The underlying principle of any offering should be purity and honesty. Whatever you offer, be it product or service, maintain the sanctity of your offering.
Manohar Prasad Nautiyal is a yoga master and spiritual guru driven by the vision of introducing the world to traditional yoga. Before starting Ekattva Yogshala in Rishikesh, India, he spent decades mastering the art of yoga and gaining insights into spirituality.
During his years in Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Manohar practiced yoga with most renowned sages and yoga masters of India. To share the knowledge acquired over 2 decades, he started Ekattva Yogshala, a yoga school in Rishikesh, India that aims to train future yoga teachers in the art of traditional yoga.
Manohar Prasad Nautiyal is currently working closely with students and yoga practitioners from across the world to help them enhance their practice. He also travels across the world to conduct sessions on yoga, spirituality, and traditional music. With Ekattva Yogshala, he aims to change the way the world looks at yoga.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I have been studying yoga since the age of 11. This gave me the opportunity to observe and study yoga scene inside out. It made me sad to see that something as simple and spiritual as Yoga has been branded and commercialized. Through Yoga, we have the opportunity to share the knowledge of vedas, the teachings of our masters, and scientific practices of our ancestors with the world.
Sitting on the banks of river Ganga, I conjured up the idea of Ekattva Yogshala and implemented it with some like- minded friends.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I travel to different cities to teach Yoga, Mantras and Meditation. This makes my typical day variable. On a bigger level, I believe in starting early. This practice comes from my ashram days. I wake up at 4:30 am and devote morning hours to my personal practice. I spend first few hours of the day interacting with my team of Ekattva Yogshala, going over the details on ongoing Yoga Training Programs and mentoring them on issue management. I spend 4-5 hours on conducting Yoga & Mantra Meditation sessions. Time in-between sessions is devoted to planning with my associates for upcoming travel and Yoga retreats in other cities. I ensure that I spare a few hours in evening for a nature walk and solitary contemplation.
How do you bring ideas to life?
For any idea to be successful, we have to ensure that we place right intention in the right place. Intention powers all downstream actions. Just having right intention is not enough though; it needs to be nurtured with complete dedication, balanced emotions, diligent practice, and continuity. The power of intention brings energy to our words and actions and assures they can accomplish our purpose.
What’s one trend that excites you?
All around me, everyone is progressively becoming conscious towards health. Fortunately, this consciousness is not fueled by a desire for superficial indicators of health, such as to look beautiful, younger, or leaner; the unfortunate plagues of the past decades. True health is at energy, emotion, and soul level.
The awareness for holistic health is at a higher and ever-increasing level today. People are realizing that such comprehensive wellness is not possible without Yoga. They are devoting themselves to yoga and meditation to heal at emotional level, to overcome physical challenges, to cure conditions that were once thought to be incurable. Yoga and meditation is helping people achieve a healthier and more meaningful life. I am really excited about this awareness and the possibility it brings to connect the whole world to Vedic practices for a healthier and better world.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I do not chase quick results and quick profits. So, whatever I undertake, I do so with honesty, patience, and purity.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I started investing myself in one idea or another during my student days at the Ashram. Looking back now, I see that I did not chase all the right ideas then. Perhaps I could have been more thoughtful about what I would invest my time in and I would have chased options with more seriousness and keeping a long-term goal.
However, I do not resent any choices I made, as everything came with a lesson.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It’s funny, we all know that we are transitory beings living in a temporary world full of illusions but still people do not agree in accepting the concept of the temporariness of things. Our immediate needs most of the times are so strong that it clouds all wisdom. We constantly acknowledge that temporariness, of emotions, of needs, of desires, of gratification, but seldom accept it.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The underlying principle of any offering should be purity and honesty. Whatever you offer, be it product or service, maintain the sanctity of your offering. I am always on a check to find if there is any factor that is affecting the quality of our Yoga Teacher Training Certification program or Yoga retreats. People join these programs at great cost and effort for taking back a sense of wholeness, fulfillment, purpose, meaning, balance, and calm. And that is exactly what they should get. So, I think we cannot afford to lose track of our vision and purity of our offering.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have built a great team of Yoga Teachers and Support staff. They are the ones who are spending time with our yoga aspirants from across the world. They are the ones on the periphery of the action, they will be the ones getting first whiff of changes. I work collaboratively with my team, always taking their inputs, for enhancing our programs or remediating any glitches. Build a great team, empower them, and work conjointly, that’s the key.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have learnt to look at failures as lessons well learnt. If I really have to mention, it probably was acknowledging the role of technology in further my vision. I took time to embrace technologies like GSuite but once I did, they simplified me life a lot. I think we should always be open to new experiences.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I see huge potential in wellness mobile applications. Most of us are struggling with anxiety and stress nowadays. Hence, a mobile application that can help people deal with two can gain widespread acceptance.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
We recently conducted a surprise short excursion for our 200 Hours Yoga Teacher Training Program students at our Rishikesh center. It was a nice short trip to a nature reserve in Himalayas which gave the students a chance to experience the beauty of Garhwal Himalayas, with a 180 degree view of snow clad peaks, and observe the diverse flora and fauna of this region. This experience really enhanced the customer experience. The $100 went on renting the vehicle.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I rely on Google suite for collaborating with my team. Whether it is emails, calendar, data sharing, the available features help us collaborate successfully from diverse locations.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I am a voracious reader and love books. However, if under any unfortunate conditions I am given the option to select only one, I would choose Srimad Bhagavad Gita. I always ask my students to read this doctrine of universal truth. Guidance for all that we need to know about life and how to live it, is summarized in this ancient masterwork.
What is your favorite quote?
Everything in my life is guided by Yoga, Nature, and Love.
- To be successful in any area of life, begin with right intentions and then propel forward with dedication, emotion, and continuous practice.
- Create a great team of driven individuals, empower them, encourage them, and collaborate effectively.
- Invest in your own physical, mental, and emotional health through Yoga & Meditation.
- Create products and services with honesty.