Bringing the Nuances of Health to Everyday Life

Shambhavi Singh hails from Bangalore and is an investment banker turned Health Coach. She believes that every human being wants to be heard and understood, and she aims to give them a platform for the same. Through her venture, Kaushalya Mantra, she wishes to provide her clients with a safe space to help them take control of their lives. Apart from her plethora of expertise, she is also a published writer, who refuses to shy away from expressing her truest emotions.

In her interview with Storiyaan, Shambhavi explains the importance of exercise, a proper diet, healing, Lifestyle, and much more. With a host of credentials backing her up, she has a plethora of knowledge to impart through her journey

Interview

Questions and answers

From being an investment banker to writing, talking about health, and encouraging self-care; how would you describe the whole transition?

While we constantly admire the beauty of a butterfly, we forget to give due importance to the caterpillar’s patience. When I started my career as a financial research analyst, I was sure that I was sorted for life. While adapting to a new city, I had a lot of time for self-reflection and I realized that I was not made for a desk job. My solo trip to Ladakh in 2018 was a turning point for me. I felt a resurgence in my soul, and I knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I found my calling, and being a health coach was a catalyst to that.

What made you think of the name ‘Khichdi in Shampange’? What is the idea behind this unique name?

One of the meanings of Khichdi is mélange – a mix. And of course, we have a very popular Indian Dish Khichdi, which also happens to be my comfort food. Perhaps the most notable thing people do to celebrate is pop a bottle of champagne. Now Champagne became Shampagne, from my name. Life is a mixed bag of varied emotions and experiences. Khichdi in Shampagne means the celebration of every aspect of life. There are lows and highs that contribute to our fruitful existence. To put it simply, I want people to come to my page and find comfort in my words without feeling judged.

You work on diverse subjects like lifestyle, food, health, beauty, and much more. How do you manage to render justice to this diversified spectrum of work?

In my opinion, all these spectrums co-exist. When I counsel my clients, I want to give them evidence-based information rather than internet-based. I have put a lot of effort into my studies and to gain knowledge, and every client brings a new set of challenges which further adds to my experience. I am a trained health coach and I have also done my yoga teachers training course, which has helped me understand the concept of balance and the philosophy of life. I have a keen interest in learning, and I love to benefit other people with my knowledge. All these things help me in integrating my knowledge and serving my clients better.

Busting health and lifestyle-based myths are some of the highlights of your Instagram feed. What is the process you follow to ensure authenticity in your content?

It takes a lifetime to understand ourselves but only a moment to understand science. Everyone seems to know everything about health and wellness these days. We are inundated with information today, which might not always be accurate. I am a skeptic, and I believe in constantly questioning rather than accepting something blindly. I don’t “Google” for information, rather I am keen on understanding research papers and studies. There are so much misinformation and absurd theories floating around, to avoid, or to cure the virus. You have to understand science and its mechanisms to be able to squash the fake news. 

Tell us about Kaushalya Mantra. What is your approach towards health and myths associated with it?

Kaushalya Mantra is my health venture. My aim with this venture is to create a safe and non-judgmental space for my clients and promote emotional, mental, and physical well-being without making good health look like an unachievable target. I help my clients understand their relationship with food, help them manage stress, and develop a positive body image. My goal is to simplify the process of health without resorting to extreme measures. Talking about myths, I like to call myself ‘The Myth Buster’. The market is flooded with detox drinks and immunity boosters. The detox in your body is actually done by your organs, what they need is your support. Healthy food, exercise, and sleeping well is the way to go. 

How did you begin shambhavi_curlsome? What are the important aspects of self-care that you inculcate in your life?

shambhavi_curlsome stemmed from the idea of me embracing my curly hair and inspiring more people to do it. I grew up not understanding how to take care of my hair. The discovery of the whole Curly Girl Method helped me discover the potential of my hair a couple of years ago. It gave me a sense of freedom to leave my curls loose and not tie them up in a ponytail or braid it. I believe the real sense of self-care comes from having boundaries, honoring yourself, and standing up for everything you believe in. I try to eat well, exercise, and give myself regular scalp massages, and indulge in a relaxing skincare night routine. It gives me the time to relax and signals my brain to wind down. 

Can you tell us about your debut book with Thera-poetic Bliss?

I self-published my debut poetry book Thera-Poetic bliss. I was unaware of my potential as a writer or a poet when I started writing on Instagram for leisure. Writing helped me connect with myself and my audience. People used to connect with me and my verses and pour their stories out to me. Later, people started asking me to publish a book. Recently, I was honored to be named as one of the ‘Four Indian female poets to read.’ It has been such a beautiful journey for me, from discovering myself to putting it all in words in the book. I genuinely believe no emotion is a negative emotion; it’s simply about understanding the depth of it. I want everyone to know that they have it in them, to unearth their true potential. 

You talked about controversies around plagiarism a few months ago. Could you share your story with our audience and tell us how you dealt with it?

I detest plagiarism and have zero tolerance towards it. It happened with me twice on Instagram. My lines were conveniently copied word by word without giving me credit. I understand that Instagram is an open platform, and the information is out there for everyone to consume. But it’s worse when people you know or interact with, do that to you. People still try to copy my work that is the reason I decided to put it all in a book and register for copyright. That’s how I like to deal with things – by making every situation work for me! 

Being a life coach, have you ever faced any situation where you are advising people in situations that you were also currently going through at that phase?

As a life coach, I have often had to deal with this kind of situation. However, as a professional, I also understand how to keep my stance neutral and give people the best advice. My emotions & experiences would never come in the way of my work. As human beings, everyone goes through a lot of similar experiences and feelings with varying degrees. How much one observes and learns from it without getting attached to it, makes all the difference. 

People have started emphasizing the importance of mental health, which was earlier neglected by most people. What are some other aspects of health which also need attention but are being neglected by many?

Mental health has become a hot topic these days and for the right reasons. However, I still don’t think most people understand it comprehensively. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to stop apologizing for our feelings. Instead of assuming things about someone, we need to ask more questions. Instead of saying, “Stop feeling like that”, we need to ask, “WHY are you feeling like that?” I also feel it’s essential to make yourself a priority no matter what anyone else thinks. You need to be feeling your best to give your best to the world. So, take good care of yourself, and sometimes that can be as simple as taking long deep breaths, decluttering, enjoying your own company, and learning to say no without guilt. 

According to you, how should one think about celebrity diet plans and exercises?

I advise people to ignore what a celebrity eats and how they exercise because everybody is different. Celebrities indulge in extreme diets and exercise regimens which may cause more harm than good. I have seen them talk about cutting out entire food groups from their diet, which can harm an individual’s relationship with food. Also, the concept of bio-individuality is a crucial aspect to understand, according to which – one man’s food is another man’s poison. Health is all about understanding what works for you in the long run, and what makes you happy and healthy. 

You are a francophone. What draws you to French? Does any other language spark your interest?

I studied French for five years as I thought about taking up the language professionally. It’s my love for the language that kept me in the loop of learning. It kept my mind stimulated when I felt low, and it helped me stay afloat when I was trying to figure out my life’s purpose. It sounds philosophical, but it helped me so much, in going beyond my comfort zone. I love learning, and many languages fascinate me. Some languages in my learning list are Sanskrit, Spanish, and Italian. I’m quite sure there will be quite a few additions to this list soon. 

Quick 5

a. Favorite author: Hergé & Enid Blyton 

b. Poetry or Novel: Novel 

c. Writing or Reading Writing 

d. The thing you love to do in your personal time: Learning something new 

e. The most meaningful and beautiful review from your reader?: It was by a woman who waited to confirm her pregnancy news and then bought my book. It was the first book she read to the baby in her womb.

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