Kahandamodara – Level 2 Retreat

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About the Venue? 

Back of Beyond’s Kahandamodara is a beautiful 14 acre organic resort set between the river and beach on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Each villa is uniquely designed to include ecofriendly and nature materials, partly open bathrooms that allow you to shower as you look at the clouds or stars. The whole resort is run on solar power. The yoga Shala elegantly flows, into a small sitting area and the dining room, where you can roll your toes in silky smooth sand. Yes sand.


We witnessed sunrises and sunsets from the yoga Shala, as well as spectacle lightening shows from a viewing deck above the dining room. The Mandala window is made from recycled coloured bottles and was the back drop for the teachings. The days were warm with a little rain to refresh us. When it got too hot there was the option of jumping into the swimming pool outside the yoga Shala to refresh and renew our body and spirit.

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The organic gardens were wonderful to walk through as were all the fruit trees and medicinal plants. Oh yes nearly forgot the wild peacocks. Elusive for some of our guest but I had one right outside my villa window, talking and occasionally doing a full feather display!


About the Retreat? 

This was the first Kundalini Level 2 Retreat to be held in Sri Lanka. We began the Retreat with an intensive day ending in deep meditation. Which was continued in the candle lit 4am Sadhana conducted by Tonie Nooyens, which took us through journey to balance the elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether. Every day we were inspired by a video yoga class by the master Yogi Bhajan, which pushed us to our limits. Suraj Kaur Khalsa taught us about our addictive patterns and how to break through them. We learnt about how cold depression and lead us into addictive behaviour. Suraj also led us through an amazing Sadhana for the heart where we sat in rock pose, yoga mudra and bowed for 31mins to the sound current of Jap Sahib. All the tension left my neck and shoulders I felt like I had a new body. We ended two evenings with deep healing mantras, energy work and healing Gong.


The male female combination of Tonie and Suraj teaching together was a very powerful experience for a small and intimate group. What a treat this Level 2 was. Hopefully one of many in Sri Lanka.

About the Food? 

Nelson our knight is shining armour was not only cook, but manager and resident centipede killer. The food was just amazing. Each meal was planned in terms of nutrition, colour and most of all fresh, mostly organic veggies and legumes sourced from the organic garden or very locally. I saw some veggies that I had never seen before, like a type of tuber parsnip come Jerusalem artichoke. Gottukola sambal with freshly scraped coconut was one the favourites. But we had on average 2 to 3 fresh greens every day. Our students and herbal Dr Ackarat was just amazed by the herbs still growing wild or organically in the gardens. The buffalo curd was set the night before from the buffalos given to a local farmer to provide the freshest of organic dairy products. Snacks included fresh coconut and kitual honey pancakes.

Gotukola Sambal recipe

3 cups Gotu kola cleaned  3 tbsp fresh grated coconut 1 green chilli 3-4 red pearl onions (ratu lunu) 1/2 lime Salt to taste

Shred the gotu-kola finely. Chop the green chilli and onions finely. Mix all the ingredients and add lime juice and salt to taste. Serve immediately. * If fresh coconut is not available, you can use desiccated unsweetened coconut. Add about 1 tbsp of water to it and microwave for few seconds before using. ** If red pearl onions are not available, use about a quarter of a regular onion.

Find out more about all Sanasuma’s events and classes taking place in Colombo and outside. Watch out of our International teachers coming to Sri Lanka. Join our blog and facebook following as we grow our Kundalini Community in Sri Lanka.

bloghttps://sanasumainsrilanka.wordpress.com. Just for your info our website address is http://www.sanasuma.co.uk/index.php And our facebook name is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sanasuma/203581616391361 (please become our friend and press the like button).

Working on our “VAGUS NERVE” in Shaunagh’s class tomorrow Wed 16th Dec – 6.45-7.45pm

In Kundalini Yoga we are often talking about and working on our nervous and glandular systems and the article below explains how the scientists have proved the benefits of practising yoga.  Interesting research on chanting is also touched on.  See below.

Join Shaunagh for class on to work on our “Vagus Nerve”, which is the main meridian in the brain, and after class you will feel light, energised and really good.

6.45-7.45pm on Wed 16th Dec, at St Pauls Church, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1JP, ENGLAND

Scientific Research: How Yoga Works

October 9, 2014    BY Angela Wilson

We all know that yoga does a body (and a mind) good. But up until recently, no one could really say with any degree of certainty why—or even how—it improves conditions as varied as depression and anxiety, diabetes, chronic pain, and even epilepsy.

Now a group of researchers at Boston University School of Medicine believe they’ve discovered yoga’s secret. In an article published in the May 2012 issue of Medical Hypotheses journal under an impossibly long title, Chris Streeter, PhD, and his team hypothesize that yoga works by regulating the nervous system. And how does it do that? By increasing vagal tone—the body’s ability to successfully respond to stress.

The Study: The Effects of Yoga on the Autonomic Nervous System, Gamma-aminobutyric-acid, and Allostasis in Epilepsy, Depression, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

What Is Vagal Tone?

Most of us don’t even know we have a vagus that needs toning, but we most certainly do. The vagus nerve, the largest cranial nerve in the body, starts at the base of the skull and wanders throughout the whole body, influencing the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. Often thought of as our “air traffic controller,” the vagus nerve helps to regulate all our major bodily functions. Our breath, heart rate, and digestion—as well as our ability to take in, process, and make sense of our experiences—are all directly related to the vagus nerve.

We know when the vagus nerve is toned and functioning properly because we can feel it on different levels: Our digestion improves, our heart functions optimally, and our moods stabilize. We have an easier time moving from the more active and often stressful states of being to the more relaxed ones. As we get better at doing that, we can manage life’s challenges with the right blend of energy, engagement, and ease. When we can consistently maintain this flexible state we are thought to have “high vagal tone.”

…low vagal tone is correlated with such health conditions as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and epilepsy.

“Low vagal tone,” on the other hand, brings with it a sense of depletion. Our digestion becomes sluggish, our heart rate increases, and our moods become more unpredictable and difficult to manage. Not surprisingly, low vagal tone is correlated with such health conditions as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, and epilepsy—not coincidentally, the same conditions that show significant improvement with yoga practice. Researchers hypothesize that it is vagal stimulation through yoga that improves these conditions.

To test their theory, the researchers investigated practices they believed would increase vagal tone. For example, they found that resistance breathing, such as ujjayi pranayama, increases the relaxation response, as well as heart rate variability (another marker of resilience). And a pilot study conducted on more experienced yogis showed that chanting Om out loud increased vagal tone and the relaxation response more than chanting it silently to oneself. Studies such as this one begin to reveal how different yogic practices impact human physiology in different ways.

Cambridge Kundalini yoga class “Accessing the source of strength in You” Wed 9th Dec 6.45-7.45pm at St Pauls Church

“When you don’t go within
you go without.” Yogi Bhajan

Yogi Bhajan

Yogi Bhajan

Mostly we use our energy for wrong achievment.  This wrong achievement becomes a weight that drags us under and makes us miserable. (Quote by Yogi Bhajan)

For our security we normally reach outward to things or inward to emotions and strong feelings.  When instead we tap the deep strength of our soul we can achieve fulfillment.  The powerful currents of our passions turn to compassion, commitment and joy.

(Qote by Gurucharan Singh Khalsa).

Join Shaunagh for class at 6.45-7.45pm on Wed 9th Dec, at St Pauls Church, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1JP, ENGLAND


Become You – Reduce your Elementary Stress

47174840-ornament-beautiful-card-with-vector-yoga-geometric-element-hand-drawn-perfect-cards-for-any-other-kiCreate a Stress Free Zone tonight 3 December 7.15-8.15pm @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Rd, Col 5.

The key to our vitality is reconnecting with our essential self.  When live in the future, spending  our lives in fear, anxiety, greed and the other hundreds of emotions our mind creates in anticipation of the best or worst of life, we loose touch with the reality of our being. As babies we live in the present moment, in perfect innocence in touch with our infinite nature. We allow, experience, be. As we grow up we dodge and hide from the reality of the moment, put on masks to hide our feelings and try and control our small kingdoms.

What do we need?

To reconnect with our natural innocent, loving, joyful nature all we need to do is to reconnect to the elements within us.  We need to reconnect to the beauty of the open sky, the solid reality of earth, the physical feeling of our emotions moving like liquid in our bodies, the power of our internal fire to engage with life.  There is nothing you acquire except presence and gratitude for being you.  The ancient cultures like the American Indian, Aborigines understood the important of this connection. They let the elements flow through them within their language and practices.  Yogi Bhajan explained that our disconnection from the elements, the source of life, leads to addictive behaviour to cover up our empty feelings with distractions of the mind and body such as drugs, over eating, smoking etc.

The Kriya we will practice tonight will help you reconnect to your elementary self. This entire set is an example of how our awareness of the elements and elementary self can clear away the graffiti left over from stress and our ego mind. Your body will learn the language of the elements.








Vibrate – What energy are you sending out?


Everything is moving. It’s all energy (and matter). Everything and everyone is vibrating at its own frequency. We’re a human body full of molecules as is the mat you are sitting on and all is moving as we live on a living planet that’s also moving. The earth is orbiting the sun. The moon is orbiting the earth. I love those “you are here” photos taken from space. It helps to take this larger view. It reminds us that with the cosmos comes expansiveness and limitless possibilities.

Ready and awake

For the most part, animals in the wild often remain still, lying in wait. They reserve their energy by springing from and then returning to a natural, neutral state. When the time is right, they spring into action. They do so at just the right, intended moment.

Are we humans that much different? Wouldn’t we also benefit from springing from and returning to our own natural, neutral state? Neutral does not mean passive! It does not mean stagnation. It is not a state of non-awareness. Quite the contrary. It’s a state of full alertness. It’s being truly awake to all that’s around us!  Tip: Setting aside time for a daily practice furthers and facilitates this state of what I would call “alert neutrality.” Some forms include: meditation, prayer, quiet reflection, observation, writing in a journal.

Spring into action and make waves!

Like the strings of an instrument, be it a violin or guitar or your body — and whether it be by way of plucking, picking, or singing — each sends off a unique vibration.

We each have our own built-in vibration creator! Chanting, humming, singing, they all carry their own vibration, too. And, whether you’re on your yoga mat, in the shower, or in your car – use your voice, and vibrate to your own private cosmos!   This will raise your own frequency, and in turn will impact those with whom you interact throughout the day.

It’s as if we’re knocking on Cosmos’s door, and saying with confidence, “Hey there, Cosmos! Bring it on! I’m ready! Clear the path! Let’s go!”

Remember that you may always return to a neutral state. Reserve and extend your energy wisely. Refresh, regroup, and reset. We don’t always need to be clearing a new path. When we are ready, though, we know what to do – vibrate the cosmos, and the cosmos will provide!

Lighten the load raise your vibration

Again, a daily practice plays a helpful role in getting you back to a neutral state and in tune (pun intended) with what you desire to set in motion. What is it that you’d like the cosmos to clear the path for? What burdens are weighing you down, that when lifted, will raise your vibration?

From a place of inspiration and divine wisdom, set the vibration and then let go. Trust the cosmos to clear the path for you. When activated, your desires set in motion the future you intend to create. Your thoughts and your words hold their own vibrations, too. You get to decide which ones you embrace, and which ones you discard. With this (e)motion set in motion, you’re primed to take inspired action. That one action in turn creates another, and another, and so on, and so on. The ripples continue on, creating the desired results.

That is not to say that you’ll be able to control all other vibrations coming toward and all around you! It is to say, however, that you get to decide which tune you wish to play.

 “When you pray, move your feet.” – African proverb

In conventional society, we’re often told “not to make waves.” And, “don’t rock the boat.” Phooey! This Sutra gives us permission – in fact, encourages us – to do precisely that. Ocean waves, sound waves, waves of light — nature is full of waves that carry energy with them. So too, shall each of us. During these enlightened times, the yearning, the impulse, is there. We no longer feel satiated by staying in one place. We feel the urge to raise our vibration. That’s the build-up of pressure that is ready to be released.

Okay, your turn:

Are you ready to vibrate the cosmos? What path do you intend to clear? What are you sending out?  Are you vibrating at the frequency of love? Of service? Of loving service?

This week’s classes:

Mon 30 Nov 6-7.30pm Kundalini Yoga @ Prana Lounge, 60 Horton Pl, Col 7

Tues 1 Dec Meditation @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 2 Dec 4.45- 7am Sadhana @ 9 Greenlands Lane, Col 5 (FREE)

Wed 2 Dec Nov 3-3.45pm Kids Yoga @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5

Wed 2 Dec 7.15-8.15pm Kundalini Yoga@The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road

Thur 3 Dec 7.15-8.15pm Yoga to Destress, The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Rd, Col 5

Sat   5 Dec 5-7.30am   Sadhana @ The Om Space, 185/9 Havelock Road, Col 5 (FREE)

Sat   5 Dec 4.30-7pm   Healing Workshop LEAD TRAINER Tonie Nooyens, Prana Lounge


Cambridge Class Wednesday 2nd Dec “Creating Internal Balance” – 6.45-7.45pm St Pauls Church

Sunset on Bible RockFollowing the theme of “Balance” this week from Mondays class when we practiced “Awakening to your Ten Bodies” in Wednesday’s class this week we will practice the kriya to “Create Internal Balance”.

This set particularly works on your blood chemistry and glandular secretions, balancing and strengthening our emotional balance needed in life.

Yogi Bhajan said “If the glandular secretion and the blood chemistry are not right, it doesn’t matter how powerful and wonderful you are, you are a handicapped person.”

Join Shaunagh for class at 6.45-7.45pm on Wed 2nd Dec, at St Pauls Church, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1JP, ENGLAND