For, Eika Chaturvedi Banerjee, the CEO of Future Learning, a Future Group company and one of India’s leading Skills, Talent and Leadership Development organisations, yoga is a way of life.
“It is way beyond the physical regimen of the ‘Asanas’, or the Pranayama. It really is about how one lives or is able to live, in harmony, in ‘yog’ with oneself. It is how you sit, what you eat, when you sleep… It is how you talk, what you think, when you breathe… Yoga, to me, is that oneness of the body (karma), mind (jnana), emotion (bhakti) and energy (kriya),” says Eika, who is a Certified Executive Coach, holding a Post Graduate Diploma in Comparative Mythology from University of Mumbai and has completed a certificate course in Ethics & Morality from Yale University, USA, as well as a certificate course in Gender Policy & Governance for Next Generation of Women Leaders from KIGEPE – South Korea.
She believes that yoga has completely changed her life in all ways. She learnt the basics of yoga in her early life. Then she engaged in classic ‘high impact’ activities of marathons, swimming, kickboxing and squash. Battling with weight issue has always been her life obsession. She returned to yoga only after been through all kinds of sports and fitness activities, pregnancies and deliveries and even one nasty road accident.
“Yoga, and some specific disciplines within the practice have helped me not only heal my body and my mind, but also enabled me to reach deep within my inner self, and explore the best in me.
“I’d definitely like to believe that I am today calmer, fitter, healthier, and definitely higher energy and efficiency than I have ever been before,” says Eika, who is closely associated with the National Council of Women- India, the FICCI Ladies organisation and the Ex-servicemen Wives Welfare Association.
Eika, who derives faith from the ‘power of within’, believes that one only needs to turn inwards in the relevant context for the right answers at both micro and macro levels – be it individual, organisational, national or global.
She wakes up fairly early every morning and uses this time for meditation and catching up with her writings. “Once the kids leave for school by 7.15ish, I get about with my hour of either yoga or walk, and then, since I’m lucky (by Mumbai standards) to have my office relatively close to home, I leave for office by 9 – 9.30.”
Eika has learnt yoga from her mother. “She’s been a yogi for over three decades now. And, today at 67 years of age, she looks the best she has ever looked, is fitter than she has ever been, and even managed to beat chronic diseases like sinusitis and diabetes”.
On the World Yoga Day, in her message to youth, she says: “Based on our culture’s knowledge refined via 5000 years of our history – is simple. Yoga is not mutually exclusive to your other high impact workout disciplines. “In fact, yoga helps you build both a very strong core as well as an agile balanced and strong body. Combine it with emotional and mental endurance and you are unbeatable. It might help to think of yoga as your investment in your own self for your own old age – almost like a provident fund or an insurance policy.”