My wife Sunder and I had first met each other in what you call a typical, arranged marriage setup here in India. Apart from the fact that both, Sunder’s as well as my father served the Indian Army, our interest in Yoga and meditation was the common string that helped us connect with each other immediately.
Sunder was introduced to the practice of Yoga and meditation in her childhood to help her control her migraine. It has been over 15 years since she has been practicing Yoga and exploring its many benefits. Her first Yoga lessons and classes were with her family, when her father, an Army Subedar Major, encouraged the entire family to follow and practice Baba Ram Dev’s Yoga classes which were aired on TV.
His TV show is still very popular and many households continue to benefit from his day to day tips for Yoga practice. When Sunder and I started talking about Yoga, she expressed her love for Yoga and also her concerns about her career. Though she was pursuing her MBA, she was not very sure about her career path.
Uncertainty is a good thing
For Sunder and I, uncertainty about our future was an ice-breaker. Soon, we became good friends. Knowing Sunder’s love for Yoga, I suggested that she should look up Yoga Teacher Training courses and consider teaching Yoga as a career option. However, coming from a traditional Rajasthani and middle-class family mindset, convincing parents was a difficult task; especially when she was so close to finding herself a corporate job after completing her MBA.
Sunder, however, did not worry much about what others or the society at large would think and chose to travel to Rishikesh, the Yoga capital of the world to explore the world of Yogis before making any life-altering decisions. After completing her MBA she soon got a job offer. But by now, her heart and mind were all for Yoga. She paid heed to my suggestion and decided to take up year-long training and practice for Yoga TTC.
“It’s not about being good at something. It’s about being good to yourself.”
Though she was uncertain about the future, she was certain that she did not want to regret her life later by not taking up something that she truly loved and believed in. I could relate to her as I was already in a corporate job. I had an MBA from T A Pai Management Institute, three years of work experience at Infosys and when I had met Sunder, I was working with Virtusa consulting.
Having worked with the corporates and having experienced work stress associated with long hours and hectic deadlines, I understood how important it was to find one’s passion and also take some time off for oneself. As a kid, I had many hobbies and my father who served the Indian Army, always encouraged me.
Due to the frequent change in his posting, we had to move around a lot and lived in various parts of India. Thus my interests also kept changing based on whatever facility was available. I have played various sports like cricket, football and even tried athletics and swimming. But it is only when I joined Virtusa that the opportunity to try Yoga presented itself.
Match made in heaven
I thought it was a match made in heaven. I could immediately relate to it and found it highly effective as a stress buster. I took an interest in learning more about yoga philosophy and practice and the more I studied the more I practiced and the more involved I got with Yoga. It felt like a black hole that kept pulling me towards it and consuming me slowly. Now, I cannot think of leading a life without Yoga.
Thus when Sunder told me about her love for Yoga, I did not want her to become a victim of corporate slavery. Also, learning Yoga while working full-time didn’t seem feasible as her goal was to practice and learn so she can spread the knowledge of Yoga and meditation to as many people as possible.
Every time we met, we not only practiced Yoga together, but we also enjoyed discussing its importance and how we can spread the positivity. We traveled together to Rishikesh, Dharamshala, Kullu Manali, trekked to Kheerganga, Malana and many more beautiful destinations across India, exploring and practicing Yoga.
We spent our time learning more about Yoga and meditation and took almost a year to take the most important decision of our life. This is how yoga and meditation became our reason for the union of thoughts. Slowly, our goal and vision became clearer. We wanted to move forward with our plan to make Yoga a part of everyone’s daily life so they can deal with and effectively reduce day to day stress, which is one of the main reasons behind all lifestyle diseases and disorders.
“Yoga is a way of freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish, and loneliness.” Indra Devi.
Since we are aware of the day to day demands of the corporate world, we worked around a program or class that provides a complete corporate Yoga experience to the employees. After that, there was no looking back and together, we started KhushiSeYoga which literally means, doing Yoga with a sense of happiness.
We set off on our journey to rediscover how we truly want to live our life; we got married to Yoga and meditation together. She underwent a 200 RYT Yoga teacher training course in Yoga Vidya Gurukul, Nasik, and she returned a transformed Yogi. She was a changed person physically, mentally and spiritually.
Her thoughts, attitude, and her point of view were so clear in all matters. Her approach towards problem-solving, from small tasks to big problems in life, was simply mind-blowing. It was this clarity, calm and mindfulness that we wanted our corporate clientele to experience. We set out on our journey of mind, body, and soul and traveled to various destinations across India to talk about and to teach Yoga.
Teaching Yoga is truly rewarding and exciting!
After Sunder’s Yoga teacher training in Yoga Vidya Gurukul, Nasik (one of the best yoga training Gurukuls with branches all around the world), we started with personal sessions for individuals through UrbanClap/UrbanPro. These personal sessions helped us better understand people’s objectives and work towards enhancing their yoga experience.
Sunder also started working as a Yoga instructor at MacMoves and Moves Zumba studio in Pune. We have conducted Yoga sessions and workshops for corporates like Cipla, S&P Global, Lifestyle, Godrej & Boyce, FIS, AIG Insurance, Cognizant, and Birlasoft. Sunder has also been conducting yoga, meditation and stress management sessions for Cipla, Kurkumbh, as part of their monthly series for the last year.
Due to my job switch, we recently moved to Navi Mumbai and are starting our Yoga journey again. Currently, Sunder is undertaking ladies’ special group classes with “Zumba with Jafena” in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, and corporate sessions to major companies in Mumbai.
Cities like Mumbai are really fast-paced and we believe we can reduce the stress levels of the employees in corporate houses and help Mumbaikars lead a healthier and wealthier lifestyle. The initial positive response and the impact we created in the lives of the students has given us the motivation to spread positivity and move forward towards our goal.
We then created “KhushiSeYoga“ brand to stress upon the fact that happiness is the goal of Yoga.
Daily tips for all
According to us, Yoga is a journey, not a destination. It requires patience (dhairya), practice (abhyas) and understanding your potential (kshamta). Yogic values should be inculcated in daily lifestyle for a stressful and peaceful life. Sunder believes that yoga and meditation should be taught in every school and college so that it reaches the masses and they understand its benefits. Yoga should be accessible to all and not to the entitled.
The most important aspect of yoga is practice. Yoga should become a way of life. We should do Pranayama/breathing exercises while walking, before meetings, while traveling or whenever we find the time. During office hours we should perform Sukshma Vyayam/stretching exercises every day while at the office. We always insist that practicing Yoga helps overall well being i.e. physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and encourage people to do away with all the excuses for not practicing some form of Yoga daily.
“Through the practices of yoga, we discover that concern for the happiness and well being of others, including animals, must be an essential part of our own quest for happiness and well being.” Sharon Gannon
Our life revolves around Yoga; our mornings start with personal sessions, followed by corporate sessions. We teach yoga together and spread positivity while remaining positive and happy on the inside. Our natural tendency to resolve day to day conflicts has changed and we worry less about the obstacles in life. When faced with a challenge, we take a step back and find solutions through discussions rather than arguing or fighting. This attitude of ours has developed through constant effort and mindfulness and also comforts our near and dear ones. Our friends often call us for any help on personal and professional matters and we believe that it is the practice of Yoga that has helped us develop this sense of balance and calm.
What do we do at KhushiSeYoga
We undertake any activity towards spreading Yoga and meditation practice like the personal sessions, group sessions, corporate sessions or even yoga retreats. We also assist corporates to conduct yoga sessions across their centers by collaborating with freelance Yoga instructors. We even plan out the yearly yoga chart for corporates from breath awareness, chair/desktop yoga, meditation, yoga, stress management, and counseling sessions.
Our aim is to also create a platform for Yoga instructors to connect with corporates and individuals through our sessions. We are also creating a community in Navi Mumbai, which works towards motivating and spreading positivity through Yoga.
Ashok & Sunder, Mumbai
Instagram page : https://www.instagram.com/khushiseyoga/