Interview • Russian Yoga Digest
Q What is unique about Kali Ray TriYoga? What is there in common with other styles?
This is for each person who practices to feel for themselves.TriYoga is founded through kriyavati siddhi. This is not only unique but rare. TriYoga is a complete yoga method. The abhyasa (practice) includes a systematic yogaflow in asana, pranayama, & mudra; systematic prana vidya series in pranayama, dharana, & dhyana; and over 1000 hasta mudras. It is for everyone. From beginners to advance practitioners, all can practice. From TriYoga Therapeutics to Basics 108 to Levels 1 -7, one can take it step by step.
Q In Your interviews You mentioned that TY is for both men and women as Divine does not separate those. Though, it is evident that there are more women, practicing yoga. How can You explain that? What are specifics of yoga practice for women?
TriYoga is for women….and strong men. Women are simply making the wise choice. As i travel through the world, i see more men starting to practice yoga. In India, men are always in the classes. Men in the rest of the world will join in over time. Yoga is not gender based. All need and benefit.
Q Are 7 levels of TY related to 7 primary cakras?
YES. Each level corresponds with a cakra & element.
Level 1 is Earth, foundation.
Level 2 is Water, fluidity.
Level 3 is Fire, strengthening.
Level 4 is Air, lightness.
Level 5 is Space, expansion.
Then level 6 and level 7 correspond to ajna and sahasrara cakra ~ like a river flowing into the ocean.
Q What inspired you to create a new style?
I did not create a new style. Kriyavati siddhi channeled through my body/mind. It is my dharma to channel this ancient yoga.
I have always been drawn to the great mystery of life since young childhood. I never had an interest in hatha yoga. My interest was in philosophy and meditation. When my destiny / dharma emerged with TriYoga, it was a surprise for me.
Kriyavati, the effortless flow of hatha yoga due to awakened kundalini, has been occurring since January 5th, 1980 through my body/mind. These direct experiences guide the evolution of TriYoga.
Q Is the variety of the classic methods limited (not enough)?
TriYoga is a whole new experience. I did not study classic methods. My experience is direct and i share from this. TriYoga is a complete yoga method. Under the TY umbrella is asana, yoga nidra, pranayama, dharana, dhyana, mantra, nada, karma, bhakti, jnana…
Q How does your techniques help to awaken such qualities of a Jiva as knowledge, eternity, bliss?
Asana removes the blockages to energy flow; pranayama increases the energy; mudra focuses the energy. Energy is fuel for the inner journey. As energy increases, consciousness expands. These are the two great aspects in creation: consciousness and energy. TriYoga is merging into universal energy. The awakening of this energy expands consciousness ~ sat • cit • ananda.
Q What is the main difference of TriYoga as compared to other yoga styles?
TriYoga manifested through kriyavati siddhi. It is a purna yoga, complete. Many who see TriYoga feel it is the tai chi of yoga in that it is conscious movement of body, breath, mind. There is a steady rhythm, economy of movement, wavelike flow, relaxation in action, and harmony of asana, breath, mudra. You have to see, nay, you have to experience for yourself. It is like describing ‘sweetness’. You have to taste it to know. It is a whole new experience!
Q Maybe we are wasting too much time creating something as if new, to only brag in whose window the Sun of Yoga is shining brighter?
In case you are assuming i created TriYoga then please understand it is a revelation. Nothing stands still. Knowledge moves forward. It is fluid. We can not assume we have all knowledge and not be open for new fields of awareness. TriYoga flows from a timeless place.
Q Does your style lead to enlightenment?
Yes, it awakens kundalini. With awakened kundalini, the inner transformation begins and transforms the practitioner’s life. TriYoga brings one into the present. Only then is enlightenment possible.
Yoga Wisdom (Jnana)
Q How can those, aspiring to yoga, maintain peace and calm in the modern world, when people are often aggressive (in streets, metro, roads, politics are all about wars). Please, share what You do or just give Your advice.
One should aim to maintain mental calm in the mist of the storm. There will always be the pair of opposites. The calm mind will be guided by wisdom. One can do more good in the world when they act from a calm mind. For some, it is their dharma, duty, to protect society so they have to take action like Arjuna on the battle field with Sri Krishna. Still the yogi remains the witness, abiding in the inner calm, while taking right action.
Q What does it mean to be an observer during meditation?
It begins with observing the vrittis ~ thoughts waves in the mind. To sustain mental energy in one direction is meditation. When one remains as the silent witness, inner calm begins to prevail. At this stage one realizes I am not these thoughts. They silently observe, without attachment. The thinking mind surrenders the desire to think. In the silence of the mind, buddhi, the wisdom mind speaks. Still the witness remains. The ultimate witness is the Atman, your soul. The witness, observer, of the atman is the Self.
Q How do You combine meditative state of consciousness, maybe almost enlightened state, with every day reality.
It is our natural state so integration is not a question. Remain calm in your daily activities. Then one will feel the spiritual connection, the integration of yoga & life. In the calm mind, greatness expresses.
Q Dear Kali! Most likely You encounter rude and insulting attitude in every day life. Do You always control Your emotions in those cases? What can You advise to those who always react very emotionally to this?
I seem to come in contact with kind souls. It is kinder to respond with compassion. It is wise to respond with knowledge.
Q What or who is God?
In the realm of duality, do you refer to ‘God’ as Ishvara as referred to in the yoga philosophy as the personalized God? When the Divine incarnates, the term avatar is used. In this case, God represents the Dattatreya ~ The Generator, Organizer, Destroyer ~ brahma*vishnu*siva. It is said when adharma prevails on Earth, a personalized God or avatara incarnates to restore dharma. God is so pure, It can take any form.
When we are referring to the highest, non duality, then It is Pure Consciousness.
Q What is our (humans) role?
To know thyself. Thus, to continually improve upon oneself. Live a life of compassion. Make the best of this ‘Earth opportunity’.
Q It is thought that yoga gives people health. Though even Ramakrishna died of cancer. How can You explain this?
Everyone must leave this physical body at some point as the body goes through birth, growth, decay, death. Ramakrishna was detached from the body so his mind did not suffer. We all have our own karma to work through. For some, yoga will cure their discomforts. For others, they may have karma to work through but will be able to handle it better than if they didn’t practice yoga. Yoga gives the understanding and willpower to move through karma. The main suffering is separation from the Self. Yoga brings one to the Self; thus lessening suffering.
Q What is specific to yoga, as a system of self-exploration, as compared to other systems of self-knowledge?
Self-knowledge, realization of the Self, is the highest knowledge. Yoga is the control of the thought waves. Through increasing prana, awareness expands. It is as if a light goes on inside the inner mind. Through understanding the desires and subsequent attachments, the yogi can remove the thought weeds so the positive thoughts or fragrant flowers can flourish.
Q What does enlightenment mean to You?
Sat Cit Ananda ~ Realization of the Self ~ Soul is eternal, imbued with highest knowledge, residing in unconditional love & bliss. Living a yoga lifestyle allows for the subtle awakening.
Q Flow is everywhere: in the wind and dancing leaves. Unseen glow of sunlight. In the night “ghost” of the moon. In the flow of river waters. In the breadth of the mountains and silent silence. In openness, in love and in compassion. It takes many forms, but flows from within. What is the most important for You in its sound?
The root of nadam (sound) in Sanskrit is ‘Nad’ which means to flow. When music inspires the flow of prana it is nadam.
Q I have a question related to yoga, opening inner world. What does it mean to obtain knowledge? It just emerged within You? Or the energies changed everything and it attracted the knowledge? How does it happen for You?
When the mind is calm, knowledge emerges. It is my dharma, destiny, to teach TriYoga. Through kriyavati siddhi, TriYoga emerged. It is universal knowledge.
Q Does one need to aim to awaken kundalini or will it happen by itself, even if some traditions do not say a word about it?
When one practices yoga systematically, the energy awakens. Some traditions may not speak of kundalini but they will speak of energy, or consciousness. At different time periods in yoga history, the term kundalini was used based on the public’s view and ability to understand. Only with kundalini awakening (the mother), does consciousness expand (the father). Like the mother tells the baby, this is your father. The kundalini reveals the true Self.
Yoga in Modern Times
Q Yoga has its past, we know what its present is. What the future will be like?
Yoga is ageless truth. It is the same in past, present, and future. Yoga will continue to flow through the planet awakening those who are ready. We are fortunate to be living in this time period to witness the spread of yoga. It is as if the ‘yoga light bulb’ went on. All walks of life are seeking yoga. This will make for positive changes in the future.
Q What did You discover in yoga, that is not written about in any of yoga books? What would You like to share or give an example of?
TriYoga. The way TriYoga is expressed and practiced is unique. I never studied TY in books. It was received like the Vedas, or any inspired book of knowledge.
Q Do You think it is good to make yoga first very popular as healthy lifestyle, to popularize it, hoping that while working on their physical body, people will get inspired to more subtle aspects. If You agree with this approach, what approach is good for our country?
Yoga is a vast ocean of knowledge. People will be drawn based on their own interests, and temperament. It is destiny being fulfilled. Yoga, in all it’s variety, is reaching people from all walks of life. It is a silent, yet prominent, blessing happening on planet Earth. Yoga is the universal truth. It will prevail.
Q When I read ancient texts, I often find stories about wise kings and leaders, who brought prosperity to their people. Why now when people seek spirituality, they separate themselves from politics and social life, they travel, establish ashrams. Why don’t they go into politics? It seems the most direct way to change the state of things on the planet? Why now is spirituality separate from politics and media?
Some do, such as Gandhi, a renowned previous leader of India. His main message was to ‘be the change you want to see’, and ahimsa (path of compassion). Even when there appears to be a separation from politics and spirituality, it is always present. A politician acts from their personal beliefs. Beliefs emerge from their general philosophy on life. Philosophy is the expression of spirituality. Spiritual leaders can inspire society to make the positive steps of change, though they are not often directly involved.
Q When teaching yoga, do You have favorite students, whose company You enjoy and with whom You feel creatively inspired?
I enjoy all levels of students. Yet there is a ‘TY Team’ that often travel with me. It will vary at times depending on where i am in the world. We work together in bringing TY to various countries.
Q Do You have “not-favorite” students, with whom You feel uncomfortable and You have to be more attentive?
I do not have this experience of feeling discomfort regarding any students.
Q How do You work with the 2nd type and how do You combine these groups when teaching?
There is a flow in TY class. All seem to receive what they need. When one practices TriYoga, they feel the change inside and it reflects outside. So if a student seems out of the flow when they begin, they will enter the flow. TriYoga is foremost about compassion. They feel comfortable in TY classes. All are accepted and welcomed.
Q What is the most important for You, when teaching yoga to others?
There is not just one thing. It is the whole yoga lifestyle. We are blessed to share the transformational TriYoga. A compassionate teacher guides from a selfless state of being.
Q Can You divide Your life into before yoga and “in yoga”, if so what is the main difference?
My earliest memories in this life was focused on self-enquiry. In this way, yoga has always been my way of life. I recall as a young child, one special day, feeling strongly inside that my life was taken care of for me. I trusted in this feeling. Then at age 24, TriYoga awakened inside me giving proof to my childhood vision. Naturally there are major changes. Yet, at the same time, there has always been a focus in a yoga perspective since my early memories.
Q How has yoga influence changed Your life?
My life has always been immersed in ‘yoga’. Though as a child, I had not heard the term ‘yoga’. Still It was discovery of the inner techniques such as self-enquiry; remaining the observer in meditation; and seeking answers to the great mystery. ‘Yoga is my life. My life is forever yoga’.
Q Please, answer with maximum openness. What is the most pleasant for You in Your life of Yoga: practice, preparation to practice, glowing eyes of Your students, low-voiced one to one conversations with them, sound of mantras in Your heart? Or what else gives joy to body and spirit as one instrument? Flowing from the heart guided by inner wisdom…
The purna yoga called TriYoga. It is 3-fold: practice, knowledge, transformation. To receive this ancient yoga and to share with others is my great joy and blessing.