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Champion of champions

India, being a home to some of the oldest civilisations on earth, has contributed a lot to the world. India has always been a home to education. It  has produced versatile scholars, scientists and educational institution before the western world had any knowledge about the abundant information we  possessed. Oldest universities of the world Nalanda and Takshashila were centers of higher education and were pride of India. Indian scholars had given a great contribution to the world. One such contribution to the world is Yoga.

Yoga is not just an exercise, but an ancient and healthy Indian way of lifestyle. We Indians along with the passing of time, by following the so called modern and fast lifestyle of the west, have gone away from the traditional Indian lifestyle. Yoga, which had been practised over the years, was replaced by gym and European style of aerobics and other forms of exercises, which are way too costlier and not so beneficial to the mind.

When the United Nations called for the celebration of International Day of Yoga on June 21, the world   actively participated in it. Even Indians started realising the importance of Yoga and started taking part in the Yoga. Mysuru, being hailed as the ‘Yoga Nagari’, has garnered thousands of Yoga aspirants from all over the world. Here is a young girl from   the heritage city, who has been praised to be the champion of champions in Yoga.

Mysuru girl, Pooja, who is pursuing engineering in electronics and communication at Vidyavardhaka College of Engineering and Technology, started practicing  Yoga when she was studying in 2nd standard. Her mother made the little Pooja join Yoga as it would be a way of being healthy and flexible. Later on she garnered more interest in Yoga and continued taking part in Yoga competitions.

She has won several awards in Yoga competitions. In almost all the categories of Yoga, Pooja has bagged gold medals. She has been very flexible since her early childhood and her Yoga teacher Dr P N Ganesh Kumar of Mysore Vivekananda Yoga Education and Research Institution Vijayanagar advised her to consider Yoga seriously. Her mother Roopa and father Devappa have been very supportive. She won first prize in the National Women Yoga Championship-2007 at Rishikesh, Uttarakhand conducted by Women Yoga Federation of India and Uttarakhand State Women Yoga Association. She   represented Karnataka in the 30th National Yoga championship-2006 at Hisar, Haryana by Yoga Federation of India and Haryana State Yoga Association. Apart from these, she has won several awards, which is a testimony to Pooja’s unparalleled  achievements in Yoga. She also holds Diploma in Yoga and has taught Yoga to several aspirants.

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How has Yoga been helpful to you?

Yoga keeps one fit and healthy. For students, it helps them with more concentration and fitness. For those who work, Yoga helps to tackle the work pressure and stay focused on work. Yoga certainly is a medicine for many of our problems. Yoga has only positive impacts and has no negativity on body and mind.

Have you been doing Yoga as part of competition?

Not really. My teacher has always told that Yoga is a lifestyle and it is what we live. I have been doing Yoga every day. Yoga is not just about the asanas. They are a part of Yoga and Yoga is beyond mere exercise and is a healthy way of life.

Would you like to take up Yoga as your profession?

Yoga is gaining a healthy momentum in the  country. It fetches better career scopes and I have always been associated with Yoga. Even my mother wants me to take up Yoga as my profession.

How was the Yoga Dasara this time?

Yoga Dasara has always been a brilliant platform for the Yoga enthusiasts. This time too there were several Yoga competitions all over the city. They were all conducted in an organised way and it is indeed a happy thing to identify Mysuru as a Yoga City.

How was the support you received in the field of Yoga?

Because of the support of my family only, I could come so far in the field of Yoga and I am always thankful to my parents for showering support on me. I should thank my physical education director Puttaswamy Gowda and Principal Sadashive Gowda for supporting me and allowing me to participate in inter-college and inter-university Yoga competitions.

-By Shrithi Joyappa K

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