For Rajat Bansal, a 26-year-old coder with a National Capital Region-based tech major, Wednesday is going to be taxing. Reaching home on most nights about 10, Bansal would have to wake up at 4:30on Wednesday morning and be at the office lawns in a track suit by 6 to be part of his company’s International Yoga Day celebrations.
His company, in a corporate email, has made it mandatory for all employees to be part of the event and promised a morning of “relaxation”, a free yoga mat and of course healthy refreshments.
Bitten by the yoga bug, Corporate India, start-ups, e-commerce players, retail chains even real estate firms are all warming up to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi and be part of the third edition of International Yoga Day.
While the PM would be performing the asanas alongside Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and 51,000 participants in Lucknow, Corporate India is turning its boardrooms into makeshift yoga studios.
That’s not all, from providing yoga mats to branded sportswear, to bringing in highly paid yoga instructors and booking halls in five-star hotels, companies are doing everything to promote and endorse the PM’s healthy living plan.
Information Technology services major HCL has planned a host of activities for the day.
“From short talks on yoga, work-life balance, a session on relaxation techniques and experiential session on meditation, we are organising a series of events. Employees would also be pledging to make yoga an integral part of their daily lives,” the company said.
E-commerce major Amazon is also celebrating Yoga Day for the second time in a row. “More than 1,000 associates participated in different sessions that have been organised across 17 centres across the country,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
Start-ups, always in the race to do things differently, are even giving their own spin to yoga.
Mobikwik is organising a chair yoga session for its 330 employees. “We, at Mobikwik, are celebrating International Yoga Day with a session of chair yoga, a customised form of yoga at workplace to combat stress and increase your involvement in physical fitness,” a company spokesperson said.
Yoga has managed to become part of the corporate internal activities spend of many companies. Some are shelling between Rs 20,000 and Rs 50,000 to bring in celebrity yoga experts.
Dealing with a new set of rules under Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA), adjusting to the goods and services tax regime and dealing with the slump in the real estate sector can be quite stressful.
To help employees cope with all this, real estate major DLF is organising a mass yoga session of its own.
“We are organising a special camp for DLF employees in Gurgaon and have arranged trained yoga instructors to take the sessions,” Prakash Tewari, executive director, DLF Foundation. Another real estate firm Supertech is also organising a similar event for its employees as well as residents at one of its properties.
According industry experts, providing sports apparel and accessories for companies is a big business. Some companies have started making preparations two months in advance and human resources teams have made it part of their company activities calendars.