By Guruka Kaur Khalsa
Yogi Bhajan stated many times, “I came to create Teachers, not students.” On 3HO’s 25th birthday celebration, Yogi Bhajan formally created the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association (IKYTA) as part of 3HO. IKYTA is the home of the Teachers.
IKYTA is dedicated to the support of excellence in Teachers of all ages and generations, and to serve the network of all Kundalini Yoga Teachers everywhere. We have an annual Teacher Conference currently based on the 8 Elements of Excellence by Yogi Bhajan. This conference is held at Summer Solstice and has travelled to the European Yoga Festival, Asia, Australia and South America. We have completed the first four Elements of Excellence: Vision, Courage, Grit and Humility. In the Summer of 2014 we will focus on Knowledge. (We are half way through the 8 Elements!) These conferences are dedicated to giving Kundalini Yoga Teachers tools to be better Teachers and the opportunity to share and learn from their peers.
Nam Kaur was the Founding Director of IKYTA. She began by speaking with Teachers all over the world and finding out what was important to them. At that time Teachers indicated the two most important developments that they wanted to see were an international standardized Teacher Training program, and the Library of Teachings—the searchable archive of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. Gurudakshina (a fund that allows Teachers to give back) was dedicated to the development of the Library of Teachings. The IKYTA Advisory Team became KRI’s Teacher Trainers Executive Committee (TTEC) and developed KRI level one teacher training with a group of legacy Teachers from around the world.
The Aquarian Teacher Trainer Academy and the Library of Teachings are now part of KRI, though Gurudakshina continues to donate to the Library of Teachings. Gurudakshina has just donated money to the Library of Teachings to digitize 100 Yogi Bhajan lectures! We thank Kundaini Yoga Teachers for their continued donations.
IKYTA has developed a Global Teachers Council which brings the international community of Teachers together and makes sure that IKYTA is aware of the needs of all Teachers. We also work with National Kundalini Yoga Teachers Associations throughout Europe, South America, and Asia. It is incredible to learn from Teachers who are living and sharing these Teachings in different countries and cultures.
This year IKYTA will offer webinars for Teachers every month. We encourage Teachers to check out the IKYTA website to see what is available. In addition, Teachers are offering curriculums which we are sharing with you in the IKYTA monthly newsletter, Kundalini Rising!
We are very excited that the Coaching for New Teachers program has rolled out this January with over 50 Teachers requesting coaching and over 25 Teachers offering to serve as coaches. We are grateful to be able to offer support to new Teachers and to create another opportunity for growth for more experienced Teachers.
IKYTA offers Tools for Teachers, including a Resource Pamphlet that is sent to all Teachers when they graduate from teacher training, with tips from experienced Teachers, curriculums, and lots more information to help Teachers get started. Special classes are offered at solstices creating opportunities for continued growth. We offer a beautiful Kundalini Yoga Brochure that has an area for each Teacher’s contact information and website. In addition, at the request of Teachers and through the Gurudakshina program we will have a classified ad in every issue of Yoga Journal this next year.
We have been working on the IKYTA website and look forward to continued upgrades. We are currently working on a major upgrade to the Teacher Search. We look forward to having translation available in the near future. We are developing an IKYTA Specialty Training Program, again to support and honor the many areas of service by Teachers and to support new opportunities for Teachers to expand their knowledge and skills. This should roll out in 2014.
We are looking forward to creating both online and face-to-face Ethics Courses for Teachers and Trainers, which should be out no later than 2015 through the new Ethics, Professional & Spiritual Standards Department (EPSS), which includes the Complaint Procedure, Mediation, and Restorative Justice information.
Ravi Kaur has just joined the IKYTA team, and she looks forward to building more services of value to the IKYTA Membership.
We thank all those who have offered their services at IKYTA and we thank our all our members for their incredible service in sharing these sacred teachings for the upliftment of humankind.
The IKYTA staff are grateful to serve you and serve with you. Click here to Join or Renew your Professional Membership.
Blessings to all Kundalini Yoga Teachers in 2014!
Guruka Kaur is the Executive Director of IKYTA International, Executive Director of EPSS and the 3HO International Representative.