Blogger Kathryn E. Livingston caught up with Hollywood-based busy new mom and Kundalini yoga teacher (at Golden Bridge Yoga in L.A.) Sat Siri to ask her some questions about her upcoming yoga retreat at Casa Om, April 27-May 3. This very special week will focus on self-care, building a healthy foundation for body, mind, emotions, and Spirit.
Q: Why is self-care so important in these times?
A: I believe it’s the foundation of everything. I work with people almost every day who really want to be good, conscious, giving human beings and make a difference in the world, bringing upliftment or benefit to those around them. But the thing is, you cannot give away that which you don’t have. I feel like our yoga practice, especially in Kundalini yoga, works on so many deep levels of nourishment–filling you up so that you can build your energy up, build your tolerance up, and build your patience up so that you can be of benefit even in challenging situations so that you’re not just getting by in life.
Q: Is a week a sufficient amount of time for this kind of self-nourishing retreat?
A: Yes, I really think so. By the third day you can almost see the layers of stress that have been wiped clean from people’s faces and their bodies, and yet to be able to then have the rest of the week to go even deeper, and to really build up the internal energy and stamina and rejuvenation is so beneficial. It’s of real benefit to have at least that amount of time. I love the retreat setting because it takes you out of everyday scheduled life, and gives you that extra time to practice in a much more relaxed state. You can let go of your regular responsibilities for a time.
Q: Will you be focusing on particular kinds of kriyas and meditations?
A: Yes, there’s going to be a different theme each day and the arc of it really is self -care and self-love and noticing where our patterns come up of self-sabotage, criticism, or judgment. We’ll be doing a lot of heart-centered work energetically. We’ll focus on the heart center and the softening, calming, accepting qualities, but also on the physical level we’ll be doing a lot of work on our nervous system and our glandular system, which are the two systems that really bear the brunt of stress in our everyday lives and the brunt of how fast we live our lives and how much we fill into each and every day. We’re going to be pressing a refresh button on our nerves and our glands so they can have renewed vitality.
Q: Have you been to Casa Om before?
A: I haven’t and I’m so excited! I chose it because I’ve known Hargobind and Siri Om for many years and I know that everything they do is at the highest quality. I love Mexico and the Mayan ruins, I love the sacredness and the history of the land there and then to be able to swim in the beautiful ocean and practice yoga and eat delicious food will be amazing.
Q: Are you bringing your family along?
Q: You live in Hollywood and teach at Golden Bridge. I read that you are also a former ballerina?
A: Yes–with the Australian Ballet Company.
Q: How did you get into yoga?
A: I needed to deal with the pain in my physical body. But not only that, I was a typical type A perfectionist; yoga has helped me become a recovering perfectionist. I was so hard on myself, so critical of myself. I started to read about yoga and the benefits on the mind and your state of being and it really made sense to me. I started it pretty young, trying many different styles of yoga and meditation from when I was about 18; I think I started because it was necessary in terms of my anxiety, my stress, and I wasn’t sleeping so well. I was doing really well in life on paper but I knew I wasn’t enjoying the way I was living. So it really helped me exponentially, more than I ever imagined, by giving me that calm in the center of the storm, which doesn’t mean that the challenges have gone away but it really helps you deal with them. Then I found Kundalini yoga—all of the others are wonderful, as well—but for me Kundalini yoga took me to a much deeper level and I noticed that I didn’t just feel good after class–it really started to change the quality of my life.
Q: You studied with Yogi Bhajan?
A: I did. I was so fortunate to do my training the last year that he taught. He gave me my name.
Q: What will be the highlight of the retreat?
A: I think primarily the benefit you get from getting away from your everyday life and slowing down. I just see people in one week make leaps and bounds in their practice, but also in really seeing where they haven’t been conscious or supported in their life. Sometimes it can be challenging to dig so deeply in the busyness of life. It’s important to take some time away and nurture ourselves in a like-minded community of others, knowing we can be so much more effective in our relationships and in every area of our lives when we are really in balance emotionally.
Q: Hopefully the participants will bring the tools of Kundalini yoga that you share with them back to their hectic everyday lives and use them there.
To register for this event, please visit