A Conversation with SatJiwan Kaur Khalsa
SatJiwan Kaur Khalsa, Karma Yoga San Diego
While on the phone with, SatJiwan Kaur Khalsa, co-owner of Karma Yoga San Diego, she tells her story and expresses that every experience she's had on her yoga journey has prepared her for and allowed this amazing opportunity to align in this divine way. She is also clear that Kundalini yoga has and continues to enrich and enlighten her life and her Dharma.
SatJiwan is a San Diego native and a classically trained ballerina and actress who moved to Los Angeles in her early 20's. She was living what she thought was her destiny, a close friend invited her to a Kundalini yoga class. "When I moved to Los Angeles I hadn't been dancing for a few years and I was looking for something that let my soul feel alive in the same way as when I was dancing. After that first Kundalini Yoga class I knew I had found it. Kundalini Yoga let my spirit breathe and I fell in love with it."
She was blessed to have Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and Gurushabd Singh Khalsa, the wife-husband owners of Golden Bridge Yoga and world-renowned Kundalini teachers, as her teachers.
"I did anything and everything to be around them," says SatJiwan. "If I had free time, I would be there taking yoga class, doing seva and learning from them. A year later I took my teacher training to deepen my understanding. I had no intention of being a teacher at the time. I just wanted more, a deeper understanding of this ancient wisdom and technology that had changed me so profoundly and awakened me to my truth, my soul."
For the next 5 years, she worked for her teachers managing Golden Bridge. During this time she took her first trip to India, took The Khalsa Way prenatal Teacher training, and taught as much as she could at Golden Bridge. "I knew that I loved what my life had become, and that it was a dream come true. I also knew it would not be like this forever and told myself to soak up all I could in each moment. I'm so thankful for that time and my teachers, it built my foundation for everything I do."
Prenatal yoga, post-natal yoga, yoga for women and children, they're all huge passions for SatJiwan, and she feels these are a large part of her destiny.
"Yogi Bhajan taught women for more than 30 years. He knew by teaching women we will teach the future generations. And it's true. This is how we serve the future, to serve the mothers of the children that are coming in now."
SatJiwan loves teaching children's yoga "you must be in your truth when you're teaching children," she says. "They reflect to you exactly what is happening; there's no covering anything up. Children don't mind what your truth is, only that you are in your truth. It's amazing and allows us to remember that we are special, and that our soul is perfect."
Then SatJiwan got the call to move to New Mexico and work for and serve Yogi Bhajan at 3HO International, working on the team running the events; Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Women's Camp, Khalsa Youth Camp, KRI Level 1 and Level 2 Teacher Trainings.
"I learned so much by being immersed in the teachings in this way and delivering those events. Being with souls that are having their experience with Kundalini Yoga is inspiring and magical and being in the presence of the Master was life changing."
She then took her second trip to India and stayed for 3 years, another dream come true!
SatJiwan lived in Amritsar, in a Niwas near the Golden Temple. She did a 40-day meditation at the Golden Temple, waking early to do 2:30 a.m. seva, washing the marble floors, dipping in the sacred water of the nectar tank in the dark dawn, listening to kirtan and meditating. After this she traveled all over India studying the spiritual history, culture and language. Traveling to the places where the Gurus lived and learning the history and feeling the vibrations of these sacred places was the dream come true.
After being home in the US for a year and a half she returned to India, this time to Anandpur Sahib, the city of spiritual bliss. "The vibration of the Guru's lineage forever resides there," she says of the place Yogi Bhajan loved so deeply, that he wanted to spend his last years there teaching. Dashmesh Sadan, Yogi Bhajan's home in Anandpur Sahib holds the legacy of his teachings, she says. "Everyone who spends time there leaves with feeling that they have spent time with him."
This is where SatJiwan and Katherine met. SatJiwan was the director of Dashmesh Sadan and Katherine and a friend came to visit to soak up the high vibrational energy.
"Katherine and Kelly were there between Training Courses and groups on Spiritual Journeys and we had time to spend together and really connect. India seems to accelerate things and when you meet a soul and have time together in this profound way, halfway around the world, it is destiny."
Last April SatJiwan came home to San Diego, not sure what was next for her. After a month of reintegrating to US life she started to look around to see how the Kundalini Yoga Community was growing. She found a beautiful studio offering Kundalini yoga and knew she had to teach there. It was time to come home to San Diego, teach yoga and build community!
The former owner was about to close the studio. "Please don't close," SatJiwan said. "Let me help." For the next 3 months we kept up, not knowing what the future would hold. Teachers and students were showing up and loved being in the teachings together, it was inspiring. This was a special time, that time when something is ending and you do not know what will come next, it is completely open. We showed up each day and committed as a community that we wanted to be together in this practice and on this path. We were moving along month to month. During this time, in July Katherine came to San Diego for a visit.
"Katherine reached out to me about coming to a class I was teaching, a wonderful surprise to see her again. We had a sweet moment when she arrived we hugged and caught up. Talking about the beauty of the space, I let her know that the owner was seriously think of closing at the end of the month. That evening we had a beautiful full moon Kundalini yoga class and healing meditation. Afterwards we went to dinner and talked and dreamed. By the end of dinner we decided we were going to do this, a Karma Yoga in San Diego!"
Destiny realigned and it happened so effortlessly.
Karma Yoga San Diego opened Sept. 1, 2014. "We are partners in this," says SatJiwan and Katherine. "Katherine had already created and had been nurturing Karma Yoga Bloomfield Hills for the past 11 years. Karma Yoga is a beautiful business with an amazing consciousness that serves so many souls. I am blessed to be working with her and I love the process. My vision is to be the best version of myself. I live this life and this practice of Kundalini Yoga. It is my privilege and destiny to share it with everyone I meet. I wake up every morning, I do my sadhana, and then I have my day. I do it the same every day. I'm not the doer. In my sadhana I ask God, Guru, and the Infinite, to allow me the space to see the gifts and be able to vibrate in my highest and to see the beauty and grace in everything and everyone."
"The vision of this studio is about community, about having a space where everyone has a place to practice, to be together, to be in community and have a place to call home. A spiritual home for every soul."