Smita Joshi

more than an author

SM-16 ABorn in the port town of Porbandar in Gujarat, India, my parents and I moved to London when I was ten. I studied in England, undertaking English, French and Politics at college.

In a career spanning 25 years, I took on increasingly challenging responsibilities in the corporate world. One of my main roles was selling multi-million dollar contracts into well-known global companies. Through the business I was in, I’€™m proud to have been one of the pioneers bringing India’™s Information Technology services into the heart of British and European companies.

Alongside my corporate career, I became a life coach and led personal transformation programmes to groups of hundreds at a time. As a freelance TV presenter, I interview gurus, entrepreneurs and politicians. A devoted practitioner, I’m also a certified yoga instructor.  I’m married and live in London.

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Background

My birth town of Porbandar, a buzzing port along North West India’€™s Arabian Sea coastline, is better known as the home of Mahatma Gandhi.

I was brought up in a traditional Indian home with values rooted in ancient Vedic culture. We lived for most of my childhood close by the sea and some of my years were spent in a beautiful sea-facing house of my grandfather’€™s, a well-respected lawyer.

As with many children in India, I was fortunate to have the influence of a grandmother who imbued in me the values of the age-old culture into which I was born. She encouraged me to read daily the Bhagavad Gita in Gujarati and to recite various Sanskrit mantras before I’€™d turned seven. This gave me a solid foundation on which to later build as I strived to heal the traumas of my past, and bring balance to a hectic life while working as a business executive with large global companies.

I loved my life in London and its flourishing entrepreneurial culture. Like a duck to water, I thrived on working internationally in hardcore business environments, selling leading-edge technology contracts to multi-national corporations.

img061 - Smita - croppedI am proud to have been one of the pioneers to convince large Western companies to start working with the Indian IT industry, which was growing in those days from its infancy into one of the largest parts of the Indian economy. But at the same time, while working in the cut-throat world of business, I was fascinated by who we are deeper within.

It was not long before I felt compelled to balance my professional corporate existence with, at the same time, finding a way to nourish my soul. I yearned to experience more of the soulful, radiant inner being that I had seen glimpses of at various times in my life.

Smita040 ADuring my holidays and sabbaticals I travelled across India with yogis and gurus to see what more I could discover about the Self within. I pored over the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Shiva Sutras, the Puranas and Upanishads, soaking up whatever I could and went about applying some of these teachings to improve my quality of life, including in my work.

Later in my quest, I travelled to many other places, including New Mexico, Hawaii and Kauai to seek out special people, places and answers to unresolved questions that throttled the possibility that life offered. As my self-awareness grew, so did my desire to serve others.

Alongside of my business life, when not travelling for work or meeting deadlines, I dedicated my weekends, holidays and any spare time over a number of years to become a life coach. I first followed a few years of hard training on how to help others in a responsible way to uncover their deepest issues and transform themselves. Then, I was allowed to go and assist in such programmes. It was not long before I had the privilege of leading these cutting-edge series of workshops myself, coaching large groups of 100 – 300 people at a time on how to deal more powerfully with the challenges of modern life and realise their goals and aspirations.

 

_MG_9365_2Yoga – the context for my life

As a child, I grew up watching my father regularly stand on his head, for what seemed to me like hours. He was doing the Shirsasana yoga posture.

Guided by his guru, the brilliant Sri Aurobindo, my father was an avid yogi who meditated regularly. Though Dad never taught me directly, simply watching him stand stock still on his head and sit statuesque in deep, meditative immersions captivated my imagination as a little girl.

Around the age of twelve, I too started to attempt performing yoga postures. A few years later, I also began to meditate, purely guided by my intuitive inklings. On and off, I did yoga for twenty years but it was only when I stumbled into my first Vinyasa Flow training course did my yoga practice begin in earnest.  This was with the extraordinary, internationally renowned yoga teacher, Shiva Rea. Her profound knowledge and approach to integrating the different aspects of yoga touched me deeply and inspired by Shiva, I took up training with her to be able to teach.

Other accomplished yoga masters of the Krishnamacharya lineage with whom I have studied include David Swenson, Richard Freeman, Ana Forrest, Anna Ashby, Hamish Hendry and Stewart Gilchrist. As well as Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow Yoga, I also practice Mysore Style Ashtanga and other forms of dynamic yoga. I teach regularly and am committed to my daily practice.

 

Diving Deep

MRC_7859 copy - fishes 4People and cultures fascinate me and I love exploring different parts of the world. My love of travel has taken me to swim with wild dolphins, exploring volcanoes, visiting temples, shrines and mystical places across the world.

I’ve studied several Indian and Buddhist spiritual systems and continue to delve into their richness to discover new facets of who we are.  Unveiling the mysteries of the mind, spirit and what it means to be human excites me. A keen diver, scuba diving satisfies my yearning for adventure and immersing into the unknown.  The ocean can, at once, contain dangerous shipwrecks and beautiful reefs, treacherous sharks and playful dolphins. For me, scuba diving offers a beautiful metaphor for diving into the deep ocean of the inner Self that can nourish the soul but also hold paradoxes, just like the many facets of our own beautiful being.

 

Karma & Diamonds

Years and years of my soul searching have resulted is my first trilogy, Karma & Diamonds. These are the books that I wish someone had written for me when I really needed them.

The trilogy is a handbook for fully living the contemporary life while being connected to something deeper and authentic within.

I’ve written these books for those of you who, like me, are seeking to move beyond your limitations, to harness your inner radiance and power — whether it be for being more peaceful, feeling more alive and vibrant, or living the best life you possibly dare to.

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