During a study of Kundalini Yoga, I was given a spiritual name. The message I received said, "You have been blessed to live as Adi Livprem Kaur, the Princess/Lioness who is the infinite embodiment of celestial love through her one-pointed devotion to the Divine." I began to use this name as a mantra, hoping to embody it's qualities. Adi refers to God’s primal energy; the infinite source. Liv means one pointed devotion. Prem is love or beloved. I understood it to mean that by offering all of my energy and surrender and devotion to the essence of Divine Love, I could become an expression of that.
I first began my journey with yoga in the summer of 1996. A close friend gave me a VHS tape of Patricia Walden leading a practice. I loved it. I nearly wore out the tape! There was something special and unique about moving my body and listening to my breath that settled my mind into ease and my body into a state of well-being. I was hooked.
A year or so later, I attended an introduction to meditation weekend. I began a sincere and steady practice of sitting in stillness with a mantra, and my consciousness began to feel the same love for yoga that my body and mind already had come to know.
As I began my university education, I struggled to choose a major; I was hungry for any kind of learning. I decided to divide my studies between philosophy and comparative religion. All of these experiences came into union twenty years later when I enrolled in a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program with Cityoga. Bringing twenty years of personal practice and self-led study with me, I began a deeper and more broad study and practice of yoga. The longevity of my past practice and consistency that teaching has brought to my life has brought many rewards. It is my hope that through sharing what I've learned with others, they too can enjoy the freedom, well-being, and joy that yoga brings.
I have always been a seeker. From my early childhood, my first direct experiences of the Divine came through devotional singing and worship. My father was a music minister in many church communities during my adolescence. Unlike other teen aged kids, I woke up early most mornings to pray and study the Bible. When I went to college, my curiosity about how other people approached the Divine led me to study many different faith systems and practices. Eventually, I left my formal studies to learn on my own. I am still learning. I hope to always be learning new and novel ways to connect to the Divine. Every method, technique, and practice I have given true effort and devotion to has brought me the same kind of feeling and experience: union, the state of yoga.
Yoga is not something we do. It is a state of being that we can embody. Through practices and the cultivation of certain attitudes, we can remain in a peaceful, steady, and loving way of being.
Like most any other yoga teacher, my teaching practice includes the elements of breath, alignment , and posture. Additionally, I strive to include aspects of yoga philosophy, meditation practices, and devotional and sacred music to bring yoga to life both on and off the mat. Teaching with all of these components brings a fuller picture of what the state of yoga really is and how to access it to improve your mental, spiritual and physical health.
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I look forward to meeting you.
Here’s a video about the history of yoga and my own journey with the practice. (Video by Erica Guerrero and Bridget Pickens. Used by their gracious permission.)
It has been said that the Divine is closer than your own breath. It is through the breath that we know and experience aliveness and connection to the Source of Breath. In Hebrew, and Greek (two of the original languages of the Bible) the words for breath and spirit are the same. In Latin, the word spiritus is the root origin of both the English words inspiration and respiration. Breath is the vehicle by which prana enters and animates the body. By working with the breath, we can connect and work with prana, divine life force, to bring vitality to the body, clarity to the mind, and wisdom through the soul.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali tells us that asana practice includes a balance of sthira and sukha; effort and ease, stability and fluidity, strength and flexibility. All of these qualities are useful off the mat in daily life. As yoga practice becomes more consistent, there is a natural shift toward these qualities in all areas of life.
Devotion, or bhakti is an essential element of yoga practice. Surrender, or iishvara pranidhana is what allows the unfoldment of Love, wisdom, and consciousness to happen within. By inviting and practicing the qualities of humility, willingness, and offering, a state of yoga is experienced and maintained.