Muscat: People looking for a healthier lifestyle in Oman will soon be able to learn yoga from India’s oldest yoga practitioner.
Nanammal, 98, is expected in the Sultanate on Friday, March 30, for an event organised by the Oman Cancer Association and local yoga studio Vyaniti Yoga to educate cancer patients and those looking to keep fit, about the health benefits of yoga.
“We have invited India’s oldest yoga teacher so that she can motivate people to come out of whatever state they are in now,” said Prema Nagesh, head of Vyaniti Yoga.
Attempts will be made to perform 108 surya namaskars, the cardiovascular boosting sun salutation exercise. This will be led by Nanammal, who was conferred the prestigious Padma Shri award by the Indian government.
“I notice many people here are not fit because of a sedentary lifestyle and being restricted to the indoors and air-conditioned rooms,” Nagesh said. “The 12 steps of the surya namaskar can be followed by people of all age groups. All that is required is a little manipulation. We started our planning three months ago, in terms of whom we needed to call, because this is a special event for the Oman Cancer Association, organised for those who are suffering from cancer; so we need to inspire the people who are suffering. When I told people about this event, they were very happy and there were some people who actually postponed their return dates so they could attend this event. They are all very happy and thrilled to be a part of this event. Some 108 surya namaskars are a challenge for everyone,” she added.
Nagesh is also looking to enter this event in the Limca Book of World Records, which celebrates achievements by Indians around the world.
“Doing this in a group is easier, especially since we are going to also attempt to make it into the Limca Book of World Records,” she said. “In addition, our chief guest is a Padma Shri recipient and it is very rare to meet such people otherwise. We approached the Limca Book of World Records and informed them that we were trying to assemble 500 people to do the surya namaskar together. They told us they could take us as an overseas claimant,” Nagesh added.
“Normally, they only take people from within India, but because we live overseas and this will be a mixed group of nationalities with people across a wide range of age groups from eight to 85, performing 108 surya namaskars together, we were considered,” said Nagesh. “Contacting them did take a lot of time, because it took us a year to organise everything. “
Initially, they were not replying and there was no clarity, but when we told them that we had this overseas event, they gave us the green signal,” she added.
Nagesh also advised people who were looking to lead a healthy lifestyle to take up yoga.
“Yoga is a very good and gentle way of taking care of health, irrespective of age and any health conditions you may have,” she said. “Even cancer sufferers and those who have suffered from slip-disc injuries have benefited from this. I think all of us Indians should learn our Indian culture and pass it on to others,” she added.
To register for the event, call 96526103 or email [email protected]