Yoga Means Union - Running A Compassionate Business
Yoga means Union. Akhanda translates to whole, without parts; complete. When these two words come together and swap place it sounds like this: Complete Unity. This is the foundation of our compassionate business.
Kirtan is a dynamic meditation using sound as the focal point. It is an ecstatic experience that can challenge the modern way of thinking and being. At first you may be scanning the room for the nearest exit to sneak out when the right moment arises. Luckily that moment never arose for us. We got the chance to change the uncomfortably unknown feeling in the gut to a vibrational experience of the present moment.
We felt at ease, welcome and comfortable in India, a country with limitless beauty. It was here in India where we first started putting ideas together that later became our vegan-friendly business. India with all its sounds, smells and colours has become our second home.
The feeling of not being good enough was a hurdle for us. It is important to be appreciative of the amazing work others do but without comparing yourself. Let the inspiration enter while being your authentic self. The techniques that Yoga gives us of how to work with our mind and body have guided us towards an experience of our true nature.
To make the choice of setting up our own business we had to develop a steadfast determination and keep on working to strengthen our willpower.
Willpower is like a muscle. A muscle needs training to become stronger. Imagine yourself in the gym after a long period without training, picking up the 200 kg weight. Unless you are a hidden super hero, the weight would be glued to the floor. Rather we need to take a couple of kilos at a time to build up strength. The development of our willpower works in much the same way.
The training of willpower takes place in the mind-gym. The weights are the decisions you make and the strength comes with every successful achievement. A good place to begin is to change the way you set goals and visions. The willpower becomes stronger every time we decide to do something we know that we can do and then we do it. To make it simple, always only make a decision or a promise to yourself and others that you know you will and are able of doing.
All the challenges we have had and will have we see as opportunities. Opportunities to learn, grow and expand our horizons. Working together with a business partner has valuable effects on the business. To have someone who understands your ideas and helps you to perfect and develop them is invaluable.
Finding Your Balance
When being your own boss the 9-5 timetable goes straight out of the window. Work can be all the time. But that is the beauty of running your own business. You get to do the things that you love the most.
The separation between work and duties, interests and hobbies evaporates. It all unites. The prefixes to time such as, office-time, free-time, alone-time are no longer of importance. Left is just time. Time is always moving. Where there is movement, there is life and life is right now! Yoga is the art of moving gracefully with a calm and equanimous mind, keeping alert and attentive.
As with anything you share it becomes natural and enriching only if you live it. Being a yoga practitioner is learning to become a transmitter of the infinite source of the all-pervasive, ever-existing energy. We can all learn to become the bigger battery of health and happiness, freedom and acceptance.
Drawing on the concept of time, by generating appreciation for others’ skills and qualities, we realized that this is the recipe of how to gain more time (ready meals and microwaves are not the way). The main ingredients are dedication and appreciation. Dedicated to develop and use your qualities for the wellbeing of the world and, at the same time, acknowledging and appreciating the powers of others. We live in a world of consumerism. We are constantly exchanging and trading. Money is the mean or the tool of payment, but the actual product is time. When buying a loaf of bread, you bought the baker’s time.
The best way to take time for yourself when running a business is to practice yoga. You are life. We are our business. Naturally we create space for our daily meditation and yoga practice. After a full day of bouncing ideas, creating new concepts or generally working hard, there is nothing more liberating than sitting down, finding stillness and creating clarity in a mediation posture. Asanas purify the body and create space by removing tension or obstacles that we no longer need. With all that new space we need something to fill it.
Meditation fills you with contentment, recharges that battery, it softens your body and mind, making you more flexible. Meditation reminds us of who we are and where we are. Connecting with the authentic self and letting it blossom is a quest that is always evolving. When we take time for us it means we make time for you.
Running A Compassionate Business
All traditions and cultures offer a moral conduct. Patanjali in his eight limbs path state the ethical way of being with each other, the Yamas as the first step. When established in these five reasonable aspects, not only will you begin to sparkle and glow but you are also bound to feel at peace, live in truth, become wealthy and understand the meaning of life. We feel that veganism is the best way to live these five yamas. Our lives have become so much simpler. We love cooking and making tasty, high pranic, super colourful and organic meals that sustain our body and mind in the best possible way. Veganism has helped in quieting the noise of cravings and aversions. Most importantly it has given us the energy to set up this business.
Compassion is this soft and fluffy thing that keeps on growing. Every one of us carries around one of these furry beings called compassion. When we started practicing yoga we felt the ever-expanding nature of compassion.
Yoga begins in the kitchen, and so did veganism for us. Becoming aware made us aware of unawareness, and we are therefore steadily becoming aware of all aspects of our lifestyle. Awareness gives you independence; it gives you knowledge to become free to go to the root of your happiness, or suffering and to change where is needed.
When life can be lived to full with compassion that reaches out over form, colour, label, language and culture you are winning. This is what it means to be vegan - to give space, and to boost the energy of the whole world so every human being (even your meat-eating uncle who refuses to try your green smoothie) and every being, living or non-living, thrive in this world full of wonders and miracles.
You are the echo of your past reactions. Every action causes an equal an opposite reaction, which generates habit-patterns (vasanas). These habit-patterns become your future, your destiny. Now, you have a choice, to live destiny or to become liberated, free and to be in the state of true happiness, contentment and calmness. Right now you are experiencing an after shock or a soft wave of a storm in the past. So all you have to do to become that free, happy, healthy, successful calm, wise human being we all would love to be is to be exactly that, right here right now. That is Yoga; to be free; to be present in every moment; to be you. This is the wisdom of the 1st yoga sutra “Atha Yoga anushasanam”. If you manage to apply that to your life, really you can throw away all other sutras and techniques. It sounds simple and it is simple, but we have somehow managed to get deep into a web of knots and tangles. We have to turn and twist to get back to the light. You can do it because you are blissful, joyful and fearless!
We invite you vegan or non-vegan to incredible India for a 10-day vegan yoga retreat. All-inclusive.
 Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.35-2.39
 Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.1