In the current Tinder obsessed generation, Sarvesh Shashi comes across as a rare specimen, having taken a vow of celibacy, all this in spite of the fact that he enjoys all the riches the world can offer, zooms around with Hollywood celebrities in their jets and is the founder of SARVA, the first ever Indian start-up to attract global investors that span Hollywood, Bollywood, sports and business.
But who is Sarvesh and what is SARVA all about? SARVA focuses on the 600 million people in India living under the age group of 35. With the aim to drive a cultural change in the society, Sarvesh wants to make yoga-based wellness a part of the modern lifestyle, to combat global epidemics like stress, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and obesity.
Under the leadership of Sarvesh, SARVA has secured funding from an illustrious list of global investors – Jennifer Lopez, Malaika Arora, Alex Rodriguez, Zumba® Fitness LLC, amongst others.
Based on ancient yoga practices, SARVA trains you in 25 diverse forms of yoga (brick yoga, aqua yoga, strap yoga, wall yoga, basketball yoga, to name a few) and mindfulness that are designed to blend seamlessly with our daily lifestyles.
In an interaction with Sarvesh, he tells us how he got Jennifer Lopez as a partner, working out with Malaika Arora, being celibate and much more.
Arrogant and angry is what you have been described as before the age of 17- and then yoga took over. How did this happen?
Arrogant and angry is what I described myself as we’ve missed out another ‘A’ that is Attitude, and then yoga took over. I think I define my life in two phases, one is before 17 and one is after 17. I think in the before-17-phase the A’s dominated my life because I was an unconsciously pampered child.
Coming from a well-off family, my dad is a first-generation entrepreneur, I had all the facilities of luxurious life and I habitually and unconsciously took undue advantage of all of this. When yoga happened to me, I started realizing what it is to be humble, grounded and what is the value of understanding oneself. Trying to be the same when you have everything and the same when you have nothing.
Is it true you have taken a vow of being celibate? Why and till when?
Yes it is one of my five wows, first one is no intoxication which is no alcohol, no smoking, no non-vegetarian, the second is non-violence through actions, thoughts or words, the third vow is no lies and no white lying, the fourth vow is no mental and physical stealing and the fifth vow is celibacy. It was for seven years and it’s been nine years now. How long will it last, I don’t know.
How was it like meeting Jennifer Lopez for the first time? Was there a fanboy moment?
Well honestly, it was normal because I am conditioned to 9-10 years of yoga and I have met a lot of people in India including celebrities. Of course, not a JLo, but at different levels of stardom. It might sound very yogi-ish but it is just meeting another person who is very humble, grounded, and has worked extremely hard in life.
What she has done in her career is amazing and it was a great meeting. I’ve met her a little over two times now and it was phenomenal, her hospitality was remarkable, we flew with her in her private plane, watched her perform in her Las Vegas show, I think I was more overwhelmed by the hospitality and the care she took of us than it being a JLo fan-boy moment.
And what was it like hanging out with Dwayne Johnson and Naomi Campbell?
Haha. I didn’t hang out with them, but I saw the Rampage premier with them. Honestly, I hadn’t noticed that it was Naomi Campbell. We were having a private pre-movie high tea and snacks session; I was having my glass of lemonade and everyone was hanging around there. As I said, I am not a huge fanboy…!
Why did you choose Jennifer as a partner?
Why did I choose her? I am not sure if I have a proper answer for it. I think things were meant to happen and she is an amazing precedent of fitness, mindfulness, discipline, and dedication for most of us. She is one of the few global superstars who have excelled in music, dance, movies and are as amazing in person as she is. I am truly grateful to have met someone like her.
For instance, my partner and co-founder, Malaika Arora, she is beyond humble and the amount of passion she brings in for yoga, mindfulness, and fitness is marvellous.
You have a vision to connect 7 billion breaths- what is the significance of this number?
I think it is the world population, maybe a little more than 7 billion now. That was the world population when we started and the vision was connecting the world through breath and ‘breath’ is yoga. Connecting is also part of the community; we are a wellness ecosystem that is built on the authentic foundations of yoga.