“I’ll call you later, I’m in a meeting” is the response you get most of the times when you call an entrepreneur. But often, an entrepreneur’s day is filled with decision making than just meetings and calls. Entrepreneurship is a high-powered, challenging, and electrifying atmosphere. Every entrepreneur is prone to anxiety, self-doubt, stress, depression and burnout at some point in time. While some resort to alcohol, caffeine or narcotics to ward off the helplessness, fitness is the choice of many an entrepreneur today, with gym-ing, aerobics, pilates and of course Yoga occupying the top rungs.
Derived from Sanskrit, the word ‘yoga’ means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. The fitness-cum-spiritual practice which originated in ancient India is today being widely practised in various forms and continues to grow in popularity and revolutionize the lives of many people in our country. Besides batting for physical fitness, yoga also promotes mental awareness and spiritual awakening, which is always required by people who are looking for innovative ideas and leading businesses from the front.
“Entrepreneurial ventures and set-ups are facing almost equal pressure as corporates in today’s globalized world. Very often, in the pursuit of meeting a series of deadlines within a short span of time, entrepreneurs keep stretching themselves without taking rest and pushing to an extent which they shouldn’t. The dilemma of running a business and taking onus for its strengths and weaknesses can indeed turn out to be nerve-wracking; so much so, stress and anxiety can seem to get out of your control. In this context, practising Yoga can be your saviour,” says Dr Dharminder Nagar, Managing Director Paras Healthcare.
In the recent years, it has been established through various research that practising yoga helps in de-cluttering the mind, and can act as a positive boost for stress management in your professional life. No wonder dynamic corporates around the world are even nowadays embracing Yoga practice into their daily routine. But, one thing we often tend to miss out on is the importance of Yoga in the lives of entrepreneurs.
On the occasion of International Yoga Day, IndianWeb2 interacted with the entrepreneurs to know how Yoga is benefiting them in curbing their day to day stress.
“I have been following Sahaja Yoga since my childhood. Sahaja Yoga is a simple meditation programme that leads to a stress-free life. When I started my business, I realised I had to be more patient. The thing with doing meditation regularly is you can introspect very clearly. You get to know what is wrong with you and what you must do to improve. There are enormous benefits of doing meditation, you develop as a person, your creativity is sharpened, your senses get stronger and your decisions are more effective, all because you stay in the right mindset all the time. With these set of qualities you develop, I am sure you would foresee a problem and make right decisions to solve it before it arises. That makes you a complete entrepreneur,” says Sahaj Nalgirkar, Founder, GetSetGig, an online marketplace to hire live performing artists for any kind of event.
“Multifaceted in nature, Yoga is my go-to for meditative relaxation, whereas it can be someone else’ cardio workout. Like most other ambitious corporate professionals, I didn’t have the mindset or the time to focus on fitness and wellness while climbing up the corporate ladder. But when I gave Yoga a try, my attention spans drastically increased and I could feel an intuitive power surge.
Now, I begin my day with 45 minutes of Yoga split across, Suryanamaskar, select Asanas and Pranayam. This sets the pace for my entire day, and keeps me calm while I deal with situations, both favourable and unfavourable,” says Brahma Mahesh Khaderbad, CEO and Co-founder, FinMomenta.
“Entrepreneurs are always up to something big- all of the time and to have a vision, our minds and soul need to free up and clear of all negativity. That’s where mind-body exercises like meditation or yoga come in. Yoga helps to improve self-awareness, solve problems, promote a deep sense of inner peace, slow down ageing, reduce stress and enhance health. Yoga enhances the relaxation response which helps in insightful thinking,” express Ravi Virmani, Founder and Managing Director, Credihealth.
“Running a bootstrapped startup is all about thinking on your feet, innovating, getting creative with your resources, so that you can get the maximum out of whatever you have. However, creativity thrives in solitude, not when you are constantly discussing things, planning, worrying about numbers, networking. In this hyper-connected world, the one biggest gift you can give yourself as an entrepreneur is to totally disconnect yourself for one hour every day. Vipassana / yoga/meditation helps us do exactly that. It helps you get a fresh restart every day. To think clearer, better & Out of the Box,” says Mehul Jobanputra, CEO and Founder, DesiDime.com.
“Indulgence in Yoga early morning can set the tone of the day and that can help you perform better at work. Consciousness augmenting activities helps us strengthening our intuition when coupled with our rational thinking helps us with better judgement for our own good. Yoga gives mental clarity, lots of great ideas come when you’re away from transactional work and when you’re at peace it affects your work in a very positive way. Hence, committing fraction amount of time to yourself doesn’t do any harm.” says Ashish Shah, Founder & CEO, Vertoz.
“Entrepreneurship is a long tough journey and requires one to be committed to the cause for a long haul. Staying physically fit is important but maintaining one’s inner peace & mental semblance is even vital for an entrepreneur and this is where Yoga delivers like no other. My quick 15-min Yoga routine that I would like to suggest to everyone is 5-min of breathing exercise (Pranayama), 5-min of exercise (Suryanamaskar) 5-min of meditation!,” says Chaitanya, CEO, Goodness.
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“Yoga is the activity of the mind, body and soul. A fresh start to the day can only be achieved with a fresh mind. Surviving an entire day filled with challenges, an entrepreneur needs to have an alert, calm and active mind. A peaceful session of yoga once a day, plays a vital part in making one’s vision clear and better, thereby helping one realise the beauty of life,” says Amin Rozani MD and co-founder, The Spartan Poker, an online Poker gaming portal.
“Yoga, according to me, is a comprehensive mind-body wellness practice which should be a way of life. Entrepreneurs will relate to being stressed, physically and mentally, and the journey taking a toll on his/her health. This is where yoga helps. The key benefits of yoga include de-stressing, rejuvenation of mind and body through increased oxygen flow and being a catalyst to drive physical and mental health. A perfectly complementing match made in heaven, I would say,” says Narayan Menon, CMO and co-founder, Wandertrails.com.
“While I was in the midst of setting up SchoolWiser I did go through a bit of anxiety and living up to societal expectation initially. Like any other startup, the pressures and challenges were no less. Like Eric Paskel says “It’s not about tightening your ass, it’s about getting your head out of it”, work does not bring any kind of stress, it’s the inability to cope with it that stresses us mentally. Yoga brought immense focus and calmness to my life. I practice Surya Namaskar every day to help me energize and get ready for my hectic day schedule,” says Pooja Kedia, Founder- SchoolWiser
“Transitioning from the corporate world to entrepreneurship was difficult but regularly practising yoga has significantly transformed my way of thinking. It has also helped me decrease stress while boosting my mental state and follow my passion. Frankly, the more i delved into it, the more it percolated into other spheres of my life and helped me focus better. Not only that, the regular practice made me a better person. The practice of doing yoga 4-5 times a week gives me the opportunity to get away from the emotion tied up in decisions and allows me to gain perspective,” says Karthik Kittu, co-founder and CEO, Passion Connect.
“When you are a startup and especially the founder of one, there are no weekends and there are no fixed work hours so you work around the clock. This comes with a lot of stress, short notice and sleepless nights. The mind and body need to be fit to face all the challenges. A jog, workout, Pilates, yoga along with a few minutes of meditation in the morning gets my mind focused and activates the happy hormones to keep me motivated,” said Aradhana Dalmia, a young twenty-seven-year-old entrepreneur and the founder of The Artemist – an art consultancy firm.
“I think that entrepreneurs need exercise more than anyone else in the world! So what do you do when you don’t have time to go for a run? You take your yoga mat along everywhere! I know I do. I’ve been practising yoga since several years now, and it is what has kept me sane. Yoga improves flexibility, builds muscle strength, betters posture, boosts immunity, helps you focus, promotes sound sleep, and counteracts stress like a boss! Yoga will save your life,” says Pooja Sachin Duggal, Founder and CEO, Healthhunt.
“Two important aspects to any business owner. To be patience with how the market and business shapes up, be more focused on the deliverables and concentrate on day to day tasks. Yoga can help you connect with your true purpose and your goals by teaching you to quietly observe your mind and identify what you really want in life. Once you’ve found these, yoga can help you harness the power of your subconscious to help you make these a reality,” says Teja Gudluru, CEO and Founder, UDO.
So, these were the few entrepreneurs who shared their love for Yoga with us. If you also believe the same and practice Yoga every day do share your experience with us by mentioning it in the comment section below.
And if you are an entrepreneur gradually reeling under work pressure, in the lookout for a positive turnaround in your life, or in the hunt for one big idea, from today, start your mornings with a cup of coffee and Yoga, and soon Yoga may itself become your cup of tea/ coffee!
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