Tell us a bit about yourself…
Anji Gopal, BackCare Expert. I’m an osteopath & yoga teacher and I bring together all my skills to help my students & patients get out of pain. My area of speciality is chronic low back pain.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s busy! I have my own clinics in West London & Central London, work in the NHS one day a week, teach Yoga at London’s Triyoga, Life Centre & Mission and also train other therapists in Yoga for BackCare (phew!) So I spend time with patients & students – as well as my two teenage sons, husband & the dog
How did your yoga journey begin and what inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
After University (my first degree is in Econometrics!) I worked for Barclays for 16 years in a high pressure job.
When my first son was born, I wanted to spend more time with him and in my spare time, trained at Triyoga – not intending to teach but just to learn. I had practiced Yoga since being a teen and more latterly as a stress-reliever whilst in a demanding role.
The teacher training made me realise that I was interested in the body and working in a different way, so I spent 5 years training to be an Osteopath.
Soon after graduating, I found that much of what I was sharing with my patients came from my yoga knowledge – how to move, how to breathe, how to find comfort whilst in discomfort.
A year after graduating I opened my own clinic and also began work in the NHS with patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP).
In 2016 I trialled a yoga-based programme in the NHS for CLBP. A multi-faceted yoga practice (movement, breath, relaxation, philosophy) can target many of the causes and symptoms of back pain. This programme has been running since that time.
So it’s been a long journey to be a teacher – and I feel strongly that I’m still more a student. There is always more to learn!
What inspired you to specialize in your practice?
Bringing together my knowledge of the body, osteopathy & pain with my yoga knowledge has been transformational – for me & for my patients & students.
I teach Yoga for BackCare around the country to students, patients & teachers. In lockdown , I wrote a course that is now the British Wheel of Yoga’s accredited training for Yoga teachers – so they can share this important work.
So – Yoga? It gives us a huge range of practices to help us live the best life in the body that we have – right here and right now – whatever age or stage we happen to be. My clinic is called ‘FindingHealth’ and that’s what I feel yoga is for.
How have you seen yoga benefit your students?
Yoga for backcare (and yoga for womens’ health which I also teach) can be transformational practices. We learn to understand our own selves – physical, emotional, spiritual, social – and how these influence our health. My clinic is called ‘FindingHealth’ and this is what I seek my yoga teacher to embody – How can I help YOU Find Health in the body & mind that you have now.
What is your favorite quote or life motto?
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured & endure what cannot be cured – BKS Iyengar
Live like you will die tomorrow, learn like you will live forever – Mahatma Gandhi
Assumption is the mother of all F-Ups – maybe let’s not use this one haha
What does 2024 look like for you?
2023 has been challenging for many around me & I pray for a ‘less exciting’ 2024.
I hope to come closer to the perfect balance of work & life (it’s all a work in progress!)
Work-wise, I’m looking forward to my new weekly clinic in Central London as it’s great to be able to help more people with pain.
I can’t wait for my next retreat in Spain at the amazing Centro Santillan in Feb (I go here twice a year) and also teaching at the World Yoga Festival in Aust
And…. I GET TO DO A PHOTOSHOOT WITH YOGA MATTERS! (I’m actually quite excited about this!). What a start to 2024 (BIG SMILE)