International Day of Yoga: Thrissur master demonstrates 'water yoga'

Ananthanarayanan, who is popularly called Ananthan Swamy, says the jala yoga technique is taught as part of 'pravini pranayanama.' Photo: Special Arrangement

Ever heard of 'Jala Yoga' aka water yoga? At the Brahmaswam Madham Temple of Thrissur, a unique yoga demonstration took place on the International Day of Yoga that falls today, stunning many as 69-year-old PS Ananthanarayanan floated on water for almost 2 hours. A businessman who has also been practising jala yoga for more than three decades, Ananthanarayanan claims he can float on water for almost 12 hours at a stretch and has also been teaching the technique to many for the past many years. He picked up the discipline around 38 years ago from renowned yoga master P Madhavan and is holding a demonstration of the kind for the first time on the International Day of Yoga. 

The practice and diet
Ananthanarayanan, who is popularly called Ananthan Swamy, says the jala yoga technique is taught as part of 'pravini pranayanama,' a variation of the traditional pranayama practice of yoga. "It is a specific breathing technique that teaches you to balance the flow of energy, remaining positive and weightless. When a ray of sunlight falls on water, it absorbs whatever is required and reflects away what it doesn't need. This technique teaches you to shape your mind and body in this fashion," explains the practitioner. He also follows a strict diet to keep his body sharp. "I don't eat grains like rice, wheat, black gram or maida. I have a bowl of millet kanji, accompanied by a portion of vegetables, three times a day. The kanji is made of age-old, ethnic millets like chaama, thena, varaku and panivaraku. I also include pea varieties like 'amara' (broad beans) and 'thomara' (pigeon pea) in my diet," he explains.  

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