We had the good fortune of connecting with Asal Shokati and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Asal, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I love that you asked about risk! Risk to me is following my Heart even-though my mind cannot make sense of that decision. Risk is doing what you know is Right despite all voices around you being against it. Coming from a background of management information systems and finance with more than ten years of work experience in various industries, deciding first to take a long moment of pause to recalibrate my state of health and secondly to figure out what it is that makes my heart sing, especially regarding my career, seemed like a huge risk. Leaving a prestigious and rewarding career in corporate banking with reliable income, perks and benefits and stepping into a world of uncertainty was not only risky but could be perceived as scary. And it was a giant step to follow my Heart. Despite many ups and downs, looking back, I see tremendous amounts of growth, self awareness, sustainable state of wellbeing and health and the realization that the risk is paying off. Balance is the reward I’ve happily achieved through taking that risk. And now I see clearly what needed to happen. A deep knowledge of business and the industry as well as more holistic, esoteric and spiritual practice had to be gained to allow me to merge the two and shape my practice of service.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been deep in the middle of refining and rebranding my practice as we speak. It’s been very exciting to be now combining my expertise in business, finance, education, management and innovative projects with my current practice as an Ayurvedic practitioner and restorative yoga teacher. In the past, I have taught and consulted with clients regarding matters pertaining to their health and restoring balance the holistic way, with an emphasis on the consciousness model, which understands the body, energy, mind and emotions, spirit and soul. I am happy to be bringing such expertise into my new practice as a consultant to the holistic professionals and practitioners. I have consulted many yoga teachers, wellness and well-being practitioners, and medical doctors who were pursuing a more holistic route and provided solutions for their individual or regarding their practice and clients over the years. The true highlight of my new endeavors is bringing in the element of intuition and understanding my clients’ essence and refraining from cookie-cutter recommendations; while backing those with data, numbers, or time-tested knowledge. I will share credible material they can use to teach and inform their clients without having to spend years of research and trial and error and taking classes and workshops that may not have been necessarily providing them with the answers they seek. I see myself working with a lot more individuals who are at cross-roads on their holistic professional and career paths.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
What makes Houston great is number one, its amazing people and diverse population and two the diversity in its fauna and flora, which comes due to its vastness. Drawn so much to nature, I take refuge in the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center a lot, seeing nature in its glory each season thus I love to take friends and family there too. I’ve also recently discovered the Audubon Society’s Edith Moore sanctuary, a few minutes away from where I live on Memorial Drive near Beltway 8. Pretty amazing and rather raw. Houston has other amazing parks such as the Menil Collection’s lawn space as well as Hermann Park and Centennial Park and Garden that I’d like to visit. I do love to go to my favorite restaurants in town, calling them my Cheers, where everybody knows my name. Chef Anita Jaisingani’s Pondicheri, Chef Kaiser Lashkari’s Himalaya and Akira Asano’s Izakaya Wa, are a few of the very passionate and amazing people I know in this town and have taken everyone I know and love to their restaurants.  Another amazing activity is to go to one of the many amazing farmers and outdoors markets happening on a weekly or monthly basis in the city. I usually go where my wonderful friend and Floral Chef Bee of Flora Cocina is. Urban Harvest and Heights Mercantile are fun to visit on a weekend; 19th Street in the Heights on a beautiful day cannot be competed with either.  Plenty of tasty, healthy and aesthetically pleasing natural merchandises to even buy as a Houston souvenir if one is visiting from out of town. Let’s not forget how relatively close we are to open waters in Houston. A day trip on a sunny day to one of the marinas of Clear Lake or Galveston Island’s beaches may be quite memorable too. Lastly, I’d like to take my friends to a soulful yoga practice at We Thrive Yoga, an open air studio and garden in Spring Branch. Go see Nick Zogg and lovely Farida Meguid on a Monday night.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is the hardest and yet easiest part of our interview. I initially wrote over 30 names. Many incredible people have come into my life in various capacities and their presence have been fundamental in shaping my life experience and professional endeavors. Big thanks to my mom and dad for their support, encouragement and setting examples. My eternal gratitude to Elena Herdieckerhoff, Simin Nezhad, Paul Dugliss, Sandee Mac, George Vroulis, Asrael Zemenick, David Lesinski, Lex Gillen, and Julia Clarke. And to Cory, Kevan, Danica, Ivana, Nazanin and Negar.

Website: www.joolbox77.com

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Other: Email: info@joolbox77.com

Image Credits
Asal Shokati Dr. Aarti Soorya

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