Since this article was published in January 2014, new dates, packages, and prices are now available. The next training is at Buckeye Farm Retreat in Lenoir City on May 2, 3, 4. View schedule and register here Early bird registration through April 15 for $199.00. First 5 people to register will receive a free bonus CD. Individual sessions are $55.00.
People have the choice of attending just the Friday morning workshop as a stand-alone for $55.00. It’s a stimulating lecture/Q&A and includes three hours of poses and meditations.
The entire cost of the training is $199 if paid by April 15 $225.00 after that
By: Barbara S F Davis
20.4 million Americans have practiced yoga, says Huffington Post.
Yogi Tea, distinguished by short affirmations on every teabag tag, was only sold in health food stores 30 years ago. Now it’s found at Kroger, Food City – and Safeway on the Left Coast.
Credited with bringing Kundalini Yoga to the West, Yogi Bhajan founded the organization which produces Yogi Tea. He taught a simple philosophy: “Feel Good, Be Good, Do Good.”
Knoxville’s Ajeet Khalsa was a member of Bhajan’s inner circle for 15 years. Born Lori-Jean Saigh, she received her spiritual name (“Princess of Victory”) at age 37 from Yogi Bhajan.
Sometimes wearing the trademark Sikh turban and robes, sometimes dressed in casual clothes and free-flowing hair, Ajeet’s radiant smile is especially appreciated when a student like this writer is in the middle of one of the famously strenuous Kundalini kriyas (poses combined with strong breathing patterns).
Too Hard to Do?
Responding to the common assumption that Kundalini Yoga is difficult, Ajeet said, “It’s more accurate to say Kundalini’s strenuous. We do a huge amount of breathing while we stretch the sciatic “life” nerve, which can make even the strongest say “Ow!”
Ajeet has taught at The Practice, Glowing Body, and Yoga Haven studios locally, as well as at her own “Yoga Nivas.”
A Knoxville resident since 1996, single parent and yogini of 25 years, Ajeet is certified since 1996 by the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers’ Association, and by Yoga Alliance. These chops qualify her for the ground-breaking weekend training for adults who want to help kids stay balanced in this crazy world. What better way than yoga?
Stress Relief for Children, Parents, and Teachers
Ajeet’s latest passion is to teach parents, therapists, teachers, and yogis and yoginis who are raising or responsible for children. Dancing Spider Yoga© is a three-day immersion for adults in Kundalini principles, postures, mantras, nutrition, creative dance, and yoga games for children, including special populations.
“I especially like teaching Dancing Spider Yoga© to single heads of household. Most participants have been yoga teachers so far, but I welcome and include those who have to raise children mostly on their own, therapists, school teachers, everyone.”
The training addresses yoga for three through ten year olds, as well as yoga for teenagers. “Children see yoga as a game,” which point of view is central to the training.
Dancing Spider Yoga© has played well in Birmingham and Fairhope, Alabama, New Jersey and Knoxville. The next Knoxville training is at Buckeye Farm Retreat in Lenoir City onMay 2 -May 4. View schedule and register here Early bird registration through April 15 for $199.00. First 5 people to register will receive a free bonus CD. Individual sessions are $55.00.
Ajeet said, “I’ll give you some quick profiles of training participants, then an idea of what we actually do at the training.
“At the end of the day participants recognize that their own health and happiness have to be in place before they can really help children.”
What to Expect from Dancing Spider
Only adults attend the Dancing Spider Yoga© training. There is no requirement or expectation that participants be “Kundalini yogis or yoginis.” It is recommended, but not required, that you have some yoga experience.
Dancing Spider Yoga© has three parts.
Friday’s session from 10:00 am -1:00pm is a stimulating lecture-workshop focused on the science of Kundalini Yoga and its arrival in America. There are three hours of asanas and meditations, and things will move along at a clip. This is where the healing “space” of the weekend opens. This is a stand-alone community event ($55) for those who do not choose to attend the full weekend.
Saturday’s session, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, starts with a Kundalini Yoga class and a walk through the manual. Songs, rhymes, and mantras combine with poses and capture kids’ attention because they are just plain fun.
“An example is the game of sitting up straight with legs crossed and then rocking side to side saying or singing ‘No! No! No! No!’ for about five minutes, then ending with a minute of ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!’ It’s pretty obvious why this simple exercise would release the frustration of all the “no” we wanted to say and didn’t.”
Secret Reason to Attend Dancing Spider Yoga…
Saturday is “what and how” to teach children so their attention is captured, and their hearts, minds, and bodies find delightful ways to become peaceful.
Ajeet says, “This peacefulness is not enforced by being told to hush, but because they are prepared through movement and breathing to be peaceful. As adults teach this, they themselves are becoming healthy, blissful, happy; perhaps the secret reason for anyone who spends time with children to take the training.”
Ajeet says, “The mission is not only to teach yoga but also to entertain children on a deep, spiritual level. Spirit can be a weighty word and yet children are alive with it!
Sunday’s session, from 10:00am-4:00pm addresses special populations such as hyperactivity, autism, children born with drug addiction, and teenagers (not so much a “population” as a challenge!). We also review yoga-based foods and what a yoga lifestyle might look like.
“Exercises for hyperactive children include “bundle roll,” where arms are held straight to the sides, legs are kept straight, and then you roll like a log, over and over. We do total body shakes and leg lifts. Essentially the postures strengthen the spine and improve circulation to the head (contributing to better thinking). It feels strenuous, but this yoga teaches anatomy and circulation, and each session ends with peaceful breathing and silent focus. It’s a new experience for kids, and for some of the adults who attend.”
Register for Feb. 21, 22, 23 training
People have the choice of attending just the Friday night event as a stand-alone for $45.00. It’s a stimulating lecture/Q&A and includes three hours of poses and meditations.
The entire cost of the training is $295 if paid by January 31; $325.00 after that. The location of the training is at a new retreat center in Lenoir City built by Jeanne Leachman Lane called Buckeye Farm Retreat. CEUs are provided by Yoga Alliance.
More about Ajeet Khalsa
Ajeet Khalsa was trained in New York at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Oxford University, Mansfield College, Columbia University, Masters Program in Performing Arts in Education.
In her youth Ajeet taught in after-school dance and theatre programs in the roughest New York neighborhoods. Ever on the lookout for creative avenues, on moving to Knoxville she was immediately hired as a dance-in-education specialist, creating a television show for the local PBS affiliate and becoming a teaching artist through the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Ajeet was most famous for her hair-raising one-woman solo performance art piece Aprons, performed at the Bijou. It’s a look at “family life, mental health, and growing up Italian and poor in New York.” In her twenty years’ teaching experience locally she’s brought inspiration to the magnet schools, Nature’s Way Montessori, Children’s Hospital, Boys & Girls Club, and Girl Scouts.”
She is a member of the Tennessee Arts Commission and has studied with such greats as Paul Taylor and the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Light Tree and Dancing Spider Yoga logos and web design courtesy of Robert Pearce Advertising and Design (firstname.lastname@example.org).
© Barbara S F Davis, 2014.