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World Teachers Day: Mindset & Well-Being Coach, Teacher – Interview With Akanksha Kulkarni

Akanksshaa is a Mindset & Well Being Catalyst, Chopra Meditation & Health Teacher, Well-being Coach, Bestselling Author, Positive Intelligence Coach, Keynote Speaker, Ex-IBMer. She helps individuals & organizations align purpose, rewire mind, and enrich well-being through science and spirituality based eclectic tools & techniques. After her 17 yo son crossed over, she has founded a non-profit organization with a mission to enrich health and well-being and expand consciousness through education and science research interventions. Her book “The Untold Legend: Rise of A Mother” has become a no. 1 bestseller in education and ranked as bestseller in well-being, education, biology, and journals categories.

photo of Akanksshaa

Akanksshaa (Akanksha Kulkarni), Mindset & Well-being Coach, Teacher

What inspired you to become a teacher and coach in the field of health and well-being?

I love teaching. Even when I was doing my graduation, I used to teach younger kids. So, you can say, love for teaching is in my DNA. During and just after my graduation, my avid interest and enthusiasm in fitness led me to become an aerobics instructor. I worked part time as an aerobics instructor for a few years till I completed my post-graduation/ MBA. I took up a corporate job in IT/ Finance after my MBA from one of the top B schools in India. Although I was handling programs/ delivery and large teams as part of my job, I also used to facilitate and train senior/ exec corporate leaders as a corporate facilitator. I later moved into learning and knowledge division. I have also been a spiritual teacher for about twelve plus years, alongside my corporate job. I quit my full time corporate job in IBM and founded my coaching & training venture Mind N Beyond in October 2018. After my teenage son crossed over in 2020, my spiritual awakening helped me to connect with higher realms/ dimensions. I get guidance from my son and higher beings. I was guided to immerse fully and more deeply in the area of health and well-being. I completed Chopra health, meditation teacher and well-being coach certifications based on the guidance I received. With so much stress, anxiety, fear, and chaos happening through the world, there’s an urgent need for people to expand consciousness and establish the unity consciousness. Your well-being is not just absence of disease or just being physically healthy and fit; it’s about having holistic i.e., mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It’s multi-dimensional. I am inspired and guided by my son, my higher-self and divine to help people with their holistic well-being through teaching, mentoring, and coaching.

Can you describe your approach to teaching and coaching in these areas? What methods and techniques do you find most effective?

I am a (Deepak) Chopra certified well-being coach and a health and meditation teacher. I use Chopra methodology and approach for well-being coaching. Well-being is not just about absence of disease or good physical health and fitness; it’s about holistic physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Chopra approach consists of four cornerstones: 1) Find your life purpose/ dharma and align with it 2) Set intentions and goals in all areas of life in alignment 3) Identify and shift conditioned, limiting beliefs to view life through a more expanded and optimistic lens. 4) Shadow work: Recognize and clear subconscious judgments, painful emotions, and internal blocks. Chopra Primordial Sound Meditation (PSM) is a unique program, backed by thorough scientific research. More than 100,000 people worldwide have learnt it and are practicing it. This technique originates in India’s ancient Vedic tradition. PSM uses individually selected sounds of nature called mantras to disconnect us from the activity of life. These primordial sounds are based on the vibration the universe was creating at the time of your birth. Personal mantra is provided to each individual, taking which, they can easily slip into meditation. Chopra health program is based on ancient Indian Ayurvedic science. It covers in depth the principles of Ayurveda, understand how our constitution is made, six pillars of health, learn about nutrition, sleep, movement, learn how to eliminate toxins, learn tools to enhance relationships and achieve emotional freedom, learn to use your senses to access power of body’s inner pharmacy to heal, nourish and maintain balance. I am also a Positive Intelligence certified coach. This coaching methodology involves identifying the ways in which you sabotage your own success and overcome / deal with those saboteurs. Over and above these I use world class techniques which I have learnt and used over the years successfully to get results in clients’ personal development, performance, and holistic well-being.

How do you address skepticism or resistance from individuals who may be new to concepts like meditation or spiritual well-being?

I have taught, mentored, and coached people across all ages, including senior/executive corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, kids, teens, and young adults. I come from science, business, and technology background. I have done MBA (Finance) from one of the top B schools in India. I am currently pursuing PhD in education psychology. My work experience of 25+ years includes 20+ years in the corporate sector (IT & Finance). I can make my teachings relatable to people because of my background and experience. I draw examples and case studies from my research/ studies/ work experience in my programs. Chopra programs are backed by thorough scientific research, including research from Harvard and other world renowned organizations. Science and spirituality go hand in hand and have many common threads. Physicists such as Neils Bohr, Heisenberg and Schrodinger had studied ancient Indian scriptures. I combine neuroscience, quantum physics, positive psychology and spirituality based eclectic tools and techniques in all my programs. Spirituality is experiential; so, I slowly and gradually take people on this journey by introducing short yet powerful mindfulness techniques/ meditations. I also encourage people to move from mind to heart center and be open to newer experiences leading to holistic growth.

What are your views about current education? How can we bring in holistic development and well-being of an individual right from young age?

I have talked about this in details in my book: The Untold Legend: Rise of A Mother. Today’s education will become obsolete in a few years with the advent of AI. Traditional education systems often rely on rote memorization, standardized testing, and a one-size-fits-all approach. However, these methods may not effectively engage students or foster a deep understanding of concepts. We need to explore innovative teaching techniques, personalized learning, and student-centered approaches that cater to individual needs and learning styles. With advancement in technology, all information is available at your fingertips. “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” ~Albert Einstein. Education systems need radical transformation and need to include developing skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and digital literacy. Kids and youth today are burdened with stress, competition, social media distractions and other peer pressures. Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation should be an integral part of education across the board to help individuals stay centered, joyful, energetic, and peaceful in today’s chaotic world.

What activities do you undertake as part of the foundation you set up in your son’s memory?

I established Arnav Memorial Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) organization, in memory of my only son Arnav, who crossed over at the age of 17 in 2020. Arnav’s dream and divine guidance to expand consciousness and bring love, peace and harmony in the world is the inspiration for this foundation. Arnav Memorial Foundation is dedicated to enriching health and well-being, delivering holistic education based on spirituality, psychology & science, expanding consciousness, and promoting world peace to all members of the human family. We collaborate with other organizations and conduct training/ coaching and mentoring initiatives/ programs for kids / teens and women for holistic development and well-being. The details of our projects can be found on our website.

What’s your message for everyone as a well-being coach, teacher, and mentor?

We are not just our physical body, and we are not here just to eat, sleep, work and live in an auto-pilot mode. We need to let go of ego based and fear based paradigms and constructs. We give away our power by being stuck in the matrix. We are multidimensional beings. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. We are infinite beings with infinite potential. When you find our life purpose (dharma) and align your life, you find joy, bliss, abundance, and freedom. When you have alignment with your life purpose, you are in the flow. Your “work” doesn’t feel like “work”; it’s your mission, your contribution to the world. We all have designated spirit guides and angels. You can ask for guidance from your higher self, your spirit guides, and angels. These higher beings from higher realms/ dimensions have a very different view, a perspective across lifetimes and what you’re meant to experience in this lifetime. We are here to expand our consciousness, raise vibration of individuals and collective and move into unity consciousness. We are here to serve in our own unique way.

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