Bend it like granny

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Feeling stiff when you get out of bed? And you are not even ‘that’ old? Here’s an inspirational woman who hasn’t even been to consult a doctor her entire life.

Nanammal is a 98 year-old expert yoga instructor from Coimbatore, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Her entire family practice yoga, including her grandchildren.

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Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle last year, she said:

“I started practising yoga when I was eight. I learned yoga from my father, who was a martial artist,” says the great-grandmother. Nanammal’s husband was a Siddha practitioner in the village and was also into agriculture. That is how she cultivated a liking towards naturopathy after her marriage. “I never stopped practising yoga at any point in my life. That’s the secret of my health,” she adds.

“I am an early riser. The first thing I religiously do after getting up at 4.30 in the morning is to drink half a litre of water. I only brush my teeth with neem sticks. If I am travelling outside the country, I make sure to pack three to four neem sticks inside my bag. After my morning chores, I teach yoga to students.”

As many as 600 students of Nanammal are teaching yoga across the world. Though she taught yoga in her house, Nanammal was recognised way back in 2003 when she first attended a yoga competition. “After that, I have participated in 100 competitions so far.” And now, 36 members of her family are yoga practitioners; it has become a legacy.

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