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Ashmayu Yoga / From a Corporate Lady to a Life Coach

“Celebrating Life!”

Yes, she truly is celebrating and inspiring others to do so. Aparna coaches, trains, writes and does much more to help individuals connect with their inner-selves. She leverages her health & wellness proficiencies and strategically combines it with her corporate experiences to effectively engage and deliver her programs that benefit and transform her participants into leading a balanced life.

Aparna believes in overcoming her challenges, fears and consciously endeavors to be a better individual than she was.

Through her Life Coaching, Yoga and fitness programs, she aims to inspire and transform lives. She recognizes the need to live up to one’s full potential and has designed her programs to enable her clients to lead a happy, balanced life.

Here is Aparna with her thoughts, her vision & her message in this interview with ‘Ashmayu Yoga Institute’.

Ashmayu Yoga: What made you leave the corporate career and choose a career in Health Industry?

Aparna: I have always believed in living a healthy lifestyle. I have been actively working out since I was 12. During and post my pregnancy I could appreciate it even more. My pregnancy was a challenging time. To add to the stress was my sales career, which I completely loved, however, it was essentially affecting my health & during this period I was hospitalised a few times

In the 5th month, I took a short sabbatical from work as the doctor advised it as an immediate requirement for the overall benefit of 2 lives, me and my child. Taking a much-needed break, thanks to that sound advice; focusing on myself showed promising results. I found my health improving incrementally and sincerely appreciated its invaluable significance. I was eager to study and understand concepts of healthy lifestyle and wellness as a whole and that too at an experiential level, and that’s exactly what I did.

Ashmayu Yoga: What helped you discover the yoga teacher within, despite being a mother at 30?

Aparna: Factually my focus on being a fitness trainer began when my daughter was not even a year old, so being a mother or my age was never a limitation. Something inside me changed when I held my daughter for the very first time. Interestingly I experienced the nurturing and caring mother awe-inspiring the ambitious, career-oriented woman in me.

My sales career would have never given me with the necessary time to focus on my newborn and the opportunity window to connect and bond with her wasn’t going to come back. I am exceptionally glad about the decision to choose my love for my daughter over the love for my sales career.

During the time I was enjoying being a mother, I came across the Reebok certification program and Les Mills Body Balance. I decided to take up these certifications due to my strong resilient interest in health and wellness. At the time I wasn’t aware that this one decision could change my life entirely. I was thoroughly in love with the idea of teaching fitness routines and motivate people to build and live healthier lifestyles.

Teaching has always been my passion, and as a child, I used to teach my friends and during vacations, I have taught in a few neighbourhood schools. Additionally, in my corporate career, I always aspired to grow as a corporate trainer. So here, I experience a great synergy in my passion to teach and another significant aspect which matters the most, i.e. health and wellness.

Ashmayu Yoga: Your journey from teaching yoga to becoming a life coach?

Aparna: As a Yoga teacher, when my students and clients consulted me for specific personal or professional challenges, I did advise them, despite the fact that this was beyond the purview of a yoga teacher/health coach. That is when I realized my potential to be a Holistic Life Coach and therefore to structure my coaching skills professionally, I did Life Coaching certification.

Ashmayu Yoga: What is your vision?

Aparna: Nothing is more satisfying than inspiring the society towards awareness on holistic development, progressive mindset and being a catalyst that generates positive change in people’s lives. I believe we all have specific purposes in life and I found mine in inspiring people live their lives to their fullest potential. My vision, therefore, is to touch and inspire as many lives as possible and leave a legacy of living a life to the maximum potential.

Ashmayu Yoga: You are active in both the fields; Yoga and Fitness? Which field resonates more with you?

Aparna: I thoroughly enjoy teaching all forms of workout routines. Yoga and Walking passionately resonate with me. My personal favorite workout is Yoga and brisk walks. I find great inner connects in doing both, additionally, it provides me with the necessary space to de-clutter, organizes and consolidate my ideas, views and thoughts. These also serve as my energy refill activities.

Ashmayu Yoga: What is yoga for you?

Aparna: Practicing Yoga and meditation helps me lead a hale and hearty life. It has been my constant endeavour to understand and realise who I am, what is the core purpose of my life and what is my full potential. I observed that thought clarity and answers to these enquiries particularly appeared during my Yoga practice. As I continued to study and practice Yoga philosophy in my day-to-day life, I was able to constantly observe and witness my emotions and behavior with myself, leading to a significant transformation in my self-awareness and creativity. I found myself becoming more accepting and the attitude of ‘letting go’ followed with less effort. I can now say that I am more aware of myself, in terms of thoughts, speech and action. This enabled me to be a better listener, empathetic and non-judgemental of others and in turn grow as a person.

Ashmayu Yoga: Any yoga quote that you truly believe in?

Aparna: I truly believe in one of the quotes by Sri BKS Iyengar.

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”
B.K.S Iyengar

Ashmayu Yoga: What motivates you to practice Yoga every day?

Aparna: The energy and stillness of the mind experienced post-practice motivate me to keep my practice going. Generally, I practice three times a week for 2 hours. Rest other days I go for a brisk walk.

Yoga helps me with my daily dose of energy. Meditation brings me closer to me. These keep me calm and focused throughout the day. I now have a better understanding of my deeper beliefs, limiting beliefs and fears. With the awareness of what’s stopping me, I start to work on that specific behaviour or limiting thought. This is a constant effort, a process of the transformation. I constantly work towards being a better version of myself today and still better tomorrow.

There are no shortcuts to any level of success. If you wish to achieve something big in your life then you have to remain determined and disciplined about the efforts being put in. Saying this does not mean I don’t miss my Yoga practice. I do, but I quickly bounce back to my discipline. It might be a shorter duration of practice on busy days or making sure not to miss two days in a row.

Same with meditation, I don’t like to miss my meditation practice, not even for one day, but if that happens I bounce back the very next day. Usually, my meditation lasts for about an hour.

Ashmayu Yoga: What diet do you prefer to keep yourself healthy and fit?

Aparna: I believe in eating fresh, healthy and home-cooked food every day. Most of the time when I am outdoors, at work, I end up eating out. The strategy I follow is simple, 50/50 rule- 50% salad and 50% main course. Eating half stomach is another great strategy of mine. This ensures I remain energetic instead of feeling heavy and lethargic, especially if I have a presentation to make or an event to conduct for which I need to remain focused and alert.

Moderation is the key. Being a foodie and having a sweet tooth, this mantra has worked wonders for me. I do relish my dessert post lunch or dinner but I prefer to stick with just one and if dessert is big in portion, then ‘share and eat’ is the next mantra I follow. Eating dessert thrice a week, preferably as a meal and before 4 PM also works well for me.

Don’t abstain yourself from the food you love. Abstaining from your favourite food will rather stress your body leading to unwanted cravings. Instead, use the mantra of eating in moderation.

Never go hungry. I always carry fruits and dry fruits with me, when I am on the go. This way I never go hungry and I always have a healthy food choice.

Ashmayu Yoga: What are you passionate about?

Aparna: I am passionate about helping people live life to their full potential and help to find their life-purpose. Be it through my workshop/talks/ events or one on one coaching, I want to leave a mark by impacting a larger number of people live happier, healthier and meaningful life- physically, mentally and spiritually.

We all are aiming for happiness, which is intrinsic in nature, wherein we are always seeking it outside. Once we start to work on understanding ourselves, the dependency seizes to exist. This is where my work comes, and I have put all my 20 years of experience in my programs so that people can benefit and get to understand themselves better and lead a happier and purposeful life.

Ashmayu Yoga: What are your goals?

Aparna: This year’s goal is touching minimum ten thousand lives through my work be it workshops, events, talks or teaching and my target audience remains today’s youth, as youth is the foundation of any country, and the age group of 30-45 yrs.

Ashmayu Yoga: How does it make you feel to be living your purpose and helping so many people?

I feel happy, satisfied, motivated and at the same time responsible when my clients start to witness the desired changes which they never believed would happen in the first place. Constant work effort, determination, and persistence certainly reward. When a client with multiple issues shares the compliments she received from her colleagues or when a mother thanks me for helping her child increase the confidence and be a national level winner, I feel that is my true reward.

From the past two years, I have been feeling much more responsible to emphasize and spread the awareness and importance of holistic development and work with my clients at deeper levels. During my talks and group coaching sessions with corporate, the curiosity I notice in most people is typically about how to lead a happy and balanced life. Most of us in the daily rut of life are not really able to appreciate the greatly benevolent and remarkably simple intangibles we already have as a gift with us.

I have therefore leveraged all my 12 + years’ knowledge of health, wellness and nutrition industry and 8 + years in corporate in pursuit of my goal. I understand the challenges better and with impeccable clarity because I have seen and been on both sides of the story.

Ashmayu Yoga: With all the distraction thrown in life, how do you keep yourself focused to your goals?

Aparna: My goals drive and motivate me. So, all my actions are directed towards it. I target to fulfil what matters the most and help me stay focused and energetic through the day, for example, my yoga practice, first thing in the morning. As I maintain my monthly/weekly/daily calendar, it gives me clarity of how my day is going to be and I try not to over commit and then stretch myself to keep those commitments. I make sure to keep time for what matters most like I love cooking for my family, so I wake up around 4 AM to accommodate all of it.

Yes, it needs dedication and strong discipline in order to achieve something. Practising discipline with promptness is simply the quintessential need. Sometimes I do tend to miss, especially when I am travelling or had a very long day, but most days I am regular and the bouncing back time is nearly immediate and prompt.

Ashmayu Yoga: Tell us something about your Blog- Transformation Chronicle?

Aparna: I started blogging recently with the sole purpose of reaching out to a larger audience to create an impact through my writing. Though writing is not my natural skill, but I love to fight and overcome my deepest fears and anything that restricts my personal progress. Writing brings clarity of thoughts; it’s a journey to my inner transformation. Now my thoughts and actions are in much greater sync. I am very pleased with the response and love I’m receiving from my readers which is very motivating.

Ashmayu Yoga: What is Celebrating Life?

Aparna: Celebrating Life is a brand through which I conduct community awareness engagements, workshops and sessions in order to create the awareness about holistic health and its direct benefits for all age group i.e. from kids to senior citizens.

Ashmayu Yoga: What are your future Plans?

Aparna: There are 2 focus areas I’m currently working on.

My focus this year is on increasing the reach and impact especially via teaching aspiring yoga teachers. Creating teachers is one of the best and noblest ways to change and have a larger impact on society. I am an integral part of a couple of teachers training programs and this year I plan to reach out to a few more. Looking to increase my assignments on travel and teach, fulfilling my 2 passions- teaching and travelling.

As a Holistic life coach, I continue to work with a continuum of clients, be it groups of corporates, colleges or individuals, and transform lives with combined efforts, by one on one coaching (personal and/or professional) or Group Coaching. This gives me great strength and motivation to widen my horizon and reach out to a larger number of people through my Public Events to share my knowledge and experience.

Ashmayu Yoga: What are your hobbies? Or how do you rejuvenate yourself?

Aparna: Teaching, travelling, reading working out and gardening are few ways I invest my time on regular basis. I call them as Me Time. This is where I rejuvenate myself to remain a creative and authentic self. For me, the bonding time with my daughter on an everyday basis is a great way to forget the world.

Ashmayu Yoga: Any message that you want to give to Ashmayu Yoga readers?

Aparna: Keep investing in self-development. Whatever way you chose, reading, writing, courses, teaching, introspecting…Keep learning, approach and inquire with genuine humility, be as innocently and genuinely interested/curious as a child. Start with yourself. Invest in understanding yourself and subsequently loving that self, will change your entire perspective of how you observe the world and your responses to it, and at the same time the world’s response to you.

In my humble view, that is the direct measure of your success and the best gift one can give to oneself and in turn to the larger world.

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