Raj is a Yoga and Meditation teacher. Yoga was a part of his upbringing however he choose to ignore it and push it away and you know what they say what you resist persists! Fortunately for Raj a traumatic event set him down the path of Jnana Yoga (The path of knowledge / Union by Knowledge) following the works of Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and the classical yogic texts such as the Upanishad, the Bhagavad Gita and my personal favourite the Ashtavakra Gita.
He spent 6 months travelling around Asia learning from great teachers about the true essence of Yoga. This included training in Meditation, Pranayama, Asana and Mantra chanting. This transformed his life and allowed him to deepen his practice.
Having experienced the power of Yoga first hand, Raj decided to become a teacher to pass on what he had learnt to help those struggling. With this new found purpose and passion, Raj had the privilege of teaching in India at a Yoga School, an Ashram in Nepal and a beautiful resort on the island of Gili Air.
Raj has guided meditations available on his Youtube channel. He also has a podcast under the name of ‘Walk To Life’ on Soundcloud, Spotify and Apple Podcast which covers various different themes around mental health and spirituality.
Q: Which of your teachers has influenced you the most...and why?
A: Life has and always will be the most influential teacher helping me unlearn, helping me yoke into being. That wasn’t always the case for me as I spent a lot of time resisting life. However I realised that the teachers of life were in every person and in every moment. This included the so called ‘bad’ people/moments. In realising that my guru, my teacher abides in every soul and every moment is how I have been able to deepen the practice of Yoga off the mat.
I have been greatly influenced by the teachings of Sri Ramana Mahrishi, Sri Nisargadatta, Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekandanda. In the form of sacred texts my teachers have been the Upanishad, the Bhagavad Gita and my personal favourite the Ashtavakra Gita.
Q: How would you like people to feel when they leave your class?
A: At home within their home, the heart
Q: What is one of your favourite inspirational quotes right now?
A: My favourite quote all time is from the Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 Verse 48:
yoga-sthah kuru karmani
sangam tyaktva dhananjaya
siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutva
samatvam yoga ucyate.
Translation: Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.
It reminds me to be established in Yoga with whatever I do. We often think of Yoga as a 45min or 1 hour class however all that we do on the mat is dress rehearsal the real practice begins off the mat.
It has allowed me to perform every action without being attached to the idea of success/pleasure or failure/pain for both are just an idea. It has taught me that our suffering is linked to our pursuit of success/pleasure or our aversion to failure/pain. That pleasure promotes greed which gives rise to conflict and on the other hand pain gives birth to anger and guilt.
It has taught me to replace the sense of entitlement with a sense of contentment. With a content and non-judgemental mind, you allow there to be evenness of the mind. This evenness of mind and vision, this equanimity is what we call Yoga.
Q: What is your favourite posture/asana right now?
A: I don’t have a favourite pose because all of them are equally important. For me I spend a lot of time in Sukhasana (easy cross legged pose), it is a great base to always to return to feel the connection with mother earth and to just BE. #getridofchairs
Q: If you could be any animal what would it be & why?
A: My middle name is ‘Singh’ which in Gurmukhi means ‘Lion’ so that seems fitting in this sense and I guess for me culturally and spiritually it is linked to being fearless, noble and divine. My ancestors come from the Sikhi line of Khalsa who created the lineage that all males would have this as their middle name to remember to be fearless and to live as spiritual warriors. Plus Lions are fluffy! Hahaha
Q: What positive change would you like to see in the world right now?
A: The only positive change I can endeavour for the world is for ME to be the best I can be for the world. I cannot place any expectations on anything outside of me please these are subject to change. The holistically healthy thing to do is elevate myself. All the changes we want outside start from the inside. This is the ancient trick of all the spiritual teachings. We each attend ourselves first. We create the space to cultivate the love and peace which naturally spreads like a wild fire outside. If we can create peace within us we spread that peace wherever we go.
Q: Are you pregnancy trained?