On International Yoga Day, meet 5 startups focused on making mindful wellness a part of our life
In the last few years, yoga has become more than a lifestyle choice, thanks to endorsements by celebrities such as Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty, spiritual guru Baba Ramdev, or the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Young or old, everyone is keen to follow the tenets of yoga to stay fit and heathy.
But time constraints often weigh in, making it impossible to fit in a yoga class into our daily schedule.
On International Yoga Day, YourStory lists a few startups that are bringing yoga to the people and helping maintain that elusive work-life balance.
Founded in 2016 by 23-year-old Sarvesh Shashi, Chennai-based SARVA aims to provide access to yoga, mindfulness, and wellness through two approaches: physical and digital.
SARVA offers more than 25 forms of yoga with a range of interesting props, curated dance routines, and other workout options in their studios. It will soon launch its digital offerings in the mindfulness music, guided meditation, and interactive fitness space.
So far, SARVA has raised a total funding of around $6 million from a list of illustrious people, including Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor and his wife Mira Kapoor, global pop icon Jennifer Lopez, Bollywood actor Malaika Arora, American baseball legend Alex Rodriguez, and Zumba®.
At present, the yoga and wellness startup has 91 studios across India, with clusters in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru. Its next cluster will include other metro cities. Last month, it partnered with OYO to set up 500 wellness studios across select OYO Townhouses in India.
In a bid to create an international footprint over the next few years, SARVA will continue to evaluate market opportunities in the US, the UK, and the Middle East once it has penetrated the large Indian market. It aims to build a global community of over 100 million on its digital platform by 2022.
Founded by Vijay Kumar Karai in 2016, AyurUniverse is committed to providing customised and authentic ayurveda and yoga packages for ailment management, wellness, and training.
Accredited by the Ministry of Tourism and the government of India, this Bengaluru-based startup lets customers search, choose, and book wellness packages of their choice without any intermediaries.
AyurUniverse founder & CEO Vijay Kumar Karai
At AyurUniverse, a team of expert doctors and yoga experts offer online consultation to customers who want to understand how Ayurveda can help manage their health concerns. A team of multilingual wellness advisers is available 24X7 to help customers choose the right package at the right centre based on requirement and intent. The website uses advanced AI analytics to give its customers unbiased user ratings of wellness centres.
With a customer base from over 190 countries, AyurUniverse provides access to over 2,500 wellness packages from across 300 verified wellness centres in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. The company is backed by Air Deccan investor SN Ladhani’s family office.
mind.fit is the mental wellness vertical of CureFit, and focuses on reducing stress, improving focus and mood, and generating positive energy to help customers live better.
The company does not just propagate meditation, but also focuses on the classical style of hatha yoga with mindfulness and breath work.
Image Credit: Cult Fitness, Bengaluru
At present, there are approximately 31 mind.fit centres across Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, and Jaipur. The brand has plans of expanding verticals into 50 cities by 2020. Along with the fitness vertical cult.fit, mind.fit is offering free yoga classes across all centres this International World Yoga Day.
The company is headquartered in Bengaluru and was started in 2016 by Mukesh Bansal (Founder of Myntra) and Ankit Nagori (former executive of Flipkart) with an aim to provide preventive healthcare by catering to living a healthy life through its four verticals - cult.fit, eat.fit, mind.fit, and care.fit.
Founded in 2016 by Deepak Ugrappa and Nayana Kanthraj, Bengaluru-based Yoga Jal makes drinks using a concoction of super herbs that improve health and reenergise instantly. Its products include Tulsi Cooler, Healthy Hibiscus, Ginger Mint Jalwa, and Woodapple Twister; these regulate the three doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha . No artificial colours or flavours are added to the drinks.
Yoga Jal is planning to launch its fifth drink, TurBerry, on June 29. The company claims that Turberry will be the first Indian beverage to have the unique combination of superfoods like berries, turmeric, and brahmi.
“Ingredients like turmeric are rich in antioxidants. Its anti-inflammatory nature makes it a superfood. Hence, it has been the most used ingredient in the Indian kitchen from ancient times. The other key ingredients like mixed berries are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and are a rich source of antioxidants too. Finally, brahmi complements the other two, helps improve memory, and is good for relieving anxiety and stress, and aids in restful sleep,” Nayana Kanthraj says.
At present, Yoga Jal claims to be churning out 5,000 bottles a month in Bengaluru, Telangana, and Punjab, and hopes to reach 10,000 bottles very soon.
Founded in 2017, Mumbai-based Rupal’s Yogasthenics is bridging the gap between traditional and functional fitness training. It is the brainchild of Rupal Sidhpura Faria, an athlete, a yoga teacher, and a Zumba, Crossfit, and callisthenics trainer.
Rupal combines yoga with other fitness regimes as she believes that it can help in building stamina and flexibility. She has spent the last eight years as an avid learner of all kinds of fitness techniques and thinks that yoga plays the role of a catalyst, a healer, and a strengthener.
Rupal’s Yogasthenics has clients from householders to celebrities, including Kareena Kapoor Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Anupama Chopra, and Surveen Chawla.
“We are working towards opening a school of yoga and imparting the knowledge of authentic yoga to aspiring teachers and anyone keen to learn, spreading yoga all over in each household. We plan to start in Mumbai, followed by Bengaluru, Delhi. We are also aiming to run teacher training courses for authentic yoga all over the world,” Rupal says.