Published: 21st June 2021
Yoga Day: How yoga helped this 15-year-old from Bengaluru concentrate on his academics and become a better person
Just 15 years old and Yashwanth A is already a State Award winner and a pro at over 5,000 asanas. We find out more
When Yashwanth's parents enrolled him in music class to help him focus better on academics, it didn't do the trick. However, yoga definitely did. Now 15, Yashwanth A from Bengaluru is a Rashtriya Karnataka Ratna Award 2021 recipient and he has mastered over 3000 asanas, including the handstand and the Gandaberundasana. "When I was in preschool, my teachers told my parents that I wasn't able to concentrate, was very talkative, naughty, and rather disruptive in class. One of my teachers suggested that I should be enrolled in music class so that I could become more focused and disciplined. So I went to music class for about six months but every day was a nightmare. I used to cry my lungs out before going and I didn't like the classes at all. While my mother was looking for other options, she found a yoga class in our area and she decided to put me there instead. I was around five years old at that time," recalls Yashwanth. The change his school and parents saw was phenomenal.
The 15-year-old was fascinated with yoga from day one. He wanted to do more of what his seniors were doing, but his teacher told him that he was too young to perform a few asanas. That did not deter Yashwanth's spirits. "I wanted to perform the difficult asanas too. My teacher told me that it would take time to master those and my seniors could do it because they had been doing it for a longer time. After a year or so, I was extremely motivated and that helped me build self-confidence. Gradually, I began mastering the tough ones too, following which I started taking part in competitions which further boosted my confidence," adds Yashwanth.
Yashwanth is one of the top performers in his school today. He has also won the all-rounder award from his school — Treamis World School, Bengaluru — for his excellence in academics, sports, and other extra-curricular activities. There are many asanas that Yashwanth likes to perform, however, two out of those are his favourites. "One of the most difficult ones that I learned as a child is Gandaberundasana. This is one of those poses that could fetch you a lot of points in a competition and it is like a dream for every student to perform on stage. I struggled to learn this but the challenge kept me going. The other one that took me some time to master was the handstand. I spent a lot of time perfecting this. It was almost eight months of practice to strengthen my arms and then balance my entire body only on my two hands," shares Yashwanth, who practices yoga for 45 minutes every morning.
Speaking about how yoga can help children in different ways, Yashwanth tells us, "When I speak to other children, they think that yoga is just about bending your hands and legs and mostly physical fitness. But that's one of the most misconstrued explanations of yoga. Yoga is a way of life and not just physical fitness. More than physical, it works on your mental fitness, it gives you a lot of patience and helps calm your mind. Students face a lot of pressure during their teenage years mostly because of academics, yoga can help us develop self-discipline and make us look at things from a different perspective."