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By Panch Nishan Kaur
The beauty of the 3HO Global Community...what a blessing to be with 3HO family in France! In the midst of the French Alps, which took five trains and a shuttle bus to reach from Germany, over 75 people gathered from many countries in Europe for the KRI Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Level 2 Stress & Vitality curse offered by Karta Singh at Le Mergelie. It was worth the sojourn, vitality re-born! One of the unique aspect of this level 2 course (which was held by Amrit Nam Sarova training school) compared to others I have attended is that the group of 75 people go through all five of the Level 2 modules (plus an add-on course totaling 6) as one community.
Experience of Community
Going through a Level 2 experience with a consistent group creates a deeper level of expansion, allowing self-confrontation, reflection, and ultimately, profound transformation. Every time a new group forms people take time to orient and open to each other. Going through 6 modules with the same group allows not just the teachings to work on you, but the experience of community to take you deeper and deeper in your self exploration, forcing you to get real with yourself. People come in large numbers for this combined experience to a place that is not the easiest to get to. But it is beautiful to be nestled in the Alps with a river running by, mountains surrounding us, and doing challenging Kundalni Yoga kriyas. This experience showed me that what many people want is to be taken past the point of comfort into the realm where awareness resounds.
The basis of the Amrit Nam Sarova training school and the community it creates is to help bring peace to this planet with the concept that if you honor your neighbors you won’t fight them. When we are inspired and we inspire each other, peace prevails. Karta Singh describes training people in the teachings of Kundalini Yoga as a way to “help the planet get out of this mess.” Amrit Nam Sarova brings to life Yogi Bhajan’s words, "to live for each other,” and creates a system to serve people on a local level. Everyone in the teacher training program gets into a group by city or region and meets with each other face-to-face frequently throughout the interim of the program and beyond. So the experience of community and self-evaluation continues. Karta Singh says, “We don’t try to change the whole planet but rather give people an opportunity to uplift themselves to live a fulfilled and happy life.”
The Yoga of Awareness
I loved the experience of living humbly, like a yogi, which created an inward focus in contrast to the traditional outgoing orientation western society has created as a way of finding comfort and solutions in life--a reminder that true comfort comes from relating to our soul. A trance-like state is created from the colder than cold showers, light food, profound practice, and the beautiful bountiful Earth surrounding us. A state is created where the exterior perception of self sleeps, awakening the infinite within. Karta Singh led strong kriyas daily, arousing dormant vitality and offering a framework for practice.
One of the reasons Kundalini Yoga is so loved is that it gives us answers and guidance from within. Often we look for the solution to problems in life outside ourselves in pharmaceuticals, therapy, self-help books, relationships, shopping, and myriads of other ways. The beauty of Kundalini Yoga is that it gives us the information we seek in our lives--that awareness--through the practice. This is what I loved about this course. It was designed to deliver you to this experience of rhythmic unisoness with the heavens, the Earth, and the elements. Rather than imparting an intellectual understanding, the way Karta presents the course is designed to give you an experience of transforming stress into vitality. We jumped like a kangaroo for--my guess is an hour, but it felt like eternity! We sat and laid on the earth and moved (using the type of physical training exercises that Yogi Bhajan was known for) until our clothes smelled like sweet grass and our legs were wobbly with fatigue. What a beautiful journey of re-connecting with the Mother Earth, with the natural rhythms and cycles of life, with the elements, and ultimately with the integrated rhythm of our soul with all that exists.
Gratitude for Karta Singh who creates this unique experience with doors open to all, who walks in the footsteps of Yogi Bhajan, who walks in the footsteps of Nanak, traveling, singing, inspiring people to uplift themselves and go for it! He is most assuredly training teachers, not collecting students. My respect for his work in teaching and bringing Kundalini Yoga to places like Togo and Russia is immense.
This course was filled with strong Kundalini Yoga, awakening awareness and a sense of vitality I had not experienced in years! When we remember our body is the temple of our soul; when we truly treat it as a temple, vitality flows. Through this course I came to realize taking care of yourself is a choice, a decision to make each day about what and how we eat, how we choose to apply ourselves to the practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, how we walk, dance, exercise, sleep and sing. Each choice counts toward the experience we have of moving through life. This body we have was chosen by our soul so let’s take good care!
Photos of Le Martinet Ashram in the French Alps where summer courses are held for up to 250 people!
Le Martinet Ashram: Simrat Kaur, Jap Singh, Guru Amrit Kaur
View of French Alps from Ashram Driveway
Outdoor showers heated with solar panels
'Shakti' changing area for cold river baths
Forest for camping