Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.

The Bhagavad Gita

Yoga is everything you do, yoga is laughing, it is working, it is the art, it is breathing, yoga starts the moment you’re born.

Yoga is the ancient way that traces its roots to India, which helps the practitioner to evolve wholly by aligning the mind, body and soul in a way that helps you discover your true self. 

Before I tell you how yoga became my lifestyle, I’d like to give you a background of who I am, I belong to an affluent family from South India and have been blessed with all the material luxuries in life. My life can be categorised into two phases—the pre- and post-17.  The crude pre-17 years that were dominated by the 3As: Arrogance, Attitude and Anger and the inquisitive ones post-17.

Yoga has been a dormant part of me since I was six years old, but the conscious effort to make yoga a huge part of my life came when I was 17. This is when I unexpectedly met my Guruji who introduced me to the discipline of yoga, inspiring me to find the answers to inexplicable questions that crowded my mind at that young age from within.

My father had signed up for yoga classes with Guruji, which unfortunately he couldn’t complete and asked if I would like to take them up. I agreed to complete the sessions that were remaining. I was relatively excited to start this journey as I was inquisitive about concepts like self-awareness and enlightenment.

When I asked Guruji if he could enlighten me, he simply said, “If you think I can enlighten you, you’re a fool and I am a bigger fool.” That’s when I understood that this wasn’t going to be just another yoga class but a wonderful path to self-realisation.

I have completed my schooling but dropped out of college, and Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” This has been the case with me. 

Dropping out of college allowed me to take up few of the most difficult and unusual tasks that helped me recognise my personal strength. Under the guidance of my Guru, I took up five sadhanas (practises), which seemed pretty out of character for a teenager.

These sadhanas were:

  • No Lying,
  • No mental and physical stealing,
  • No intoxication,
  • Non-violence,
  • and celibacy.

At 19, I also took up a 40-day active silence exercise which was nothing short of a life-altering experience. Along with these I used to meditate for long hours at a stretch. This was also when I decided to stop running, and start living fully each day.

Yoga changed the way I perceived life, yoga manifested a remarkable transformation in me, which is what inspired me to help people recognise the importance of yoga and encourage them to transform their lives.

Once I discovered that my life’s goal was to spread the benefits of yoga as a lifestyle, SARVA then Zorba came into existence. At the age of 21, I ventured into starting yoga studios in Chennai with the goal of making yoga accessible and appealing to all age groups was the purpose of introducing 25 unique forms of yoga with the most ordinary things. Yoga is a lifestyle that doesn’t discriminate, it is for ALL!

Our mission is to connect seven billion breaths through yoga mindfulness and beyond, which exceptionally resonates with global icons like Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Malaika Arora, Shahid Kapoor, Mira Kapoor, and Zumba to name a few! The support and belief of these megastars have brought about a positive influence in changing people’s perspective towards yoga. 

Yoga needs to be easily accessible in an organised way to everyone around the world through the world wide web. I am and will always be working towards the goal of connecting the world through yoga, mindfulness and beyond. 

One question that troubles me is that why should a lifestyle with roots in India find it difficult to be a part of people’s lives?

I want to change the way people perceive yoga. I firmly believe that yoga is not just an hour’s workout, but a lifestyle. Yoga not only helps you transform yourself physically but also opens up your mind in ways unimaginable ways.

Yoga is a beautiful lifestyle that has the ability to fit into even the most hectic lifestyle. Yoga is ‘breath’, it is EVERYTHING that we do, you reading this article or me writing it right now is yoga. Yoga is when you are completely in the moment, aware of your breath, thoughts, and actions. 

Yoga happened to me by accident, but it was an opportunity that I was subconsciously aware of, which led to me the path that I walk today, but everyone’s story is not the same. For me dropping out of college was the best decision, however, for a millennial right now it might not be the wisest choice.

Yoga is about being mindful of the happening around and within you. Which is not an hour’s practise three to five times a week, it is an on-going process. 

This International Yoga Day I urge you to join our mission and adapt yoga as a lifestyle to discover yourself!

In the end, everything we do is for our quest for happiness.

Want to share your story of how you thrive? Write to us at [email protected]


  • Sarvesh Shashi

    Founder, SARVA

    The 26-year old Sarvesh Shashi co-founded Sarva along with his Guruji, India's Happiest Chain of Yoga studios in 2013 when he was just 21 years of age. His love for yoga combined with his entrepreneurial genes gave birth to Sarva. Sarva thrives on the principle of using yoga, mindfulness and beyond as the tool with which to empower people to lead happier and healthier lives. A charismatic speaker with an entrepreneurial spirit, Sarvesh has shared his story and revelations at conferences like the INK conference, TEDx, UN’s Youth Changemakers Conclave and has been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and BTVi. Sarvesh was named India's Youngest CEO in the Health and Wellness Sector by Bloomberg and was named by Better Homes & Gardens as one of the Top 10 people in India to watch out for. A conservatively modern thought leader, buoyant performer and a constant source of joy, Sarvesh at 26 is a force to reckon with.