Yoga and it’s increasing relevance in today’s world

Over the past few weeks front pages of most leading dailies have reported some or the other news related to suicides. I distinctly remember three as there was some debate around all these.

First was an IAS aspirant Varun Chandran; Second, a fashion designer Kate Spade; and Third, a celebrity chef, author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain.

The first one was shocking because Varun took this drastic step as he was not allowed to sit for an exam because he was late and that too by just four minutes! At the outset this looks like a flimsy reason to take one’s own life but when we dig deep, we find that the exam was none other than the elite Civil Services exam. It was probably Varun’s last shot at it as he had already made a few unsuccessful attempts in the past.

For this final chance, he must have toiled really hard and would have wanted it so bad that even his life appeared to be small in front of his dream to become an IAS officer!

Perhaps the “just four minutes” was the bigger reason for the anguish as he could have made it in time if only he had done something differently and that would have continued to haunt him!

But does any of it justify as extreme a step as suicide?

Flowers with blood

Some are blaming the authorities that he should have been allowed to sit in? Some are blaming him, that he should have been more careful and reached early; and maybe his family and friends are blaming themselves that why were they not present with him when he needed them the most? But how could anyone else know what is happening with someone unless s/he opens up?

Second and third cases are of celebrities, who we would have normally thought would be really happy in their respective lives as they had every materialistic thing most of us yearn for. They had money, a fan base, and were at the top of their careers. If social media fan following is anything to go by to look at the popularity of a person, then the numbers for Kate and Anthony were unbelievable and are as below:

Depression news stats

Then why did they take this drastic step, one asks?

The answer is that they were both suffering from Depression. Depression can target anyone irrespective of the age, gender, financial status or stature in the society. It is a silent killer and people often find it easier to kill themselves than to live with depression. Depression however can be managed if people talk more openly about it. Information about the condition, access to help and making small lifestyle changes can go a long way in treating Depression.

One of the things that really helps people with depression or stress or any other mental condition is building resilience. And one of the most effective tools to build mental resilience is Yoga.


Our current prime minister Narendra Modi, in his speech at the UNGA while proposing the idea of the National Day of Yoga said that “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. “

In Yoga you are required to focus on your breath. It is this shift of focus from one’s body to the breath that helps ease anxiety, stress, depression and even physical pain.

Starting this International Day of Yoga (21st June), pledge to take some time out to practice yoga and dhyana (meditation) to help lead a mindful, healthy and happy life.

Healthy people, make healthier, happier and more productive workplaces. So, as a unit head, if you would like your organization or team to be more productive, get in touch with MeeHappy Wellness.

MeeHappy Wellness is an EAP that helps employees achieve the highest level of emotional, psychological and social well-being; be productive at workplace and lead a happy and fulfilling life.