Nanammal: The 97-year-old woman from Tamil Nadu who teaches yoga to 100 students
V. Nanammal is a 97-year-old woman from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Even at her advanced age, Nanammal practices the art of yoga, and what's more, also teaches it to other enthusiasts.
Possibly the oldest yoga instructor in India, Nanammal teaches yoga to more than 100 students on a daily basis, and her students include people from all age groups. Nanammal started to learn the basics of yoga from her father, who was a martial artist, from the early age of eight. Being a natural early riser, she drinks 500 ml of water as soon as she wakes up, and uses neem sticks to brush her teeth, and even carries a few when she goes out of town. She eats healthy food at all times of the day, like fruits, milk with honey, and turmeric powder.
Speaking with Deccan Chronicle, she said,
My husband was a Siddha practitioner and was into agriculture and cultivation. This is how my liking for naturopathy had its inception, even after my marriage. I never stopped practising yoga at any point in my life. That’s the secret of my health. The food I consumer every day is highly rich in fibre and calcium. I have kanji with a different vegetarian dish every day. All the vegetables we use are from our own farm.
According to a Deccan Herald report, Nanammal attempted to get on to the Guinness Book of World Records by teaching yoga to over 20,000 students and enthusiasts in Coimbatore. Right now, her objective is to create awareness among women, mainly girl students, about yoga techniques by going to various educational institutions to solve several health-related problems, especially after marriage. Her son, V. Ellusami, said,
She had rejected offers from several yoga federations across the world as she does not know English.
Around 600 students who learnt yoga from Nanammal are are now into yoga instruction all around the world. Right now, 36 members from her family are serious practitioners. Nanammal strongly conveys that there's never any excuse or limit if there is the right intent.