Teaching ancient healing practices to alleviate stress and build community
What started as a personal challenge to produce 60 podcasts has turned into a business venture with social impact for UBC Sauder Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate Aditya Jaykumar.
"I thought of it as an experiment,” recounts Aditya, who graduated from UBC Sauder’s MBA program in 2015. “I thought, we'll see where it goes and if it doesn't work, I'll just stop it.”
That was in 2015. Now, with over 350 episodes produced, listeners tuning in from 150 countries and a captivating brand made from scratch, Aditya’s podcast, My Seven Chakras, has succeeded where many podcasts have failed.
The secret to Aditya’s enduring success may lie in his content — he offers food for the soul during a time of significant stress and uncertainty throughout the world.
My Seven Chakras aims to give listeners access to the power of mindfulness, meditation and ancient wisdom through the medium of audio. This is done through in-depth interviews with leading voices in the space of self-development, alternative healing and spirituality.
Aditya Jaykumar turned his home in Vancouver into a DIY recording studio.
Managing stress and finding spiritual fulfilment
According to ancient healing practices originating in India, the seven chakras refer to 'energy centres' that are spread throughout the body. The objective of the healing practice is to tap into the full potential of these power centres and develop an emotionally balanced and spiritually full life.
Aditya says he came up with the idea for the podcast after overcoming challenges in his own life. Before coming to Vancouver to pursue his MBA at UBC Sauder, he was working in Mumbai as a retail sales executive.
"I was experiencing a lot of anxiety. I ate at odd hours, worked long shifts and some of my co-workers were unsupportive. I looked at many different avenues and even looked at meditation, but it wasn't coming to me naturally.”
That's when he stumbled upon the knowledge of the seven chakras on YouTube. He began practicing visualization and found it made a positive difference in his life.
"Within just a few minutes, I felt a sense of relief. I felt a shift within me and I was much more relaxed," he recalls.
Aditya resolved to share the importance of spiritual growth, emotional balance and mental health with others over a medium that's recently exploded in popularity: podcasts.
From designing logos to pitching podcast guests to adding new products, the host of My Seven Chakras relies on lessons learned at UBC Sauder to guide his business strategy.
A creative endeavour grounded in business education
Today, My Seven Chakras has crossed 4 million downloads and Aditya has interviewed over 365 guests — from spiritual practitioners and yoga teachers to best-selling authors, politicians and mental health experts.
The success of My Seven Chakras is part content creation and part business strategy. As the number of followers steadily grew, Aditya responded by adding more products and services to his podcast website, including courses and mentorship programs.
Aditya credits his UBC Sauder education for giving him the business skills to turn a fledgling audio project into a global online brand. But it was Paul Cubbon, Assistant Dean, Innovation, who instilled the confidence in him to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
"The MBA program at UBC Sauder equipped me to think differently. It gave me business, marketing and finance skills to make a positive impact.”
The key to a happy life
Aditya wants My Seven Chakras to be more than a source of high-quality media content; he wants to create a safe space for like-minded people to come together, overcome personal challenges and live the best version of their lives. Ultimately, he hopes his listeners will discover the biggest lesson he’s learned after interviewing hundreds of guests — the importance of compassion.
“In today's world of instant connectivity and social media, it's easy to compare yourself with others,” he says. “A lot of times, this makes us our own harshest critic. But whether you're an entrepreneur or an employee, a teacher or a parent, being compassionate and kind to ourselves goes a long way.”
Aditya Jaykumar has added deep breathing classes over Zoom to his media offerings.
Remembering to breathe
Through his online platform, Aditya is creating a community for people when physical connections are restricted. Every weekend, he leads a workshop on yogic breathing over Zoom to help his audience manage their stress and develop a sound emotional state, with a goal of coming away feeling rejuvenated.
“I’ve had people from Australia, the UK and many people from the United States,” he says. “Even though you're alone in your home and the class is online, you still feel that sense of connection.”
Aditya’s future plans include working with entrepreneurs, employees and corporate leaders on breathing and mindfulness training as he believes focussed breathing sessions can help teams navigate through these challenging times.
“The beauty is this is the one thing we all do: we breathe. But by consciously adjusting our breathing, we can change our state of mind and influence our physiology and our outlook towards life,” says Aditya. “Happiness is just a breath away.”