Stress is one of the top complaints of adults—old and young. We blame prolonged stress for our inability to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true in the hectic lives of us Silicon Valley residents. The one thing that can help us is Yoga. It is known to help alleviate stress related illnesses and bring inner calm in our lives. Yoga can not only be preventative or curative, but also serve as a means to facilitate healing in people of all ages.
Vibhushita is very happy to introduce Mrs. Asha Rao, a practicing yoga therapist in the Bay Area as a part of the ongoing series “Everyday Superstars”. She will speak to us a little bit about what led her to choosing this career and how she is using this skill to help people in her neighborhood.
Namaste, Asha 1. Please tell me something about yourself. I am originally from Bangalore, love Kannada and really enjoy eating Masala dosa & Mysore vada. I completed my Engineering and worked as a Software Developer for a few years. Then life took me on a different journey and I became interested in Health and Healing. This path of learning opened up a new life. I enjoy meeting new people and helping them handle pain. It gives me great satisfaction to inspire people to respect and honor their body and mind. 2. What motivated you to become a yoga therapist? I was working as Software Developer for a few years in Bangalore. I really enjoyed the programming part, but didn't take care of myself. I ended up hurting my lower back and was told that I needed spinal surgery to help me walk again. That was the start of my journey into Yoga Therapy to heal my pain. A wonderful teacher, Johnny Kest in Detroit helped me for a year, before I could walk without pain. On his recommendation, I started the Teacher’s Training in Detroit. I have been teaching since then. 3. What role does yoga therapy have in the busy Silicon Valley culture? I truly believe that regular Yoga practice can help people regulate their stress levels; keep flexibility and mobility in their body. This can help in balancing hormonal fluctuations and release myofascial tension in the neck, shoulders and lower back. 4. According to you, what would be the most important characteristic for a Yoga Therapist to develop? I feel that being a Yoga Therapist is a journey towards acceptance of pain and suffering. It is of allowing the body to heal in its own time, giving it care and a little space to breathe. In our busy culture, we all want instant results. Yoga therapy takes time and patience. Its harder to teach and harder to practice, but definitely worth the lifelong results. 5. What are you doing to increase awareness in the community? I talk about the essence of Yoga practice in my classes regularly. It is not just about the number on the scale that defines us. It is our inner awareness, self-understanding, compassion that define a true Yoga Warrior! This practice helps us increase our affinity to other people, not in comparison but by connection. In today’s world, we are surrounded by daily news of destruction and sorrow. I believe we all share a responsibility in decreasing the anger, hatred, and animosity within ourselves and spread the Light into the wider Universe. 6. Are you involved in any community programs for women’s empowerment? Your organization ‘Vibhushita’ is one of the programs I’m involved with. In Bangalore, I used to teach Yoga programs at a center for Women with Leprosy. I also teach Cancer survivors through an organization called Gilda’s Club. 7. Any other thoughts you would like to share I applaud your efforts in making the concept of Vibhushita so wonderful and caring. I would like to keep it ongoing in my community in San Ramon, so we keep the cycle of sharing continuous. Thanks for including me in your efforts.