At the persuasive request of her parents, Rajashree Choudhury began her yoga practice when she was just four years old. Her devoted yoga practice inspired a career as a yoga teacher, jewelry designer, motivational speaker, writer, philanthropist, and dedicated advocate for children and women.
Rajashree is a five-time winner of the National Indian Yoga Championship from 1979 to 1983. By age 11, she won several titles. This experience shaped her life dream of encouraging youth to practice yoga. Born in Kolkata, living in Los Angeles since age 19, Rajashree’s background is a true blend of the East and West.
Rajashree believes that introducing yoga at an early age helps ameliorate and avoid problems that arise as one journeys through life. With a special focus on the emotional side of yoga, she advocates yoga’s impact on not only physical health, but also the mind, body, and soul.
Rajashree’s inspiration for her meditation practice and dedication to philanthropy began at a very young age. She spent a lot of time with her grandmother, who always demonstrated a passion for reading and learning. Her grandmother was not only respected for her intelligence, but for her generosity. Rajashree has always been in tune with the power of giving back, which began when her grandmother distributed all that she had to those in need.
In 1979, Rajashree won the first National Yoga Championship held by the Yoga Federation of India, followed by consecutive years as National Yoga Champion and won the first Bishnu Charan Ghosh Cup (between men and women) held in Calcutta in 1982. In 1985, she represented Mrs. India in the Mrs. World Pageant and was crowned most photogenic.
In 1994, Rajashree co-founded Bikram Yoga’s Teacher Training program, and she continues to teach heated hatha yoga. To promote yoga asana as a sport, Rajashree founded the United States Yoga Federation and the International Yoga Sports Federation. IYSF is the international governing body for the sport of Yoga Asana worldwide. The mission is to promote, unify, and boost interest in Yoga Asana globally.
With an unprecedented passion for public service, Rajashree has a degree in yoga therapy and is certified with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She travels worldwide to conduct seminars and workshops as well as hosting yoga retreats and spreading personal development. Inspired by her personal teachers, Dr. P. S. Das and Dr. Kushala Das, as well other great teachers such as B. K. S. Iyengar and Paramahansa Yogananda, Rajashree is led by her heart and motivated by the transformations that yoga brings.
To supplement her ambitions, Rajashree began her jewelry line in 2005 to create unique accessories that would remind people to embrace, embody, and empower their true self. Gemology is something that reconnects Rajashree to her childhood Vedic traditions, while also aiding her mission to help others. Each stone in her jewelry line has its own therapeutic healing properties.
Rajashree supports many causes locally, nationally, and internationally. Her work in charity began with Karma for Kids, which was dedicated to helping children with cancer. She currently supports Uprising Yoga, helping incarcerated youth, Team Red White and Blue, an organization that helps veterans through yoga and other physical activities, and Aviva Family and Children’s Services, where she helped renovate and restore their yoga studio.
Beyond Asana: Lavanya Wellness
Rajashree is an Associate of Sukrut India, having completed the 03-phase professional internship in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
Although Rajashree remains heavily involved in yoga asana, she has expanded her offerings through the birth of her new business—Lavanya Wellness. Lavanya translates to “poise” and “grace” in Sanskrit.
Rajashree empowers others to adapt a lifestyle, which involves R renewing the mind, body, and spirit. Lavanya Wellness is designed to support a continuous renewal—using different activities including asana, meditation, journaling, and yoga therapy. Using years of experience, she provides the tools that are necessary to reconnect to the soul. She continues to work with special communities—from those experiencing everything from loss and PTSD, to IBS and back pain—in order to support spiritual growth and renewal.
Rajashree offers workshops, trainings, and retreats throughout the year. In addition, her devotion to children and woman was the driving force for writing her book, Rajashree’s Pregnancy Yoga, a guide that delineates her prenatal yoga series.
Rajashree also offers private lessons for corporate teams as well as individual private lessons online.