My passion, my devotion in life, is teaching the technology of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation and the yogic principles of healthy, happy living for all people to be healthy, happy, and whole! I have been enjoying teaching and practicing Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, as taught by Yoga Bhajan, since 1977. I started practicing Hatha Yoga when I was 10 and Kundalini Yoga when I was 17. I was born in Newport News, VA and raised with my three sisters in an incredibly warm, creative family. My parents were so dear and open hearted and open-minded. My dad had been a U.S. Marine and then had a long career as an Aeronautical Engineer at NASA (in Hampton, VA) though he loved to tinker on the family cars and repair absolutely anything in our home. I highly recommend the book and the movie “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly about those years at NASA and the Virginia Peninsula area! My mom had been in the NAVY (a WAVE), she was an extraordinarily talented artist, draftsman, and compassionate teacher. It was my mom who brought me my first yoga book when I was a kid and took me to my first Kundalini Yoga class at the Newport News, VA YMCA when I was a teenager. My teacher there was an incredible woman, Gururam Kaur Marini, a gifted teacher, artist, and parent. Yogi Bhajan said she was a Saint. She passed away in 1985 from malignant melanoma but in the 10 years from when she was diagnosed to her final breath she shared such a compassion and caring to everyone she met. I’m so grateful for her healing touch and introducing me to Kundaini Yoga and Yogi Bhajan. I fell in love with Kundalini Yoga and, along with my parents, came to deeply respect the wealth of knowledge for health and healing in the yogic technology. In college, I earned my Biology, B.S. degree (Christopher Newport College ~ now CNU) as I worked part-time in various local businesses: the college library, The Health Trail ~ a wonderful local health food store that is still serving the community all these years, volunteering at the Virginia Living Museum, a children’s yoga teacher with Newport News Parks and Recreation in their before-school and after-school programs, and summer camps; always teaching Kundalini Yoga classes/workshops to children and adults in the Hampton Roads area. In that time, I became a KRI certified teacher with the 3HO International Kundalini Yoga Teacher’s Association. From 1977 and till his passing in 2004, I gratefully studied personally with Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. Such an experience of compassion, kindness, strength and wisdom. So many years in Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga classes, workshops, camps – personally trained, shaped and inspired! Early on, he recommended me to teach Kundalini Yoga professionally and to heal with my “magic touch”. My husband and I feel so very fortunate for the many years with him and his wife, Bibiji. My husband, Atma Singh/Todd Ellis, quite the passionate and talented photographer, donated many photos to them. Some of my husbands’ photos of Yogi Bhajan are published in the exceptional book: “Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan” by Shakta Kaur Khalsa.
I am also a graduate of the Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Training Level 1 – 3 having studied and worked with the brilliant founder, Shakta Kaur Khalsa. I feel so fortunate to have taken many early versions of Shakta’s RCYT program as she refined it over the years till it is the amazingly comprehensive program it is now. I am honored to have a personal post-natal story published in Shakta’s Yoga for Women book. Whether you want to share yoga with your kids or grandkids or teach it in a classroom, I whole-heartedly encourage you to take the Radiant Child Yoga training. Additionally, I am a minister of Sikh Dharma and codirector of our little Guru Ram Das Ashram in Newport News, VA.
I started with Hatha yoga when I was 10 (1970) for maintaining a healthy back after having back surgery for a herniated disk (my father had the same surgery when he was in his 30’s). My healing experiences, love and appreciation of the vast technology of yoga, led to my Biology, B. S. degree and certification as an International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association (IKYTA) teacher as well as the certification for teaching Children’s Yoga (RCYT). I am so excited to see all the scientific literature and books readily available now on the technology of yoga and it’s effectiveness – there are wonderful books available easily explaining the science and application of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as well as the healing power of vegetarian food – such as Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa’s books: Meditation as Medicine, The Pain Cure, Food as Medicine, Brain Longevity, and more! Dr. Sat Bir Khalsa, PhD, is the Director of Research for the Kundalini Research Institute, Research Director of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Khalsa’s book, Your Brain on Yoga, simply illustrates how a regular yoga practice can help reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, increase lung capacity, and even help treat conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
In my years of teaching Kundalini Yoga, I have enjoyed offering weekly group classes, private instruction and workshops both locally and nationally. Some of the topics covered in classes include: stress-relief, healthy backs, radiant glandular system, prenatal/postnatal yoga, and yoga for children. Some of my Kundalini Yoga teaching experience for adults and children includes: numerous experiential yoga lectures for various groups such as drug and alcohol rehabilitation, senior citizens, school presentations from preschool through college. I throughly enjoyed teaching Children’s Yoga Classes at Hampton Roads International Montessori School from 2003-2015, what an incredible school! I also taught for five years with the City of Newport News, VA Department of Parks and Recreation as a Kundalini Yoga teacher for adults, and for children ages 6-12 in the before-school and after-school programs. For four summers in New Mexico, I was a 3HO Kids Yoga Camp counselor for five weeks for children ages 5-12. I also taught for two years in Newport News public pre-school special education incorporating yoga in the curriculum at the encouragement of the PEEP school principal. I also was inspired by a gifted woman and mother, who was assisting me in teaching children’s yoga classes, to create several wonderfully successful Girl Scout Yoga Workshops for Mothers and Daughters. In addition, we were invited by her son’s physical education teacher at Riverside Elementary School, Newport News, to teach yoga to each of the P.E. classes of the whole school. It was such a fantastic experience I will always cherish and the school was so very grateful they awarded us with certificates of appreciation.
I continue to teach at the international 3HO Kundalini Yoga camps, my weekly adult classes, occasional workshops, private sessions, children’s yoga series, and demonstration classes. I enjoy living in Newport News, VA with my husband and two children (one in high school and one in college) where often we are found engaged in some outdoors activity – biking, kayaking, hiking, and swimming. The practice of Kundalini Yoga and our spiritual practice, Sikh Dharma, is woven through our life, whether it’s early morning yoga and meditation or singing shabds/kirtan while we’re working in our yard! I also love music and art, so we try to get to many of the various concerts offered on the Penninsula and visit the local art museums. Another great love in my family’s life, is animals, so we support our local Humane Society/SPCA and regularly visit the Virginia Living Museum. I am also passionate about RECYCLING everything I possibly can! A GREAT WEBSITE for info and locations to RECYCLE just about everything is www.earth911.com. Once I really absorbed how our landfills are overflowing with things that will essentially never degrade AND the things that do degrade can’t for lack of enough soil and air – I started learning how to shop more consciously. I’ve observed that it’s hard for many of us to think of recycling/shopping differently when we are working so hard and feel stressed, with little time for themselves. My experience is that my yoga practice and my spiritual practice gives my mind a restfulness. I then feel like I have time to pay attention to how, whatever I buy, effects the Earth and our children’s future. I’m also grateful to yoga students who bring me fresh vegies from their garden, so, as a family, we’re learning how to garden organically and produce compost!
In addition, I’ve been very fortunate to have studied with many incredible healers of the Kundalini Yoga tradition like the amazing healer and teacher, Siri-Gian Khalsa of Soul Answer Healing. I have been blessed with many classes, workshops, healing sessions, and completed 3 year Yoga Therapy training with Siri-Gian, Soul Answer Healing. I hope you feel intrigued and want to experience some of the wealth of knowledge that yogic technology embodies whether it is the physical exercises, the meditations, or the rich science of Ayurveda with easily applicable tools for living a healthy, happy, kind, and generous life. If you have any questions please call me, Atma, at 757-595-3746 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org . Love and peace, Atma Kaur
Love to all, life to all, peace to all. ~ Yogi Bhajan
Keep up and you’ll be kept up. ~ Yogi Bhajan
However things go, you must remain calm, quiet, and peaceful. That peace is a source of prosperity. Self-containment is the art of prosperity and it is the highest spiritual strength. There is nothing to match it. ~ Yogi Bhajan