Living, breathing, teaching yoga

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When Hema Laxman wanted to become an entrepreneur, the only question that kept playing in her head was “As a woman and a sole person enterprise, how much can I achieve in a foreign land?” Hema, who lives in the UAE with her husband and two daughters, had as her assets a deep passion for yoga and a keen business eye for HR activities. Hema combined these two and formed a company Flamingo Middle East, a yoga, wellness and lifestyle consultancy as well as an HR recruitment consultancy. It is the lifestyle part of her enterprise that enthrals Hema and gives her deep personal satisfaction.
Hema left India to be precise Kerala 20 years ago and is now settled in the UAE, where she, along with her group of students, cutting across age and nationality barriers, can be seen practising various yoga postures outdoors. The excitement in her voice is palpable when she speaks about how much yoga has changed her life.
Her introduction to the world of yoga happened during a moment of personal sadness. She ruminates, “You think you have your life all sorted out and under control.
Then a personal tragedy happens that makes your life take a different direction and you realise how very selfish you have been by solely focussing on money, career, travel and shopping.
Suddenly, the moment comes when one opens their eyes and looks around. That was the moment when I moved towards yoga!”
Though she had been practising routine yoga, Hema decided to seek a professional teacher in the UAE and get serious about it. In doing so, she found a sense of peace enveloping her, an experience that was new. “It was a revelation to me,” she says, adding, “I was wondering what I was doing so far in my life.”
Slowly, she got pulled into teaching yoga and found her purpose in life. She was also able to reach out to a lot of people and help them. She mentions, “I loved that I was also learning in the process. Each student is different and so is each problem; I was enriching myself as well by teaching.”
Hema saw a lot of people suffering from various health issues and wanted to reach out to as many people as possible.
High stress levels, long working hours and lack of time for exercise are the prime culprits for a variety of diseases.
She states, “I cannot stress enough on the importance of good health and well-being because this is the only aspect that stays with us.” She also does corporate yoga to build awareness on health and well-being.Hema did not want to focus on the commercial gains of her enterprise but the personal ones, wherein she is able to give individual attention to each student and address their health issues on a personal level. That is her USP. She explains, “There is a dearth of good teachers who give good guidance in a homely atmosphere.It is not the numbers that are important but the progress each student in my class has made and that should be the measure of my success!”

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