Last day…..already…..?

Last day…..already…..?

As today was our last day the classes started earlier, Japji started at 4am, then Taya took the Kundalini yoga class, she is going to make a fantastic teacher.

Dr Sham Rang took the Long Ek Ong Kaar class, half way through the class I went back to the cabin to get my blanket, on the way I could hear the chants, it was an amazing experience. All I could see was the tall trees and hear the chants. I just wanted to sit there and meditate.

This is the location I could hear the meditation
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Afterwards Mandeep Kaur gave a class before dashing off. As always this was a good class.

On the last day students gave feedback, it was nice to hear the feedback, some people who had never heard or tried Kundalini yoga were amazed at how powerful it is and how good it made them feel. It is always great to hear feedback and how Kundalini yoga is helping them stay grounded and focused in their every day life.

Our last lunch together, it was sad to say farewells to the other students and teachers. I am sure we will meet each other soon!

Location where the meals are served
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Mother and daughter from Palm Springs
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Farewells
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Saying farewell to our brother, until next time Jai Dev Singh
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View of the ceiling inside the hall where the lectures took place
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Pictures of Shady Creek Retreat
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Super Adobe Design:
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Superadobe is a form of earthbag construction that was developed by Iranian architect Nader Khalili. The technique uses layered long fabric tubes or bags filled with adobe to form a compression structure. The resulting beehive shaped structures employs arches, domes, and vaults to create single and double-curved shells that are strong and aesthetically pleasing. It has received growing interest for the past two decades in the Natural building and Sustainability movements.

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Our plan was to go to Sacramento, stay the night there and then drive to Lake Tahoe on the Monday. We were told about an ashram near Shady Creek which has amazing gardens and decided to check it out. It is called Ananda Village. From his youth, Ananda’s founder, Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) had dreamed of creating small communities based on cooperation and high ideals. When he became Yogananda’s disciple in 1948, he discovered that Yogananda, too, was committed to the concept of “World Brotherhood Colonies.” Kriyananda vowed to do his utmost to make this dream a reality. In 1968 Kriyananda began the fulfillment of Yogananda’s vision with the establishment of Ananda Village, located near Nevada City, California.

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Shop located behind the reception selling books and clothing.
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View of where the ‘Sangha’ (sangat) eat
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Gardens
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Yogananda taught that what the world needs is a blend of the best qualities of the East and West: the spiritual insight of the East and the practical efficiency of the West. One without the other leads to a society barren of human fulfillment, but a balance of the two can bring peace, harmony, prosperity, and happiness. Yogananda often predicted that world brotherhood colonies, based on the twin principles of “plain living and high thinking,” would be the social pattern for the future.

The Ananda community is situated on 900 acres of meadows and forests amidst the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in northern California. Today, 250 people reside here, including adults and children of all ages.

900 acres so you can imagine lots of wide open spaces
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More buildings
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Vegetarian dinners are served here
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More buildings scattered around
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On entry into the village visitors are advised to go to the reception where the friendly staff will help and show you around
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Village shop in downtown Ananda Village
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Happy with my lollypop!
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Around the village
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A cool road sign
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One of the many temples in the village
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This chap was singing hymns
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Beautiful views
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More gardens
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Dairy Co-op
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After seeing and meeting some very warm and friendly people of the village we drove to Nevada City. A very quaint city, as if cowboys should still be riding horseback.

Nevada City (originally, Ustumah, a Nisenan Maidu village; later, Nevada, Deer Creek Dry Diggins, and Caldwell’s Upper Store) is the county seat of Nevada County, California, USA, located 60 miles (97 km) northeast of Sacramento and 28 miles north of Auburn. In 1900, 3,250 people lived in Nevada City; in 1910, 2,689 lived there; at the 2000 census, the population was 3,001, and at the 2010 census it was 3,068.

It was first settled in 1849, during the California Gold Rush, as Nevada (meaning “snow-covered”, a reference to the snow-topped mountains in the area). The Gold Tunnel on the north side of Deer Creek was the city’s first mine, being located in 1850. The first saw mill built in Nevada City was on Deer Creek, just above the town, in August, 1850, and was built by Lewis & Son, with a water wheel. In 1850-51, it was the most important mining town in the state, Nevada County being the leading gold-mining county in the state. In 1851, The Nevada Journal became the first newspaper published in the town and county. The town of Nevada was incorporated on April 19, 1856. In 1864, the word “City” was added to the name to relieve confusion with the bordering state of Nevada, and the town has legally been known as “Nevada City” ever since. The former town of Coyoteville, California, later became Nevada City’s northwestern section.
The Nevada City Downtown Historic District covers the downtown section roughly bounded by Spring, Bridge, Commercial, York, Washington, Coyote, and Main Streets. Several historical buildings have received National Register of Historic Places or California Historical Landmark status, and have been preserved.

We had booked accommodation earlier that afternoon at:

Outside inn
575 east broad street
Nevada city
CA 95959
t: +1 530 265 2233
e: info@outsideinn.com
w: www.outsideinn.com

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Motel reception
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Motel complex
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The floor in the room was sticky and not the best accommodation. For some reason it is voted number one on trip advisor! The staff are very helpful and friendly and the rooms have interesting themes but the rating is surprising.

We took a short drive to a restaurant the other side of the city to find it closed early on Sundays, so we decided to try

Sopa Thai Cuisine
312 Commercial St,
Nevada City,
CA 95959-2410
t: +1 530-470-0101
w: www.sopathai.net
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Our waiter was called Geoffrey and is extremely knowledgable about the menu and ingredients, including which dishes were vegetarian including egg free. We ordered two vegan dishes. Which were very tasty. The restaurant has a good choice of vegetarian/vegan meals. Whilst having our meal a lady from the course walked in.

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Afterwards we popped to

Treats
110 York St,
Nevada City,
California,
T: +1 530-913-5819
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They do various homemade ice creams, unfortunately only the sorbet and treatsicle (not to be confused with anything else!!) is egg free. Whilst we were ordering the treats an elderly man came up to me and asked are you Sikh? I said yes, he immediately had a huge smile on his face. He mentioned how he had a farm in partnership with a fellow Sikh. This was located in Yuba city, there was a Sikh lady who mentioned that the children need a Gurdwara. The gentlemen partnered up with Didar Singh and built the first Gurdwara. He has a very high opinion of Sikhs.

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Afterwards we got our treats and made our way outside where we took pictures of the shop. We got asked by another couple if we wanted our picture taken we said yes. We then got chatting to the couple called Matthew and Catherine from Roseville. We have found Nevada City to be a very friendly place where people just start chatting to you!

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Whilst walking around the town we saw Simrit Kaur and a friend of hers eating pizza at Pete’s Pizza! Earlier we saw a lady from the Life Force course eating at Sopa Thai and another guy from the course, a local farmer, at a local Mexican restaurant, as we drove down Broad Street. It was nice to see the familiar faces.

After the walk around Nevada City where we heard some live music and experienced a nice lively but orderly vibe, we headed back to the car and drove back to Outside Inn for a good nights rest.

Concert…..

Concert…..

Mandeep Kaur from Sage Hills Healing took the yoga set this morning, it was a fantastic class. She explained about Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. It reminded me of my Kundalini Yoga Immersion course at Espanola NM.

Picture of Mandeep Kaur

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Mandeep began her journey as a teacher in 2000. She was led to practice Yoga due to a chronic, painful low back compression combined with an intense early onset of Menopause. After just one yoga class she was amazed at how much better she felt, balanced and stronger.

Her Dharmic path as a teacher has been remarkable and vastly rewarding in many aspects and layers of being a Human, Woman, Wife, Mother, Sister and Daughter. Her Soul’s purpose in this life has been clearly shown to her and her teaching’s convey this life lesson of “Awakening to your Soul’s Purpose”.

The issue with the car keys locked in the trunk were resolved by Taya, she called AAA, who came out and unlocked the car. Thank you so much Taya!

Afterwards the class was split into two, you could either stay with Jai Dev Singh or attend the class by Dr. Sham Rang Khalsa. This is a shame as I am sure Jai Dev Singh’s class was also good.

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Whilst walking to the class of Dr Sham Rang Singh I could smell pizza, I thought it was the mind playing tricks. Nope, for lunch with had pizza!! Boy! My Kundalini was rising!!!

Whilst having lunch we had a lady called Melissa from San Diego giving Sangeet and I a cacao drink…I told her that if I want chocolate I have the real thing not this fake stuff!! She later came over and forced me to drink some other ‘super food’ I commented that she was trying to kill me! Melissa is setting up a yoga studio and juice bar in San Diego….beware guys!! Just kidding!

In the afternoon the class was again split in two, Dr Sham Rang and Simrit Kaur, again the choice was difficult, as my singing is super fine (I do a fantastic rendition of Purple Rain by Prince, well I think I do!) we decided to go to Dr Sham Rang’s class.

The evening programme was a concert by Simrit Kaur.

For email subscribers:
Simrit Kaur

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Better get to sleep as we have a 3:30am start tomorrow. My stomach issues seems to have eased today, perhaps I need more yoga, especially as I am determined not to have surgery…Jai Dev Singh has been saying that if there is one Kriya you should do for digestion it is the stretch pose.

Although it can be challenging, when done correctly it has a tremendous effect on the entire body. Stretch Pose activates the navel centre. By working on the navel point, stretch pose resets the entire nervous system and strengthens the abdominal area. In conjunction with Breath of Fire, it is calming, rejuvenating, and it purifies the blood. By working on the navel, it boosts resolve and self-esteem.

Lie on your back.

Raise your head and heels 6 inches off the ground.

Focus the eyes on the toes and stretch the toes so they point away from you.

Place your arms either above your thighs with the palms facing down but not touching the legs, or along side your legs with the palms facing your body but not touching.

Begin Breath of Fire.

In many sets, this posture is held for 1-3 minutes. Most people can muscle through the first 30 seconds or so, then the body may start to shake and the face may go into contortions, and then—collapse. Beginners are not expected to hold up for the full time.

Here are some techniques to master the posture without too much effort. First, understand that even though this posture takes some physical strength, it isn’t physical strength that keeps you up. It’s the navel center and the breath that gets you through. If you engage proper technique it takes less, not more, effort to go the distance.

The Lower Back and Legs
To create better stability in the posture, press your lower back into the floor as you raise the legs and apply a slight root lock. This action draws the navel center in and keeps the lower back in constant contact with the floor. It also brings the focus of the exercise to the navel center and provides the necessary base for the posture. Keep your toes pointed and feel the stretch from the navel center all the way down to your feet.

The Chest and Head
To raise your chest and head, first lengthen the back of your neck and bring the chest and head off the ground at the same time, then pull the chin into the throat into neck lock. This brings the heart center off the floor and creates a counter stretch from the navel center to the top of the head. If your head comes up too far, you put pressure on the heart and make it harder to keep your lower back on the floor. Mindfully lengthening your neck will help counter this tendency. Your upper body is stretching toward the top of your head and your lower body is stretching toward your feet. The navel center becomes the balance point or fulcrum of your body.

The Breath
Your breath doesn’t need to be overly rapid; it should remain at a steady pace throughout the exercise. You may have noticed that breathing faster doesn’t make the time go by faster. Maintain a rate of 2 to 3 breaths per second and mentally chant the mantra Sat Nam. If you can focus on the breath and the mantra, and relax the muscles that aren’t needed, the time will fly by!

As you get more proficient in the posture, investigate different areas of your body and discover the muscles you don’t need to use to maintain the posture and relax them. For example, the muscles in your face are not holding up your legs, so try relaxing them; try a little smile. The energy released from the face can be used by the muscles that are actually needed to maintain the pose. As in all postures, you should be relaxed yet focused.

Stretch Pose Tips
For beginners, 3 minutes of Stretch Pose is close to impossible. Here are some simple techniques to gain confidence:

Place your hands underneath your buttocks, this gives support to the low back and makes it easier to keep the legs up.

Raise one leg at a time, and then switch after a minute or so. Or try bending your knees slightly.

You may want to start with alternating 10 seconds in Stretch Pose and 10 seconds resting. Build up your time slowly and rest for 1-3 minutes when you finish. As you feel yourself getting stronger, increase the hold time and decrease the rest time.

Allow your body to work into the posture, experimenting with these suggestions until you have built up the necessary strength of body and mind. Before too long, you will breeze your way through 3 minutes of Stretch Pose.

Benefits of Stretch Pose

Adjusts and strengthens the navel point, your power center

Tunes-up your nervous and digestive systems

Strengthens the reproduction organs and glands

Contraindications for Women
Do not practice Stretch Pose in the following circumstances because it puts extra pressure on the female reproductive organs:

After the first 120 days of pregnancy

If there are any pregnancy complications

During the first few days of a woman’s moon cycle

Car keys…..!

Car keys…..!

Well after a good sleep, I noticed Sangeet had already gone to recite Japji Sahib after trying to wake me up. So I thought, better wake up, shower and go to the class. I was impressed with my timing, I got to the class just before they started relaxation!

We have a daily schedule which is as follows:

5am-7:30am: (OPTIONAL) Sunrise Sadhana: Early Morning Yoga & Meditation

8am-9am: Breakfast

9:30am-1pm: Morning Session

1pm-2:30pm: Lunch

2:30pm-6pm: Afternoon Session

6pm-7:30pm: Dinner

7:30pm: Evening Program

Pictures from the classes

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Food is mostly vegetarian apart from eggs served for breakfast. The local breads also have egg, which is a shame as the bread looks very tasty.

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The location Shady Creek Outdoor School and Conference Center is a 132 acre property located in the Sierra Nevada Foothills just outside of Nevada City in California’s Gold Country. Gold Country (also Mother Lode Country) is a region in the central and northeastern part of California. It is famed for the mineral deposits and gold mines that attracted waves of immigrants, known as the 49ers, during the 1849 California Gold Rush.

Long time sun, a great way to end a session

For email subscribers:
Long Time Sun

This evening we had a fantastic comedy programme by the Raspyni brothers.

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The ‘volunteers’ for the comedy show!

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For email subscribers:
Raspyni Brothers

Afterwards we headed back to the cabin, I needed a few items from the trunk. Got them and locked the car keys in the car!! I called Hertz who said there would be a charge of $77 they suggested I find a AAA member who could call their own service. Decided to leave this until the morning as we were pretty shattered after a long and very full day.

Today I have been having huge stomach issues. That thing on my large intestine just wants me to know it is still there. It is times like this I wish the accommodation was more comfortable and bathroom facilities were closer to hand.

Classes…..

Classes…..

Today was an early start, well for Sangeet it was, as she attended Japji at 4:40am, I was slowly getting ready. I arrived around 5:30am in middle of the Kundalini yoga set. At 6am we recited 62 minutes of long Ek Ongkar.

At 7am Sangeet completed her Nitnem, whilst I was outside talking to Jai Dev Singh and Dr Sham Rang Singh. I mentioned the blog and it was great to hear Dr Sham Rang Singh had already heard and looked at it!

For breakfast, which was served at 8am we had a fantastic selection of fruit, also we had tofu, potatoes and vegetables. This is all locally sourced and organic.

Here is some info in the main teachers:

About Jai Dev Singh

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Jai Dev Singh is a yogi, teacher and practitioner of Ayurvedic Medicine. His innovative Ayurveda and Yoga courses have been attended and studied by thousands of people throughout the world.

He is the creator of The Life-Force Formula, The Complete Course of Ayurveda and The Radiant Body Course. Jai Dev is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist and served as the Clinical Director at the California College of Ayurveda, as well as the director of the college’s Pancha Karma Center and Ayurvedic Spa.

Jai Dev is the Directing Manager at Floracopeia and lives in Nevada City, California with his wife and son.

Featured Teacher: Dr. Sham Rang Khalsa pictured on the right

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Throughout the event, Jai Dev will be joined on the stage by his close colleague and friend, Dr. Sham Rang Khalsa. Dr. Sham Rang is a medical doctor with over thirty years experience and a yogi for equally as long. He is an expert in Ayurveda and teaches throughout the country. Dr. Sham Rang’s presence at the event is an incredible asset to the experience.

Some more pictures of the day, which consisted of lecture on Ayurveda and Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan.

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Long time sun

For email subscribers:
Long Time Sun

All meals are vegetarian:

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This evening there was no classes therefore Sangeet and I walked to the creek.

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It has been a good day the food has been fantastic and the weather was 28c nice and warm!

Some of the students here have been on Jai Dev Singh’s Ayurveda course and that is how they found out about this course. Many of them have not done Kundalini yoga before, when asked many seemed to connect with it.

Exhausting…..!

Exhausting…..!

A very early morning start, we set off to London at 4am, I managed to get 2 hours sleep, Sangeet did not sleep!

We parked the car at my brother in laws house. It was good to see everybody especially my niece who for the first time I saw awake from a nights sleep. She does a full stretch lifts her head, has a look at who is in the room then has a snooze! Btw she is two years old.

Randeep, my brother in-law drove us to Heathrow airport, the United Airlines flight to San Francisco departs from terminal one.

Check in queues for the United Airlines flights were very long, I would advise checking in at least 2 hours prior to your flight. We checked in one and a half hours before the flight. Luckily a United Airlines staff member asked if anyone was checking in for the San Francisco flight, we were fast tracked through the queue.

Once through security we had a few minutes to browse the shops, where Sangeet purchased a scarf and rucksack.

The walk to gate 48 takes around 15 minutes.

Onboard the Boeing 747-400, the plane was looking a bit old and in need of a upgrade. I could not believe you do not get your own personal television, I thought that sharing a television between 100 other travellers was a thing of the past.

The food onboard was not the best, luckily mum had packed food for us.

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After a rough flight, where I just could not sleep. We touched down at San Francisco. It is so funny , when one flies business class a ten hour flight seems like 5 hours, in economy class a ten hour flight feels like twenty hours!

At San Francisco

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On arrival you go through the standard customs and baggage collection, the immigration officer was very chatty, which is unlike them….they usually do not say a thing.

We took the air train to the Hertz rental depot, picked up a rental and started the drive to Nevada City.

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The traffic was heavy and it took us 4 hours where as with no traffic it would have taken 2.5 hours. I was shattered and very hungry, so we stopped off at the gas station for coffee and a bag of Funyuns. A fantastic combination.

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Nearer to Shady Creek the drive was through amazing tall trees the views were breath taking….it perked me up, or was that the coffee?

The course we are attending is at:
Life-Force Formula Immersion Retreat
Wednesday June 5th– Sunday June 9th
Shady Creek Retreat Center
18601 Pathfinder Way
Nevada City,
CA
Life-Force Formula Immersion Retreat

Which was taught by Jai Dev Singh.

On our arrival we registered and the very kind lady offered us some amazing food.

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Whilst eating we listened to a lecture by Jai Dev Singh

After a class and yoga, which unfortunately I missed as I was asleep in the class, we headed to our cabin.

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I was exhausted, as soon as my head hit the bed I was out, I would have said pillow but we did not have one!!

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