Water yoga for the win

"When I first read about water yoga, I was intrigued. I never practised yoga before, but I wanted to try this. The man I read about was about 80-years-old. I thought, if he can do it, I can definitely try! I didn't tell many people about it and just went to the nearby lake to try it out. Over a few weeks, people who watched me do it thought I was trying to do some harmful magic. Everybody in my village started talking about it, and it finally reached my parents. They were scared of what was happening to me - like others, they too gave into the idea of magic. We belonged to a small village with hardly any finances. My siblings and I discontinued school after class 10, and started to do small labour works. So when they saw me spend evenings trying to do yoga in water, they thought it would affect my work the next day, apart from the 'consequences of doing magic'. At that time, I was still working as an electrician. But I had to stop doing my yoga because of the pressure at home. A few weeks later, a couple of media and government officials visited our village to clarify that Jal yoga is a real thing and didn't involve any weird magic. Thank God for that, I could get back to practising it. It took me a while before I could stay in water for as long as 20 hours. A journalist friend was impressed and wrote about me in a Telugu daily. That's where everything started - people started noticing my achievement. People from other villages started appreciating my parents, which was an emotional moment for me. And then, I made a place for myself in the Wonder Book of Records! It seemed surreal - what started as a random thought, made me take up the challenge and brought me and my village so much fame. The people who criticised me once are now sending their children to learn from me. It all starts with just a thought, followed by determination to do it, of course!"

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