In 2010, Jyothi Shyamsunder was diagnosed with clinical depression and prescribed a high dose of antidepressants that caused a cascade of panic attacks, anxiety, and insomnia. Amid a culture that considered mental health issues taboo, she found herself alone and overwhelmed in a battle to reclaim her health. With a heavy load of skepticism, Shyamsunder signed up for a 10-day silent retreat and unexpectedly discovered the power of sitting with her emotions. "I felt like a rebirth had taken place deep within me," she says. "I couldn’t put a finger on what had changed, but something had taken a permanent turn for the better."
Now, Shyamsunder conducts research and curriculum development on compassion and human consciousness for colleges. In fact, she contributed to the development of the kindness curriculum led by the Dalai Lama at Emory University. Shyamsunder also hosts self-compassion retreats and provides mindfulness trainings for in a variety of private, professional, and academic spaces. "I help organizations and leadership teams bring in joy, stability, clarity, better decision-making, and much more by coaching them on mindfulness and compassion," she says about her time as a mindfulness and compassion coach at SimpliFit.in.