Young experts in Allahabad show the path of wellness through yoga
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Young experts in Allahabad show the path of wellness through yoga

In Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad, ‘bal yogis’ lead sessions in various ashrams and get invitations to hold yoga camps and workshops in India and abroad.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2017 13:56 IST
K Sadeep Kumar
K Sadeep Kumar
Hindustan Times, Allahabad
International Day of Yoga,Yoga Day,Bal yogis
Students practice yoga ahead of the third International Yoga day on June 21 at Parade Ground in Allahabad on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

Children as young as five are emerging as brand ambassadors of the ancient physical and spiritual discipline as India and the world is set to celebrate the third International Day of Yoga on June 21.

Based in Uttar Pradesh’s Allahabad, these bal yogis or young yoga experts lead sessions in various ashrams and even get invitations to hold yoga camps and workshops in India and abroad.

Five-year-old Arjun Scott Lynch from the United States is one of the youngest yoga experts in the city where the three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati meet.

Son of attorney Scott Lynch and grandson of former Ohio mayor David M Lynch, Arjun lives at the Kriyayoga Ashram with his mother Kari to perfect his knowledge of yoga and to set an example for others.

“I know Hindi and am trying to master tougher ‘asanas’. My parents practised kriya yoga and I am following in their footsteps. I have led yoga sessions in the US as well as in India,” he said.

Other young trainers at the Kriyayoga Ashram and Research Institute of Swami Shree Yogi Satyam are also gaining popularity.

Twelve-year-old Krishna, who hails from Canada, came to India with his parents and is staying at the ashram where he is learning and propagating kriya yoga, a form of yoga.

“I practise yoga every day at the ashram. My day starts at 5am. I help visitors and new yoga learners to understand the finer point of ‘asanas’. I have led yoga sessions in Canada. My parents regularly visit the ashram and join me in my daily sessions as well,” said Krishna, whose father is a doctor.

Brother-sister duo Yogita, 13, and Shivam, 9, of New Delhi are also experts in the nuances of kriya yoga and lead children’s sessions at the ashram under the guidance of Swami Shree Yogi Satyam and Swami Gyan Mata Radha Satyam.

“These children are the best ambassadors of yoga and are already winning over followers from all parts of the world,” said Swami Gyan Mata Radha Satyam.

Allahabad’s Shruti Pandey is another yoga guru, who has followers not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in other states such as Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. A student of Class 9 at Central Academy, Shruti is an expert in all the 84 ‘asanas’ or postures of the ancient discipline.

“What started as a step to remain fit and disciplined at the age of 5 through my parents’ encouragement has now become a passion. I have taught yoga to people in many cities, including at Ujjain and Nasik during the Mahakumbh,” she said.

The 14-year-old is a disciple of Swami Hari Chaitanya Brahmachari and lives at the Swami’s Tikarmafi ashram in Jhunsi on the banks of the Sangam. Shruti was felicitated by former chief of army staff and minister of state for external affairs general (retd) VK Singh and a popular television channel for her efforts to popularise yoga.

Another teen expert, Priyanshi has been learning yoga since the age of 4 and has led yoga sessions throughout the state. A student of Class 12 student in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Priyanshi credits Baba Subedar Singh as her yoga guru.

“I used to watch him perform yoga. Drawing inspiration from him, I learnt this age-old Indian art and now I love teaching it to others. I believe yoga is a way of life to remain mentally and physically fit,” the 17-year-old said.

The United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2014. The declaration came after the call for the adoption of June 21 as International Day of Yoga by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As many as 175 countries including the US, Canada and China, co-sponsored the resolution. It had the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any UNGA resolution of such nature.

While suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Modi said, “It is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.”

International Day of Yoga 2015 had the theme ‘Synergy’ while its 2016 edition had the theme ‘Connect the Youth’. The theme for this year is ‘Yoga for Health’.

First Published: Jun 20, 2017 12:40 IST