What is Kali Natha Yoga?

By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 15 August, 2015

Dear Spiritual Explorer: How is Kali Natha Yoga different from other yogas? Lauren L., Pensacola, FL

Dear Lauren:  I went directly to the source and interviewed Shakti Durgaya, who is the director of Yoga at Kashi Ashram and here is the interview:

SE: Hi, first tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into Kali Natha Yoga?


Director Kashi School of Yoga

SD: I came to Kashi after having been a yoga teacher for 5 years and yoga therapy practitioner as well. When I met Ma Jaya I knew I had found my spiritual home because my heart opened. Without too much resistance or any obstacle, I soon packed up, and moved to Kashi because I knew I wanted to spend my life in community. Some time after, I was also fortunate to be one of the people Ma personally taught and handed down this Kali Natha Yoga lineage to. It’s been an exciting ride ever since.

SE: What makes Kali Natha Yoga different from other yogas?

SD: It has to be said that all yoga is good for you. No matter what modality you practice, you are going to reap benefits. What stands out in this particular yoga is you will be guided to learn not only yoga movement, breath practices and meditation, but pragmatic and practical tools that will help you cope with life and eventually thrive. These are very tangible, very useful “put into practice” tools. In fact, you can take one class and walk away with a tool or practice that will help you shift the quality of your life pretty quickly. It’s very exciting because it’s accessible for absolutely everybody.

SE; Not that all yogas do not have a spiritual base, but I had heard that Kali Natha Yoga truly emphasizes that quality in addition to movements, postures and breath.

Kashi School of Yoga is the home
of Kali Natha Yoga

SD: One of the main benefits of Kali Natha Yoga which our students absolutely love, is that it truly has you reconnect to your source, even if your source is a form of God or Goddess or Mother Nature and Mother Earth, or just a vibration of love. I call it being connected to your own heart source, whatever that is. As you bring yourself back into your heart, you see the world a little differently, a little more clearly, a little less frenetically and a lot more grounded, but grounded in love. This opens you to the possibility of seeing yourself and others in a whole new light.

SE: Could you illuminate for me how Kali and Natha separately influence Kali Natha Yoga?

SD: Kali is the form of the Mother goddess who is transformational. She ignites the fire in your belly while also consuming your pain. She can burn off toxins or karma and re-establish both vibrant health and digestion. The mythology attached to the Nathas was they were the first yogis who learned from the Great Lord Shiva himself. Although it is an ancient practice, it is brand new to the west.

SE: Could you give me an example of one of the practices that you say distinguishes Kali Natha Yoga from other yogas?

SD: In one yoga session we may focus on the ability to hesitate which was one of Ma Jaya’s profound teachings on how to live a richer life. We would then have you practice movements which would include hesitating, breaths which would focus on breath retention and then definitely bringing awareness on what it is to stop yourself in life from reacting by taking a moment to hesitate. If you were to truly digest that tool, it is very likely you could leave that one class and return to your home that evening and put it into practice. And perhaps that one practice could ensure a very harmonious, peaceful evening.

Many other classes also acknowledge the thoughts that rush through our minds, but in Kali Natha Yoga it is our practice to highlight this core teaching of hesitation, and then put it into form through movement, breath and awareness.

SE: So what I am understanding here, Shakti Durgaya, is that your Kali Natha classes are not only about yogic movement, breath and simple awareness, but an attempt to transform a person’s quality of life in a true pragmatic and realistic way. It is not just a discipline that one learns and practices for oneself, although that is true also. But rather the emphasis is on bringing into the world your practice. In fact, it coheres with Ma’s teachings and those of the Dalai Lama where both of them teach that people can no longer just go off to a mountaintop and be a spiritual hermit.The world is so in need that we must bring the teachings off the mountaintop into the marketplace. And I think that is what you are telling me about Kali Natha Yoga.

SD: Yes, you are absolutely right. This is but one tool attached to the many teachings essential in Kali Natha Yoga and I am truly excited and inspired about the possibilities of helping people make real changes in their lives.

SE: From what I have heard, I see that people with a myriad of physical challenges continue to find something of value in your Kali Natha classes, and particularly, since you have told me of the tools you are sharing.

SD; Yes, if you are physically challenged in any way, you can do whatever feels comfortable to you, whether it be moving slowly and slightly, stretching, or any one of the breathing practices or meditation. Kali Natha Yoga is for everyone.

Kashi School of Yoga offers a 200 hour teacher training program as well as a 300 hour Teaching Training Program.

If you have a question about “Kali Natha Yoga,” or anything else, you can write me at Ask The Spiritual Explorer.

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