The coronavirus pandemic has upended nearly every aspect of today’s work environment, with everyone hustling to maintain a proper work-life balance while staying at home. In fact, many of us also experience a great deal of stress, anxiety, emotional turmoil, and even fall prey to unhealthy lifestyles.
Mental health is of utmost importance to see through these challenging times. One of the best practices to maintain good physical, mental, and spiritual health, is yoga and is best-suited during the quarantine period.
The International Day of Yoga, first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, is celebrated on June 21 every year since 2015. It is also interesting to note that June 21 is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
This year, the event will be marked virtually, as the Indian government has restricted mass gatherings or public celebrations, keeping in mind the pandemic. This year’s theme is ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family.’
YourStory lists five startups that are bringing yoga to people’s homes and helping them maintain an elusive work-life balance.
Started in March 2016 by Sarvesh Shashi, Mumbai-based yoga startup SARVA aims to provide access to yoga, mindfulness, and wellness through two approaches — physical and digital.
Pinning hopes on a digital future, the startup created its online presence, and launched an app in March this year, and is eyeing profitability by FY21.
The SARVA app offers live and interactive virtual classes and a mechanism that gives users real-time feedback on their posture. The app hosts a range of content for both body and mind like live yoga sessions, postures, weight loss programmes, sleep stories, guided meditation, mindfulness music, and stories for children, among others.
So far, it has raised over $8 million in funding from an illustrious list of global investors, including David Giampaolo, noted entrepreneur in the global health and fitness sector; Mark Mastrov, an entrepreneur hailed as the ‘Steve jobs of Fitness’; Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Zumba, Fireside Ventures, and Mantra Capital. Bollywood celebrities Malaika Arora, Aishwaryaa R Dhanush, Shahid, and Mira Kapoor also back the venture.
Bengaluru-based fitness startup Curefit offers live fitness classes across formats such as strength, dance, boxing, HIIT, HRX, S&C, and yoga on all days of the week. Celebrating the International Yoga Day, the wellness startup will embark on an endeavour to achieve 10 million Surya Namaskars being performed on the day.
The challenge, which will be launched on the startup’s app on Yoga Day, June 21, hopes to see participation from one million people doing Surya Namaskars — a movement that is at the very core of yoga.
A live counter will keep track of the number of Surya Namaskars being performed, and will also be hosting quizzes on the app for the users.
“This challenge is part of our initiative to keep people moving and healthy in their homes in a safe manner. Yoga is one of the best ways to increase strength, improve mental health, and build immunity — the key requirements for all of us today. We want to use this challenge as a way to encourage everyone to embrace all the health benefits that this practice can provide,” said Ankit Nagori, Co-founder, Curefit.
The day-long event will have Q&A, information sessions with experts, star trainers, and see participation from all of Curefit’s employees.
Pune-based fitness startup Fittr (formerly known as SQUATS Fitness Pvt. Ltd.) conducts at least one yoga session almost every day on Fittr Live (App or Facebook Page). The startup has several yoga experts who conduct sessions on Beginners Yoga, Yoga For Lifestyle Ailments, Yoga For Injuries, Kids’ Yoga, Meditation, and Stress Management, among others.
FITTR, among other fitness startups in the market, is providing free yoga sessions online so that every individual can stay fit at home during the lockdown.
Launched in 2016 by Jitendra Chouksey, Bala Krishna Reddy, Jyoti Dabas, Sonal Singh, and Rohit Chattopadhyay, Fittr app has 6,20,000 downloads to date and a community of more than 8,00,000 members.
Speaking about the International Yoga Day, Jitendra Chouksey, Co-founder and CEO of Fittr, said, “This year’s International Yoga Day is unique since everyone is in lockdown. But that shouldn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Whether it’s asanas or pranayama or meditation, all these things can very easily be done sitting at home. I would urge people to use this day to sit still and go within — that’s the essence of Yoga.”
Starting Friday, the startup started conducting various online initiatives such as online lectures on Ayurveda, yoga classes by experts, and numerous other activities, to help people better understand yoga, and start their own yoga practice. These sessions are conducted both on Fittr App, as well as the Fittr Facebook page.
Founded in 2015 by Gautam Chopra and Yash Sehgal, BeatO is a full-stack digital health startup for managing lifestyle-related chronic illnesses – starting with diabetes.
BeatO regularly holds detailed virtual workshops on yoga and breathing techniques, especially for diabetes and chronic conditions. It has also organised live sessions on topics such as stress relief through breathing and pranayama with its yoga therapists. Besides this, BeatO also sends meditation techniques to its users for stress relief, better sleep, and overall body and organ relaxation regularly.
Gautam Chopra, Co-Founder and CEO, BeatO, said, “Exercise is an integral part of any diabetic’s lifestyle, and we believe that yoga, because of its combination of physical asanas and breathwork, makes it one of the most impactful forms of exercise to improve not only chronic conditions such as diabetes but also, overall mental well-being through reduction of stress and improved sleep. Its multi-faceted approach makes it a wonderful exercise choice for people with chronic ailments to improve their overall health.”
Designed by author Sadhguru, the ‘5-minute Yoga’ app is based on the science of Upa-Yoga which is focussed on physical and psychological benefits derived from the discipline.
All one has to do is take out only five minutes every day to practice from a set of seven five-minute Upa-Yoga practices. The app also offers guidelines and explanatory videos to help you do the asanas right. It also includes guided instruction videos with demos and explanations for each of the seven practices. The videos are available offline too.
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