Article: Strengthen your organisation’s wellness with Ekaanta-Mindversity: Here’s how

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Strengthen your organisation’s wellness with Ekaanta-Mindversity: Here’s how

Cultivate holistic employee wellness at Ekaanta-Mindversity's. Learn how to tackle burnout, accelerate leadership development, foster team-building and more.
Strengthen your organisation’s wellness with Ekaanta-Mindversity: Here’s how

Nestled in the foothills of Himalayas at Haridwar, India, Ekaanta-Mindversity offers a unique haven for individuals and organisations seeking a transformative journey of self development, balance and holistic well-being. The retreat's soul is shaped by the vision of its co-founders, Manvi Lohia and Saumya Lohia Agarwal

Manvi, a Registered Dietitian who was a  lead researcher at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital is the Head of Holistic Health and International Business at Ekaanta. She brings a wealth of experience in nutrition, research, and culinary arts. Her approach informs Ekaanta's programmes, blending ancient wisdom with contemporary science and evidence based research. 

Saumya, a fourth-generation entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience spanning finance at Goldman Sachs, New York, venture capital, wellness and luxury retail, complements this expertise with a deep-seated passion for mindfulness practices. Witnessing the growing need for well-being solutions in today's demanding world, Saumya envisioned Ekaanta as a space dedicated to holistic wellness experiences.

Together, their unique strengths have shaped Ekaanta-Mindversity into a haven for cultivating inner harmony and navigating modern challenges at the workplace and beyond. In this interview, we delve deeper into their vision for Ekaanta and explore how they plan to empower individuals and organisations to embrace holistic well-being in the dynamic landscape of India.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

Mindfulness for work-life balance

The Sanskrit word ‘eikant’ lends itself to many different interpretations. In its simplest form, it is a place of calm. In its most profound, it is our ability to go to the mind’s ‘quiet place’ for seeking seclusion and serenity from the world that surrounds us. The Ekaanta-Mindversity is a sanctuary where corporate leaders can rejuvenate and re-energise. Our core program, "Live Well, Lead Well," combines ancient wisdom with contemporary wellness practices to foster holistic well-being and enhance leadership skills, empowering leaders to thrive both personally and professionally. 

We saw pressure erode work-life balance, diminishing productivity and creativity, and Ekaanta is a response to this challenge.  So we wanted to create a space for individuals, leaders, and teams to reconnect, foster purpose, and cultivate holistic well-being. It's a space designed for mindfulness practices, self-reflection, and overall well-being, away from daily distractions," says Saumya.

At Ekaanta-Mindversity, mindfulness is a way of being. It's about present-moment awareness and fostering deeper connections.  "Mindfulness is a critical ingredient for leadership and organisational success," says Manvi. "We offer a unique curriculum for leaders often caught up in busy schedules to experience the benefits of prioritising their own wellness."

Ekaanta believes in the profound impact of mindfulness on overall well-being and professional success. Their approach integrates research-backed practices to ensure comprehensive benefits for individuals and teams.

  • Enhanced Emotional Intelligence and Leadership: Mindfulness cultivates empathy, improves communication, and strengthens relationships. This creates a resilient work environment where leaders can inspire and support their teams effectively.
  • Boosted Focus, Productivity, and Innovation: Mindfulness promotes single-tasking, enhancing focused attention, improving work quality, and reducing errors. Research shows that teams practising mindfulness are more likely to achieve flow states. Ekaanta’s balanced mind-body approach nurtures creativity and innovative thinking, driving success in the workplace.
  • Reduced Burnout and Well-being Promotion: Mindfulness practices help individuals manage stress, maintain work-life balance, and prevent burnout. A mentally and emotionally healthy workforce translates to a more engaged and high-performing team.

Ekaanta offers tailored programmes that seamlessly integrate mindfulness with leadership development. Their holistic approach includes yoga, meditation, Shinrin Yoku,  mindful walking, and wellness treatments, designed to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. Along with powerful nutrition sessions curated to individuals, they align diet, exercise and mindfulness to help leaders achieve a higher level of professional performance.   

By incorporating these elements, Ekaanta not only addresses the immediate challenges of stress and burnout but also lays a foundation for long-term mental, emotional, and physical health. Their programmes are designed to create lasting impact, empowering individuals to thrive both personally and professionally.

East meets West: A unique blend for success

"Ekaanta-Mindversity's unique approach recognises the multifaceted needs of leaders and employees," explains Manvi. This blend fosters well-being on multiple levels. "We combine Eastern practices like yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda with Western approaches to mental health and wellness," adds Saumya.

Impact on individuals:

  • Holistic Well-being: Combining Eastern and Western practices empowers individuals to manage stress, enhance physical health, and achieve emotional balance.
  • Enhanced Focus, Productivity, and Resilience: Eastern mindfulness practices and Western productivity techniques equip individuals to organise tasks effectively. The integration of Eastern philosophies and Western psychological approaches further empowers individuals to handle challenges at work with greater ease.

Impact on organisations:

  • Improved Leadership and Team Dynamics: Eastern teachings on mindfulness and empathy combined with Western leadership models create well-rounded leaders capable of inspiring teams. Eastern principles of mindfulness and collective well-being foster a collaborative and supportive environment. When combined with Western practices of team-building and communication, this leads to stronger, more cohesive teams.
  • Increased Innovation and Sustainable Performance: A balanced mind-body approach nurtures creativity and innovative thinking. Organisations that promote a mind-body balance will see reduced stress, increased employee well-being, lower turnover rates, fewer sick days, and higher overall job satisfaction.

Ekaanta's focus on individual and team development ensures long-term success. By nurturing personal well-being and fostering a supportive environment, their programmes create a foundation for sustained high performance. Teams leave equipped with practical tools and a renewed sense of unity and purpose, leading to more successful collaboration.

Combating burnout at the root

"Our programmes go beyond stress management," shares Manvi. "We target the root causes of burnout, empowering individuals to thrive." By incorporating mindfulness practices, participants delve deep into understanding their thoughts, emotions, and the early signs of stress. This journey fosters emotional intelligence, enabling them to manage their emotions effectively and develop healthier responses to challenges at work and beyond. Ekaanta also provides a tranquil environment to disconnect from work and reconnect with oneself. 

This also helps reduce cognitive overload, a primary contributor to burnout. Fostering strong social connections is equally crucial. Through team-building activities and peer support in group sessions at Ekaanta, it cultivates a sense of community that extends back to the workplace, promoting a more supportive and collaborative environment.

Saumya adds, "Our customised corporate programmes seamlessly integrate into your company culture. We provide specialist facilitators to ensure impactful practices."

Empowering a comprehensive approach to employee well-being

Many organisations have existing wellness programmes, but Ekaanta-Mindversity's expertise can significantly enhance these initiatives.  As Manvi explains, "Our programmes don't replace existing efforts; they complement them to create a more holistic approach."

By seamlessly integrating practices like meditation or yoga with existing wellness initiatives, Ekaanta enhances their effectiveness. This helps employees manage stress, improve focus, and regulate emotions, ultimately amplifying the benefits of current programmes. Additionally, Ekaanta offers customisable solutions tailored to specific needs. HR leaders can work with Ekaanta to design programmes that address unique challenges, such as high-stress levels, burnout, or work-life balance concerns.

Furthermore, Ekaanta prioritises leadership development. Their programmes enhance emotional intelligence, decision-making skills, and resilience in leaders. As Saumya highlights, "Mindful leadership fosters a supportive work environment that leads to increased employee satisfaction and retention." Ekaanta's immersive leadership retreats combine mindfulness practices with leadership skills development and wellbeing, creating a holistic growth environment. Leaders return equipped to implement the right practices within their teams, fostering a culture of well-being throughout the organisation.

A culinary experience rooted in employee wellness

Being well-versed in both clinical nutrition and public health, Manvi’s sessions are part of every corporate engagement programme at Ekaanta.  These sessions are designed to enhance employee wellness and productivity through evidence-based dietary education. Each session provides comprehensive insights into healthy eating habits, meal planning, and the impact of nutrition on mental and physical health. Manvi tailors her presentations to address specific corporate needs, ranging from stress management and gut health to energy-boosting diets and workplace wellness strategies. The sessions are interactive, offering practical tips, personalised advice, and actionable takeaways to foster a healthier, more vibrant workforce.

Ekaanta's plates reflect this focus on well-being. Alongside Manvi's expert guidance, guests can enjoy a delightful array of local dishes, featuring traditional Garhwali and Kumaoni thalis that provide a true taste of the region. The Garhwali thali includes flavorful dishes such as Phaanu (a lentil-based curry), Aloo Ke Gutke (spiced potatoes), and Jhangore Ki Kheer (barnyard millet pudding). Meanwhile, the Kumaoni thali showcases specialties like Bhatt Ki Churkani (black soybean curry), Aloo Tamatar Jhol (potato and tomato curry), and Singodi (a sweet made with khoya and coconut).

In addition to these thalis, Ekaanta offers a variety of local vegetarian dishes that highlight the richness of the region's produce and culinary heritage. Millet-based upmas, made from locally sourced millets like ragi and jowar, are a staple, providing a nutritious and hearty start to the day. Ekaanta’s culinary team excels at creating healthy renditions of traditional dishes, ensuring that each meal is both delicious and nutritionally balanced. By using fresh, local ingredients and incorporating modern dietary principles, Ekaanta delivers an authentic and health-focused dining experience that celebrates the best of local cuisine.

A day of rejuvenation at Ekaanta-Mindversity

Imagine waking up to a sunrise yoga session by the Ganges, the gentle flow of the river setting a peaceful tone for the day. This is just the beginning of a typical experience at Ekaanta-Mindversity. As Manvi shares, "Our days are designed to promote mind-body balance, helping you reconnect with yourself. This feeds into employee wellbeing resulting in improved productivity and engagement at the workplace."

The carefully curated schedule features a blend of activities that nourish both the body and mind. Mornings begin with invigorating yoga and guided meditation sessions, fostering mindfulness and stress reduction. Their programmes include treks with access to Rajaji National Park, Shinrin Yoku and meditation by the river. This is  followed by a delicious and nutritious breakfast.  Wholesome meals  provide the fuel for the day's activities, which may include workshops on  topics like emotional intelligence or applying mindfulness in daily life. Interactive exercises and group discussions, create a sense of community and enhance learning.

Rest and relaxation are encouraged in the early afternoon, allowing participants to recharge before engaging in journaling sessions and group discussions focused on building resilience and effective communication skills. These sessions equip participants with practical tools for personal and professional growth.

The late afternoon offers a choice between physical activities like gentle hikes or tai chi, and creative sessions like painting or music therapy. These activities promote well-being and allow for self-expression. As the day winds down, an evening meditation or sound healing session helps participants relax and prepare for a restful sleep. Evenings may also include a bonfire and storytelling session, fostering connection and a sense of community.

Throughout their stay, participants engage in a variety of practices designed to achieve wellness, develop themselves as leaders and address concerns around stress and burnout. This holistic approach, emphasises Saumya, "helps reduce stress, enhance focus and clarity, improve emotional regulation, and cultivate inner peace so that you can bring the best version of yourselves to work." By the end of their retreat, participants leave Ekaanta feeling rejuvenated, more connected with themselves, and equipped to handle work and life's challenges with greater resilience.

Beyond the retreat: Sustainable transformation

Ekaanta-Mindversity's approach extends far beyond a one-time retreat. Having curated retreats for leading enterprises such as Camfil, Indian Oil Corporation, Tetra Pak Asia, and many more, they have deep expertise on providing ongoing support and resources to help individuals and organisations integrate wellness practices into their daily lives. This ensures long-term well-being and positive changes that ripple outwards, impacting not just individuals but also the entire workplace culture.

Ekaanta-Mindversity's message is a powerful one: in today's world, well-being isn't a luxury, it's the cornerstone of organisational growth and success. By embracing mindfulness and harnessing the wisdom of both East and West, individuals and organisations can unlock their full potential and navigate the challenges of the modern workplace with greater resilience, clarity, and purpose.

Are you ready to embark on your own journey of prioritising your wellbeing?

Visit Ekaanta-Mindversity and unlock the potential of your leaders and workforce by investing in employee wellness and success. 

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs, Leadership, Strategic HR, #HRCommunity

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