Welcome to Yoganjali

Yoga is much more than making shapes on a mat. It is about seeking, exploring, and finding a connection within and out.

Yoga is a multi-dimensional practice with the potential to enrich our lives in every way and should be made accessible to everyone. It can be profoundly transformative, helping lead lives of balance, self-awareness, clarity, and joy. The practice on the mat can help us reveal who we are off the mat.

I discovered yoga after undergoing surgery for early-stage breast cancer. By the end of my first class, I was in love! The experience gave me an intimate connection with my body, which needed healing from within. 

I knew that this practice would be in my life forever and truly started my journey. After completing the 200-hours Yoga Teacher Training at Mind Body Zone, my goal of helping others overcome health challenges brought me to an apprenticeship with my teacher and mentor: Lorien Neargarder, who taught "Yoga for Cancer Survivors and Patients" at the Stanford Cancer Care Program. After completing the 500-hours Yoga Teacher Training at Breathe Together with Jennifer Prugh who has influenced my life deeply, both on and off the mat, I now am on the faculty of teacher training programs, focussing on Yoga Philosophy

My teaching incorporates all that I learn in human anatomy, yoga philosophy, mindfulness practices, and abiding love of Indian classical dance. I teach Yoga Basics for Stanford Cancer Care, Wellness Yoga at Washington Hospital, and Vinyasa Yoga for corporate and private clients in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I believe in “seva” (service): giving back to the community. Volunteering with grass-root level organizations especially for women and participating as a citizen are integral parts of my life. I am a Board Member at HERS Breast Cancer Foundation, a non-profit that serves patients and survivors from all walks of life. 

My intention is to continue sharing what I know, empowering you and me on our paths and learning as long as I live. 

Thank you for reading. Namaste. 

Anjali Rao

 
 
  • Anjali Rao

If I just breathe…

If I just breathe, I will let Life in. If I just breathe, I am Alive. 

A dry, annoyingly racking cough had me down, took my breath away, made me aware of how shallow breathing can be and how much I miss deep, filling-my-belly, clearing-my-mind breathing. Simple. Since learning Yoga, I have been more mindful of how much I breathe, my style of breathing (yes, there are many) and when I use each style.

Breath and asanas are intrinsically linked; they are joined-at-the-hip buddies. One feeds the other, shaping it’s form and function. A good yoga teacher will cue the breathing  as much as the movements of the body. This has been my focus when I practice on my own. Next time you practice yoga or go to a class, remember these three connections between breath and asanas:

Breath as a yardstick: The dualistic quality of asanas require a balance between two important qualities: Sthira, alertness and Sukha, ease. When one is just starting on learning an asana, for example, or when one’s body is not prepared for the asana, there is tension in the muscles, a more heightened Sthira. The breath is more choppy, short and shallow. As the practitioner eases  and practices more, there is sukha or ease. When this balance is struck, the breath is steady. So when I started breathing more easily when doing the transitions between Downward Facing Dog and chaturanga ( plank pose), I did a little mental woo-hoo!!:)

Breath as a  vehicle: One of my favorite cues. Inhale as you lengthen your spine, exhale as you get deeper into your stretch. Again, the concept is create more space in your body, so you can expand, flex and increase circulation.

Breath as a link: Between our inner world and the outer body. When one is over excited, angry or anxious, breathing changes, becomes shorter, there is less control. I have gone to a yoga class, tired, hungry and yes, after some late night shenanigan that I had no business doing, I have not been able to hold poses long or balance more than a couple of seconds. 

Breathing with awareness during movements is what makes a mere movement, an asana. So go ahead, pay attention. Breathe and let Life in.

Upcoming events you don't want to miss!

 

Introducing The Refresh

Daily Self-Care practices @ Work

A self-care workshop designed for the busy professional bringing together ancient Yoga practices to create a self-care plan that works for you. We will create, discuss, and apply specific breathing exercises, simple movements, and mindfulness techniques to cultivate a  sense of well being.

Contact yoganjali@gmail.com for more info and to sign up!

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I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for your interest in Yoganjali. For more information, feel free to get in touch and I will get back to you soon!

 
 

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