Priya Pandya and Kajal Desai

This is a guest post from Kajal Desai, co-founder of Doonya, a happy workout inspired by Bollywood dance. Kajal shares the story of how making the decision to live in the grey has affected her life.

Dance has always been a passion for me and my co-founder (and good friend), Priya Pandya. It is an escape from reality—a happy place where we can go after a hard day at work, a long day of meetings, or to release the stress of deadlines and financial security.

When we met in 2005, Priya worked in International Development at the World Bank and I was an Organizational Psychologist with Booz Allen Hamilton. We decided to teach dance “on the side” as a way to continue feeding our love for dance but also as a way to spread it to the larger community.

Dhoonya 2011 Summer Workshop

But fate led us to turning our passion into our business. Two years later, there we were quitting our jobs, knowing it was what we wanted but also wondering if we were crazy.

We now faced the challenge of our job being both our happy place AND what at times caused our anxiety. In some ways, our decision to #LiveGrey was easy – if we didn’t mix work and play and remember all of the reasons to smile when growth became challenging, we weren’t going to make it.

Don’t get me wrong, there were days when I woke up stressed about finances and how I would get everything done before leaving to teach 3 classes that evening. But the incredible thing was, I still went to bed that night feeling content and happy, knowing that I was doing what I loved. No matter how stressful the day, I wouldn’t change a thing about my grey life.

It was in those moments that I realized that changing my career path was the absolute right thing for me to do. I found that there was a way to perfectly blend the body and mind, to put education and lifetime learning to use and to fulfill what was in my heart at the same time.

It can be scary—leaving behind a cush position with a stable income, but if other dreams are in your heart, you may never be truly happy. As stated so eloquently by the late Steve Jobs, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Find what you love about your work and live in that space. Live in the grey.


Kajal Desai
Kajal Desai is co-founder and Doonya Chief Content Officer. A southern belle, former cheerleader, and self-taught dancer turned ACE – Certified fitness instructor, Kajal is currently expanding Doonya to the West Coast after heading up Doonya DC.

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