VISAKHAPATNAM: Kakarla Umamaheswara Rao, 72, of Visakhapatnam is a fantastic example of the saying that “age is just a number” when it comes to attaining one’s goals.At the Universal Yoga Sports Federation (UYSF) Asia Pacific Yoga Sports Championship 2023, which was held in Bangkok earlier this month, he took home the coveted gold medal.
“I was a regular yoga practitioner in my early 20s and 30s, but I had to put this practise on hold due to the demands of a hectic lifestyle and employment. However, a life-changing event took place in 1992 during a yoga camp in Visakhapatnam.
I was suffering from a bad migraine at the time, so I went to a 15-day yoga camp where I learnt different yoga asanas and got advice on a healthy diet. Surprisingly, on the sixth day of camp, my crippling migraine stopped. This moment that changed my life continues to motivate me and encourages me to resume include yoga in my everyday activities,” Rao recounted.
He starts his day off on time at 4 am and spends at least two hours practising yoga. He has been able to win approximately 60 medals in various yoga events held across the nation, in addition to the mental and physical advantages. “Since competing in tournaments and coming in first, my enthusiasm to keep practise yoga has increased tremendously.
It’s interesting that the act of simply participating in these events serves as my incentive rather than winning. For these events, I’ve flown all across the nation, and many people have told me how motivating it is to see a 72-year-old practising yoga.
Yoga has a crucial role in preventing common health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure, which leads to a profound sense of contentment. It takes a lot of courage in the modern world to live to be 72 years old without major health issues, and I attribute this to yoga,” he said.
He stated, “In our rapidly-paced world, prioritising our health is of fundamental importance. Understanding the essence of anything frequently needs first-hand experience, and it is through personal experience that we begin to realise its value.
To live a healthy life, it’s important to set aside at least 45 minutes a day for yoga, just as we do for eating, sleeping, and working. It serves as a reminder that when we put our health first, everything else usually falls into place on its own.