Anjali found yoga while studying theater breathing techniques and learned an embodied approach to soften her traumatic memory and to ease physical discomforts rooted in anxiety. Drawn to the wisdom grounded in India, where her mother was born, she pursued her first formal training there. Through yoga and yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda, Anjali found a life path that has made her comfortable in her own skin and a way to provide a compassionate service in the world. She has numerous certificates from the Sivananda Yoga Dhanwantari Ashram in Kerala, India, prenatal yoga, yoga for kids, AcroYoga International, Yoga for Arthritis, and studied continuously for 15 years as she ran a yoga center in her hometown Baltimore, Maryland. She also ran a non-profit program which trained and paid BIPOC to teach yoga for free in Baltimore’s disinvested neighborhoods. She has taught in a variety of environments with dual focus on tradition and accessibility.
As a child and young adult, I suffered with eczema, frequent UTIs, and digestive distress all of which was rooted in anxiety. I rarely fit in; there was no seat at the table or box I could check to describe my multicultural, multi-racial identity back then and so I grew up finding my voice through theater inside and outside of school. When I was sixteen years old, I had a theater teacher who profoundly changed my life by leading vocal lessons with deep breathing techniques, postures rooted in yoga, and encouraging me personally to read philosophy. It laid the groundwork for a kind of spiritual seeking which eventually led me to studying yoga in India with an understanding of the emotional and mental benefits of embodied practices. Initially I went to India with the intent to see my Indian family, my grandmother, and to study in a short course and planned to move to New York to teach yoga as a side-hustle while pursuing a career in theater, but when I experienced the power of yoga in a profound way and unexpectedly experienced the clear eyes of an Ayurvedic doctor there in the Sivananda ashrams, my young life took a new trajectory. Within two weeks of daily asana, pranayama, and Ayurvedic herbs, the eczema vanished, the triggers vanished, and have remained so for the rest of my life. I began sleeping soundly, and valuing my wellbeing above fitting in or even a career. I forewent my career in theater and furthered studied and taught yoga through the ashrams in India and Canada before settling back into my hometown Baltimore, Maryland. At age twenty five, I received a grant through Baltimore Community Foundation to teach yoga in two of Baltimore's inner city schools. I also taught in many locations from health centers, hospitals, private homes, the VA, and yoga centers before starting my own center, named Baltimore Yoga Village, which served students and trained teachers for fifteen years. During this time, I continued to teach wherever I was called from international retreat centers to federal correctional facilities. With strong management, well trained teachers, and community support, the studios began to run themselves and I was able pursue full time study in Ayurvedic Health Counseling at the Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico under Dr. Vasant Lad, in his clinics in India, and Ayurvedic Panchakarma specialist training through Charak Ayurveda Dr. Rajesh Kalwadia in Jaipur, India, in 2015 and 2016. This is when I learned to nourish myself thoroughly and profoundly, yet again, but this time in a way that integrated a depth of traditional knowledge into my everyday modern life without the asceticism that was engrained in yoga ashram culture. I continue studying yoga's sister science, Ayurveda, with the doctors from Kerela Ayurveda primarily Dr. JayaRajan and running a small private teaching and consultation practice. When the yoga studios closed due to the Covid 19 pandemic, I continued to share yoga and Ayurveda with the community online through a new brand (www.villagelifewellness.com) and now offer online classes and in person retreats in as far off places as New Zealand, where I also live with my partner, his children, and dog, Prince. I fully understand the time, patience, and compassion it takes to reach a space of living one's practice. For many of us, the path to peace and purpose feels like the ever changing cycles of day and night, at times illuminating and at time elusive. It can feel non-linear, as my path has felt, and often having a friendly professional, a clear eye of reflection, can support each of us to walk our unique journeys. I am forever grateful for all of my teachers. I have committed to helping others, to finding common lifestyle practices as a doorway to mindfulness in a way that feels integrated and manageable given our unique lives and lifestyles. I have been teaching for over 17 years and I am committed to walking the long haul with you to joy, health and peace in body and mind.