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

Much I have to learn, oh Padawan!!

With due apologies to Yoda, all is fair in Yoga and love.

It has taken me a while to acknowledge a truth about myself. That I am a teacher now. That I know enough to call myself a teacher. It could be the culturally embedded notions of what a Yoga teacher or any teacher stands for: a wise one who imparts knowledge after years of rigorous study and discipline, it could be my perfectionist tendency to self critique and introspect on what I don’t know and what I cannot do, it could be a myriad other factors that had stopped me from calling myself a Yoga teacher outright but now that I have taken the exhilarating leap forward into a hitherto unknown realm, here are top three things that I look for in a teacher and what I hope to be when I grow up:

Burn, baby, burn: Asana practice is a combination of physiology, anatomy, kinesiology. A good teacher is one who designs a sequence being aware that with this objective and rather clinical application of information, the asana practice is also a subjective experience for the student. Each student’s practice, experience and body is different and this dance between the subjective and the objective is a beautiful, complex and intricate one. A good teacher knows this dance well, works towards filling gaps of knowledge and has a burning desire to learn more, evolve further and change accordingly. I hope to learn till I die. I hope this fire never burns out.

Take the training wheels off: Just like when I taught my daughter to ride a bicycle, protective at first, but taking off the wheels when she was ready even though there were immediate, unsteady times, some of my favorite teachers have pushed me to a point where I fell, felt unsettled, but in the end learned more than if I were to play it safe and not try something new. I have been trusted to substitute teach for many experienced teachers, often at the last-minute. Butterflies fluttered, and I faltered sometimes. But the learning and experience I gained was invaluable. Only when you allow the stumble, the ride is mastered.

Know No: The three most honest and beautiful words in the language, are I don’t know. Yoga teachers are not doctors, cannot and should not diagnose and one should be comfortable with saying this. When I hear a teacher say they don’t know something, my trust increases exponentially. I know I am in safe hands.

This blog post, I hope will serve as a reminder to myself to not get jaded, to stay true to my own voice, to serve other students of Yoga with a passion for the practice, compassion for their journey, and personally never stop being the most important thing a teacher can be: a student.

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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