In August 2001, during an interview, Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga, gave Sara Avtar his blessing to develop and teach the discipline of Shakti Dance®, as he encouraged her to “... Create the whole dance, systemize it and spread the Teachings.”
"I remember, I was there with you [at the interview in 2001], Yogi Bhajan started to cry having the vision of you teaching Shakti Dance to thousands of people and healing them..."
(Nam Nidhan Kaur, Chile - Facebook exchange with Sara Avtar, 9th October 2012)
Shakti Dance® is based on Kundalini Yoga, drawing its principles and system from the same source of Teachings. Having been the core of Sara Avtar’s daily practice for the last thirty years, the Teachings of Kundalini Yoga have naturally prompted, informed and sustained the flowering of Shakti Dance®.
It shares the intention of refining and harmonizing individual qualities that the radiance of aware being may shine through with increased brilliance to express the fullness of potential.
As a physical practice, the form and mechanics of Shakti Dance® exercises are recognizably similar to those of Kundalini Yoga. However, for example, the Flowing Asana Exercises tend to be slower and more fluid, heightening sensory awareness throughout the dynamic flow of the postures.
As in Kundalini Yoga, postural alignment is developed by engaging inner locks, or specific muscular regions (bandhas), and activating the five elements (tattwas – earth, water, fire, air, space). The organic free-flowing dance, characteristic of Shakti Dance®, is developed through the balanced interplay of the five elements, resulting in relaxed authentic expression.
On an energetic level, Shakti Dance® offers unique sequences of exercises and movement according to their energetic qualities, in context with the theme of the session. Here, energy systems common to Kundalini Yoga, e.g. the three gunas, five vayus, eight chakras, nadis, meridians and ten bodies, are activated and rebalanced. The exercise sequences mostly arise in response to the momentary need of the group and theme, and do not represent ‘kriyas’ as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
As with the Teachings of Kundalini Yoga, Shakti Dance® draws its yogic foundation and philosophical frames of reference from Patanjali, Samkhya, Vedanta and the right-handed path of Tantra, while embracing a Bhakti approach. Shakti Dance also shares with Kundalini Yoga the same mantric sound-current and music.
Note: Given that the forms of exercise and their sequences are mostly not ‘as taught by Yogi Bhajan’, the practice of Shakti Dance® is not ‘Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan’. However, Shakti Dance® is based on the same source of Teachings and, like a blossom, stems and unfolds from the same family tree.
Last Dance for Yogi Bhajan, Espanola 2001
Yogi Bhajan & Avtar Kaur, - Sara Avtar Paris 1995
Avtar Kaur Speaks in Yogi Bhajan’s Presence, Espanola 2001:
Sara Avtar Kaur's Early Dance Lesson with Yogi Bhajan, Hamburg 1992:
Letter from Yogi Bhajan to Sara Avtar (Avtar Kaur)
Sent a year after having given his blessing to Shakti Dance®, on receipt of a
Mantric Choreography video, created to the mantra 'Eka Mai':