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Anjana Rajan

Yoga Instructor

Anjana Rajan has been practicing Yoga and the Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam for over 40 years. Since her childhood she has also been involved in theater and has acted in as well as directed and choreographed a number of productions in various languages. She is convinced of the effectiveness of holistic Yoga practices in leading a fulfilling life, as well as in helping artists reach their highest potential. Towards this end she includes Yoga teaching in her classes of dance as well as in her theater sessions for adults and children. Anjana was first introduced to Yoga practices as a student of Bharatanatyam at Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Chennai. The Yoga asanas and practices taught here were according to the tenets of the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai. Later, during the 1990s, in New Delhi, she came across the approach of Yoga for performing artists as developed by Pandit Shambhunath of the Yoga Institute Mumbai, and taught by his senior disciple, Nisha Mahajan. This approach gave further meaning to her pursuit of both dance and Yoga, and from then onwards, Anjana began practicing and teaching Yoga with this attitude. Later, she consolidated her years of learning with a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certificate course from the Yoga Institute, New Delhi, an affiliate of TYI Mumbai. In dance, Anjana counts among her gurus the iconic Rukmini Devi Arundale, who first institutionalized the teaching of Indian dance forms at Kalakshetra, and her illustrious senior disciples. She was introduced to modern theater by her father, the well-known Hindi and Garhwali playwright and director, Lalit Mohan Thapalyal. Combining her training in dance and her background in indigenous and classical Indian theater, Anjana has worked towards recreating a modern version of Sanskrit theater, whose precise form has been lost to antiquity. Her search is for a medium of expression that combines the directness and contemporary sensibilities of modern theatre with the subtlety, physical poetry and expressive potential of Indian dance forms. Anjana conducts workshops in dance, theater and Yoga for general wellbeing, as well as lecture-demonstrations for a range of age groups in various cities of India and other countries. She is an ‘A’-grade artist of India’s national television network, Doordarshan, and empaneled as a Bharatanatyam dancer with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Government of India. She has been a member of the visiting faculty of the National School of Drama, Govt of India and the Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts, New Delhi, for over a decade. She is founder director of an online theatre group Through My Window, whose members participate in performances via video conferencing platforms. This group strives to create a unique live theater experience by turning the challenges of remote communications into artistic advantages. In Georgia, along with her husband, musician Rajan Srikrishnan, Anjana co-founded AYINA – Arts and Theater Initiatives, through which they hope to bring their varied interests to holistic fulfillment. Over the past two decades, Anjana’s articles on India’s indigenous arts and related topics have appeared in a number of English language publications, including The Hindu, The Statesman, Pulse Dance, and India Perspectives and the news portal among others. She continues to write, with a focus on how arts and artists connect with society as a whole, and how they reflect or defy societal expectations.