Tamil Nadu CM-Select Pannerselvam is a man of many talents. He is a highly regarded Yoga practitioner. After taking oath as the new Chief Minister, he announced “Amma Yoga” classes, where students will be taught various aasans or positions, which are inspired by ways one can bend to Jayalalithaa. A new academy has already been formed for this purpose.
We caught up with the Chief Minister to learn more about this unknown facet of a humble man.
Faking News: Sir, what’s behind this Yoga Academy? CM Pannerselvam: Its important for the young cadre to learn the proper postures for worshipping our Supremini Leader (Parole Be Upon Her)! I have therefore decided to share my knowledge with them via the Yoga Academy
FN: Do you have a favourite pose? CM: Of course! It is the Ardha Uttanasana (half-forward bending pose). (He changed into a Veshti before demonstrating it with a dexterity that belied his age) In this difficult pose, you have to keep your spine straight, bend from the hips. This helps in foregoing all your ego and makes you a humble man.
FN: How many teachers do you have at the Academy?
CM: We have over 150
MLAs seasoned Acharyas. Look at this posture! (He then pointed to a framed picture on the wall) That’s what I call a perfect Ashtangasana! You can clearly see all 8 body parts touching the floor in perfect alignment. A must for inner peace.
FN: What would you say has been your biggest contribution to Yoga? CM: (One of his senior students interjected) Yogacharya’s contribution rivals that of Patanjali. In Surya Namaskar, you must have heard of the Upward Dog & Downward Dog poses. Guruji invented the Good Doggie pose that we practice every day. Observe carefully the right hand position which controls the flow of Prana through the mouth. Optionally, you could use your left hand at the posterior for end-to-end breath control.
FN: How do you plan to rule Tamil Nadu as the interim-CM? CM: Amma (PBUH) donated her slippers 12419 & 12420 to me. I brought them to Chennai via a chartered flight & have installed it on the CM chair. I will rule by proxy.
FN: Aren’t you planning to occupy the CM chair? CM: (Indignantly) How can we sit on a chair while Amma (PBUH) suffers? Instead, we are going to sit in the Utkatasana (chair pose) for 4 years, while we wait! (AIADMK acharyas could hardly contain their emotions on hearing this Bhishma-like oath)
FN: There are several paths like Hatha Yoga, Gnana Yoga etc. How would you classify your style? CM: We strictly adhere to the Bhakti Yoga tradition.
FN: Last question – have you decided on a name for your Academy? CM: We are bouncing around some ideas. The favourite seems to be ADMK Youth Yoga (AYYO)
Interview over, the esteemed Yogacharya walked us to the gate, “Tamil Nadu politicians can be a beacon of independence for the nation. We don’t bend over backwards for anybody!”