An athlete now teaches yoga

August 17, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 29, 2016 03:46 pm IST - Ramanathapuram:

A. Padmanaban teaching yoga to schoolchildren in Ramanathapuram.— Photo: L. BALACHANDAR

A. Padmanaban teaching yoga to schoolchildren in Ramanathapuram.— Photo: L. BALACHANDAR

When he visited Delhi to participate in a training programme conducted by the Human Resource Development Ministry in 1993, A. Padmanaban, an athlete, would not have imagined that the trip would transform his life and make him a yoga master.

Though his father, a Siddha medical practitioner, taught him a few yoga postures during his schooldays, Padmanaban from Pasumpon took athletics by choice and never showed interest in yoga.

He won gold and silver medals at State-level meets and joinedphysical education course in the 1960s after completing his schooling. He was deputed to Delhi as a key resource person to attend a training programme in 1993 when he was formally introduced to yoga at the training session. It was a month-long programme but when he returned home, he found that he had developed a special interest for yoga. “I realised yoga is something divine and started exploring it,” Mr. Padmanaban (74) said in an interaction with The Hindu .

After reading about ‘Hatha yoga’ and Pathanjali’s ‘Yoga Sutram’ and ‘Astanga yoga’, he realised that yoga was not just physical exercise to keep the body fit but associated with mental and spiritual qualities to lead a stress-free life.

Soon, he qualified himself to take part in competitions and won the first State-level yoga competition in 2005. Five years later, he won the World Championship in ‘51 years and above’ category held in Puducherry.

Mr. Padmanaban, presently teaching yoga full-time, has so far trained about 1,000 people, including the Collector, Superintendent of Police and Inspectors of Police in the district. He was probably the only septuagenarian to perform the toughest ‘Tittibhasna” (insect pose), he said.

Mr. Padmanaban had never visited a hospital for any ailment. “I am leading a disease and stress-free life, thanks to yoga,” he said. There were simple and easy-to-practise postures for different age groups to keep the mind calm and lead a stress-free life, he noted.

He was teaching yoga to students, mainly to help them lead a disciplined life. Controlling the mind was as difficult as controlling the wind, “but it can be controlled by constant practice (of yoga)”, he said, quoting Lord Krishna.

After a month-long programme in Delhi, Padmanaban found that he had developed a special interest for yoga

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.