3HO History & Timeline
3HO is a nonprofit with a mission to inspire everyone everywhere to realize their full potential through the uplifting experience of Kundalini Yoga. From its origins as a small community of practitioners of Kundalini Yoga more than 50 years ago, 3HO has become a prominent international organization with the intention of promoting a conscious practice and lifestyle of upliftment, awareness, and total health.
3HO began, like many yoga lineages that took root in the West in the 1960s and 70s, with the arrival of a teacher from India whose Eastern traditions and cultural practices appealed to young people seeking healthy alternatives and spiritual orientation. Over time, these Western teachers and practitioners evolved the traditional teachings and brought yoga and meditation practices to the forefront of a cultural movement that was coupled with scientific study.
Kundalini Yoga is now practiced by millions of people and is taught in schools, universities, hospitals, and studios in more than 100 countries. It has produced leading researchers and thousands of certified teachers and trainers and inspired communities of practitioners throughout the world. Scientific studies and evidence continue to show the efficacy of Kundalini Yoga as a tool for mental, spiritual, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
We share with you below a brief history from the founding of 3HO to the present. Our goal as an organization and a community is not to provide the way, but to provide resources and tools for a healthy, happy, and holistic life. Our 50+-year history has been one of growth, change, and transformation, including tremendous upheaval in 2020. Like many yoga schools, we have faced triumphs and challenges,
3HO envisions its next 50 years as a time to continue to practice, teach, and share the benefits of Kundalini Yoga with the world.
3HO History Timeline
Kundalini Yoga Arrives in the West
Yogi Bhajan’s first recorded Kundalini Yoga class takes place in Los Angeles, California. Interest in his teachings grows exponentially and he begins to offer more classes and public events. 3HO (the Healthy, Happy, Holy Foundation) is established by Yogi Bhajan, dedicated to promoting a conscious lifestyle of elevation, awareness, and total health. 3HO hosts its first Summer Solstice celebration in New Mexico, at Aspen Valley north of Española.
Increasing numbers of students begin teaching, and families and communities grow in New Mexico and all over the world, many embracing the Sikh tradition.
The Kundalini Research Institute (KRI) is founded to provide training and education and engage in research and publishing.
From Students to Teachers
1980s & 90s
Ongoing growth of Kundalini Yoga around the world. 3HO and KRI are active and continue to innovate and evolve as teachers and leaders emerge with new projects and initiatives.
International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association (IKYTA) is formed as part of 3HO, with a mission to uplift, nurture and serve Kundalini Yoga teachers through programs, resources, benefits, and educational offerings. Today it serves thousands of teachers internationally.
Krishna Kaur, from Yoga for Youth, founds the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers.
Also in this year, the National Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association is established, within IKYTA, to serve the specific needs of each culture, language and laws, with 30 country associations participating.
Kundalini Yoga Continues to Travel Around the Globe
Annual gatherings continue to bring the worldwide community of practitioners together - families and friends, first-timers, old-timers, and everyone in between. 3HO becomes a cornerstone for Kundalini Yoga events, as well as providing educational resources aimed at sharing the benefits of the practice with anyone who wants them.
The Office of Ethics and Professional Standards was established to uphold ethical standards within our sister organizations, and among Kundalini Yoga teachers, trainers and students.
3HO celebrates 50 years. Celebrations and community events take place around the world and a 9-volume album of iconic 3HO music is produced.
In June of 2019, 3HO also launches 3HO Luminaries and brings 16 global ambassadors to the Summer Solstice events to honor and highlight Kundalini Yoga teachers and leaders throughout the world who are engaged in extraordinary service in communities and places of need.
At the end of 2019, building at the Ram Das Puri site begins and by Spring 2020, Phase 1 construction of the new permanent structures is completed, part of a long-term plan to create a sustainable and inspiring retreat center.
The Year of Change
COVID-19 shuts down the world, and 3HO’s in-person events are canceled for the first time in over 50 years. The 3HO community is shaken when reports of sexual abuse by our founder and harm from different parts of our community surface.
3HO commits to help those sharing harmful experiences, and stands united against abuse of any kind. The SSSC forms a Collaborative Response Team to ensure an ethical and compassionate response in support of those who report harm, to help rebuild trust within the community, and to ensure the implementation of appropriate changes. This work includes the engagement of an independent organization, an Olive Branch, to collect and assess the reports of sexual abuse by our founder; “listening circles,” Q&A sessions, and dialogue workshops; free, confidential professional counseling services; and the establishment of a Compassionate Reconciliation program, based on the proven principles of restorative justice.
The coronavirus pandemic shuts down the world, and 3HO’s live solstice events are canceled for the first time. In response, 3HO begins planning an online program.
Seva Corps is founded with the mission to highlight and inspire global seva projects.
Information, Q&A Sessions, Listening Circles, and Dialogue workshops are organized to support the community. These sessions took place from July to November 2020.
3HO launches its inaugural eSolstice, with more than 7,000 people attending. This plants the seed for future, hybrid events.
A Social Justice team is formed to begin to address the culture of white privilege and implicit bias that has received increased attention in the Kundalini Yoga community and in the world. Soon after, the team creates an Anti-Racism and Social Justice nexus with resources, readings, and a curriculum for students, teachers and communities.
The Olive Branch Report is made public. 3HO stands in solidarity with the reporters of harm, united against abuse of any kind.
A Compassionate Reconciliation program, based on the proven principles of Restorative Justice, was established to support the community.
A professional and confidential Community Counseling Reimbursement Program was launched to support those that were harmed.
A Monthly Teacher’s Prayer Meditation began and continues today, hosted by National Kundalini Yoga Teacher’s Associations from around the world.
The Next Future
2021 and Beyond
Just over 50 years since Kundalini Yoga was introduced to the West and 3HO and KRI found their start, millions of people around the planet practice Kundalini Yoga. 3HO continues to innovate and serve millions of people globally with online resources, practice experiences, and in-person events, while also supporting IKYTA in serving thousands of teachers in thousands of ways.
KRI and IKYTA launch Kundalini Beyond Borders to provide grants to KRI-certified Kundalini Yoga teachers who are bringing Kundalini Yoga to an underserved population.
3HO launches a new website, focused on the invitation to practice, learn, and experiment, as well as to share more community voices.
KRI has certified 32,000 teachers from 122 countries; has held teacher trainings in 72 countries; has certified 1,000 teacher trainers; and continues to engage in research, publish, and educate the world on Kundalini Yoga.
An Independent Healing and Reparations Program is created by the SSSC, with strong support from 3HO. Click here for more information.
While we await the return to in-person events, we look forward to finalizing the Ram Dass Puri project and to providing a variety of digital and live practices, classes, and events so that we can share Kundalini Yoga in increasingly relevant, accessible, and contemporary ways.
We are more committed than ever to bringing the uplifting experience of Kundalini Yoga to inspire everyone everywhere to realize their full potential.