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COOL FACES OF BASTET NOIR: Meet Shalini Sarena, Founder of WomenInTech and International Mindset Coach

Shalini Sarena, the founder of WomenInTech wearing the Pentha Jumpsuit, custom-made for her

One would think that technology and spirituality are two things that are on the complete opposite spectrum of one another. Technology is often associated with science, a means for improving the external experience of humans and making the outside world easier and more accessible when it comes to our work, everyday tasks, and even free time. But it’s also something that, at times, has a complete grip over our lives, so naturally, people are on the lookout to find different ways to move beyond having an attachment to it. Spirituality is one of those ways. Through it, we can detach ourselves from the external, and focus instead on the power of the internal. We can find deeper meaning within ourselves through the practices of meditation, yoga, breathwork, and many other modalities. More often than not, technology and spirituality cancel each other out, with contradicting opinions on which one can be a better contribution for overall happier life. So, a question is raised: Can a person believe in and embody the beneficial properties of both technology and spirituality equally?

Shalini Sarena Bahad is an international mindset coach, yoga teacher, holistic healer, and an entrepreneur. She is the founder of WomenInTech, a media channel for women to discover other women in tech, which is an industry mainly dominated by men. She describes it as “a place where women can learn, discover, connect, story-tell, and get inspired.” So, to answer the previous question — yes, it’s totally achievable, and nobody can do it better than Shalini Sarena. She has managed to uplift women from all over the world to fiercely build careers in tech, as well as to grow from the inside out to become the best versions of themselves through mindfulness, meditation and encouraging a journey of personal development in general.

Who is Shalini Sarena?

Shalini Sarena is an international mindset coach, yoga teacher, meditation teacher, ceremonialist, singer, dancer, model, and entrepreneur. These are all external labels, however. At her core, Shalini Sarena is love and light. She is a woman who lives in her truth and fullest expression always, and in that, she allows herself to be a mirror for others to do the same in their lives. Shalini was born in London, has lived most of her life in America (Miami, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles), and has been quite nomadic for the past 5 years. She’s currently based out of Goa, India, and lived most of last year in Bali, Indonesia. You can learn more about her via her website or connect with her on Instagram @ShaliniSarena.

What’s your morning routine like?

I wake up before sunrise and honor my morning practice first and foremost. I leave my phone on airplane mode, get up, tongue scrape, and then brush my teeth. I go downstairs and put the kettle on and make myself either a morning cup of cacao or simply warm water, lemon, turmeric, and little black pepper — depends on my mood. Then I head back upstairs, open up all my windows and doors to the balconies, and begin my morning movement and meditation practice. It’s always an intuitively led session blending meditation, breathwork, movement, and mantras. I also have an aerial belt where I hang upside down which stimulates the pineal gland. I love journaling at the end of my morning practice also to capture what is present and to more deeply process anything I may be navigating or creating.

Do you remember what your first job was and how that experience shaped you to become who you are today?

My first job was when I about 5 or 6 and I would sell my old toys to the neighborhood kids haha! An entrepreneur from the jump.

How did you start Women in Tech and what was the initial idea behind it?

I started WomenInTech because when I lived in San Francisco and was producing global hackathons, I noticed the imbalance in diversity in the tech space. Many times I was one of the very few women, and certainly one of the very few women of color, in many scenarios. Media plays a big part in what is normalized and representation matters. Young girls spend several hours on social media per week, several hours per DAY at times! And most of the sponsored ads young girls are seeing are makeup and fashion related. We can do better. We can show our youth that they can be makers, creators, innovators, etc.

I started WomenInTech because I actively do work where I may serve as a bridge to create more diversity in the tech space, wellness space, and beyond.

Three things you wish you knew before starting out…

Don’t overthink things, love. Trust your instinct and your intuition. You’ve got this and you’re divinely supported and protected, always.

Books that changed your life

The Power of Now

Biggest failure/setback in life and what you’ve learnt from it?

The biggest setback is that when I first moved to America at age 11, I lived under the roof of my former bipolar stepmother. My mother wasn’t around and my father traveled quite a lot for work. So being under her roof wasn’t exactly easy. I worked very hard in high school as I knew education would be my ticket to freedom and peace. I started University with five scholarships under my belt and became fully independent when I was sixteen years old. I worked at least three jobs while going to school full time, maintaining scholarships, being involved on campus, etc.

This experience during my teenage years has taught me to be resilient and it’s also taught me to detach and release external expectations. It’s taught me to simply accept what is. Instead of being in resistance or falling into a victim story, choosing to extract the wisdom and lessons that come from everything in life, always finding space for gratitude and knowing fully that I am deeply supported energetically by the Universe.

Favorite female empowerment speech

Beyonce songs and when I’m dancing and singing them full power.

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Shalini Sarena, the founder of WomenInTech wearing the Pentha Jumpsuit, custom-made for her

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