VELLORE: S Sameeullah, a tenth grader at the Mazharul Uloom Higher Secondary School at Ambur has made his alma mater and his home town proud by winning the South Asian Yoga Championship that was held in Port Blair last week.
The event was organised by the International Youth Yoga Federation and Sri Ramakrishna Mutt. He won the first prize and a gold medal in the 14-17 age group yoga competition under the common category while bagging the sixth place in performing various asanas.
Born in a middle class family of three brothers, Sameeullah evinced interest in learning yoga and asanas just a year back when he joined a yoga-coaching centre in Ambur.
‘‘My physical education teacher Durai was the force behind me to take up yoga as a sport,” he said and added “Initially I had difficulties in understanding the asanas but when I started practicing everything turned out to be very easy,” he noted. Sameeullah said he practiced yoga for two hours everyday at the coaching centre.
He said yoga had crossed barriers of any particular religion or creed. “I looked at it as a good sport and it has done a world of good to my health and my mind,” he said adding that it had helped him improve his studies as well. Initially Sameeullah was not comfortable with the slokas and mantras chanted before the yoga classes but he made it a point to follow the rules strictly. He can perform over 600 asanas including some difficult ones which he demonstrated at the Port Blair competition with ease.
While narrating his experience in the international event in which participants from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India had participated, Sameeullah said that he had personally chosen 15 asanas for the competition. He performed the panchamudra asanam in a just 30 seconds that helped him bag the first prize with a gold medal in the common category. In addition, he performed other asanas in which he demonstrated balancing through leg, backward balance and body twisting.
Apart from yoga, Sameeullah is also good at chess, drawing, basketball, handball and table tennis. The certificates he received from various competitions, both district and zonal levels indicate his interest in sports. In the inter-state yoga championship that was held in Chennai in January, he narrowly missed the first place. “This was the motivating force for me to excel in the Port Blair competition”, he pointed out. He has also excelled in studies.
Sameeullah plans to continue his Plus One and XII in Chennai where he wants to continue yoga and asanas practice. School headmaster Layak Ali Khan said that Sameeullah has become a role model for other students to learn yoga in a big way.