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