yoga in Detroit going to do?
Perhaps the honorable thing to do is, in solidarity with the people who have been abused and had their lives basically held hostage by this cult, is to fold up shop, and drop the whole thing.
Mike is all about this. He is able to pursue playing Gong and Qi Gong, which he has found to replace the physical aspects of yoga quite nicely. Perhaps he’ll get certified in Qi Gong, and we can offer classes.
I am not ready to abandon teaching Kundalini Yoga. It’s the only yoga I know how to teach. Right now is not a good time to get re-certified, as in-person Yoga Teacher Training is not happening. I know that this form of yoga kept me healthy and happy and yes, holy, gosh darn it; kept me grounded and spiritually connected to Source and kept my body in shape and out of pain.
I’m going to keep teaching Kundalini Yoga. I know that there are people who will be offended, who will think I am not awake, that I am perpetuating a sick individual’s yogic philosophy; that I am indifferent to the appropriation of the Sikhs’ mantras…
I will be cancelled, maybe. So be it. I’m prepared to answer for my actions, and prepared to take the consequences of teaching this form of yoga.
Eyes wide open, everybody I meet will be given a heads up, but here we go.
I am open to teach privately, one individual or group of people who know each other, at a time.
I will not charge to take a class this summer.
I will re-evaluate the circumstances in the fall.
Thanks for reading.