About Yogi Ma

Dear Reader,

Yogi Ma is a spiritual name that reminds me to live as a mother to the world. My daughter gave me this name. 

Formerly I went by the name Surjot Kaur, but when I was exiled from a certain group of spiritual phonies, I’d felt like I went through a death and rebirth.  So the name changed from Surjot Kaur to the more appropriate Yogi Ma.

In the early days of my kundalini yoga practice, I was told that Surjot Kaur means, “the lioness who continually renews herself and others with God’s light.”  Later, another teacher told me this name means “the princess of the frequency that holds the entire creation together.”  Finally, a beautiful guide told me that sur-jot is a name of the one who has command of the word.  Well, I do love words enough to be less interested in commanding them then I am in befriending them.  

At birth, my parents gave me the name Rebecca Jane Johnson.  I cherish and adore the name my parents gave me, and many dear ones continue to call me Rebecca.  As far as religion goes, I was raised Lutheran in the suburbs of Chicago.  But I have enjoyed encounters with many paths and ways since:  Catholicism, Judaism, Sufiism, Sikhism, Taoism, Buddhism, Jainism, etc.   I married a man from China.  When I learned Chinese, he gave me the name Zhang Bei Qi (which means Precious Queer). Living that name is an entirely different story (for another day, perhaps).  Though he practices Law and I practice Yoga, we remain married (not sure for how long).  If I had to claim any religion, I’d simply say my religion is Love, and the purpose of my life is to master yoga and to love words as I love my family.

I love the name Rebecca.  I love the name Surjot (pronounced suer jote). I live confident in the sovereignty of my Divine Feminine Christ Consciousness as Yogi Ma. I play around as Zhang Bei Qi, the Precious Queer. 

When I was a yoga teacher, and participated in the yoga community, my spiritual name gave me a clear focus.  The spiritual name gave a destiny path.  One benefit of committing to a daily practice of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation is that I quickly appreciated the difference between living according to the whims of fate and living according to my destiny.  The challenge was in realizing how I was responsible for knowing the difference, and I was responsible for embracing the practice, contemplation, and honest reflection necessary to remain committed to my destiny path.

Since beginning to practice Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan in 2012, I thought my life had become a prayer.  I used to write things like this: “May I joyfully embrace my responsibility to grow in consciousness.  May I continue to practice–with every breath, thought, word, and action–to renew myself and others with God’s light.  May the benefits of my practice be received by all beings everywhere.” But since becoming totally disillusioned by learning the Yogi Bhajan manipulated people, behaved cruelly, and did not practice all he preached, I no longer subscribe to these ideas exactly. And I am at peace with my shift and growth. I practice a different sadhana that is not from Yogi Bhajan’s lineage. 

This website is intended as a playground for my personal expression.  I would hope it might offer insight, inspiration, and support to anyone exploring yoga, meditation, and the literary life.  I live with a love for all things literary. Mostly, this website shares one yogi’s personal journey of what it means to renew oneself and others with God’s light. Then, also, what it means to abandon all that “God’s light” business, and carry on with the spiritual / literary journey that includes and embraces word play, contemplation, and living an ordinary life. I am a writer, and maybe the writer’s life allows for more space for me to be me. While I recently learned that for Westerners to take Sikh names offends some Sikhs (please get past East/West duality), that only underscored all my feelings of always being an outsider; it’s okay for a writer to be outside and the writing world is no less cruel to outsiders. And, fine then, you know, I never intended to offend anyone. In my personal experience, I once loved Yogi Bhajan and his teachings and then I learned he was an asshole. I have ruined my marriage practicing his style of yoga. I was used and abused and abandoned by people who had power in the kundalini yoga world. So I hope anyone will understand me when I feel inclined to express that those offended Sikhs can take back the “Kaur / princess” name and keep it to themselves. I will go away from Sikhism and heal my sacred wound. Alone. Choosing Joy. Thank goodness for all this forced isolation! Really.  

This website explores, expresses, reveals, and wonders at the awesome facets of human consciousness.  This is my humble attempt to reach out, to connect, to encourage, to inform, and to dialogue with you the reader and your universe in hopes to discover more deeply how we may collaborate to heal, to uplift, and to serve all.

In my daily experience, I am a writer, a mother, a wife (separating), an English teacher, a former yoga teacher, and a musician.  I speak fluent Mandarin.  I have written for Spirit Voyage, Sat Nam Fest and 3HO Yogic Living.  I completed my Level 1 Yoga teacher training with Krishna Kaur in Los Angeles and have completed four Level 2 modules with Krishna Kaur, Nirvair Singh, Guru Singh, GuruMeher, and GuruTej in LA and San Diego.  But now I think that was all a big waste of time. Not to mention the program that brought me on a trip to the Himalayas, which I am scared to expose here because the weirdo who led that journey actually used a CURSE to try to psychologically manipulate me. In the timeline of his curse’s prediction, the world ended up in this pandemic. Not that the yogi is responsible, but be careful what yogis say and do–some of them are sinister, and they do have power!

I have volunteered as a tutor for READ/San Diego, an adult literacy program.  That was a very good use of my time.  I have journeyed to China and the Himalayas and spent many hours sitting with sages who walk their paths only as they are conscious of some truths and also not conscious of many truths. It is not necessary to travel anywhere to find the Love within.

That’s a bit about me.  I am here to learn how I can best serve.  I’m reaching out, communicating, in the spirit of longing for literary companionship.

May you be well.

Your friend,

Yogi Ma