Fifty three-year-old electrician G. Navaneetan is reaping the benefits of yoga though he started only four years ago
This unassuming 53-year-old electrician is all charged up — by a passion for yoga. Ever since he took up yoga four ago, G. Navaneetan has been bagging several awards, the latest being the first place (common category) at the Tamil Nadu State Yogasana Championship (2013-2014) organised by the Ozone Yoga Centre and Tamil Nadu Youth Yoga Association. In fact, he has been selected by the International Youth Yoga Federation to compete in the South Asian Yoga Championship to be conducted at Thailand in May 2014.
It was a nagging pain in his shoulders that brought Navaneetan to yoga therapy. It cured the pain, sparking off a fascination for yoga. Soon, Navaneetan moved on to tougher postures. A few months later, chance led him to electrical repair work at the house of retired judge and yoga champion R. Kanagasababathy. Seeing photos of the judge in spectacular yoga postures spurred his passion for yoga and he began practising complicated yogasanas, gradually.
“I wanted to achieve something in yoga. Initially, I applied oil on my body so as to allow my limbs to slide easily or asked kids in the neighbourhood to hold my legs, until I achieved good balance and flexibility,” shares Navaneetan, who supplements his modest income by binding books. Now, of course, Navaneetan can effortlessly curl his leg behind his shoulders or stand on his head in complicated yoga postures.
Every day, Navaneetan is up at dawn to practise yogasanas. Yoga teacher and therapist K. Geetha, who first initiated him into yoga, says, “Dedication and faith are the key to his success.” Meanwhile, Navaneetan has broken many prevailing myths, such as the misconception that superlative body flexibility can’t be achieved after a certain age. Navaneetan has inspired many in his neighbourhood to take up yoga. “They see that though I am past 50, yoga has made me as fit and energetic as a youngster.”