YOGA, a fitness regime practised since ancient times in India, is followed all over the world. The practice relates to the physical, mental and spiritual upkeep of human beings.
The United Nations has declared June 21 to be the International Yoga Day. Since then, yoga which originated from India has gained worldwide recognition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an avid yoga practitioner, ensured that UN dedicate a day to yoga, so that it can be observed internationally.
A 98-year old woman from Tamil Nadu is believed to be one of its oldest living proponents. Amazed? Wait till you read further and know how she accomplished all this.
WittyFeed brings you her story.
The 98-year-old woman from Tamil Nadu still practices yoga and also takes classes to teach people from every age group. That explains the reason of her long life.
She was born in Jaminkaliyapuram, Coimbatore. She developed an interest in yoga when she was eight years of age. Her father who was skilled in martial arts, started to teach her about the basics of yoga.
As a child, she saw children practice yoga asanas. As a result, she too started. Her grandfather also taught yoga. According to Deccan Herald, she said - "I learned yoga even from my father- in-law after getting married to a Siddha doctor. Those days yoga was considered as the village exercise.".
Perhaps, it was in her genes. At the age of 14, she participated in Silambam contest (Martial art from Tamil Nadu) and won.
Her husband was a practitioner of Siddha medicines. Agriculture was his main occupation though. As the family grew vegetables and grains, her love for naturopathy developed. Her diet would contain enough calcium and fibres. This is a practice she still continues. She includes rice porridge (Kanji in Tamil) in daily meals.
After waking up she gulps down 500 millilitres of water. She uses neem sticks for brushing teeth. She consumes milk containing honey and turmeric powder. She also consumes fruits in her diet.
Nanammal has no health problem and therefore she doesn't take any medicines. "I still live strong and healthy due to my love for the exercise and I neither visited a hospital nor used any medicine till now."
Not long ago, Nanammal tried to get her name into Guinness Book of World Records. She had attempted to teach yoga asanas to 20,000 students at an event in Coimbatore.
According to her son V Ellusami, several yoga federations from around the world wanted her to visit their countries to perform yoga, but she didn't accept their invitation. "This was because of the language barrier; she cannot speak English," he said.
She wants to make people aware about the benefits of yoga. Her focus is on young girls and women. She visits educational institutions to promote this cause. She said she wants to address health problems of people and the ailments one faces after marriage.
With a strong belief in yoga and 36 members of her family having become professional practitioners, Nanammal says there is nothing which can't be accomplished in life. In addition to members of her family, she has prepared 600 students who are now spreading the knowledge and art of yoga.
This Coimbatore yoga instructor is busy teaching yoga to her 100 students. She has two sons and three daughters who also practice yoga along with their children and grandchildren.
She's no less than an Olympic gymnast, whose body is so flexible that it almost looks boneless. She can do a handstand and balance her entire body on her hands. She has won gold medals and trophies at national yoga contests and events.
Nanammal lives a simple life. She never wears special dresses for yoga classes. "I wear only our tradition sari. Still, I can do more than 50 asanas. I do yoga before I go to bed and I do yoga with my students when I get up in the morning. I wake at 4.30 am everyday. I go to bed early," she told Deccan Chronicle.
Her second son V Balakrishnan said, "My mother can do all the difficult asanas, including the painful peacock asana where the body is held in a horizontal position by the strength of the arms alone."
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