Hi, I’m Tara—Life Coach, Counselor, lifelong student of Ashtanga Yoga, ex-corporate professional, mom to a teenager and two dogs, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fan, writer and poet.
But I think the role that has most impacted me and made me who I am today is that of being a Woman.
I grew up watching my mother suffer in a violent marriage — not being able to walk out as she was financially & emotionally dependent—and promising myself I would never allow myself to be in the same position, ever.
But then at 34, I had a rude awakening to the fact that I had fallen into a similar trap—my marriage was pretty darned abusive and getting more so with every passing year!
What followed was a crushingly lonely & scary four-year period. To my dismay, neither friends nor family and not even the few alternate healers, therapists I met could keep an open mind about my need to honour my inner voice and walk out of my marriage.
I chose to dig deep within and work on all the conditioning I had absorbed from my parents and society about how a ‘good wife’, ‘good mother’ and a ‘respectable woman’ is supposed to behave.
Turned out my decision to take a leap in the dark—anchored only to my inner guide—was the best gift I could have given my daughter and myself. My life has undergone a complete transformation since then and I have found deep fulfillment and oneness in my present marriage.
What I Believe …
I’ve learnt that our darkest moments can prove to be game-changers if we mindfully nurture self-acceptance, rise above societal conditioning of what ‘should’ be done and clear harmful emotions such as guilt, shame & fear.
Having lived with domestic violence, abuse and absentee, narcissistic parents through my growing years, I know the damaging effect a shattered self-esteem can have on one’s confidence and quality of life.
I have learnt the importance of yoking within to feel secure, loved, calm and for making wise choices. I strongly believe there is no truer guide than our own inner wisdom and I care deeply about helping others listen to this loving voice rather than to outside opinion.
Coaching, Counseling & Me
I have always been an empath–naturally picking up on the mental and emotional state of people around me. Apparently, on my first day of pre-school when I was barely three, I told my surprised mother, “I know you’ll miss me … but don’t cry when you’re alone, I’ll be home soon.”
I was used to being the go-to person for advice and support not just for family & friends but sometimes even for complete strangers––a young man came up to me in Ladakh (traveling alone, I was naturally wary) saying he had an inexplicable urge to talk to me about his broken heart!
Nonetheless, I only thought of formally taking up Counseling and Coaching after what I call my ‘dark night of the soul’—the four year period I spoke about when I was trying to separate from the father of my six year old daughter but unable to do so —because of my own troubled thoughts & emotions but especially because he was fighting for her custody.
In this period, I tried reaching out to several friends and professionals to help me me move forward. But each meeting ended with me feeling more judged, disillusioned and troubled.
I know how it feels to feel misunderstood and trapped under the weight of guilt, shame and confusion. And I wanted to help others who needed a helping hand. So I pursued an International Graduate Diploma in Counseling alongside my Yoga studies and corporate job.
I left my corporate job in 2014 and have been on this path full-time ever since.
I have written on wellness, mental health and yoga for several international online blogs and leading national publications such as— The Speaking Tree (TOI), MindBodyGreen, NAMI, DoYouYoga, Gaia, Rebelle Society and Women’s Spiritual Poetry. My poetry has been published in the international anthology of women’s poetry, ‘Where Journey’s Meet:The Voice of Women’s Poetry’.
Yoga is My Anchor & Way of Life
I have practiced Yoga since my college days. However, it wasn’t until 2013 when I did my yoga teacher’s training and thereafter delved deep into the Yoga Sutras did I realise that Yoga offers more a way to be fit.
Day by day, as I reflected on the Sutras and practiced the teachings both on and off the mat, I realized with utter amazement that Yoga is the way to everything I was seeking all my life. My deeply troubled childhood and first marriage had resulted in heavy emotional baggage and low self-worth, and I was on the lookout for ways to heal myself.
So alongside a demanding corporate career, I learnt and practiced several energy healing techniques—Pranic Healing, Theta Healing, Spiritual Response Therapy, Rebirthing to name a few. Nevertheless, I found that Ashtanga Yoga held the key for me.
It’s a comprehensive system that works on all the different energies when the teachings are practiced with sincerity as a way of life. As a Lifestyle. I love sharing the gift of Yoga in my coaching sessions and articles. And I believe it has a lot of value especially for women, as it offers a way to harmonise and work with our emotions and feelings.
Enough about me. I would love to hear from you. Do write-in to firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. I legally changed my name in 2016 (my spiritual teacher gave me a new name upon my request), so you may find my earlier articles, videos etc. appearing under my former name, Charu Agarwal