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Friday, May 31, 2013

Hawaii’s Elderly Among Nation’s Healthiest

According to a report commissioned by the United Health Foundation, Hawaii ranked 6th in the nation in terms of the health of people 65 years or older. The study, called America’s Health Rankings Senior Report: A Call to Action, researched senior’s behavior, clinical care, health outcomes, communities, and environment measures. Hawaii had the lowest rates in the nation in terms of obesity, hip fractures and preventable hospitalization, and also scored well on low smoking rates and high physical activity. The healthiest state for seniors in the country was Minnesota while Mississippi came in last.
Chief medical officer of the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Hawaii, Dr. Ron Fujimoto, commented, “This is the first study of its kind focusing on the senior population, those 65 and older. The objective of this report is to have everyone look at this population and be advocates for improving the health of this group. This segment of the population is growing rapidly. It’s a pretty compelling population to study. I was very encouraged by the fact that we are in the Top 10 and I know we could be in the Top Five, if we look at this report and start understanding better where we can put our resources and energies.”
Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser, 5-30-2013,

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The 14th Dalai Lama Quotations

Aloha Everyone,

Dalai Lamas are the head monks of the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.  He is the political and spiritual leader of Tibet. On October 6, 2009, the 14th and current Dalai Lama received the Lantos Human Rights Prize from United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In 1989 he was awarded the Noble Peace Prize for his work encouraging understanding between different religions and encouraging people and countries to care for one another.

Quotes of the 14th Dalai Lama:

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive."

"It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come."

"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day."

"All major religious traditions carry basically the same message that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives."

"There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness."

"When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, 'Oh yes - I already have everything that I really need."

"Sleep is the best meditation."

"In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher."

"We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves."

"Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent."

Namaste -- Cathi

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Four-part Deep Breathing Pranayama

Aloha Everyone,

This is a great, simple pranayama to start your Kundalini Yoga kriya and it is suggested along with Breath of Fire to incorporate into your daily yoga practice.

POSTURE:  Sit in easy pose or on chair feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder-width apart.

Chest lifted, relax your shoulders.  Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and tuck your chin about 1/10 of an inch to help align the back of your head to your spine.  Close your eyes.  Relax your diaphragm and stomach muscles.

MUDRA:  Namaste hands but bring your palms approximately 4 inches away from the chest, elbows up. Put slight pressure against the palms.


Begin inhalation by 4 equal sniffs to fill your lungs completely then exhale fully in 4 equal sniffs. Concentrate so that each time you do inhalation in 4 sniffs your lungs are completely expanded then when you do exhalation in 4 sniffs, your air is fully expelled as you pull in your diaphragm and stomach muscles.

DURATION:  1 minute to begin; increase up to 5 minutes for each practice sessions.


Helps you awaken your energy, improves and increases your respiratory system.

Quickly oxygenates your blood and helps body heal.

Increases the amount of your prana to your body.


For those with high blood pressure, heart disease or suffer from other medical conditions, use extreme caution in doing any breathing exercises.

Do not over-do and if you begin to feel dizzy, stop and return to normal breathing.

Namaste -- Cathi

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Aloha Everyone,

This is a powerful meditation to awaken the Ajna Chakra or the Third Eye Chakra.

Mudras – two mudras are used - Gyan Mudra (tips of your index fingers and thumbs are touching, other fingers are extended) and Shambhavi Mudra (Eyes closed and focused at the 3rd Eye (Ajna Chakra),

Mantra - Gayatri Mantra

Om Bhur Buvaha Svaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayath

Throughout the meditation, chant mentally the Gayatri Mantra.  As you chant, visualize it emanating from the center of your forehead, the Ajna Chakra.

At the end, inhale deeply.  Retain your breath.  Exhale fully.  Rub your palms and cup them over your eyes to relax.

Savasana (Corpse Pose) or modified Child’s Pose on chair to relax.

Duration - approx. 11 minutes

Caution:  Please do not over do and strain your eyes.  If eyes get too tired, or you begin to feel dizzy, go back to simply closing your eyes then reapply the Shambhavi Mudra only after you have rested your eyes.


1.  Opens the gateway for knowledge
2.  Raises intellectual level
3.  Removes obstacles from your life
4.  Protection from danger
5.  Purifies the mind, body and soul
6.  Helps you focus and improve concentration

Sat Nam -- Cathi

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Healing Meditation of Kundalini Yoga

Mantra - Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Se So Hung

Aloha Everyone,

This is a healing meditation of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® . Yogi Bhajan said "meditation is a science; it is a technical practice to achieve results in a predictable and reliable outcome or experience.  The positive side effects of practicing Kundalini Yoga and Meditation can be increased sensitivity and heightened awareness."

Meditation can be practiced daily. A regular, same-time-daily schedule for 40 days for each meditation is recommended.

POSTURE:  Sit in easy pose or on chair, with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder-width apart.

MUDRA:  Bend the arms, elbows against the side of the rib cage.  The palms of the hands are parallel and face the sky.  The hands are at a 60 degree angle, halfway between pointing forward and pointing to the sides. Eyes are closed and focused at the third-eye (between the brow point.)

Mantra - Ra Ma Da Sa, Sa Say So Hung - should be sung in one complete exhalation.

With First Sa, pull in your navel.  Hung - again pull your navel and imagine the sound is vibrating at the root of the nose.


Ra = sun energy
Ma = moon energy
Da = earth energy
Sa = infinity, universal energy
Sa (repeated)
Say = the personal embodiment of Sa
So = the personal sense of merger with Sa
Hung = the Infinite, vibrating and real

Translation = “I am Thou." or “The service of creator is within me. “

Tune in first.  Approximately 9 minutes for chanting then inhale deeply, retain your breath and visualize the person you want to send healing to.  It may be yourself or another individual but does not have to be in your physical presence.  First round, clearly see that image of the person and see a glowing green light around the person. Retain that person in your mind, exhale completely. Second round, again inhale deeply, hold your breath and continue to send the person healing green light. Maintain the image in your mind, and exhale completely.

Third round, deep inhalation, holding your breath and visualize the person very clearly.  The green healing light is saturating the person or you.  The green healing light is bathing every cell in the body. Full, complete and slow exhalation, disengage your mudras then total relax your body and your mind.

Total Time: 11 minutes

Namaste -- Cathi

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kirtan Kriya as taught by Yogi Bhajan®

Aloha Everyone,

Kirtan Kriya aka Sa Ta Na Ma Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan®

Kirtan Kriya is considered the highest Kundalini yoga mantra meditation.  This meditation has been shown to improve brain function and prevent or stop Alzheimer's disease.  The mantra, mudra and visualization that are involved in this meditation technique so do not be discouraged if you find it challenging at first.

Sit in easy pose on floor or sit on chair with feet flat on floor

Elongate your spine and sit tall, chest lifted, stomach relaxed, chin slightly tucked in about 1/10 of an inch.  We begin our practice with 11 minutes version which is recommended by Yogi Bhajan as part of our daily practice.

To begin, tune in.

MUDRA - Eyes are closed and focused at the 3rd Eye (Ajna Chakra), Shambavi Mudra

MANTRA - Sa, Ta, Na, Ma. (translation) birth, life, death, rebirth.

Your fingers are moving throughout this meditation.

On "Sa" press the index finger, (Jupiter finger) with the thumb tip.

On "Ta" press the middle finger (Saturn finger) with the thumb tip.

On "Na" press the ring finger (Sun finger) with the thumb tip.

On "Ma" press the small finger (Mercury finger) with the thumb tip.

As you chant, visualize the sound S, T, N, M entering your body through the crown chakra, then

visualize the sound “A” leaving through the third eye, the Ajina Chakra.   Imagine these as L shaped movements.

Out loud repeat "Sa Ta Na Ma” 2 minutes

Whisper "Sa Ta Na Ma:” 2 minutes

Silent mantra of "Sa Ta Na Ma” 3 minutes

Whisper "Sa Ta Na Ma" 2 minutes

Strong vocal "Sa Ta Na Ma" 2 minutes

Deep inhalation, raise both arms up in the air then give energetic shake of the arms and fingers and the whole body..  Full exhalations as you relax your body.  Inhale again, arms and shake the entire body.  Repeat this process three times.  This would help circulate and release the energy in the body.   Savasana (corpse’s Pose) on the mat or modified Child’s Pose on the chair to relax.


Heals, balances and uplifts the motional body
Bestows peace and tranquility
Builds concentration and mental focus
Increases intuitive abilities and psychic powers
Clears the system of negative emotions

Namaste -- Cathi

Friday, May 17, 2013

Shabad Kriya Meditation

Aloha Everyone,
Benefit – Stress Relief, Deep relaxation and helps people with sleep disorders such as insomnia
Best time – before going to bed
Posture – sit in a comfortable cross legged position or on a chair
Elongate your spine upwards, lengthen your neck and subtly bring your chin back and in about 1/10 of an inch
Relax your stomach, lift your chest, and relax your shoulders, relax your arms
Mudra (hand position) – Cosmic Mudra – rest on your lap,  right hand below, left hand on top, thumb tips are touching other fingers overlapped
Eyes – 1/10 open look at the tip of your nose
Pranayama (breathing) and mantra (chant) 4 equal parts inhalation (like sniffing) through the nose and mentally chant SA TA NA MA with the four parts of the breath
Hold the breath four times SA TA NA MA times 4 or a total of 16 counts then two equal parts of exhalation as you mentally chant Wahe (pronounced wahey) Guru
Go back to 4 equal parts inhalation and repeat the cycle
Duration:  Start with 3 minutes then work up to 7 minutes, 11 minutes to 15 minutes. 
CAUTION:  Start this kriya meditation slowly and build up your time systematically. 
When you are practicing this at home, please exercise caution in holding breath.
This meditation was originally taught by Yogi Bhajan April 1, 1974.
Namaste — Cathi

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Facilitating Energy Flow

Aloha Everyone,
Kriyas are a set of exercises that are done in a specific sequence to accomplish balancing of chakras and healing. There are a variety of Kriyas but nearly all of them incorporate mantras (sound vibrations)  asanas (body postures and or movements), pranayam (breathing), mudras (hand, eye or body positions) bandhas (body locks) as well as meditation and mental focus to attain their desired effects. 
The purpose of these exercises is to removal granthis (blockages) to facilitate the flow of energy. There are Kriyas designed for working on almost every part of our system including circulatory, digestive, glandular, immune, nervous, respiratory and sexual. Kriyas work on our awareness, charisma, compassion as well as well-power.
Additionally, these exercises have power to heal many different types of ailments and diseases.
Namaste — Cathi

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Michael Josephson's Teachings

Aloha Everyone,
The following articles are from Michael Josephson’s blog:  Michael Josephson (born December 10, 1942) is a former  law professor and attorney who founded the nonprofit organization, Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics.  Michael Josephson is a writer, speaker and lecturer on the subject of character and ethics. 
Entry 1: 
In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy asks Charlie Brown, “Why do you think we were put on earth?”
Charlie answers, “To make others happy.”
Lucy replies, “I don’t think I’m making anyone happy,” and then adds, “but nobody’s making me very happy either. Somebody’s not doing his job!”
People like Lucy are so sure happiness is a matter of getting something that they ask not what they can do for others but what others can and should do for them. They usually feel shortchanged or cheated. They become so preoccupied with what they don’t have that they can’t enjoy what they do have.
What’s more, they don’t realize one of the best ways to be happy is to experience the joy and selfworth of making others happy.
Entry 2:
If we interviewed 100 happy people, I think the most prominent common denominator would be good relationships. Despite the widespread promotion of materialism and vanity in our culture, wealth and beauty are not enough to produce happiness. In fact, they’re not even necessary. What’s more, bad relationships – at work, at home, or among friends – are a surefire source of anguish and heartache.
For most of us, the connections that most strongly influence our level of happiness are family bonds.
And the most powerful of all are at the inner core of family, especially parent-child relationships.
No matter what your age, your kinship with your parents will always have a unique capacity to generate comfort or pain. Many children have ambivalent feelings about their folks. Yet most crave their approval, respect, and love. Parents have a similar need.
If you’re a parent, resolve to make more consistent and conscientious efforts to make your children feel appreciated. If you want to make their lives and yours happier, be careful not to demean or diminish their achievements, and avoid expressions of disappointment. Tell your child you’re proud to have him or her as a son or daughter.
And if you still can, give your parents pleasure by showing them you love them, not only for what they did for you as a child but for whom they are now. Talk to them frequently and talk of meaningful things. Ask their advice, and don’t roll your eyes in disdain if you disagree with it.
One of the best ways to express your love is through respect.
As Michael Josephson reminds all of us, “character counts”
Namaste — Cathi

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Introduction to the Universal Princples of Yoga

Aloha Everyone,
The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yug” which means to merge, unite, or join.  Yoga is a science, a system of Indian philosophy and it is over 5,000 years old.
Yoga is not a religion. The ultimate goal of yoga, which literally means, union, is to reunite you with the Universal Source.  
The 8 limbs of yoga come from the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra and it is the basis of the yoga philosophy we all should live by. This is a scientific, holistic approach to living healthy physical and spiritual life.
1) Yama – self-restraint and universal morality
2) Niyama – personal observances
3) Asanas – physical body postures
4) Pranayama – breathing exercises
5) Pratyahara – withdrawl or control of the senses
6) Dharana  – concentration
7) Dhyana  – meditation
8) Samadhi – bliss, union with the supreme consciousness
Conduct towards others or social discipline
Conduct towards oneself or individual discipline
The practice of the postures for physical discipline
Breathe control for mental discipline
Self realization
Stages one and two, yama and niyama, are ethical disciplines, which are important in most cultures.  Conduct toward others, yama, and personal discipline, niyma, form the foundation of yoga.  They include concepts such as truthfulness, non-violence, noncoveting, moderation, cleanliness, contentment, devotion and self-study.
In our class, we will incorporate teachings of T’ai Chi, Qi-gong as well as third and fourth stages of yoga.  We will also introduce the sixth stage, Dharana, concentration, and seventh stage, Dhyana, meditation as we feel suitable and appropriate.
The study of yoga is sequential and developmental.  It is a lifelong study which guides the practitioner through the stages of yoga leading to physical, mental, psychological and spiritual well-being.
Kundalini, the Profound Sciences of Meditation, Yoga, Pranayama, Anmol Mehta, Kundalini Yoga, Open Space Yoga, Akaljas Medley, Silent Dance, Kaimuki, Hawaii, Iyengar Yoga, Nancy Horlacher
Namaste — Cathi

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yogi Bhajan's Teachings

Aloha Everyone,
Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji (August 26, 1929–October 6, 2004), also known as Yogi Bhajan and Siri Singh Sahib, was a spiritual leader and entrepreneur who introduced Kundalini Yoga to the United States.  Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan® is considered the most comprehensive of yoga traditions, combining meditation, mantra (chanting), mudra (hand, eye or body position), physical exercises and pranayama (breathing techniques)   For thousands of years, Kundalni yoga, sacred science and technology, was kept in secrecy.  Its knowledge was only passed along verbally from master to chosen disciple.
Quotes by Yogi Bhajan:
“An attitude of gratitude brings great things.”
“Make yourself so happy so that when others look at you they become happy too”
“Share your strengths, not your weaknesses.”
“The purpose of life is to watch and experience living. To enjoy living every moment of it. And to live in environments, which are calm, quiet, slow, sophisticated, elegant. Just to be. Whether you are naked or you have a golden robe on you, that doesn’t make any difference. The ideal purpose of your life is that you are grateful – great and full – that you are alive, and you enjoy it.”
“Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.”
“Feel good, be good, and do good.”
“Have wisdom in your actions and faith in your merits.”
“All happiness is in the mind.”
Namaste — Cathi