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

The Peacock and The Earthworm

This is a tale of a peacock and an earthworm. The peacock, all bright blues, glowing greens and shimmery feathers, lusty in his beauty, strutting his peacock self, basking in his sheer existence. The earthworm, all quiet and busy, quietly businesslike, earthworm like, just trying to survive, and in the process, nurturing and giving back to the earth it came from. The two live together, seemingly disparate lives, and yet bound by geography and time.

Which one is greater? Which one is lesser? And why do we need to evaluate? Why do we need to judge? Would the reaction to the peacock be different if one knows why it is strutting so? What goes in the peacocky brain? Would the earthworm’s quiet, noiseless burrowing be different if one knows the earthworm wanted more, wanted to talk, wanted to be seen but just couldn’t. Or that no one expects the earthworm to want more.

I am a teacher of Yoga now, a bona fide, low earning, forever learning, perpetually Yoga pants wearing, teacher now. And in my four years of asana practice. It has been an exhilarating, challenging, joyful journey, for Yoga has given me back my relationship with my physical body. What cancer took away, my practice has given me back. I don’t feel betrayed anymore, I don’t feel fractured, I feel a deep sense of victory and accomplishment every time I move an inch, my leg becomes straighter, shoulders open up, back bends bendier. I am able to turn upside down in defiance of a time where I didn’t have that control to even stand up. Asanas have released and freed and strengthened me. I was an earthworm for a long time and now I don’t want to be.

I am a peacock with a case of lookatmeitis. Look at me! I can do this! And if I can, so can you!! Do try! Do savor! Do your thing! Do have fun! Life is short! Strut your stuff! And while I am yelling from the Facebook and Instagram rooftops, the earthworm raises it head and asks, is that necessary? Are you doing that to truly teach? Are you doing that to get some more pats on the peacocky head? What do you want to accomplish? The peacock wants to share his joy. That’s the intention.

Svadhyaya, self reflection is a big part of the yoga practitioner’s bag of tools, one that I tap into whenever the earthworm’s voice gains more volume. I hope the peacock within has made me more compassionate with other fellow peacocks, I hope the earthworm within never loses its voice, I hope both continue to teach me and others what we need to learn to grow. Both are needed. Both are different. Both are equal.

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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