Episode 205: Let’s Talk Yoga with Arundhati Baitmangalkar

My guest this week wears so many hats! She’s a yoga and Bollywood dance teacher, studio owner (Aham Yoga in Redmond, WA), and a brand new yoga podcaster! (Her pod is called Let’s Talk Yoga.)⁠

Arundhati hails from Southern India and moved to the states with her husband seven years ago. In her own words, “I’ve built a successful business as an immigrant, WOC yoga teacher with no business background, no Handstands — just pure instinct and the free information I found on google. There are very few Indian, immigrant yoga teachers out there. And even fewer South Asian owned yoga studios.”⁠

I loved connecting with her and hearing her story. I’m also grateful to her for sharing openly from her perspective as a South Asian woman — how does she feel about the word Namaste at the end of class? What are the things that feel different in yoga spaces in the West? And what are some ways that she’s been made to feel invisible in yoga rooms in the past? Thank you, Aru, for leading with such an open heart!

Here are a few things we talk about:

* How she got her start in yoga after years as a professional Bollywood dancer, and how that blossomed into a thriving studio business

* The creative way she runs her studio that keeps her costs low, and her focus on the yoga

* Her thoughts on Western yoga students referring to each other as “yogi” and beginning and ending class with the word ‘Namaste’

* A peek into her new podcast (Jason is one of her first guests!), and what we can expect to learn from her in future episodes

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Let’s Talk Yoga Podcast

Aham Yoga

Bollyworks

Aru on YouTube

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