Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
- Who is Kali Ray?
- What is TriYoga?
- How did TriYoga begin?
- What is the significance of the name TriYoga?
- What is Devi Yoga?
- What are TriYoga Flows?
- How does TriYoga differ from other styles of yoga?
- Why is it important that TriYoga is systematized (and for students to progress systematically)?
- What are the benefits of TriYoga practices?
- How does TriYoga promote health?
- What does it mean to be “in the flow?”
- Who is Sri Ganapati Satchidananda Swamiji?
- Who is Sri Mata Jaya Lakshmi?
- How do I get more information about TriYoga?
Who is Kali Ray?
Kali Ray is also known as Kaliji, Sri Kali Lakshmi Deviji, and Swamini Kaliji. She is the founder of TriYoga, a systematized yoga method with Basics to Level 7 TriYoga Flows and Prana Vidya (the trinity of breathing practices, concentration techniques and meditation that balance and increase prana or life energy), as well as hundreds of hand mudras. Kaliji has devoted her life to sharing the ancient, universal teachings of TriYoga. Kaliji is a swamini from the Jayalakshmi Datta Avadhoota lineage, initiated by Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. He recently conferred to her the honorary title of Vishwa Bandhu (Friend of the Universe). Many students throughout the world have been inspired and transformed by her presence, her mastery of the flow and the ageless wisdom inherent in the TriYoga teachings.
What is TriYoga?
TriYoga is a complete method that includes the full range of traditional yoga practices, including hatha yoga, nada yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and jnana yoga practices. “TriYoga is in the tradition of the ancient yoga in that it is guided by the direct experience and intuitive knowledge that arise from the inner flow of kundalini, or universal life-energy” (Kaliji).
How did TriYoga begin?
As a child, Kaliji was naturally drawn to self-inquiry and meditation. She would frequently wonder, “Where was I before coming to this planet? Where do I come from?” After asking these questions, she would feel blissful for a few seconds. She had other childhood mystical experiences of inner connection. Then during a break from college, after meeting a man who spoke to her about yoga and eastern philosophy, Kaliji fell out of a boat during a storm. She thought that she was going to drown. As she surrendered to this destiny if it was meant to be, she felt immersed in bliss. After her rescue, she prayed for the Divine to reveal the source of this bliss. At that moment, in July of 1975, kundalini (the universal life energy) awakened and for twelve hours she was immersed in bliss. Five years later, on January 5, 1980, Kaliji was leading a group in meditation. She shared a concentration technique of energy rising up the spine. As soon as the meditation began, kriyavati siddhi spontaneously awakened within her, creating the spontaneous flow of asana, pranayama and mudra. Moved by the powerful energy and beauty of these flows, her students asked her to teach what they had witnessed. This later became known as the birth of TriYoga. Since then, the continuing flow of kriyavati (the spontaneous manifestation of kundalini through hatha yoga) has flowed through Kaliji’s body while in meditation, revealing TriYoga sadhana (practices).
What is the significance of the name TriYoga?
TriYoga represents the Universal Trinity that manifests the Divine. “Tri” means trinity. The Trinity can be found throughout creation. In philosophy, TriYoga refers to body, mind and spirit. In hatha yoga, TriYoga refers to asana (posture), pranayama (breathing practices) and mudra (‘seal’ or practices to develop focus). TriYoga has its source in the triple principle of sat (existence), chit (knowledge) and ananda (bliss). The trinity also manifests as the three energies of the mind: sattva (balance, calm), rajas (activity), and tamas (lethargy, stability). This Trinity is ultimately the formless manifestation of the one Supreme Spirit.
What are TriYoga Flows?
TriYoga Flows is another name for TriYoga's complete and systematic hatha yoga method. The Flows integrate flowing and sustained postures (asana), breath (pranayama) and focus (mudra) in systematized sequences. This trinity practice is deeply meditative and transformative because it arose out of Kaliji’s direct experience of kriyavati (the manifestation of the flow of prana, life energy, through hatha yoga). There are seven levels of TriYoga Flows in addition to Basics. The Flows are comprised of poses that are categorized into seven main posture groups: Standing, Forward Bends, Spinal Twists, Backward Bends, Balancing, Inversions, and Sitting. Since the method is systematic, students can progress from Basics to Level 1 and then to subsequent levels as they increase their flexibility, strength, endurance and knowledge of the method. Through sustained awareness on all aspects of the practice, the inner flow naturally emerges.
How does TriYoga differ from other styles of yoga?
TriYoga is similar to other hatha yoga methods in that it includes physical yoga practices, breathing practices, and practices to encourage concentration and meditation. It includes the use of props and modifications. TriYoga is unique due to the Flows' distinctive and systematic sequencing, the wavelike spinal movements, the union of posture, breath and focus, the emphasis on economy of motion, natural alignment, and pacing, and the systematized Prana Vidya practices (the breathing practices, concentration techniques and meditation that balance and increase prana, life energy). TriYoga is also unique because it was not created, but rather inspired and guided by Kaliji’s direct experience of kriyavati siddhi (the spontaneous flow of asana, pranayama and mudra). Kriyavati (the manifestation of prana, the universal life energy, through hatha yoga) continues to guide the evolution of TriYoga.
Why is it important that TriYoga is systematized (and for students to progress systematically)?
There are a number of ways to approach this question. In terms of learning, the systematization allows students to learn foundational practices first, progressing as knowledge, understanding, and comfort with the practices increase. With respect to the physical body, the systematization allows one to build strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance over time, beginning with simpler postures and sequences, and progressing over time. The systematization also allows students in earlier levels to experience more restful, sustained postures that allow for integration of what one is learning, while students in more advanced classes experience fewer rest postures and more “meditation in motion.” In terms of energy flow, the systematization allows one to feel how energy flows through the body and how the practices increase and direct energy. This is experienced first in more straightforward postures, progressing to more difficult sequences in advanced levels. In order to maintain dynamic concentration and release tension to deeply experience meditation, the body and mind may benefit from more and more challenging sequences as previously learned postures and flows become effortless. Lastly, TriYoga is systematized because this is the way that the practices flowed through Kaliji, guiding the development of the system.
TriYoga is therapeutic when practiced systematically and regularly. TriYoga practices:
• Accelerate the transformation of body, mind, and spirit
• Increase flexibility, strength, and endurance for healthy muscles, tendons, and ligaments
• Develop a supple spine and a dynamic nervous system
• Maximize the power of digestion, assimilation, and elimination
• Invigorate the immune, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems
• Purify and strengthen the vital organs and glandular system
• Awaken positive qualities such as emotional balance, mental clarity, and self-confidence
• Illuminate the intellect to higher understanding and the realization of intuitive knowledge
• Expand awareness and allow the energy to flow
(from the “in the flow® with TriYoga: Art and Science of Yogaflow®” brochure, ©TriYoga International)
TriYoga unites the body, breath, and mind to bring about health, energy, and peace. This is achieved through a threefold practice focusing on flowing stretching and strengthening postures, rhythmic breathing, and dynamic concentration. The postures and flows release tension, improve body alignment, strengthen the body and its functions, improve circulation, exercise the heart and lungs, and increase flexibility. Rhythmic breathing increases energy flow, deepens concentration, improves the circulation of air and blood throughout the body, reduces tension and stress, balances emotions, and develops a positive, calm state of mind. Dynamic concentration refers to maintaining a focus on the breath (i.e., one-pointed concentration) while the body is in motion. This creates a healthy, clear mental state. The integration of a relaxed body, rhythmical breath, and calm mind promote happiness and health.
What does it mean to be “in the flow?”
“In the flow” ultimately means to follow right action, guided by the inner Self, the cosmic energy. It means to feel the flow of the postures, the flow of the breath, the flow in the mind (manifest in a clear, positive mind). It means to be doing in life what one is meant to be doing. It means to feel the energy, to feel good, and to be happy. It means to be free of obstacles. “In the flow” means to surrender to the higher Self. (Based on an email from Kaliji in 1999)
Who is Sri Ganapati Satchidananda Swamiji?
Sri Ganapati Satchidananda Swamiji is also known as Sri Swamiji, or simply as Swamiji. He is a mystic. By some, he is considered an avatar, an incarnation of Dattatreya (the Divine Father who manifests cosmic consciousness and the triple principle of sat = existence, chit = knowledge and ananda = bliss). Swamiji was born at Mekedatu in southern India on May 26, 1942. He is a nada yogi, renowned for his healing and meditation music. Sri Swamiji is considered a Siddha Nadayogi, one who can transmit spiritual energy through sound. He is said to have performed many miracles and healings. He is a guru in the Dattatreya Avadhoota lineage. He travels all over the world offering sangeeta (yoga music), Kriya Yoga, puja (Vedic rituals), homa (fire oblations), and Vedic discourses. He also supports many centers for humanitarian work, such as social and welfare service programs. Although he was born a Hindu and, therefore, follows the Hindu religion, Sri Swamiji honors all religions and teaches that it's possible to reach the divine by many paths.
Who is Sri Mata Jaya Lakshmi?
Sri Mata Jaya Lakshmi is also known as Sri Mata or Mataji. She was a master yogini. She was the birth mother of Sri Swamiji. She is also considered to be have been an incarnation of the Divine Mother, Guru Devi. She is regarded as Kaliji and Sri Swamiji’s spiritual mother and the mother of both the Datta Yoga (Swamiji’s) and the TriYoga (Kaliji’s) lineages. Sri Swamiji calls Mataji his first guru. She is said to have been in deep meditation when he was born covered with holy ash. She initiated him into spiritual life before her she passed away in 1951.
How do I get more information about TriYoga?
TriYoga maintains two website: www.triyoga.com focuses on the hatha yoga aspect of TriYoga or prasaara (flow) and www.devipeetham.com focuses on the other spiritual aspects of TriYoga, such as the TriYoga lineage, jnana, karma yoga, nada yoga. Also check out the resources section of www.mindbodyservices.com.