124: Yoga and Dominant Culture with Anjali Rao

In today’s episode, we have a very special guest, Anjali Rao (she/her). Anjali is a yoga teacher, writer, and podcast host who offers profound insights into the often obscured stories and histories of yoga. An Indian American immigrant and cancer survivor, Anjali beautifully integrates yoga philosophy and history with storytelling, imagery, and poetry. 

Anjali and I had a thought-provoking conversation about the sociopolitical context of yoga and its historical beginnings. We delve into topics such as the caste system, the intersections of power and access to knowledge, and the erasure of South Asian teachers in modern yoga spaces. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • all about Yoga’s relationship with the caste system
  • a deep dive into Yoga’s relationship with hinduism and other religions
  • how Anjali recommends we can teach and practice yoga with integrity
  • about the political nature of yoga and the connection between spiritual teachings and the pursuit of social change
  • a conversation on ahimsa and its active role in disrupting harm (rather than passive inaction)
  •  the importance of self-reflection and understanding one’s positionality as a yoga practitioner and teacher

Learn More From Anjali:

This episode is sponsored by OfferingTree!   Sign up at www.offeringtree.com/mentor to get 50% off your first three months (or 15% off any annual plan).  With OfferingTree, yoga teachers put their schedule on a personally branded website where students can book classes and even pay or donate online.  All of this can be set up in 10 minutes or less.  OfferingTree supports me with each sign-up.

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