Category: Guide

Kundalini yogis believe that energy exists, like a coiled snake, at the base of the spine. Through Kundalini yoga, this energy can be released to travel upward along the spine, causing spiritual awakening. Kundalini energy is carried through three nadis, or channels. The shushumna is parallel to the spine, and the ida and pingala, which spiral around the spine. The intersection of the channels forms the chakras, or energy centers of the body. 

Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa

Yoga Journal has featured a number of Kundalini yoga teachers over the years. One of the most popular is Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. Born Mary May Gibson in rural Illinois, Kaur Khalsa has had a lot of unusual experiences. She attended San Francisco State in the 1960s. After that, she lived in a tent with a friend, doing without money or a car and scrounging for food. She moved to Maui, where she lived for three years before moving back to California. She became a Sikh after a friend introduced her to Kundalini yoga at an ashram in Tucson, Arizona in 1970, where she met Yogi Bhajan.

Today, Kaur Khalsa has her own yoga studio, Golden Bridge Yoga, which has locations in Los Angeles, California, and in New York City. Kaur Khalsa also teaches meditation and pre- and post-natal care. She has several books and DVDs out on the market.

The Three Gurus

The following three gurus have been friends since the 1970s, and all took their vows from the late Swami Muktananda.

Swami Shankarananda was born in New York and migrated to Melbourne, Australia. He is the spiritual director of the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga. He is also a meditation master in the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism. He has been a member of the Columbia University national chess championship team and a United States chess master. He has also taught Renaissance poetry and English literature at Indiana University. He met American guru Ram Dass in 1970. He then traveled to India and studied with several important masters of meditation and yoga.

Shankarananda uses a classical practice, which involves bringing attention to the primary chakras, and asking oneself a series of questions. He also uses deep breathing and mantra chanting in his meditations.

Swami Chetananda, the abbot of the Nityananda Institute in Portland, Oregon comes from a different tradition. His spiritual lineage is descended from Ghagawan Nityananda, a renowned Indian sage. Chetananda was ordained in 1978, and has traveled extensively. He studied Kashmir Shaivism in Srinigar from 1980 to 1986. He adopted the practice of Triki Yoga, which regards every ethnic group and lifestyle as equal.

Chetananda understands the difficulty in silencing the mind. He believes that by focusing on the breath and the flow of energy through the body, the mind’s thoughts will become like background static.

Master Charles Cannon is the founder of the Synchronicity Foundation in Faber, Virginia. He uses technology-enhanced music to assist students with their meditative efforts. He has an educational background in the arts and philosophy. He spent many years in India studying with Paramahamsa Muktananda. He has been ordained as a monk in the Vedic/Tantric tradition. His CDs use Holodynamic Vibrational Entrainment Technology (HVET) in specific frequency ranges. The Synchronicity Alpha series, for example, are in the Alpha range of 8 – 14 Hz. Synchronicity Theta soundtracks feature a lower vibration of around 3.5 – 7 Hz, for a deeper meditative experience. Synchronicity Delta soundtracks are recorded in the Delta range of 0 – 3.5 Hz for the deepest form of meditation.

If you are interested in maintaining your CD’s in working condition, you must pay some attention to the procedures for proper maintenance which will make them last an increased length of time and play better. You may be building up a personal collection of CD’s or you may be making copies to use, but it is advisable that you learn you should care for your discs.

It is essential that you should not forget the specific components and materials that have gone into the production of the CD. There are inner layers made of metals which are compatible with optical options and laser reading, as well as outer layers including adhesives which protect the disc. The designers of CD have built them with specific insulation against cold and heat, and with a life span of up to hundred years. However if proper care is not given the discs could be spoilt.

The primary precaution to protect your CD’s is to put them away in a place of safety. The protective layers of the CD are where the tracks are recorded and therefore should not be removed by scratching. Scratching not only damages and removes the protective layer itself but also the metal that is under. With such a scratch, the data recorded in the tracks is lost.

At the same time keeping your CD’s clean is a priority. Various materials are to be found that will enable you to clean your CD’s without damaging or scratching them. If your CD seems to have been giving some trouble and it has not been kept in safe storage, you should rectify the matter as quickly as possible by cleaning it and preventing the loss of data.

In addition to damage being caused to the CD by it being out of its case, touching can also cause harm. The recommendation is to hold your CD’s from their outside edge or at the holes in the middle. These empty spaces contain no information and so there will not be adverse effects caused by grease, dirt or any other substance getting lodged in the area for data. If by any chance you happen to touch the inside section of the CD, you should not neglect to clean it thoroughly to keep grease away.

If you have built a collection of CD’s for yourself, you will have to be careful about what goes onto and inside your CD’s. For instance a permanent marker should never be used to write on CD’s. For labelling purposes this might seem an easy option, or you may even use a cheap design to label the CD. However the chemical in the marker ink absorbs oxygen which in time causes damage to the protective layers, allowing the deposit of dirt and other injurious substances, and eventually causing loss of data.

For the optimum maintenance of your CD’s whether they are part of your personal collection or part of your stock for duplicate sales, the simple care of the discs should always be foremost in your mind. This will ensure your discs are dirt free and longer lasting providing you with access to enjoy all your music etc.