13-year-old Ishwar Sharma’s impressive dedication to yoga has seen him travel across the world, emerge victorious in international competitions and win multiple national awards. The Indian-origin teen has been practicing yoga for almost a decade now, and he and his family are at the forefront of highlighting the traditions of the ancient Indian practice across the world.
“It is a lifestyle for me as I am forever a student of yoga. I enjoy teaching other children and spreading the message of yogic lifestyle all over the world,” Ishwar told Connected to India in an exclusive interview.
Ishwar has achieved remarkable proficiency and expertise in the art. His dedication and discipline have earned him recognition across yoga circles worldwide.
Most recently, the Indian-origin schoolkid from Sevenoaks, Britain was one of the recipients of the Inspire Awards organised by the British Youth International College (BYITC) at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Ishwar said he was honoured and humbled by the award and was happiest about the fact that yoga was also felicitated through the award.
“I feel it is a recognition for yoga as such, since these awards are given in different fields and yoga is being recognised. These inspire me to continue my journey to promote yoga,” he said.
Ishwar has won six Yoga World Championships and 35 International medals in Canada, India, the UK and other nations worldwide. In 2021, he was felicitated with the Point of Light award by then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which he said is one of his fondest memories.
“I get opportunities to travel around the world and learn about various cultures as well as meet several yogis who are inspirational and have overcome adversities by following a yogic lifestyle and philosophy,” Ishwar said. He is also looking forward to the upcoming International Yoga Day celebrations and is set to participate and perform in several events.
“I have been promoting yoga on social media for the last 75 days, featuring how to do one yoga posture and its benefits per day. At this time, I also take a look at my yogic practice and see how I can set plans for the coming year,” Ishwar said.
His father Dr Nandujiah Vishwanath, told us that Ishwar is promoting yoga in a unique way by creating choreography routines by combining various asanas, called acro-yoga and artistic yoga.
Dr Vishwanath, who is one of the most well known and respected yoga experts in the UK, said he believes in educating students to manage stress through yoga which can help them in all spheres of life.
He added that there has been a massive change in the public perception of yoga and, over the last decade, it has become a part of the co-curricular activities in schools and universities and offered in the corporate sector to promote health and wellbeing.
“I think all over the world yoga is helping as a tool to improve physical and mental health. Even countries like Saudi Arabia are promoting yoga. I think practicing 15 to 20 minutes of yogasana and five minutes of pranayama every day will help everyone to improve their physical and mental health,” he said.
“Do yoga and be healthy and happy,” Dr Vishwanath said.