Wednesday, December 6

99 Not Out – The Biography of Nanammal, The Oldest Yoga Master

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Yoga, the ancient science of physical and mental healing has been the forte of men from time immemorial. What was considered as a village level exercise till recent times has changed the face of fitness in India as well as all over the world and V. Nanammal has a great role to play. At the age of 99 she is possibly the oldest practising yoga guru in India.

Nanammal yoga classes


Know More About V. Nanammal – Oldest Yoga Teacher-

Nannamal is no ordinary yoga grandma. Her extraordinary determination has led her to continue her passion which she has converted into a profession by tutoring millions of students and is still teaching around 100 students a day.

Childhood and Family-

Nanammal was born in jaminkaliayapuram, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. She developed as interest in yoga from an early age and started learning it from her grand -father and her father.

nanammal with her son


Indian yoga guru V. Nanammal was married off to a siddha practitioner and started learning yoga from her Father-in-law too. A small incident involving her mother-in- law helped her establish herself as an adept yoga teacher. Her passion for yoga continued and she started teaching the ladies and kids in the neighbourhood. In 1972 the Ozone yoga centre was established and she stated teaching yoga. The Ozone Yoga centre is now run by her son Balakrishnan who offers a two year teacher training course, a diploma in yoga and naturopathy, certified by the Bharat Sevak Samaj (BSS) of the Indian Government.

A mother of two sons and three daughters, 12 grand-children and 11 great grand-children, this yoga old lady can pull off the most difficult of the asanas by wearing the humble traditional saree. 36 members of her family are currently involved in teaching yoga across the world.

A Disciplinarian-

Nanammal yoga teacher hasn’t changed her life style in all these years. She still gets up in the morning brushes her teeth with the neem stick, practices her yoga and then has her traditional breakfast kanji (millets porridge). No tea or coffee for her. Being from an agricultural family she realises the importance of having organic food. She has lots of greens along with rice for lunch and milk and fruits for dinner. She doesn’t allow her family to have white sugar and prefers jiggery and honey over the later. Owning to her discipline she has a good eyesight memory and hearing at this age also.


nanammal received padmashri award


At the age of 14 she received the district level award for “silambattam”, the tamil martial art performed with weapons.

She received the coveted Padmashri Award in Jan this Year.

The Nari Shakti puraskar was awarded to her by the President of India on the occasion of women’s day in 2017.

She also received the Karnataka government’s yoga ratna award.

As of now, apart from her teaching endeavours She visits educational institutions and teaches yoga especially to girls to tackle health related problems especially after marriage.

Famous Yoga Gurus-

While Baba Ram Dev, Jaggi vasudev and Sri sri ravi shankar are  associated with yoga in India now, several honoured yoga gurus who have helped spread yoga to different  parts of the world in the past include B.S .Iyengar, sivananada Saraswati, Paramahansa yogananda, maharishi Mahesh yogi and many more.

famous yoga guru


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