At Union Yoga, a simple aesthetic sensibility mirrors the studio’s honest, open approach to sharing the health benefits and spiritual enlightenment of yoga practice. Spacious wooden floors softly reflect the natural light that filters in through many large windows, while artfully placed bamboo accents and fresh flowers provide a sense of warmth and vitality.
There are three well appointed dressing rooms for privacy when changing clothes and cubicles for storage in the waiting area. The spacious bathroom allows for freshening up after class. Purified water is available as well as glasses in case you forget your water bottle and mats and towels are available for use if needed.
Choosing the Right Class for You
We want each student to feel comfortable choosing the right class for their personal practice. Some of us are flexible, some of us are not and some days are better than others. Flexibility is not a necessity for all yogis. It is important to allow yourself to experience the movement, breath and self awareness that comes with yoga practice.
Call 415.771.7742, stop by or email (using the form below) with any questions or if you need assistance choosing the right class. Our intention is to help everyone no matter where they are in their yoga journey!
Your First Class
- Silence your phone / pda / hand-held device
- Leave your shoes in the waiting area
- Consult your physician before beginning any yoga practice
- Tell your teacher if you are new to yoga
- Tell your teacher if you have any medical considerations including injuries, pregnancy or special conditions
- Express any concerns that you may have to the teacher before class
- Wear light-weight comfortable clothing that allows movement – “breathable” materials are usually best
- Bring a bottle of water to class to keep hydrated
- Bring your own yoga mat
- Respect any physical limitations you may encounter
- If it hurts, don’t do it
- If a pose is intense, breathe
- Keep an open mind, smile and have fun
- Do your best
Tell your teacher if you are new to class or if you have any medical considerations including injuries, pregnancy or special medications that might require exercise modifications. Let the teacher know if you need to leave class early.
- Do your best to arrive a few minutes before class starts to get all settled in
- Do your best not to eat 2 hours before practicing
- Please stow belongings on the shelves provided in the dressing area
- Union Yoga is a “No Phone Zone” so please silence your hand-held device
- Follow the instructor’s practice to the best of your ability – You are welcome to modify the poses as needed
- Be willing to shift your mat around to make space for another student
- Please stay for the whole class
- No shoes or phones allowed in the studio
- Leave your space neat and clean after you’ve finished class
- Have fun
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog
Ahimsa means non-harming and it is the first Yama.
Asana means pose.
Ashtanga Yoga – literally means “eight-limbed yoga,” outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras as the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self. This classical yoga system was modernized by Sri Pattabhi Jois and most modern vinyasa and flow classes are derived from the Ashtanga system.
Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
Bind – A way of wrapping the arms around one or both legs or behind the back to deepen a twisting posture.
Dristi is something that you fix your gaze on for concentration to hold a pose. It can be a spot on the floor, the mat in front of you, a picture on the wall, anything.
Flow is a word used to describe classes where poses move from one into another on the inhale and exhale.
Inverions refer to poses that are upside down such as Headstand, Handstand, Forearm Balance, Shoulder Stand. These are very therapeutic poses and yogis love them.
Iyengar is a style of yoga created by B.K.S. Iyengar and it is strongly focused on precision and alignment where poses are done one at a time.
Namaste is the gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. “Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, Namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”
Niyamas are the second of the eight limbs of yoga according to Patanjali and they comprise the “shall-do” in our dealings with the inner world.
Om is the culmination of all sounds of the universe which result in this virbational sound. It is made up of three sounds A-U-M which respectively represent earth, atmosphere and celestial bodies or Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Chanting OM at the beginning and end of class creates a sense of unity not only with the class but with the world around us.
Prana is the notion of a vital, life-sustaining force of all living beings and vital energy. Prana is a central concept in Yoga where it is believed to flow through a network of fine subtle channels called nadis which spread out all over the body. It’s most subtle material form is the breath, but it is also to be found throughout the body.
Pranayama is the practice of controlling the breath. There are many techniques for practicing Pranayama which can relax, stimulate, cleanse and sometimes cure the body.
Savasana is the final resting pose in most yoga classes where you lie on your back, arms and legs extended, eyes closed. It is translated to mean “Corpse Pose” indicating that the body and the mind slip into complete relaxation and there is no effort or movement. This is the time the effects poses really start to sink in.
Shanti means peace, calmness, tranquility, or bliss.
Surya Namaskar means “Sun Salutation”. Classically, Surya Namaskars were done at dawn while facing east. This is a series of 12 poses usually done at the beginning of class to warm up the muscles and joints which moves from standing, stretch arms up and back, forward fold, right foot back for lunge, down dog, plank, up dog, down dog, right leg front for lunge, left foot forward to meet right, forward fold, stretch arms up and back, return to stand.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog
Vinyasa is a series of poses that are done between Downward Facing Dogs. It goes like this: Downward Facing Dog, Plank, Low Push-Up, Cobra or Upward Facing Dog, Downward Facing Dog.
Vinaysa Yoga uses the vinyasa sequence between poses or to link one major pose to another.
Virabhadrasana means Warrior Pose. It can be Warrior 1,2 or 3. Virabhadra is the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet, wielding a thousand clubs, and wearing a tiger’s skin.
Yamas are the first of the eight limbs of yoga according to Patanjali and they comprise the “shall-not” in our dealings with the external world.
Dharma also know as Sri Dharma Mittra, a living yoga master. Sri Dharma has been practicing yoga since the 1950s and has been teaching since 1967. His guru was Swami Kailashananda, also known as Yogi Gupta, who was one of the very first Yoga Master to bring Hatha Yoga to America. Sri Dharma left the Kailashananda ashram to open the Dharma Yoga Center in New York in 1975. http://www.dharmayogacenter.com/dharma/life.php
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – The Yoga Sutras form the theoretical and philosophical basis of Raja Yoga, and are considered to be the most organized and complete definition of that discipline. The Sutras not only provide yoga with a thorough and consistent philosophical basis, they also clarify many important esoteric concepts which are common to all traditions of Indian thought, such as karma.
Karma is the concept of “action” or “deed”, understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect.
Shiva represents the aspect of the Supreme Being that continuously dissolves to recreate in the cyclic process of creation, preservation, dissolution and recreation of the universe and is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Shiva protects the souls from pain and suffering that would be caused by a dysfunctional universe.
Vishnu is regarded as a major god in Hinduism and Indian mythology. He is thought as the preserver of the universe while two other major Hindu gods Brahma and Shiva, are regarded respectively, as the creator and destroyer of the universe.
Brahma – the equal of the other two gods in the Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He is the god of wisdom and the belief is that the four Vedas were delivered from each of his four heads.
Krishna – the Hindu deity who is worshipped as a “complete” avatar of the preserver-god, Vishnu. Krishna is often described and portrayed as a blue skinned infant or young boy playing a flute or as a youthful prince giving direction and guidance as in the Bhagavad Gita.