Unfold Tranquility: Sarvesh Shashi
You have been in the wellness industry for a long time. Tell us about your journey and why did you devote your life to Yoga?
I thought I could take the risk in terms of exploring the different opportunity of spreading the message of Yoga, and that is when I thought of starting my own business because I did not want to get into my family business. So, without taking any help or support from them, I thought the best thing to do is start a Yoga studio. The fundamental deliverable at the foundation was Yoga, but my plan was to build a wellness ecosystem as well.
Your brainchild, Sarva, recently received investment from Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Malaika Arora, and Zumba Fitness LLC. How does it feel to be the sole brain behind such an incredible venture?
(Laughing) How do I say this? On one side it feels very validating on what I am doing. On the other side, it kind of makes a difference internally for me, but from an external point of view, it is also approving of what I am doing. As a Yogi, fortunately, or unfortunately, I believe in myself more than anything else. From a general perspective, I think all of the people who have believed in me, at the vision, at what Yoga could do is super exciting for me.
You are also planning to go digital with your new health app. What will be the benefits of it and how will you be able to contrast it from the myriad health and wellness applications that are already available?
What we will bring uniquely to the table is a mix of both high-touch and high-tech. Our content will be largely authentic and relevant for a young audience. 200 million people today under the age of 35 and living in India. Stress has become a global epidemic. So, I believe that Yoga can act as a delivery tool in changing that. From an overall standpoint, I believe that with this kind of audience that we are targeting, we will be able to achieve much more. Furthermore, the content that we put out there would be fairly unique and different as well.
In a country like India where most people are fixated towards breaking a sweat at the gym, do you think you can change this thought process with Sarva?
I am happy to say that there are probably a couple of more players in the market, similar to what we do, who are genuinely making a change in the market of fitness and wellness. It is slowly changing, but we are far behind the developed countries. However, gradually things will become better.
What advice would you give to someone who feels they can’t practise yoga because they don’t have the right kind of body?
Yoga is all-inclusive. There is no question about anybody not being able to practice Yoga. There are more than 8,000 asanas and I’m sure there is something specifically available for different body types or people with different ailments. Various forms of Yoga can still be practised. Yes, the intensity varies and one knows they can be better than anybody else. Plus, they need to know their maximum capacity of achievement of their bodies to practise and improve it.
Your social media feed validated that you are an avid traveller. So, what do you do in your free time when you are not being a CEO or a Yogi?
I do travel quite often. This year it has not been very much, but I do take a quick four to five-day break and travel largely out of the country. I am a huge adventure freak and I have done skydiving, bungee jumping from the highest part of the world to scuba diving shipwreck and so on. I am a huge water sports lover as well. I think travel is something that I enjoy doing with my three best friends from school.
Talking about your partnership with Diva Yoga, which specifically caters to women, how is it different from the general Yoga discipline that you follow?
It is not conceptually different from foundational Yoga. It is an upmarket product, which is specifically for women. We wanted women to feel empowered and show the best way as to how they can look and feel beautiful from within. We cater to two different kinds of sequences and flows and don’t repeat a single sequence every month so that no form is repeated. It is a completely different type of approach. The props we use are comparatively different than what we typically use in Sarva. I would say somethings are similar but from an approach point of view, it is very different.
What is the goal of Yoga as you see it? Beyond the walls we often construct, how are we all truly connected in this practice?
Well, becoming aware, not thinking about the future, and not worrying about the past can truly connect us to ourselves. We don’t have control over what will happen next. So, you have control over the present and you take complete responsibility and ownership of your present, which will happen right here right now when you are in the moment. Be mindful of every single moment.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Collaborating with some more Hollywood A-listers perhaps?
I honestly don’t know. I think five years is a way too long for me to think. Logically, we want a few hundred to 500 outlets in the next three-four years on our digital platform. But to put a number to it or put a target to it, I don’t think I’ll be able to do justice to that.