Chayo Cafe & Studio

Posted by huihsien on 02 Nov 09 - 3 Comments


Recently, KL Yoga managed to speak with the proud owners of Chayo, a premier boutique yoga studio and cafe located in Kelana Jaya. In this interview, American born Guru Jaswant Kaur Khalsa, together with her Singaporean husband, Rajveer Singh passionately share with us their journey and vision.

rajveerjaswant Dynamic Duo: The charismatic Rajveer Singh and the energetic Guru Jaswant

1) What is the story behind Chayo?
One day after yoga class, a friend and I came up with the idea of starting up a yoga cafe. He suggested that I also open up a yoga studio, a concept which at that time I wasn’t too keen on. However eventually I was led into it due to the opportunities available. I believe that the cafe will always be the altar of the business, while the yoga studio is meant to serve the community.

Guru Jaswant:
We realized that we could not put the pressure on our students to support us and therefore needed to do something else for our own comfort level as people. At that time we were coming a lot to Malaysia to teach, so it naturally developed into this. We always wanted the cafe to be a place where we could share that feeling of cosiness. The reality is that not everyone is going to try yoga, but everyone is willing to try a cup of tea.

2) Why the name ‘Chayo’?
Guru Jaswant:
We wanted to be accessible to any culture and in a lot of cultures the world ‘Cha’ is tea. And ‘Yo’ just simply comes from ‘Yoga’ or ‘Yo’ in a form of informal greeting. We went through a lot of names and their meanings but in the end settled for ‘Chayo’ as we felt it had a strong universal connection and was easy to pronounce.

3) What are the yoga styles taught at Chayo Studio and how are they different from other centers?
Guru Jaswant:
We started with Kundalini, which is our passion but we recognise that it’s not for everybody and our intention is not to force everyone to do it but instead to offer, and to say that this has helped us and so we want to share it. We also know that people want other kinds of balancing exercises in yoga, so we have Hatha, Ashtanga and Radiance of a Woman. We even have other kinds of activity like Taekwan-Do, Kid’s Yoga and Bhangra Dance to reach out to people who are not comfortable with meditation but would still like to have something fun and physical.

4) What is Kundalini Yoga?
‘Kundalini’ means opening or unlocking and ‘Yoga’ simply means union, to become one. Kundalini Yoga works with the unlocking of energy, consciousness and spirit. It combines different types of exercises, breathing, postures, kriya and meditation to prepare your body and mind for the awakening of the Kundalini, a dormant life force within us. Raising the Kundalini ultimately brings awareness, mental clarity and releases the unlimited potential that exists inside each of us. But it is important that this form of yoga is practised under the strict guidance of a qualified teacher.

5) You also offer Gong Meditation classes. What is that about?
Gongs were anciently used in Tibet and India because the sound of the gong was known to loosen up the body’s internal tensions. It is like an internal sound massage. Dharamjot, our Gong Meditation teacher from Melbourne is a specialist in that area. In her class, she will take you through some yoga postures, and then play the gong while you submit yourself to the sound vibrations. At the end of the session, you will feel a complete sense of relaxation.

class Yoga classes in progress at the cosy studios

6) Can you walk us through the types of food served at the Cafe?
Guru Jaswant:
We serve a selection of affordable vegetarian food with no egg but our biggest attraction is the snacks and drinks. The snacks are mainly north Indian influenced ranging from our Bombay Toast and Pakoras to Eggless French Toast and Tortilla Wraps. We have a whole range of herbal teas, our own five signature teas, fresh juices and smoothies. We also have Local, Indian and Western mains such as Nasi Lemak, Palak Paneer and Pasta. Whenever possible, we try to incorporate organic or local ingredients in the food we prepare.

food Some of the scrumptious delights available at the cafe
Clockwise from top left: Throat Comfort Yogi Tea; Bombay Toast; Tofu Scramble with Toast; Marble Cake

7) Tell me more about the specialty teas you carry.

Guru Jaswant:

Yogi Tea is from the United States and was inspired by the knowledge and wisdom of my master, Yogi Bhajan. In the beginning, some of Yogi Bhajan’s students started using the home recipe that he gave for the tea after the yoga classes. This was the original Yogi Tea, which we also brew and serve here. Eventually, they started to expand the offerings by creating other blends of tea as people wanted to buy it. Yogi Tea has an exotic aroma and strong flavour of blended herbs and spices to heal the mind, body and soul. Among the ones we sell are Himalayan Apple Spice, Woman’s MoonCycle and Throat Comfort.

Hari Tea is from the Netherlands and for added variety, we have picked a more subtle and herbal range for our cafe. Some of the unique and amazing blends we have are Linden & Chamomile, Rose & Hibiscus and Green Tea, Mint & Chilli.

tea Available: Yogi Tea and Hari Tea to enjoy in the comfort of your home

Chayo is certainly everyone’s cup of tea. Whether you crave to experience the exhilarating energy of a bhangra dance, enjoy the relaxing benefits of a yoga class or simply want to drop by for a satisfying yet healthy treat.


KL Yoga readers are entitled to a free appetizer of their choice when they order a daily set meal.
All you have to do is to mention ‘KL Yoga’.
Offer valid till 31 Dec 2009.

Chayo Studio (Opposite Giant)
50-2 Kelana Mall
Jalan SS6/14 Kelana Jaya
47301 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-78062035

Archived in the category: Yoga Centres

Guru Jaswant Kaur Khalsa at Chayo Studio

Posted by huihsien on 30 Oct 09 - 1 Comment

Born into a Sikh family in New Mexico, USA, Guru Jaswant Kaur Khalsa was raised in a community where spiritual development was a way of life. At the age of 9, her parents sent her to a boarding school in India where she spent 7 years learning Sikh culture, language and philosophy. During then, Guru Jaswant was exposed to yoga as part of the school’s curriculum but only began to appreciate and practise it seriously back in the US while undergoing her tertiary studies.

Guru Jaswant’s passion for Kundalini Yoga and Bhangra Dance coupled with her fun and lively methods of teaching have attracted students from different age groups. She believes that yoga and dance help to connect, energize and uplift the body, mind and spirit.

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Archived in the category: Teacher Profiles

Rajveer Singh at Chayo Studio

Posted by huihsien on 30 Oct 09 - 0 Comments

Rajveer Singh was an active Singaporean boy who unexpectedly stumbled upon yoga and spirituality. His ravenous hunger to acquire more knowledge in this field took him to USA where he trained under the guidance of Yogi Bhajan and learned the ancient science of Kundalini Yoga and meditation. Since then, Rajveer has never looked back and devoted his life to imparting the wisdom of this divine art to his students.

Rajveer brings with him more than a decade’s worth of experience in his classes which are filled with nothing less than an intense celebration of music and life. He combines postures, movements, breath, stretching, relaxation, meditation, rhythm and sound in a holistic approach to enhancing the wellbeing of the mind and body. People are automatically drawn to his charismatic and mesmerizing aura which he projects wherever he goes.

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Archived in the category: Teacher Profiles

A Yoga Horror just in time for Halloween

Posted by huihsien on 28 Oct 09 - 0 Comments


Calling all horror-loving, avid yogi practitioners!

Do keep a lookout for the latest K-Horror released in Korea two months ago simply titled ‘Yoga’.

It all started with Winter Sonata, which sparked the wave of Korean drama craze that hit the Chinese female population in Malaysia.
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Archived in the category: Events

This is a tricky posture for those who suffer from neck-related problems. However, by practising safely (roll another mat and place it under your shoulders to provide extra support) anyone will be able to reap the full benefits of Salamba Saravangasana. Among them are improved blood circulation, better digestion and a more effective respiratory system.

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Archived in the category: Yoga Poses & Styles

Yoga In The Midst of Turmoil

Posted by huihsien on 20 Oct 09 - 4 Comments


The current economic turbulence has affected each of us some way or another. Be it the fear of losing your job, or having already lost your job, or knowing a friend or relative who has already lost his/her job. When faced with such a situation, the negative energy of fear and uncertainty begins to manifest internally leading to increased stress and anxiety.
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Archived in the category: Learning & Lifestyle

Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)

Posted by huihsien on 12 Oct 09 - 2 Comments

This is a naturally playful pose for children to get into. I remember doing this all the time during my fun-filled days as a child.

Approach the pose from Setu Bandhasana (Bridge). There are a few key things to note here. Firstly, it is much easier to rest on the crown of your head before taking the second step to come up into full wheel. Secondly, as you push your hips up, the knees will tend to fall out to the sides. Try to keep the knees parallel to each other and toes pointing forward. In doing so, you will need to fully engage your buttock and thigh muscles. Thirdly, ensure your body weight is equally distributed between your palms and feet through your arms and legs accordingly. The idea is to push your chest forward and extend your arms from the shoulders until your elbows are as straight as possible. By then you should feel a good stretch in your abdominal muscles.

chakrasana-1 chakrasana-2

Usually after performing the Chakrasana, I will curl into a ball by hugging my knees to the chest to counter stretch and relax the back muscles.


Personally, this pose has strengthened and increased the flexibility of my spine, which helps a great deal in other back bending postures. Besides that, it also keeps the buttocks and thighs firm.

Archived in the category: Yoga Poses & Styles

Headstand Pose (Sirasana)

Posted by huihsien on 08 Oct 09 - 5 Comments

Do not be intimidated by the Sirasana, which is the exact opposite of standing on our feet. If the feet can do it, why can’t the head!

The Sirasana is usually approached from Balasana (Child Pose) or Virasana (Hero Pose). It is important that the crown of the head be placed on the mat, and not the forehead for you want to create a straight vertical line from your head to your toes without putting unnecessary strain on your neck. Remember to place your forearms firmly on the mat and push your shoulders down as if lengthening your neck to come up to the full position. You will also find a set of strong abdominal muscles useful when lifting the legs off the ground.

sirasana-1 sirasana-2

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Archived in the category: Yoga Poses & Styles

Cancer-causing Foods to Avoid

Posted by rima on 05 Oct 09 - 1 Comment

Malignant tumour or cancer as it is widely known is the dreaded word that often is associated with imminent, painful death. Uncontrollable growths of cells which then invade other healthy cells make this disease life threatening. There are some things that we can avoid to protect ourselves from this deadly disease. One of the keys to combat cancer is to identify carcinogens which are cancer promoters. Carcinogens are present in certain types of food commonly available to us. Here’s a list of some of the top sources of carcinogens in our food.

1. Processed meat


Processed meat is any meat that is cured, salted, smoked or preserved with nitrate. Hot dogs are just one example of processed meat which almost always is high in fat and salt. Preservatives used in hot dogs contain carcinogens that may cause our DNA to mutate thus putting us at higher risk for cancer.

2. Doughnuts


Cancer cells thrive on sugar which is mainly found in sugary snacks like doughnuts. Food that contains refined sugar like white rice, white breads need to be avoided because they can promote cancer tumours to develop. Opt instead for food labelled as low-glycemic for a healthier option.

3. French Fries


As yummy as they taste, French fries are prepared and cooked in hydrogenated oil which is another cancer contributing factor. Deep fried at high temperature, French fries contain very little nutritional value. More importantly, they contain trans-fat which increases the risk for heart disease.

4. Chips, crackers and cookies


White flour and sugar are commonly the basic ingredients used in most chips, crackers and cookies sold on the market today. These processed foods are high in sugar and low in nutrition. Similar to doughnuts, snacks like biscuits and chips act as cancer promoters which need to be avoided as much as possible.

Staying off the items in the list above may not be as easy as you think. It’s going to take me a whole lot of determination and will to steer away from those deep fried potato sticks French fries but then old eating habits die hard. It is going to take time like everything else. Changing your eating habits and lifestyle is indeed a lifelong commitment towards a healthy you!

Archived in the category: Your Body

Yoga for Travellers

Posted by nadia on 29 Sep 09 - 0 Comments

On any given day, travelling itself offers tons of benefits as we are all aware of. We get to meet new people, experience new cultures, pick up a foreign phrase or two – all of which widens our perspective and triggers a deep sense of appreciation of the world. Granted with the right time and some extra money, people are quick to grab the opportunity of the cheap air fare, make a hotel reservation, and pack their bags while happily singing Leaving on a Jet Plane. And with MATTA Fair being held twice every year, it’s hard to say no to travelling to get away from our hectic lives.
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Archived in the category: Learning & Lifestyle
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