She had been part of many national-level tournaments and bagged many prizes in various championships held in Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Chennai
Eleven-year-old Uttra Sree is a wunderkind. A Class VI student, she has excelled in the discipline of yoga, participating and winning many national tourneys, and recently international championships where she had won gold medals in rhythmic and artistic pair.
A student of Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Mogappair, Chennai, she hails from a small village, Adhan Kothankudi, coming under Mudukulathur taluk in Ramanathapuram district.
Uttra Sree very recently emerged as the second runner-up in the Second International Yoga Championship held at Hong Kong on August 4 and 5. She had already been part of international tournaments where she bagged three gold medals in artistic pair, rhythmic and backward in the 8 to 11 years category at the International Yoga Championship conducted by International Yoga Federation camp by Sri Lanka Youth Yoga Federation in Colombo on September 25, 2010.
She had been part of many national-level tournaments and bagged many prizes in various championships held in Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Chennai, said K. Ilango, her father, who works in an automobile company in Chennai.
On seeing grandpa
Uttra Sree evinced interest in yoga after observing her grandfather Sornakaalai doing it and after seeing the interest in her, her mother sought the help of a professional trainer and found K. Rathna Sabapathy, who discovered the potential and made the girl go places.
Uttra Sree’s mother Rajeshwari dons various roles — she is her friend, philosopher, and guide.
To ensure that her daughter learns the nuances and technicalities of the discipline, she herself joined M.Sc. Yoga course offered by Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University and completed it.
She accompanies her daughter on tours and brings the best out of her. Uttra’s bharatnatyam trainer Usha Nagaraj is also a big influence on her and her school had always been a source of support and strength. To encourage her sporting abilities, the school has waived her tuition fees after her stellar performances at international events.
It all started at seven
The girl bagged her first prize in yoga when she was hardly seven years old. She, along with the help of her determined mother, has experimented by performing atop eggs, a bed of nails, tumblers and plates, defying odds and pain. “We actually experimented by trying to fuse bharatnatyam and yoga in our performances and it really paid off,” said her proud mother.
She can perform 300 asanas with ease and the girl is already training hard to enter into the pages of the Limca Book of Records. She is famous for her snake dance and has participated in many cultural events in Chennai and other cities.
A shy girl who doesn’t talk much, she lets her performance speak. She wishes to pursue medicine. Her favourite sports stars include Sachin Tendulkar and Saina Nehwal. Playing carom and drawing are her hobbies.
Her native village in Ramanathapuram is also upbeat about her achievements and she has become quite famous there as many of her neighbours want their children to emulate her. Her sibling, Dheepak Arjun, is also excelling in karate and yoga and has started to win awards at the national level. Parents of this yoga siblings are proud of their roots and always have a fascination for Madurai and Ramanathapuram, though life’s compulsions have made them to settle down in Chennai.