What is the Future of Kundalini Yoga?

If you’re reading this, then most likely Kundalini Yoga has touched your life in some powerful way – big or small. In the face of major challenges within the global Kundalini Yoga community, many of us are wondering: how will we carry forward this dynamic and powerful practice?

Earlier this year, allegations of sexual misconduct were made about Yogi Bhajan, which reflected an abuse of power in his role as a spiritual teacher. Given the troubling nature of these allegations, our organizations recognized the need to address them in the most transparent and direct way possible. As one of the first steps, our organizations have responded by conducting a thorough and balanced investigation with the assistance of an independent organization called An Olive Branch. The initial estimated release of the report was the end of July, but due to the number of individuals participating in the inquiry, the report is now expected to be released in early August.

As challenging as it is to face the possibility that the allegations about Yogi Bhajan may be true, we remain committed to seeking and sharing the truth. We commend the bravery of the individuals who have come forward to shed light on this issue, and we wholeheartedly support them in speaking out. Our hearts are with each and every person who has been affected. We are dedicated to creating a safe space and a transparent dialogue to foster an ongoing sense of healing as we move forward and beyond this moment in our history.

The feelings of uncertainty and deep concern about the alleged misconduct by Yogi Bhajan are incredibly challenging for all of us, whether we are one of his original students, a teacher of Kundalini Yoga, or a brand new practitioner. The possible incongruencies between Yogi Bhajan’s alleged behavior and his teachings have caused some of us to question the validity of this practice. As a respected community member remarked, “Is it possible that Yogi Bhajan did terrible things, and also that Kundalini Yoga works? Do you trust your practice only because you trusted him?” These are some difficult questions many of us are now forced to ask ourselves. How can we hold the knowledge that Yogi Bhajan might have caused harm, while at the same time, hold the fact that he delivered this powerful technology to the world? Can we continue to believe in our practice because of our own experience with it, and how it has transformed our lives?

We are ready for transformation

Kundalini Yoga is a sacred and powerful practice.  Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, going forward we believe that it is vital to separate the value of this practice from Yogi Bhajan’s identity as a person, in order to continue bringing Kundalini Yoga to those who seek the self-empowerment and transformation it has facilitated across the globe.

We also recognize that 3HO itself must undergo its own transformation. We are committed to undertaking a serious self-inquiry. We are willing and ready to have the courageous conversations that move us away from devotion to the human teacher, and instead, uplift our focus to the divine teacher and sacred yogi within each individual.

Together we are committed to building a community where:

  • We acknowledge the pains of the past
  • We have zero-tolerance for abusive behavior of any kind, whether by Yogi Bhajan or anyone in a position of authority
  • Systemic change in our organization is prioritized
  • All voices can be heard, taken seriously, and addressed with the appropriate action
  • All voices are included in creating a vision for the future that holds in true alignment with our spirit
  • Expression of questions and concerns is encouraged and given a safe space for listening
  • People from all cultures, ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexual orientations are welcome
  • We actively create greater inclusion, safety, and equity for Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals

3HO is a global community of diverse individuals who have been touched by the uplifting experience and lifestyle of Kundalini Yoga. Collectively, we are being called to carry these sacred teachings through the fire of this excruciating moment and to keep them alive in order to serve the world now and for generations to come.

We need your spirit

We invite you to join us in shaping the future of 3HO and Kundalini Yoga – a future that nourishes an inclusive, healing, spirit-focused practice that enriches the individual and creates the sacred space needed for a better and brighter world.

We appreciate and honor your questions, patience, and concern during this time. Thank you for your dedication to this sacred community as we all shift together.

Deep Listening

As members of a spiritual community, we place a high value on righteous action and truthful living. We are committed to upholding these principles, in practice and policy, at all levels of our organizations and to strengthen our organization to meet these commitments. Our goal is to seek the truth and move toward healing. We open our hearts and prayers for justice and healing for all people.

There have been many allegations concerning sexual misconduct by Yogi Bhajan. The Collaborate Response Team (CRT) was formed by the SSS Corporation to follow the best practices for organizations receiving such allegations. This involves respecting and listening to reporters of harm, witnesses, and those who refute them. As a result, the CRT hired An Olive Branch to investigate the allegations. Additionally, the CRT is developing a program to provide counseling for those who report harm. Information can be found at www.ssscresponseteam.org and on the FAQ page.

In the wake of the heartache and hardship that’s challenged our community as of late, 3HO is hosting a Listening Tour, with a series of calls to facilitate brave spaces for community dialogue, emotional processing, and sharing. As we begin to envision the future of Kundalini Yoga, we call upon the wisdom of the global Sangat to heal as we process together and initiate this change.

Please visit www.3HO.org/listening-tour to participate and for more details.