Yoga practice so concentrates the mind that the curtain of doubt and uncertainty is burned away, and the light of inner truth becomes manifest.Paramhansa Yogananda, The Essence of Self-Realization

Now more than ever, health care providers find themselves on the frontlines of an unprecedented global event. This half-day wellness program will focus on providing simple, yet effective tools for bringing meditation techniques and the science of yoga into daily life.

Research justifying the validity of meditation and its effectiveness at changing individuals as well as their work environments increases every year. This program will make it possible for you to finally start a meditation practice and give you practical tips for improving your wellbeing and making positive changes that last.


Program recordings are now available above.

  • 10:00am: Wellness for Warriors in Healthcare Begins
  • 10:30am: Keynote Talk, Strength and Hope in Challenging Times with Dr. Shanti Rubenstone
  • 11:30am: Interactive Program: Experiential Wellness Activities with Guided Yoga & Meditation, Various Speakers
  • 1:30pm: Closing Ceremony and Open Panel Discussion

This was a FREE event. Interested in this program coming to you? Email [email protected]


Sample Program Details


The half-day program includes:

  • Music & inspiration
  • Guided meditation and take-home routine
  • Keynote talks on the science of yoga and meditation
  • Breathwork and techniques for stress reduction in chaotic environments
  • Affirmations & yoga asana
  • Personal stories and reflections
  • Latest research on wellness during COVID for health care professionals

Talks by medical professionals and wellness experts include:

  • How to build strength as an individual, to share with our families, our communities, patients, and the world
  • How to recognize the need for self-care to improve patient outcomes, reduce fatigue, and increase positive work environment
  • How to apply yoga techniques and proper diet and exercises for reducing stress and increasing energy
  • How to understand the benefits of meditation for challenging times and maintaining stamina and creativity for successfully meeting the coming year



Sample Program Schedule


10:00am: Welcome & Introduction to Wellness
With Kalamali Joy, MPH

10:15am: Inspirational Music and More
Musicians: David Eby, Sherry Chow

10:30am: Keynote Talk with Dr. Shanti Rubenstone
Strength and Hope in Challenging Times

11:30am: Ananda Yoga with Affirmations
With Paul Fetler

11:45am: Self-Care Through Stress Reduction: What Is True Resilience?
With Samiran Patel, MD

12:30pm: The Power of Pause: The Mind Body Connection
With Simon Bedwell, Clinical Educator

1:00pm: Creating a Sustainable Routine When Every Second Counts
With Kalamali Joy, MPH

1:30pm: Closing Guided Meditation & Affirmation
With Narayan Romano

1:45pm: Opportunity for Questions and Answers
With Full Panel

2:00pm: Closing


Previous Speakers

  • Connector.

    Shanti Rubenstone, M.D.

    Shanti is a Stanford-trained physician who currently practices in Palo Alto, California. Her experience in wellness and healthcare is rich with stories from her life as a physician and her many years on the spiritual path. She is a much-loved counselor and teacher, celebrating a recent year-long course launch called, “Secrets of Emotional Healing”, based on the teachings of Self-realization.

  • Connector.

    Nayaswami Narayan

    Narayan is a certified Ananda Yoga and Ananda Meditation teacher who reaches hundreds of individuals each year with the practical and scientific methods of yoga. He currently is the spiritual director and minister of Ananda in Los Angeles along with his wife. He has been practicing twice daily meditation for over 15 years, coming from a high-paced finance career in New York.

  • Connector.

    Samiran Patel, M.D.

    Samiran has been working as a Pulmonary Critical Care Physician in the Kansas City area for the past 11 years. Inspired by the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda, he has been regularly practicing meditation and yoga since 2014 which he finds invaluable in terms of stress management in his professional and personal life as well as adapting to the challenges of ever changing healthcare environment.

  • Connector.

    Simon Bedwell

    Simon is from Australia and has a background as an Intensive Care Paramedic and has spent the last 5 years working in the private sector teaching respiratory physiology in the areas of ventilation, non-invasive ventilation, and nasal high flow in critical care. He has been practicing meditation and yoga techniques since 2015 and is a certified Ananda Meditation Teacher. Simon has an interest in the treatment and prevention of PTSD.

  • Connector.

    Paul Fetler

    Paul is a certified Ananda Yoga and Meditation Instructor, and has been honored to lead for 15 years weekly classes at Ananda Centers in Southern California. In his personal yoga and meditation practice, Paul has experienced numerous continuing healing benefits, and enjoys helping others to do the same. These include; increased energy, release of body tension, deep calming of the nerves, stronger immune system, and an innate capacity to feel lighter and mentually focused.

  • Connector.

    Kalamali Joy, M.P.H.

    Kalamali carries a Masters of Public Health, and has trained in fitness, health, and wellness. She enjoys working one-on-one with those seeking success and happiness, and uses her background to help individuals stay motivated to achieve their goals. She has authored the books, How to Successfully Share Inspiration with the World and Finding Your Source of Inspiration for Success and Joy: How to Make Your Right Next Step.

Wellness Toolkit for Warriors in Healthcare


Online Resources

Though the times are challenging, they are also a great spiritual opportunity. We are here to give hope. Our teachings prepare us to respond heroically to every situation. Now is the time to live and share the practical teachings of this path in every aspect of life. This is a global opportunity for spiritual growth.

To explore Ananda’s compilation of 108 videos, articles and other resources, please click HERE.

Join Dr. Shanti Rubenstone of Ananda Palo Alto for this online course, based on the book Secrets of Emotional Healing by Swami Kriyananda.

As all energy can be transformed, we move from being bound by our emotions to using them to attain soul freedom. For more info, please visit HERE.

“By listening to certain music and absorbing it, it changes your consciousness. ”

–Swami Kriyananda

Have you ever struggled to stay positive in the face of challenges and hard times?

  • Music is perhaps the most effective way to introduce an antidote because music bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the heart, the center of emotions.
  • Listening to or singing an uplifting song is a much easier way to change your consciousness—and change it in a hurry!

For more info, please click HERE.

Stand Unshaken! YouTube Series offers inspiration and practical guidance on how to live courageously during these turbulent times.

Each secret of living fearlessly (one for each day of the month) is paired with a beautiful painting by Nayaswami Jyotish (http://jyotishart.com). This creates an environment in which you can absorb each message in a more receptive and uplifted state of consciousness. Awaken your power to live in joy whatever your outward circumstances, and to bring that joy to others. Stand unshaken and you will be a light unto the world.

To learn more or to order this special gift, click HERE.

Join others in the search for joy and receive practical techniques and inspiration for staying happy despite all that comes. 

Watch the YouTube Series. Read the book. Enroll in the class.

Can yogis create our own Noble New “Normal?”

Our guest devotees will share their expertise with us in this YouTube series. With solution consciousness, we can prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually to help create a new reality and step into the next great adventure that Divine Mother has in store for us on The Road Ahead.

For more info on the e-book, please click HERE.


Next Steps: Mind, Body, and Soul



For more books on meditation, please visit our Meditation Collection and Crystal Clarity Publishers.


Recommended Free Apps


Evidence on the Need for Employee Wellness Programs in Healthcare



Wellness & Meditation FAQs


What is meditation?

Meditation is concentration; taking the mind off of multiple things and putting it on one thing at a time. It is concentration on an attribute or aspect of the Divine, such as: love, light, peace, joy, wisdom, calmness, sound, or power. 

What can meditation do for me?

Meditation has the power to change every aspect of your life. To be successful in the practice of meditation means that you are changing for the better in all aspects of your life, whether in relationships, in health, or in financial success. All of these areas of daily life can be improved with the practice of meditation. 

This is because meditation is a discipline. It takes practice to form new positive habits and supports these positive changes, such as improved patterns of reacting, uplifted thoughts, and greater awareness in the present moment. 

“Meditation is listening. The mind must suspend its normal activity of analyzing, of weighing alternatives, and of generally ‘talking’ so much that one cannot hear melodies that the superconscious is playing to it. 

“Meditation is the process of returning to your own center. It is learning to relate to life and to your environment from who you are, and not from the way other people try to define you.”

—Swami Kriyananda in The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita: Explained by Paramhansa Yogananda

Do I have to sit on the floor to meditate?

No, you have many options for sitting comfortably for meditation, including positions other than sitting in the iconic cross-legged on-the-floor position. 

Paramhansa Yogananda encouraged those he taught the practice of meditation to do whatever allowed them to take their minds off of the physical tension in the body so they could soar in spirit. This meant for many, helping them to find a comfortable position in a chair. Many people have also found using a meditation bench to be helpful. 

The main position that Yogananda emphasized is to sit upright with a straight spine, back away from the chair if applicable, palms facing upward and resting at the junction between hips and thighs. 

There is a wonderful explainer video for helping you find the best position for deeper, longer meditations through Ananda Worldwide here.

How long should I meditate?

The length of meditation, especially for beginners, should be set based on realistic goals for yourself — so that you can succeed and enjoy the practice of meditation. 

It is better to meditate 5 to 15 minutes and develop the habit. A consistent routine is key to success. This means deciding on the most supported time of day for a meditation habit to become more and more ingrained in your daily rhythm. Many people find that this is just upon rising or before bed. 

As you find your habit to strengthen and the peace or joy you feel in meditation to lengthen, you can increase your time. 

Finding a group to meditate with will increase your ability to sit and meditate for gradually longer periods. Many Ananda groups and centers around the world have group meditations available online, including Ananda Los Angeles.

How should I hold my eyes in meditation?

With eyelids, closed, turn your eyes slightly upward, as if looking at a peak of a mountain in the distance, slightly above the horizon level. This should not cause any strain if it is at the right point between your eyebrows. Feel as if your eyes are resting in this upward position, not as if you’re looking into the distance.

What are some of the benefits of meditation proven by scientific research?

Some of the well-known benefits of meditation include:

  • Deep relaxation, both physically and mentally
  • An improved immune system response and overall stress reduction
  • Deeper concentration and ability to focus, clarity of thought and perspective
  • An improved sense of humor
  • An improved sense of compassion
  • Higher levels of energy
  • Increased creativity
  • Ability to accomplish activities more effectively 

What are the goals of meditation?

The ultimate goal of meditation is unity with Spirit. It is also what many people call an experience of Bliss, or satchidananda: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss as Yogananda ascertains. 

Other definitions of this state of unity have been called enlightenment, oneness, Self-realization, nirvana, or samadhi.

Why does meditation work?

As the breath flows, so flows the mind, the yogis say. There is a well-documented connection between the state of the body and the state of the mind, called the mind-body connection. Especially, between the breath and the mind. When we meditate, and begin with controlling the breath as taught in the Lessons in Meditation series of Ananda, the breath becomes calm which in turns help to calm the mind. As the mind becomes more calm, the breath can continue to slow and the feeling of stillness and expanded awareness of meditation prevails.

The breath is the greatest obstacle to deep meditation because as long as there is bodily tension, movement, or activity, there is energy that draws us into the physical body and matter. The point of meditation is to remove our energy from the senses and the outward-driving forces so that we can internalize and uplift all of our energy one-pointedly towards our Seat of Joy or the point between the eyebrows.

What are the best times of day to meditate?

The best times of day to meditate go with the natural changes in the day: 

  • 6am (dawn or early morning)
  • 12pm (noon)
  • 6pm (evening or dusk)
  • 12am (midnight)

The yogis also say that these are also powerful times of day that make it easier to internalize and uplift our energies in meditation.

How can I get started or get meditation support right now?

If you are ready to get started and want support right away, we highly recommend you take our free webinar called, “Cultivating the Habit of Meditation.” This will give you an opportunity to get to know the practice of meditation as brought by Paramhansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, our teachers, and even introduce you to chanting and prayer so that you can decide if we are a good fit for you. 

There is also a video on the Hong-Sau Technique that Yogananda taught, which could get you started today. As Yogananda said, The time for knowing God is now!


About Ananda

To learn more about upcoming course offerings at Ananda LA, please visit anandala.org or follow us on Facebook.



Ananda is a global spiritual organization dedicated to sharing the practical science of yoga applied to the chaos and challenges in daily life. We are committed to providing an inclusive, welcoming environment for people everywhere to experience the true nature of joy within, through mindfulness meditation, affirmations, and yoga asanas.

Ananda’s communities and centers welcome all sincere seekers, regardless of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability. It is based on principles of universal spirituality and the essence of yoga or “union” with our higher Self.

People from around the world have come to participate in online events, courses, meditation groups, and to experience life in communities amongst fellow truth seekers throughout the US, Italy, and India. Learn more about Ananda Los Angeles, the center hosting this event.

Our educators for this program specialize in wellness, meditation, and the need for these tools in daily life. They all practice meditation twice daily, practicing Kriya Yoga, the scientific method of meditation mentioned in Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda.