• Anjali Rao

…a cup that overflows…

Yoga is my cup of steaming, gingery masala chai. And it is full. And I want to share it.

On this blustery, rainy ( finally!!) morning, as I sip my warm brew and reflect  on this Give back Tuesday, my resolve to use this beautiful tool in a way that makes a difference in others lives is stronger than ever. I am a Yoga teacher. And just that simple sentence means that I have accepted that I know enough to share. I remember a time when I asked my teacher, I have no idea what I will do with this knowledge, this effort, this skill. She, in her infinite patience, said it will come to you. You will know when you are ready how you will use this. And she is right. At this moment, Maya Angelou’s what you get, give, what you learn, teach is a powerful and simple mantra that represents all that is sacred and true.

I do believe that when one puts in energy and effort towards a goal, the Universe, in avatars of humanity,  transpires to make things happen. I feel I am being drawn towards sharing this joy of Yoga with the people who need it the most as a tool for empowerment or coping with serious illness. In the past few weeks, I have seen it transforming, connecting and helping release long held stress and strife. I see my teachers and mentors and co Yogis who are doing this in a quiet and graceful way.

There is a lot of criticism about how Yoga is now a fitness industry, a million dollar glamor shark, a beautiful, designer tight wearing, shallow enthusiast with no soul, and essence. And while I cannot deny this, I am honored to be a witness and a participant to another side. The dedicated teacher who quietly encourages a student to let go of emotions and start healing, the teacher who holds free classes for students who are going through chemo on Thanksgiving, the teacher who allows a new, freshly minted teacher to use the studio for a fund raiser, the teacher who encourages another teacher by sharing information freely without any expectation, the teacher who has taught for 15 years who introduces a fresh off the registry teacher as her equal……and many, many more.

There is another side to Yoga in the U.S, and my cup overflows. And I want to share.

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