Yoga

Laughter Yoga at Wellness Haven

Benefits of Laughter Yoga:
1. Promotes a cheerful mood instantaneously by releasing happy chemicals in the body.
2. When the mood is cheerful, the mind is cheerful and so is the body. The mind and the body will perform at their maximum potential.

3. It is like an aerobic exercise promoting health, helping with physical, mental, emotional stress.
4. It strengthens the immune system, healing illnesses.
5. Like attracts like; laugh and attract all positive minded people into your life :)
6. It is one of the best coping mechanisms in any situation!
 
What is Yoga?
The word “Yoga” in Sanskrit (the language of ancient India – where yoga originated) is defined as “UNION.” Yoga is the true union of mind, body and spirit.In today’s language, the word yoga is commonly used to describe the physical postures or poses (Sanskrit word “asana”), but posture or asana is only one of the eight limbs of yoga. The critical aspect of yoga is to bring ones attention inwards (the spiritual aspect of yoga) – which in turn is critical to one’s well being.

Eight limbs of Yoga:
1. Yama: The 1st limb constitutes the 5 ethical guidelines for moral behavior towards others.
Ahimsa: Nonviolence
Satya: Truthfulness
Asteya: Nonstealing
Brahmacharya: Nonlust
Aparigraha: Non-covetousness

2. Niyama: The 2nd limb constitutes the 5 guidelines for moral behavior towards oneself.
Saucha: Cleanliness
Santosa: Contenmtment
Tapas: Sustained practice
Svadhaya: Self Study
Isvara pranidhana: Surrender to God

3. Asana: The 3rd limb is the practice of yoga postures.4. Pranayama: The 4th limb is the practice of controlled breathing exercises.5. Pratyahara: The 5th limb is the practice of withdrawal of the senses, the practice of going inwards.

6. Dharana: The 6th limb is the practice of concentration, the ability to focus without distractions from the outside world.

7. Dhyana: The 7th limb is the practice of meditation. Meditation is a holistic discipline through which the practitioner attempts to get beyond the reflexive, “thinking” mind into a deeper state awareness.

8. Samadhi: The 8th limb of yoga is the state of bliss, the enlightened state, where the Self transcends through meditation.

Yoga Benefits:
Yoga is a way of life, of the highest kind. It is a profound integrative practice with healing benefits.
Physical benefits:

Yoga reshapes the body, developing a healthy, strong, toned, flexible, and supple body. It enhances lung capacity and respiration. It enhances the immune system, allowing the body’s natural drug store to flourish. It brings in energy and vitality. It balances metabolism, and promotes heart and spine health. Yoga relieves pain and enables one to look and feel younger.Mental benefits:
Yoga has been proven to relax and de-stress the human body. It helps to quiet the mind, allowing one to live in the present moment, to connect with ones Higher Self, with the Divine. It encourages a positive outlook and self acceptance. It allows one to make conscious choices, with awareness, for it settles ones mind into silence with consistent practice. As a result, ones innate, joyous spirit comes to the forefront; ego loses its meaning, attachments become trivial.Spiritual benefits:
Yoga creates awareness of ones Higher Self. It promotes compassion, awareness of the needs of others, and the concept of “oneness.” It creates a whole new world for concepts like expectations, ego, anger, patience, contentment, relationships. It creates a world of love.

YOGA FAQ’s:
Your curiosity and interest in Wellness Haven Yoga is very much appreciated, and I hope you will be able to find the answers to all your questions. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach us via phone: (925)819-6327 0r email: umang@wellnesshaven.com

To fully understand what yoga is all about, how it is taught at Wellness Haven, and what it can do for you, please come and watch a session in progress from beginning to the end or simply attend a class.

Q: When does the session begin? When can I start my first yoga class?
A: Yoga sessions are ongoing 7 days a week. You can start your first class the day you are ready to begin! There is no need to wait for a session, for you will start learning your very first day.

Q: Do I need to have done yoga before joining your class? In other words, do I have to have yoga experience before joining the class?
A: No prior yoga experience is required to start practicing yoga. We teach you the A, B, C’s…of yoga. You’ll go from your current level to the next level and beyond, as a beginner or an advanced student. We teach you all about the practice – postures, alignment, breathing techniques, and terminologies, as well as take you through visualization exercises and meditative techniques. Remember, Yoga is a journey, not a destination.

Q: Do I have to be a certain weight to comfortably perform yoga effectively?
A: You can be of any body type and weight to do yoga, for it is about gaining balance, flexibility, stamina and endurance.

Q: Is your yoga class strenuous or more meditative? I have done yoga before I’m looking for more intermediate to advanced poses. Do you cover these in your class?
A: We teach yoga 7 days a week at Wellness Haven Yoga Studio. Each class is geared to serve students in their own level – from Complete Beginner to Advanced. We have separate specialized classes for meditation/pranayama (breathing)/mudras and bandhas as well.

Q: Do you have to purchase a mat for successful techniques or can you just use a towel to lie on?
A: We provide mats at our studio for your use, but we recommend that you do bring your own personal mat for hygiene purposes. We recommend a good quality mat for the practice since this is your sacred space to keep your body healthy and happy. We buy our mats from huggermugger.com since they are quality, hypoallergenic mats that are 1/4 inch thick and non-dry, with non-slip surface that do not fold with each move and suitable for a safe practice.If you need any help choosing the mat, please do not hesitate to ask.

Q: How often should I come to the yoga class?
A: We recommend that you attend classes 3 times a week, and minimum 2 per week. Of course when you cannot, you stretch on your own. Consistent stretching is what one needs to stay healthy without tight muscles and ligaments. Ideally, yoga is recommended 7 days a week – in the class and on your own.

Q: How soon will I start getting benefit from yoga?
A: Wellness Haven students start seeing a difference when they do a consistent yoga practice within a month! In 3 months, the feeling of “wow!” sets in; within 6 months, others are able to see a difference in you! I always treasure the “aha” moments of my students – when they are able to raise their shins parallel to the floor, when they suddenly can do a full wheel or a crow pose, when they can do a good pushup or when they are able to raise their legs to different heights off the floor when in a supine pose, but mostly when they start feeling a sense of well being in their mind and body.

Q: How long should I wait after eating to do yoga? How long after the practice can I eat?
A: It depends on what food you have eaten, since the digestion time for each food type is different.
In general:
Meat: 2-3 hours.
Carbs, starches: 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours.
Fruits and Veggies: 1/2 – 1 hour.

In general, the stomach should be empty, since food in the stomach can reduce range of motion and energy level, affecting your strength, stamina and your ability to focus. After the practice, the time it takes you to come out of the practice, fold your mat, put it away, change attire etc. is enough time to spend before you can start eating!

Again you are your own body’s best judge. Listen to your body.

Q: How long should I continue with the class?
A: You continue with yoga because you care about yourself. Yoga is for life and provides you the benefits day in and day out. Make it a part of your daily routine, whether you are in class or by yourself. It allows one to lead a life without tension and stress. It allows one to not have to make frequent doctor visits!

Q: Will I get hurt doing yoga?
A: Not if you do it right. Yoga, when done under a certified, experienced teacher in a safe environment and with proper yoga mats and accessories, provides a sense of well being and not pain. There is a difference between pain and soreness. Pain is when you take your body beyond what it is ready to do, or do a pose incorrectly. Soreness is what you feel when you challenge your body parts.

Q: If you have back pain, can you still do yoga?
A: Absolutely, in fact it is highly recommended. We have poses especially for relieving pain in various parts of the body. Always check with your doctor first.

Q: Do you do any specialty programs like for Hypertension etc.? I am mostly looking for reducing hypertension and trying to see if we can do BP related yoga asanas/exercises?
A: Human diseases/surgeries etc are all the areas yoga can improve. Of course, you will need to consult with your doctor first. What I teach is all inclusive – there are certain things that a BP patient should avoid, and certain breathing practices that they should incorporate in their daily life. I ask you to fill out a student form before your first class so that I know where you are in your health, and mention things accordingly during the practice.

Q: If a person has had several low back surgeries & knee problem can they benefit from Yoga? And how can they benefit?
A: My first question to you when you have had injuries, surgeries is: Have you consulted your doctor regarding Yoga? Has your doctor given you the green signal? If the answer to both questions is “yes,” then you will benefit tremendously from yoga. Restorative yoga practice, with gentle postures, help in strengthening the muscles weakened by surgery and body ailments. I ask you to fill out a student form before your first class so that I know where you are in your health, and mention things accordingly during the practice.

Q: In what cases (health issues) yoga is not recommended?
A: In general the right kind of yoga, after your doctor has advised you to exercise, proves to be extremely beneficial for the injured and physical ailments, but the key word is right kind, and that is Restorative Yoga poses, rather than energetic poses. I ask you to fill out a student form before your first class so that I know where you are in your health, and mention things accordingly during the practice.

What to avoid:
During Pregnancy: Since ligaments are softened during pregnancy and become vulnerable to overstretching, avoid bends (full wheel) twists, abdominal work (boat poses), inversions (that compress the internal organs), lying on belly (cobra), lying on back for extended periods. Also any form of hot yoga should be avoided. (Also avoided during periods, and by nursing mothers).

Multiple Sclerosis: Hot yoga is avoided.

Slip Disc: Sarvanga Asana/Shoulder Stand is avoided.

Heart conditions: shoulder stand is avoided.

Connective tissue (ligament/muscle tears) injuries – Rest is recommended rather than stretching further which will not allow it to heal.

Arthritis: Always consult your doctor first. Yoga proves to be good for arthritis, since it keeps the joints limber and lubricated with healing white blood cells but avoid over-stretching, since that will counter-act the goodness of yoga.

Carpal tunnel syndrome, if you are suffering from a recent or chronic injury to the back, hips, arms or shoulders, Sciatica, Nerve pains shooting down limbs, back injuries like bulging or herniated discs – Consult with your doctor and avoid any stretch that strain your injured body parts.

In general ask your doctor first. Let your body be your guide. Do not overstretch/overdo, even if it feels good. Pay attention to the signals given by your body, for you are your best guide. Allow the mind-body connection and stay in tune with what your body is trying to tell you.

Your body is your temple given to you by The Higher Power. Worship it.

Q: How much do yoga sessions cost?
A: Please check the Rates section.

Remember that investing in your health is priceless. Health is not a choice; it is your life! Never procrastinate on health.

Some other Yoga questions answered:

Why “Wellness Haven Yoga”?
– Umang is a Certified Yoga Instructor and a Life-Skills Counselor, who is enthusiastic and passionate about her practice and teaching.
– Wellness Haven Yoga is not just a physical practice, but is a comprehensive health program that instructs not only on postures (and their modifications to suit the needs of all experience levels, body types, age and gender), but correct alignment, techniques only learned by teachers, controlled breathing techniques (pranayama), visualization techniques that make you become aware of your own potential, and meditation (samadhi). Wellness Haven Restorative Yoga classes take you into a blissful world where there are no signs of stress; this is also for the injured, with blood pressure issues and other ailments. Every class in Wellness Haven ends with Laughter Yoga which fills every pore of your being with laughter. Umang’s Life Coaching techniques that make you aware that YOU have the “key” to all the answers “locked” inside YOU! Umang’s Wellness Haven Yoga empowers you and makes you aware of the richness within.

Why is a yoga class environment recommended? 
– Certified instructor provides a safe, structured, scheduled, disciplined, committed environment for joyful learning
– It allows you to stay focused on your postures, breathing, relaxation for you never have to worry about which postures to do, in what sequence, for how long! You have the ability to ask a question at any time, even during the instruction or more questions after class!
– Group classes provide an energetic, congenial support system where motivation comes from the teacher as well as the students around you. You realize that you are not alone!

 Umang’s favorite Yoga Quotes:

“Yoga is not a religion. It is a way of life, which is followed by every religion on earth. It is about living your life with awareness in every aspect of life to create a beautiful present and the future.” ~ Umang Goel”Yoga takes you one step closer to The Source.” ~ Umang Goel
“Yoga is a way to find and re-find your Self.” ~ Umang Goel
“Yoga is more than physical exercise. It is a way of life, of the highest kind.” ~ Umang Goel
“Know that it is all in the mind…empower yourself to do whatever you set your mind and heart to.” ~ Umang Goel
“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.” ~ B.K.S Iyengar
“When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.” ~ Hatha Yoga Pradipika
“Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success.” ~ Hatha Yoga Pradipika
“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” ~ The yoga sutras of Patanjali
“Yoga exists in the world because everything is linked.” ~ Desikashar

Do your practice and all is coming.” ~ Sri K Patthabi Jois
“Before you’ve practiced, the theory is useless. After you’ve practiced, the theory is obvious.” ~ David Williams
“This calm steadiness of the senses is called yoga.” ~ Katha Upanishad
Yoga Class Progress:
Yoga is a journey, not a destination.How you progress in yoga is dependent on how consistent you are with your practice. It is recommended that you stretch daily, and attend at a minimum of 2-3 classes per week, so that each cell, muscle and ligament in your body begins to learn and remember the information passed to it regularly.With consistent practice, within a short period of time, you will begin to see the difference in your physical and mental state.Class progresses with focus on postures, movement, body alignment, yoga techniques, breathing techniques, yoga terminology, visualization techniques and meditation. Modifications and variations of each posture are presented enabling students of all experience levels, all body types, all ages a to participate in this class. Both beginners and advanced have opportunities to learn and imapact their lives.No matter where you are with the practice, you have an opportunity to grow and expand.
 
Yoga Class Preperation:
Yoga Etiquette:All cell phones should be turned off during the class.· Be on time so that there is no disturbance to an ongoing session.
Yoga and Eating:It is recommended that one should not eat within 2 hours of practice.
It depends on what food you have eaten, since the digestion time for each food type is different.

In general:
Meat: 2-3 hours.
Carbs, starches: 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours.
Fruits and Veggies: 1/2 – 1 hour.In general, the stomach should be empty, since food in the stomach can reduce range of motion and energy level, affecting your strength, stamina and your ability to focus. After the practice, the time it takes you to come out of the practice, fold your mat, put it away, change attire etc. is enough time to spend before you can start eating!Again you are your own body’s best judge. Listen to your body.

Yoga and Fasting: http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/fasting/chooseyourfast.html
Yoga Attire: Comfortable, stretchy clothes that breathe are recommended for yoga wear. Very loose clothes will hamper your practice. Yoga should not be practiced with socks or shoes. This is so that your feet and toes can stretch comfortably and easily.

 

The origin and meaning of “NAMASTE.”
The origin and meaning of “Namaste.” (नमस्ते)Namaste is a Sanskrit word, originating in the roots of India. It is a combination of two words, “nama” (to bow) and “te” (to you), and can be pronounced as, na-ma-stay. In India, it is used as a greeting, a way to show respect, reverential salutation. It is accompanied by a slight bow, with palms pressed together and fingers pointing upwards in front of the chest or even in front of the third eye on the forehead. It can be translated as, “The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you.” In the Western world, this hand position is called the “prayer position,” and in the yoga world, this hand position is called, “Anjali Mudra.”Ram Dass, the well-known Western Buddhist, and 60’s activist, describes the meaning of Namaste as follows:
“I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace. I honor the place in you where, if you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”It is common in the yoga world to begin and end a class with this show of respect, Namaste.

Reference: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
 
Chanting of “AUM” / “OM”
“Aum” has its roots in India, and is a part of many mantras. It is made up of three syllables, A-U-M, representing the Divine energy in its three elementary aspects: Brahma Shakti (creation), Vishnu Shakti (preservation) and Shiva Shakti (liberation and/or destruction).It may be defined as the all encompassing consciousness manifestation of God in the form of the first and original sound vibration “AUM.” It is said to contain the knowledge of the entire Vedas. It is also a sound of the celestial spheres, the “hum” of the universe and the primordial sound heard at the beginning of the universe. It is a sacred sound of creation and is chanted with respect, reverence and mindfulness.In the yoga world, a class may begin and end with the chant of “aum” 1-3 times. In the Wellness Haven program, the class always ends with teacher and the student chanting “aum.”How to chant “aum”:
Slowly inhale and completely fill your lungs.
Then slowly exhale, and say “A-U-M” as you release your breath, enunciating each syllable. The “m” is towards the end of the exhale, as you close your mouth and hum the “m” until the sound fades away with your breath.Benefits of chanting “aum”: The belief is that the chanting of sacred symbols or mantras, establishes a vital connection with one’s Creator or the ultimate Source. Chanting “aum” on a regular basis creates serenity in the heart and the mind. Its vibrations produce lasting healing effects.
Reference: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
http://www.indiaparenting.com/rhymes/prayers/001.shtml
 
Mantras:
The use of mantras originated in the Vedic period of India. These refer to a simple word, phrase or sound that when chanted repeatedly produces powerful healing vibrations within the human body.In the Wellness Haven program, the teacher may end the class with the chanting of a mantra, before the chant of “aum.”

The Gayatri Mantra - What is it?

“The Gayatri mantra (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intelligence) is a sacred mantra that demonstrates the unity that underlies manifoldness in creation.”To chant the Gayatri Mantra is to surround oneself with protection from all harm, bring powers to oneself and to instill surrender in the soul.

The Gayatri Mantra - the mantra itself: Sung by Anuradha Paudwal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwRoHC83wx0

 Om Bhur Buvaha Suvaha
Thath Savithur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonaha PrachodayathMeaning of the individual words in Gayatri Mantra:
Om: The primeval sound
Bhur: the physical world
Bhuvah: the mental world
Suvah: the celestial, spiritual world
Thath: That; God; transcendental Paramatma
Savithur: the Sun, Creator, Preserver
Varenyam: most adorable, enchanting
Bhargo: luster, effulgence
Devasya: resplendent, supreme Lord
Dheemahi: we meditate upon
Dhiyo: the intellect, understanding
Yo: May this light
Nah: our
Prachodayath: enlighten, guide, inspire

Gayatri Mantra translated in English:
“O God, you are the giver of life, remover of pain and sorrow, the bestower of happiness, may your light destroy our sins, and may you illumine our intellect to lead us along the righteous path.”References: (http://www.sathyasai.org/devotion/prayers/gayatri.html)
http://www.indiaparenting.com/rhymes/prayers/001.shtml

Guru Mantra – What is it?
This Guru Mantra is the prayer to the Guru or the teacher. It stresses the importance of the Guru.

The Guru Mantra – the mantra itself:
Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Sakshath Parambrahma Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha

Guru Mantra, translated in English:
“The guru is the creator, the guru is the preserver, and the guru is the destroyer. The guru is the Absolute. I bow before youA famous poem by Kabir illustrating the meaning of this mantra goes like “Guru and God both appeared before me. Whom should I bow to first? I bow to my guru for it is he who introduced me to God.”

References:http://www.indiaparenting.com/rhymes/prayers/001.shtml

Yoga Props for Support, Comfort and Confidence:
Mat is a must for a yoga practice, for it creates your sacred space for the practice of yoga, providing a safe, cushiony, non-slip sticky surface. We recommend ¼” thick mat for maximum comfort.Block:
A block provides the support needed during the yoga practice, helping with alignment and extra comfort. It allows the beginner yogi to reach the supporting surface when still in the beginning stages of practice. Foam and cork blocks are commonly used.Strap:
A strap is used to provide flexibility and the much needed confidence to a beginner yogi, who may not be able to comfortably do the arm and leg variations initially.Blanket:
A blanket is optional and is used to provide extra comfort during sitting forward bends, shoulder stands and other restorative poses.Wedge:
A wedge can be used in place of a blanket for sitting forward bends under the sits bones as well as under the heels during squats.Eye Pillow:
An eye pillow during Savasana enables resting, and focusing inward, without the distraction of light.Bolster:
A bolster provides comfort and support in various seated and reclining poses.Wall:
Wall is one of the best ways to do your poses with ease and confidence.  *** Yoga props from huggermugger.com are available through the instructor.
 

TAPAS ULTRA MATS

Tapas Ultra Mats
Tapas Ultra Mats – 1/4 Thick x 24″ Wide x 68″, non-slip, Antimicrobial, in Burgundy, Eggplant, Seafoam, Indigo
 

TAPAS ULTRA NATURE MATS

Tapas Ultra Nature Mats
Tapas Ultra Nature Mats – 1/4 Thick x 24″ Wide x 68″, non-slip, Antimicrobial, in Ocean, Flame, Evergreen
 

TAPAS PERFORMANCE MAT (AS USED BY THE INSTRUCTOR)

Tapas Performance Mat (as used by the instructor)
Tapas Performance Mat – 72″ long x 26″ wide by 1/4″ thick in Black
 

 

 

YOGA FOR KIDS AT WELLNESS HAVEN – DEVELOPING A WHOLE NEW WAY OF LIVING…

The busy society we live in – working parents, homework and test pressure, addiction to the internet, electronic games and competitive after school programs, where students are still under pressure to “win” and “succeed” – contributes to a stressed kid, both mentally and physically, with dangerous practices like cutting their wrists and leading to long-term stress. All this detracts from the life one is meant to live, with joy and spirit. We want healthy and happy kids who have a desire to live a wholesome life.What students and families need today is a stress free, non-competitive, healthy and safe environment which teaches our young ones to be who they are, live their lives to their maximum potential , bring awareness to how they live, how and what they eat and how they conduct their lives, while building healthy relationships as they progress in their lives.Yoga, meditation and pranayam create just such an environment, and one is able to face the challenges in life with calmness, strength and maturity. Yoga encourages inward reflection. It encourages compassion, co-operation, a healthy self esteem, a non excessive habit, and the ability to deal with any situation with ease and patience.The “Wellness Program for Kids” at Wellness Haven, LLC offers all of the above and more. The program is unique in many ways:
-Safe environment
-Focus on total well being: mind, body and spirit
-Non-competitive
-Critical life lessons passed in a fun, learning environment through book reading, and discussions where students are encouraged to participate.
-All kids, even those with special needs get to learn together in cooperative environment.
-Experienced care under a certified, enthusiastic yoga instructor whose purpose in life is to impact the lives around her in a positive, constructive, and loving manner.GIVE YOUR CHILD THE GIFT OF YOGA TODAY!Thank you for your interest. I am looking forward to seeing you in my class and make a difference in your life in the best possible way – your health.
Namaste.
“I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace. I honor the place in you where, if you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.” ~ Ram Dass
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Wellness Haven Yoga

110 Ryan Industrial Ct., #14
San Ramon, California 94583
Tel: (925) 819-6327 Email:umang@wellnesshaven.com

Today’s Classes

  • 5:30 am - Rehab Yoga By Appointment Only
  • 9:00 am - Mat Yoga - Multi Level
  • 10:00 am - Mat Yoga - Multi Level
  • 1:00 pm - Consultation, Evaluation, Nutrition Session, Private Session
  • 5:30 pm - Chair Yoga
Umang's Wellness Haven