Tejal ( तेजल ) is Radiance, Brightness, Lustrous, Gifted.
Yoga ( योग ) means to yoke, unite, join.
When I started the journey of teaching yoga in 2013, I searched to find my voice as a teacher. It is said that which you are seeking is already within you and that was true for me. I realized that my inner teacher, that voice I bring to each offering is about connecting to the luminous, bright center within each of us.
I wondered why I was given such a name as Tejal. The Gujarati Indian tradition of the naming ceremony is interesting, however the specific story of my name proved elusive to get my ears on in full. To date, I've only heard snippets of how I was named. I verified only some of the juicy stuff:
My birthdate, time, and time zone corresponds to a solar sun sign (surya rashi). Each surya rashi has corresponding Sanskrit letters associated. I am not sure what my surya rashi is but the letter associated to my birth was T ( त ). My paternal aunt chose the rest of my name based off this letter.
Because I was born in a hospital in Detroit and my aunt wasn't there, my older sister tells me my aunt called in the name. Traditionally, the naming ceremony for a baby girl takes place 13 days after birth. Seated around a ceremonial fire, during a religious ceremony with a pundit/priest, the aunt chooses the name and whispers it first to the baby then announces it to the family.
I have grown to love and respect my name. Not only does is encourage me to be lustrous and sharp, I find myself offering the idea of radiance and splendour to others as I teach. In some yoga schools, the student is given a name after achieving a certain level of study, I feel I grew into my name in a similar way.
I also find it striking that when broken apart into Tej ( तेज ) and jal ( जल ) the meanings of these two words even respect the yogic teachings:
Tej ( तेज ) = Fire, Bright and jal ( जल ) = Water, Clear
It may happen that you will start to see derivatives of both these words as you read the yogic texts. It's my sincerest hope that your path of yoga brings you a deeper understanding of self as it did to me. It may be that one day, this new found knowledge may also fuel the light and fire within you that you share with the world.
For more reading: the journey to the self and the beautiful, positive effects of the practice are discussed in both the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.