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UAE: Expat yoga teacher creates world records during Covid pandemic

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on August 20, 2021
Supplied photo

The Dubai resident holds record for performing headstand posture on a stool for 1 minute, 7 seconds, among several other achievements.


A travel ban to India and the consequent free time proved to be a winning recipe for a UAE resident who devoted herself to her yoga practice and snagged three spots in record books.

Bhagya Puttalingappa, an Indian expat of 14 years, has been practising yoga since the tender age of eight. Her childhood pursuit soon turned into a passion and her appetite to ‘witness consciousness’ has not only earned her a dual spot in the India Book of Records, but the Karnataka native has also clinched a position in the Canada Book of Records.

In the India Book of Records, Bhagya holds one for performing Shirshasana (headstand posture) on a stool for 1 minute, 7 seconds as well as maximum yoga poses performed in headstand in a minute.

Additionally, her feat of performing the longest eagle leg pose (female) that lasted two minutes and four seconds earned her a position in the Amazing Olympia World Records (first Canada Book of World Records).

Bhagya, a yoga teacher at Ambassador School, Dubai, said: “My love for yoga began when my Guruji (teacher) Dr PN Ganeshkumar inducted me into this back in the days when I lived in Mysore. Since then, I have stayed with yoga and tried to master the craft. But my entry into the record book has a different story. Under the guidance of our principal Sheela Menon, I’ve always encouraged our students to participate in international yoga competitions held in India, Singapore and Malaysia, where the students won accolades. I also helped my students to prepare for the various international record books.”

Added the avid yoga practitioner: “A very close friend of mine, Lakshmi, suggested that even I should endeavour to create a record just as I assist my students. That got me thinking. After that I started preparing for it myself, documented my yoga styles and asanas and within a span of two months, I managed to seal three spots in two record books. I couldn’t be happier.”

What began as a disappointment because of the travel ban to India due to coronavirus quickly resulted in a fruitful utilisation of the period.

“The pandemic has been a great teacher,” Bhagya said. “I couldn’t travel to my hometown with my son, as travelling was fraught with challenges this year. I thought let’s try and be as productive as possible during this time. Yoga is about connecting the mind, body and spirit. Besides, practicing yoga regularly also helps you to promote endurance, strength, calmness, flexibility and well-being, which are required to a greater degree in the current times.”

She even encourages her seven-and-a-half year old son to practice yoga at least for an hour every day.

The Dubai resident and the yoga champion today specialises in Artistic Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Power Yoga.

“My son was really happy when he saw the medal that I received,” said Bhagya. “He was very proud of me. Entering the record books and seeing my son so happy has been a memorable experience for me. I was truly on cloud nine. Also, my school leaders, colleagues and friends have been supportive. Apart from the certificate and the medal that I received, the great learning has been that victory ultimately belongs to the most persevering.”

nandini@khaleejtimes.com





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