Becoming a Spiritual Warrior

“You can be absolutely certain

that when you feel you are being most unfairly tested,

you are being prepared for great achievement.” – Napoleon Hill

Namaste Friends,

Ever get that urge to bury your face in your own two hands and cry uncontrollably and without shame or concern for who might be watching?  IF you answered yes. Phew!  You are human.  If you answered no…I won’t be as bold as to call you a liar, but I would venture to say you are in denial.

It is a normal, human experience to hit a wall in your life path that drops you to your knees, and in that stunning moment,  it awakens every ounce of your being.  Every range of emotion is summoned from rage to ecstasy.  From fear to determination. From grief to peace.  I can hardly handle or stand it when those moments hit, but at the same time I am so grateful for the experience because if I stay the course; if I hold to my truth, I arrive on the other side of the tumult, a wiser, lighter, stronger, ready and centered participant of this OMazing life journey. I pick myself up, brush off the debris, wipe the tears, and head on down the path with my muses, Hope, Faith, and Joy.

We are at a time in our life experience, as a collective and as individuals where we are being tested, tried, pushed, pulled, prodded, and pained. In Sanskrit, an ancient sacred language, it is called diksha or testing of your spiritual path.  It is that initiation into higher consciousness that many of us hope to see in our lifetime.  But it can bring up lots of fear and resistance.

Throughout time, the human species has been tested. No doubt about it.  But we are at a heightened phase of an evolutionary cycle. Some refer to it as the Aquarian Age, the end of the Kali Yuga, the end of the Mayan Bak’tun cycle, and if you look at most ancient cultures they have a similar theory that we are coming to an evolutionary edge.  Some traditions believe we just die off, like an Armageddon.  Some believe that we will collectively evolve to a higher consciousness, some see us visiting our alien brothers and sisters, some say we will see Atlantis rise, or the Phoenix rise. I am not purporting that any one way is right or wrong.  But I would maintain that we have evolved on every level of our existence from physical, intellectual, emotional, technological, and  industrial…so it stands to reason that the realm of spiritual awakening would be the next on the docket.   And as an owner of a business whose business it is to offer a space for mind, body, and spirit to grow, I have had first hand experience of witnessing seekers of this realm walk through the door, roll out their mat, close their eyes, and make a genuine effort to connect to their source.  God I love my job. More and more people want to find their spirituality.  Yay! After all, we are really spiritual beings having a human experience, not the other way around.

So back to the heavy sense that we are being tested.  Indeed we are.  What initiant isn’t?  So the Universe is serving it up. It is a test of your will power, truth, character, love, intuition, faith, and stability.  The best way to handle it is to walk straight into the fire of the situation.  Face it head on.   Whether it is an uncomfortable conversation that needs to be had; leaving a job that we are unhappy with; pairing down our spending; weeding out some negative relationships; quitting an addiction; leaving a loved one; or simply just facing the reality of your situation.

The fire might burn, the truth might hurt, the reality of the situation might be bleak, the heart might break.  But as my teacher says, when the heart breaks, it is really just breaking open.  We break through to a new depth of our soul.  We get closer to our own Divine Self; our truth; our pure essence.  It is worth every painstaking step.  Buddha and Jesus are  examples of two who endured great pains in effort to reach higher spiritual awareness.  I’m not saying we have to sit starving under the bodhi tree, or be nailed to a cross in order to ascend to the next level of consciousness, but I am saying there is no free lunch or free enlightenment.  There is an exchange of energy that must take place.  And our Ego Self will feel the pangs of loss as we let go of comforts, familiarity, and habits.

But as I said at the beginning of this, we will arrive on the other side of the tumult, a wiser, lighter, stronger, ready and centered participant of this OMazing life journey.  We will be more deeply connected to our pure essence, our truth, our Divine Self.  And if each of us works on uplifting our individual spirits, we will in turn have the strength to help hold each other up and live together in peace and harmony.

So how do you begin?

  • First set the intention or sankalpa to explore, deepen, and evolve your spirituality.
  • Then create time for this in your life.
  • Create an alter or sacred space in your home, whether it is a room or a corner of  the room, that holds your relics, talismans, and spiritual arsenal.  Afterall, we are becoming spiritual warriors or gangsters of love.
  • Get up 10 minutes earlier every day to sit quietly with yourself and listen to your inner knowing.
  • Carry a journal with you and capture your divine insights that come at random times (or record them in your smart phone’s cute little notebook).
  • Read your favorite spiritual master’s writings.
  • Join a meditation group (there are several different organizations holding sessions at Karma Yoga Center;).
  • Play music, listen to music. Go to Kirtans (there is one on the 20th at Karma with Dakini Ma!
  • CHANT!  Here is a great one for removing the obstacles in our life:  ” Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha” or just simply “OM”.
  • Find a creative outlet: painting, dancing, singing, drawing, gardening, cooking, beading, knitting, sewing, crafting, writing, etc.
  • Or I know, DO YOGA!

The main thing is to desire in your heart of hearts, a spiritual evolution, and then it will come.  You will begin to awaken to your Divine Self, Truth, Love, &  Happiness.  Know that you are not the only one feeling these major shifts and changes.   We are coming into a new era of higher consciousness and its going to be OMazing.

So take a deep breath, pull yourself up by the boot straps, and walk with confidence into the storm.

As Hafiz, the great Sufi poet so eloquently stated, “The place where you are right now God circled on a map for you.”

Much Love,

Katrina Gustafson

Upcoming at Karma Yoga Center

Kirtan with Dakini Ma, Kate Drazner and Kendall Perry

This month’s kirtan features the beautiful talent of Dakini Ma, Kate Drazner, and Kendall Perry.  These three musicians have been playing all over Denver for the past year and are looking forward to this evening of devotional song and praise.  Dakini Ma weaves both moder western sound with traditional Hindustani form to create a sound you are sure to enjoy.

Saturday April 20th 7-9pm      $15 in advance, $20 day of

Inversions Workshop with Lisa Schlelein

Inversions can be some of the most difficult (and elevating!) poses in our asana practice, unless we practice them often and a lot.  This workshop is designed to help you understand the mechanics of inverted poses and work to develop the core strength they require.  You will be given ample time to practice these poses as well as be given personal instruction on what adjustments to make.

Saturday April 28th 2-4pm  $15 in advance/$20 the day of

Mas Vidal is coming to Karma!   We are honored to host this master teacher! May 11, 12, and 13.

Whole weekend for $108, or take individual classes starting at $20-$35.

Yogi, mystic, ayurvedic healer and director of Dancing Shiva Yoga and
Ayurveda ( in Hollywood, Ca, Mas is a pioneer
teacher and lecturer of Yoga and Ayurveda and is recognized in USA, India
and Mexico for his work in propagating a unified approach to these sister
sciences. His teachings are a dynamic and practical combination of Raja
Vinyasa and Bhakti yoga while embracing Ayurveda’s tri-dosha, to create a
perfect balance between the physical and the spiritual. His formative training
began almost twenty years ago as a Kriya yoga lineage of Paramahansa
Yogananda which then eventually led him into the sacred science of
Ayurveda and has worked and taught with Vamadeva Shastri (David
Frawley) for the last 12 years years and shares his approach and
understanding of Yoga, Ayurveda Tantra and Vedanta. He also offers the
only Yoga and Ayurveda teacher training program and as an Ayurvedic
practitioner he maintains an active clinical practice.
Click here to see full weekend offerings…

…and filling fast are his

Sun May 13th 1-7: Jyotish & Dosha Consultations for Mothers’ Day ($125 per hour)


These ayurvedic consultations determine your body-mind type (dosha) and  imbalances. Understanding your dosha type is the first step to living yoga and ayurveda. The science of tri-dosha is based on Vata (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (water) and the predominant traits or combinations will determine your type. Sessions include recommendations: diagnosis, spiritual lifestyle counseling, yoga, diet, herbs and vedic astrological overview.

Kids Yoga Teacher Training

Radiant Beginnings children’s yoga training will offer tools to effectively teach children yoga in a fun and educational way. This will help children build a toolkit for stress management, social skills, strength, flexibility, confidence and mindfulness. You will learn how to teach breath, postures, mindfulness, partner poses, mind/body games and relaxations to easily bring yoga into any environment. This is a secular training that can apply to parents, educators, therapists, or anyone that is interested in bringing the art of yoga to kid’s ages 3-10; No need for prior yoga experience! What makes this training different than others? *This model is based around the idea that yoga is defined as mind, body and breath, making classes secular. *Each component of the training as been tried on children ages 3-10 to ensure the techniques that are taught are effective. *Discussions of lesson planning, themes for class and behavior management will be a part of this training so you can leave feeling confident and competent.

Friday     June 1       6:00pm-8:00pm
Saturday     June 2          1:00pm-6:00pm
Sunday     June 3        12:00pm-4:30pm


Kids Yoga Camp in June

Looking for something fun for the kids to do this summer?  Why not get them into yoga?!  In this kids yoga camp taught by Karma’s very own Trini Heffron, children will practice a variety of fun yoga postures and breathing exercises.  They will also learn how to strengthen their bodies, calm their minds and develop better focus.  Through the incorporation of Spanish, children will have fun expanding their language abilities while learning patience, confidence and social skills.  Art and games will give the afternoon of yoga the final color— a time for children to express their imaginations through artistry. We will provide healthy snacks and will take daily mindful walks to Washington Park if the weather is nice. So make sure you bring their favorite hat, sun protection and favorite towel.

Monday June 4th – Friday June 8th   1:00-4:00pm
Full week: $195/child and $155 for each additional brother and/or sister
One day: $45 per child and second child is $40

Our regular Kids Yoga classes at Karma are every Tuesday and Thursday from
4:15 to 5:30 (opposite to the adult yoga class). If you want you take a yoga class and have
your child practice more fun kids yoga, the drop cost for your child is only $6 per class
during Karma Kids Summer Camp week.

Yoga Teacher Training

Our next training begins in the fall!  Call or come in for more information.

If you love yoga and are looking for a way to deepen your practice or feel called to teach this is where to begin. Learn how to put words to your experience on your mat and how to artfully share this practice with others, as the teacher.  Pick up a brochure, inquire at the front desk, or find Katrina or Lisa for more info.  There’s no better time than now!
$2500 per person

Modern-Day Meditation®

Beginning May 4th;

Have you tried meditation and found it difficult to quiet your mind?

The Modern Day Meditation is a guided, active practice, using all types of music. There are 4 parts to the meditation — opening, calming and meditative thinking, and taking action. Beginners and drop-ins are welcome. There will be a short introductory talk and sharing prior to the meditation.

When: Every Friday 2 pm – 3 pm (please arrive 10 minutes early), beginning May 4

Cost: Introductory donation of $5

The Light worker Series

Get what you want with what you already have!

Join us for teachings, energy work and practical tools on how to experience mastery and empowerment in your everyday life and enjoy yourself in the process! Participants gain access to an unlimited source of abundance—a source we call “light.”

Visit to find out more about our three classes on Fridays, 6:30-8:30pm:

May 4th: Transform Your Relationships

May 11th: Realize Abundance

May 25th: Energize Your Health



Pre-register at or pay at the door.