She left her career as a divorce attorney a decade over and started advocating meditation and mindfulness in kids through her Yoga for Youth classes and later her Mindful Beginnings Curriculum which she teaches in school.
We love how Tejal taps into everyday moments as an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and her adorable son Ayu often makes an appearance in her feed to teach us about meditation from a kid's perspective.
We sat down with Tejal virtually to ask her a few questions this week.
What prompted you to make the career switch from divorce attorney to mindfulness coach? Was there an AHA moment?
As a child I experienced undiagnosed childhood anxiety that continued into my 20s. As a divorce attorney and mediator I specialized in all out-of-court divorce resolutions, with 99% of my clients parents who were trying their best to amicable divorce. During that time I was going on my own spiritual awakening journey to find relief from my own issues, and as many of my clients talked about how their children were going to therapists and showing signs of anxiety I saw my 5-year-old self in them.
As I drove up and down the NJ Turnpike each day I used to listen to Oprah and Eckhart Tolle and started asking myself the big questions. Why am I here? What is my purpose? What lasting impact am I here to make?
And in a divine download a seed was planted 10 years ago. If I had known these tools when I was younger, would my life have been different? How much drama and pain would I have avoided? And since I couldn’t go back and change my past I began to ask a bigger question— What if the children of my clients had these tools to help them process their stress and anxiety from the divorce? How would it help them?
It was then I decided to get certified as a kids yoga and mindfulness teacher. I began to teach at our preschools we owned in the South Jersey area, and over time I realized my purpose was to empower kids, parents and teachers to learn how to infuse these tools into homes and classrooms.
What does Ayurveda mean to you?
Ayurveda is the secret blueprint to living your life with radiant health, optimal well-being, reduced stress and balance of your mind, body and soul.
Being the sister science of yoga I believe these two technologies are inextricably interconnected and you can’t fully achieve the benefit of one without the practice of the other.
What are some ways you incorporate Ayurveda into your daily lives?
It’s my go to stress-management technique- I’m constantly checking in when something feels off to know what dosha is imbalanced, what stress type I’m experiencing and the correct pranayama, yoga pose or Kundalini meditation that will rebalance me. And I change my yoga sequences based on the season and time of year.
I infuse it in my diet through using Indian spices, eating foods that are pacifying for my dosha and taking certain herbal supplements. My favorite cookbook is Sahara Rose’s Eat Feel Fresh.
I schedule my work tasks, meditation, chores according to the Ayurvedic clock and based on what dosha is prominent during the moon cycle.
You have written a book “Meditation for Kids” introducing the joy of meditation to little ones. What inspired you to write the book?
It's my mission to make the #kidsCANmeditate movement mainstream, and that kids grow up with meditation not as the exception but as the norm.
Just like we teach our kids to prioritize their physical health like brushing their teeth, taking showers and getting good rest, it’s imperative we teach our kids that we take care of mind daily by brushing our brain by meditating and taking deep breaths to keep yucky thoughts and feelings way.
I translated ancient yogic and Ayurvedic wisdom in a way that is playful, engaging and fun for young children but also it’s the least daunting meditation primer for beginner parents. It was my deep desire to make it easy for parents to infuse a daily meditation routine into their kids life in just 1-3 minutes a day without having to figure it out on their own.
You also have an online course “The Mindful Mama” that aims to help mothers find pockets of calm in everyday moments. Can you share a few tips with us?
This course is all about empowering busy moms how to learn to create their own mindful reset practice and daily meditation routine into their own life. My technique is all about weaving mindful moments into our lives without too much effort.
The hardest thing for parents is remembering to practice. I came up with a technique where each week for 6 weeks I give you 3 tools to practice everyday for a total of 5 minutes a day. I believe if we anchor mindful resets to activities we already do, we over time create a habit. For example, when we stop at a traffic light we train ourselves to take 5 deep breaths.
Who has inspired you most on your journey?
Professionally it’s been Marie Forleo. Without her BSchool course I took in 2015 I wouldn’t have been able to transform my blog into full-time online business. Her business savvy tips to her personal development wisdom as well as her success continues to inspire me to work hard, dream big and achieve miracles.