Do you know who teaches Kali Vidya
Kali Ray, the founder of TriYoga, is particularly famous for her wave-like flows that dynamize the spine. She has re-systematized yoga, divided it into seven levels of difficulty and developed over 1,000 hand mudras.
From April 29 to May 1, 2016, she and her team held a seminar in Vienna. Alexandra Eichenauer-Knoll asked her a few questions beforehand. The translation from English is by Eva Panny. Photos: TriYoga
Yesterday I watched some videos that show you practicing. The most impressive thing for me was that you always smiled. As a spectator, I could feel your joy and asked myself the question: Do you encourage your students to smile while practicing?
Kali Ray: The smile arises for me all by itself. In a meditation - I was 28 at the time - this smile appeared when I noticed the flow of energy. This inner smile has been present in my meditation practice since that day. I have neither encouraged nor advised my students to smile in their yoga practice. This inner smile arises with the flow of energy. It can be directed more inwards or it can be shown in a smile on the outside. In order not to smile, I would have to consciously suppress the smile. It is said that it takes more muscles to scowl than to smile. TriYoga is relaxation in motion. My facial muscles relax in a smile because I feel peace and joy in the anahata chakra (= heart chakra).
You have developed your own yoga style, the TriYoga. Please explain the meaning of this style.
Kali Ray: TriYoga is a lifestyle to increase health, knowledge and peace. TriYoga is a Purna Yoga, a complete yoga path. TriYoga includes various forms of exercise for body, mind and soul, so-called tri-bodies. The inspiration-based TriYoga Prasara is the origin of the practice. He is the trinity (= trinity) of Asana, Pranayama and Mudra. Prasara means meditation in movement (flow) without thinking. In the yoga flow one maintains the meditative awareness, the observer status, of this inherent trinity. With the exaltation of prana, attention is drawn to energy. Focusing on Prana is comparable to focusing on the cosmic path.
A vegan diet should go hand in hand with this sattvik practice. Yoga without conscious nutrition is not possible. The vegan diet is the Ahimsa diet. Observance of the first yama, non-violence, is anchored in yoga. The vegan diet is the Ahimsa Trinity for animal rights, human health and ecology.
TriYoga Prasara is taught systematically and begins with TriYoga Therapeutics and / or Basics 108 (Basics 108). Then comes level 1 / earth, followed by water, fire, air and space. The TriYoga meditation method is called Prana Vidya, the trinity of Pranayama, Dharana and Dhyana. Mudra, Nada and Jnana are incorporated into the entire practice.
This Purna Yoga represents a spiritual path to Satchitananda, to the spiritual realization of the inherent, universal Trinity. In yoga philosophy, the soul, Atman, is called Sat (eternal truth), Chit (knowledge) and Ananda (joy). With the awakening of the universal energy, consciousness expands. TriYoga merges with Maha Prana as a drive for our spiritual, mental and physical journey.
You have been practicing TriYoga for over 30 years since you first experienced spontaneous asana. Has the TriYoga style changed or developed in this long period of time?
Kali Ray: The essentials have remained the same since the beginning of Kriyavati, the spontaneous Kundalini flow. In the past 36 years that Kriyavati has led TriYoga, one receives more and more knowledge (jnana) with the new flow sequences and mudras. The movement entered by Kundalini manifests itself in three stages: fast, moderate, slow. It has slowed down over the years in the spirit of TriYoga Prasara. However, during Kriyavati, all three stages can be witnessed to this day. Refinement has increased over the years. It is a living yoga. It continuously expands those who practice it regularly.
You got to know a lot of people, many of them plagued by back pain.
Kali Ray: It is said that the main reason most people start practicing yoga is because of back pain. We have been confirmed by hundreds of people that they have been pain free since they started practicing TriYoga. Often they say that the pain was actually a blessing because they discovered yoga.
The title of your seminar is "Free the Spine". The spine is central to all styles of yoga. What is the special approach of the TriYoga practice?
Kali Ray: TriYoga has a unique approach in which the spine moves in waves and fluently. This culminates in continuous asanas that reflect the entire range of movements: flexion, extension, rotation and lateral flexion. This wave movement either begins at the lower end of the spine and continues all the way up, or vice versa. Whirl by whirl, she moves fluently into the asana. One remains in mindful awareness because there are no random movements. You focus equally on every part of the spine, which restores the natural alignment of the four curves. The spine is wavy. Therefore, the undulating movements naturally free the spine.
It is a pleasure to watch your fingers in your mudra practice. As a spectator, I felt my increasing attention. Do all mudras have a special meaning?
Kali Ray: Each finger orientation is unique, so we can say that the physical effects change with even the slightest difference between the mudras. Within a mudra family, each gesture has a similar meaning or effect. Mudras have a wide range of movements and meanings.
In the mudra language, one of the five pranas, a chakra, an element, a guna and a deity is assigned to each finger. There are nadis and energy points that are stimulated by the connection and pressure that the fingers apply. The benefits and meanings change depending on whether the mudra is used with asana, pranayama, or meditation. The benefits range from therapeutic to uplifting.
Do you encourage your students to develop and experience their own flows and mudras?
Kali Ray: The TriYoga comprises a total of more than 1,000 mudras. The mudras are taught individually and in a flow sequence. Mudra is the focusing and directing of energy. As soon as the energy begins to flow, you may feel the mudra rising from within. There is a very deep mudra knowledge in TriYoga. It makes sense to learn the correct use of hasta mudras and then patiently wait for the energy to direct from within.
A question that interests me personally: Do you also practice a foot mudra to direct the energy there?
Kali Ray: Yes, in TriYoga there are different ankle, foot and toe sequences for flexibility and strengthening. Any part of the body can be a mudra. In TriYoga there are special foot positions such as the Padra Padra Mudra, in which the toes are interlocked. The toes can be folded without the aid of the fingers or with assistance until the toes can move more freely.
You once said in an interview that another name for TriYoga is Devi Yoga, mother yoga. This is very interesting. The majority of all yoga practitioners and teachers in Europe are female. Still, I occasionally hear the opinion that yoga is too masculine and that women should practice something else, such as belly dancing.
Kali Ray: Yoga is generally about awakening the Kundalini. In Sanskrit, “Tri” stands for the all-encompassing energy of Kali, Sarasvati and Lakshmi. The umbrella term for these three forms of energy is Goddess Mother / Devi / Kundalini. A regular yoga practice is the beginning of physical and mental cleansing (Kali). With letting go, the spiritual clarity increases and wisdom takes the lead (Sarasvati). When the life energy is strong (Lakshmi), bliss begins to flow.
Do you like Austria? Is there a difference in general and in yoga practice between Austria and California?
Kali Ray: Yes, I love Austria and the increasing awareness that is spreading here. To be honest, I'm rarely in California. I am often asked which countries I prefer to travel to. And Austria is at the top of my list! The nature, the history, the new ... is a feast for the eyes and soul. The variety of music is in the air. My Austrian friends are very warm people. I am a fan of this country.
Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda from Mysore initiated you as Swami in the Jayalakshmi Datta Avadhoota tradition.
Kali Ray: It was an informal act as I was already practicing this lifestyle. About 20 years later Sri Swamiji changed the "title" from Swami to Yogini.
You travel a lot. Is it easy for you to lead the life of a well-traveled yogini?
Kali Ray: Yes, no reason to complain! Since my first visit to Europe in 2004, I have traveled around the globe 54 times to teach yoga. That is more than 1.3 million air miles with an average of 75 flights per year. This travel activity started after I first introduced TriYoga in Europe. I am grateful to all European yog / inis who share this transforming yoga with me for their support.
Since summer 2015, Europe has been experiencing a serious crisis due to the wars in the Middle East and the associated wave of refugees, which is increasingly dividing society into two camps. On the one hand, fear and rejection prevail in many people, on the other hand, many people are very helpful, offer refuge, show compassion, and help in the sense of Karma Yoga. This topic is often discussed in my yoga classes, people need encouragement. What can we do to reduce our fears?
Kali Ray: Follow the Dharma, the path of right action. Continue regular yoga practice. Everyone has to decide for themselves how they feel about it. Fear paralyzes the mind and body. It tarnishes our clarity. In such crisis situations, take refuge in yoga. The Spirit of Wisdom will guide you as your mind calms down. This is an opportunity to face our fears and turn them into knowledge.
Kali Ray, Tri Yoga
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