Meet Yogi Bhajan, the Master of Kundalini Yoga
It is human nature to focus on personalities. From electing presidents to People magazine to Dancing With the Stars, we want to make people bigger than life. We are a celebrity-obsessed culture and even the practice of yoga in America is only deemed important when Madonna shows up for a class or Oprah interviews her yoga teacher.
Now meet Yogi Bhajan. Not Yogi Bhajan the personality. Meet Yogi Bhajan the teacher. A spiritual teacher is beyond personality, beyond an agenda, beyond liking or disliking.
If you want to learn about Yogi Bhajan, just practice Kundalini Yoga. All you need to know about the teacher is in the teachings.
When Yogi Bhajan first came to America to teach Kundalini Yoga, he said, “I have not come here to collect students but to create teachers.” In the middle of star-crazed Los Angeles in 1969, he rejected all attempts to popularize him as one of the new hot Indian gurus.
It was never about the person. It was all about the yoga. When students started to confuse the two, Yogi Bhajan said, “Don’t love me — love my teachings.”
He taught his students to become teachers with a simple affirmation: “I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a teacher.” He told his teachers to be “personally impersonal.” Serve all who come to you.
My favorite memories of Yogi Bhajan is when he would come to visit and teach at the Solstices in New Mexico and Florida.
Summer Solstice was always a huge affair with thousands of students from around the world doing White Tantric Yoga and camping in the mountains of New Mexico where he lived.
But it was the cozy Winter Solstice Celebrations of only a couple hundred students in Lake Wales, Florida that his visits were so appreciated. He would show up on Christmas Eve, the best Santa Claus ever, and give us the most precious gift of all – a special Kundalini Yoga meditation just for that day.
With his passing in 2004, I realized that greatest gift in my life was to have known Yogi Bhajan as a teacher, as my teacher.
And that memory has been all the better because of his insistence that Kundalini Yoga was not about a person or a teacher or even himself. It was about the teachings and the experience of the individuals who did the yoga.
Want to meet Yogi Bhajan? Want to remember him? No problem. He will be teaching your next Kundalini Yoga class.