Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey by launching a wellness business but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Iman Grewal of YogaVedaIman, based in Toronto and Waterloo.
What's your business and who are your customers?
Hi! I'm Iman Grewal. While on the journey to heal myself, I found my purpose - "When you heal yourself, you heal the world."
A Healer is a person who gives people a reason to believe they can be healed. A Healer is someone who holds space for you while you awaken your inner healer. I am a Healer, Wellness Expert, Mental Health Professional and devoted Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation Practitioner.
Through my passion and pursuit for entrepreneurship combined with my deep belief that without mental health, there is no health, I curated a wellness platform named YogaVedaIman.
The mission of this healing platform is to de-stigmatize mental health and create a safe space for healing where everyone feels a sense of belonging, love and acceptance through the community we create together so no one ever feels they need to suffer in silence or alone.
Over the years, while struggling with my own mental health challenges, I dedicated years of my life to learning alternative methods to heal myself to eventually become certified in high level mind/body healing methodologies from the Vedic disciplines of Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation, all deeply rooted in the ways of life originating from my motherland, India.
Like a tree, at YogaVedaIman, we begin with your roots and help heal and rebuild your foundation through self-love because only when we take time to replenish, heal and truly love ourselves can we show up first for ourselves and thrive.
Then can we happily share our time and essence with others in every role we take on in this life and every relationship we build.
What services can you find here? 1) Individual 1-2-1 wellness programs and coaching 2) Group wellness & mental health retreats 3) Corporate Wellness / Employee Wellness.
Tell us about yourself
While pursuing a successful career in the arts, travelling and performing as a professional dancer and at the peak of my first entrepreneurial journey, running and operating my very own artist management company Kama Entertainment, I experienced multiple burnouts which eventually resulted in a mental health hospitalization.
This time in my life forced me to take my first mental health leave from work and finally take a step back from being the sole caregiver of a sick family member which all brought to surface unhealed childhood trauma, a direct result of growing up in a home with mental illness, addictions and abuse.
Determined to live a life not defined by my trauma or my mental health diagnoses of anxiety, depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), I started the 15 year plus journey of mental health education and holistic Eastern healing methods ranging from certifications in traditional yogic philosophy and movement to Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga to learning and practicing meditation techniques from a trauma informed lens.
We the human race are connected and so I quickly realized that my healing is directly dependent on the healing of others. Be the change you want to see in the world as they say and there really is no bigger motivation or act of self compassion and selfless seva (service to others), a pillar of the Sikh religion I was born into.
Over the years, I have pursued a career path in mental health and today while I pursue my dreams of healing others through my wellness platform YogaVedaIman, I am blessed to also be working as a mental health educator and entrepreneurship coach for the leading mental health organization in Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Association.
In this incredible role I coach and support individuals like myself living with mental health challenges to see their dreams of self employment come to fruition while maintaining a healthy balance with their overall health, their mental health.
I also volunteer and serve as a Board Member for one of the leading South Asian mental health agencies in Toronto, SOCH Mental Health.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My resilience and my ability to turn my pain into purpose for myself and the community I serve.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There are many which is why I have dedicated my work to coaching and helping other entrepreneurs like myself find a healthy balance in their overall life therefore if I had to choose one, it would definitely be maintaining ones mental health throughout the process.
You need to make sure you find your tribe, your community, your support network and then make time for self care.
What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1) Take care of your mental health.
2) Don't be afraid to ask for help, again find your tribe.
3) Have a solid business plan and if you don't have one or are struggling to even nail down what it is you want to pursue, take free entrepreneurship courses like the incredible ones offered at risehelps.ca - never stop learning, oops, that might be 4!