Rajashree is one of the most in-depth, knowledgable and helpful yoga masters in the world today. In this episode Rajashree opens up and reveals the origins of her yoga practice as a child in India - and how it guides her as she teaches yoga today.
Rajashree's bio from her website...
At the urging of her parents, Rajashree began her yoga practice when she was four years-old. She is a five-time winner of the National Indian Yoga Championship from 1979 to 1983. By age 11, Rajashree won several titles. This experience shaped her life dream of encouraging youth to practice yoga. Born in Kolkata, living in Los Angeles since age 19, Rajashree Choudhury’s background is a true blend of the East and West. To promote yoga-asana as a sport, Rajashree founded the United States Yoga Federation and the International Yoga Sports Federation. Because of Rajashree's efforts, the International Yoga Asana Championships is now in it's tenth year.
"Much of the work I have done promoting yoga as a sport has been fired by my desire to inspire youth to practice yoga."
Rajashree believes that introducing yoga at an early age helps ameliorate and avoid problems that arise as one journeys through life. With a special focus on the emotional side of yoga, Rajashree advocates yoga's impact on not only physical health, but also the mind, body and soul. An unprecedented passion for public service, Rajashree has a degree in yoga therpay and is certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She travels worldwide to conduct seminars and workshops, host yoga retreats and spread personal development. Inspired by her personal teachers, Dr. P. S. Das and Dr. Kushala Das, as well other great teachers such as B. K. S. Iyengar and Paramahansa Yogananda, Rajashree is led by her heart and motivated by the transformations yoga brings. In 1994, Rajashree co-founded Bikram Yoga's Teacher Training program, and continues teaching heated hatha yoga.. To supplement her ambitions, Rajashree began her jewelry line in 2005 to create unique accessories that would remind people to embrace, embody and empower their true self. Each stone having it's own therapeutic healing properties, gemology is something that reconnects Rajashree to her childhood Vedic traditions, while also aiding her mission to help others.
Rajashree supports many causes locally, nationally and internationally. She is active in many charitable organizations including Karma for Kids, dedicated to helping children with cancer, Uprising Yoga, helping child victims of sex trafficking, Team Red White and Blue, an organization that helps veterans through yoga and other physical activities and Parikrama, a foundation educating slum children in India. Other organizations supported by Rajashree include: Narayan Sewa Ashram, a home for abandoned children in India and Aviva Family and Children's Services, where she helped renovate and restore their yoga studio.
Her devotion to children and woman was the driving force for writing her book, Rajashree's Pregnancy Yoga, a guide that delineates her pre-natal yoga series.
“Yoga means union. May yoga unite you with yourself, your breath, your body and the new life you are creating.”
Writer, yoga instructor, jewelry designer, motivational speaker, philanthropist, children and women's advocate, to find out more about Rajashree, follow her on social media or send a message to her email.
4:12 Rajashree starting yoga at 4 years old in India
6:24 Didn’t like yoga to start - liked running
7:12 Getting introduced to yoga competition at 11 years old in India
9:22 Competition encouraged her tolerant more about yoga
10:52 Bishu Biswanath Ghosh discovers Rajashree
12:42 Laying on a sword
15:11 1st Bishnu Ghosh Cup in India 1982. Rajashree first Bishnu Ghosh cup winner
16:09 Becoming a yoga teacher
18:10 Always teaching 1 to 1 > no studio classes in India
19:10 Learning to write a student health chart with Dr. Das
22:55 Learning meditation
25:19 Yoga therapy in India
26:48 Mind body interactions in yoga
29:30 Helping low income women in India and teaching then yoga
31:20 Child with polio walking again - as a result of practicing yoga
32:45 Changing negative thoughts and emotions
35:24 Giving up too soon as a new student
38:02 Getting up at 2am
39:35 New yoga therapy program?
44:29 Do you belong in yoga? It’s the state of mind.
48:05 Keeping a beginners mind
49:33 Considering what judgement is
50:12 Practice kindness
52:51 Seva - selfless service - keeping your eyes open to help
53:24 Rescuing the slum kids in India and teaching them yoga