(1919-2019) – Yoga Practitioner
V. Nanammal was born in 1920 into an agricultural family in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India. At the age of eight, she learned yoga from her father, eventually mastering more than fifty asanas. She became India’s oldest yoga practitioner and teacher, and by the end of her life had taught more than a million people (100 students a day). She won many awards, including the Padma Shri. Nanammal was ninety-nine when she died and was still practicing yoga every day. She was known by her simple pink saree which she practised in, and she wore it on YouTube in her last few years. At the age of seventy-six, she accompanied her grandchildren to a yoga competition, where she saw a judge wrongly disqualify a participant.
‘I disagreed with the decision and went on stage to voice my opinion, only to be insulted by the judges as an old woman who did not know anything,’ she said. ‘I performed ten different yoga asanas including the peacock and the headstand, right there on stage and received a standing ovation.’