How a startup is healing through sounds, meditation and yoga.
--BY NEWBIZ TEAM
The bustling city of Kathmandu is home to several corporates, businesses, educational institutions, medical facilities and many other establishments. In the midst of all this, people often tend to neglect to search for peace within themselves. Lotus Mindfulness and Relaxation Services is a Nepali startup helping people heal through sounds, meditation and yoga.
Lotus Mindfulness and Relaxation Services is the brainchild of Arvind Shakya. After completing his MBA in the US, Shakya realised that he was facing some anxiety and was in the stage of questioning himself about the purpose of life. One day, he came across a book titled Meetings with the Dhamma Master which changed his perspective entirely. The book was a complete paradigm shift for Shakya as it shares the idea that you need to meditate to find your answers in life. “That struck me,” Shakya recalled.
Shakya took inspiration from his father who went to Thailand and completed the monk course. “My dad was an inspiration for me. He went to Thailand for the monk course,” he added.
Following the footsteps of his father, Shakya also went to Thailand and participated in a three-week monk training course in Pathum Thani, a province in Thailand. The course was rigorous as one had to follow many rules and live like a monk for three weeks, Shaky added.
After the course, he noticed vast differences in his behaviour, resulting in him helping and spreading this knowledge to others. Thus, he started Lotus Mindfulness and Relaxation Services, a place where one could relax with sound healing and meditations.
A Unique Startup
The hospitality, unique sound healing session, feedback session, and ambience make Lotus Mindfulness and Relaxation Services stand out in a crowd of startups. At Lotus Mindfulness, teachers and helpers are amiable and welcome their clients with a genuine smile. Shakya focuses more on the quality of the session, using unique instruments, and also playing them and mixing them beautifully. After each session, questions are answered by the guru, and participants are encouraged to give their feedback. The ambience of the hall truly brings out the spiritual self within oneself - lying down under the blue sky wallpaper and relaxing to the sounds is truly a spiritual experience.
Shakya has invested to Rs 2.5 million in this venture. Shakya is the sole investor and has seen a gradual growth in his business. He has around six staff members - four in management and two trainers for reiki healing and yoga.
Lotus Mindfulness uses different sound instruments for the sound healing session. Each sound is unique and resembles the sounds of insects, rain, thunder, and ocean waves. The instruments used are rainstick, bells, gongs, kalimba, Tingsha, singing bowls, and Didgeridoo, an Australian instrument.
In a sound healing session, a client will start with meditation with the guru, followed by feedback. The main session then begins. For about an hour, trainers play different instruments. The clients will enjoy the session and feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Again, feedback is collected and the session ends with tea.
Social Media Presence
Shakya believes in the power of social media platforms and uses them to connect to clients and market his business. Mainly, he uses Instagram and boosts his account. He also maintains a website with the course and training information which includes a five-day free meditation course as well.
During the COVID pandemic, he created a community and provided free meditation sessions on Zoom. Slowly, the circle widened and there were about 100 members in that community.
Shakya also has a YouTube channel named Lotus Mindfulness and Relaxation Services where he uploads meditation and sound healing videos.
Every startup has its own hurdles. Shakya too faced his own sets of difficulties while starting this business. Firstly, the COVID shook the business. During this phase, he was all alone and used to manage the hall alone. Gradually, his students also shared a helping hand in cleaning the hall and maintaining the place.
Secondly, he still spreads awareness of sound healing sessions and their significance. The singing bowl is seen as just a souvenir by the Nepalis. Changing this perspective is still a challenge faced by Shakya.
Clients and Feedbacks
To date, Shakya has welcomed clients mostly in the age groups of 20s or 30s. He has clients coming from diverse professions like doctors, nurses, counsellors, entrepreneurs, and college students, among others.
When asked about his client's feedback, he proudly recalled one particular feedback. She was a mother of a one-year-old child. "After the session, she said, 'In this one year, this hourlong session was the most peaceful and relaxing time I had experienced.' She was very content and re-energized," Shakya shared with New Business Age.
Likewise, there was another foreign entrepreneur who had a backache. After the sound healing and gong session, he felt good and shared that he did not feel that kind of relief in any massage parlours.
Shakya is planning to expand his startup and has many plans lined up. He wants to be more consistent in his sessions and wants to organise more yoga sessions. Moreover, he also plans to start reiki healing and tarot reading session.
Shakya is a visionary and is hopeful that the government will create an economic zone for spiritual learning where healers and trainers can unite and create a spiritual hub in Nepal.
About the Founder
Arvind Shakya, an MBA graduate, is the founder and Managing Director of Lotus Mindfulness and Relaxation Services. He is also a faculty member at Presidential Business School and Kathmandu Don Bosco College, where he teaches organisational behaviour and leadership. He describes himself as an empathetic and helpful person.