Mysuru: A 16-year-old girl named Kushi, who started practicing yoga six-years-ago to cure her breathing problem, has won the Karnataka Rajyothsava award in Yoga and is the youngest Rajyothsava awardee this year.
When Kushi was 13-years-old, she created a world record by performing a tough yoga asana called ‘Niralamaba Purna Chakrasana’ (which is also known as the Back Plank Recline Cruncher) 15 times in one minute. In the last six years, Kushi has taken yoga more seriously and won many national as well as international-level medals.
In the recently-held Ninth Asian Yoga Sports Championship at South Korea, she won three gold medals. This was her sixth international yogasana competition. Kushi won a gold medal in the Yogasana solo event (in the 14-17 age category), a gold medal in artistic pair event for U-18 category, and a gold medal in free-flow yogasana open championship (all ages category). Among the eight girls who were part of the Indian contingent from Karnataka, Kushi got the highest number of gold medals. Prior to this event, she also took part in competitions conducted in China, Vietnam, Singapore, Argentina, and India. Representing the country, she has won 10 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 2 bronze medals in international yogasana competitions so far. She is practicing yoga at the Mysore Vivekananda Yoga and Research Institute under the guidance of PN Ganesh Kumar.
Given her stupendous achievements in the field of yoga, Kushi went on to become the brand ambassador of International Yoga Day. Additionally, the Mysuru City Corporation also made her as the brand ambassador of Swachh Bharath from 2017-18. After being appointed to these roles, Kushi (along with former cricketer Javagal Srinath) has helped create awareness among various schools and colleges about the Swachh Bharat mission.
Speaking to Newskarnataka, Kushi said, "I am feeling great after being selected for this prestigious award. This award has also increased my responsibilities. Initially, when I started practicing yoga I didn’t think that I will achieve such feats in yoga. Though I was a skater to start with, due to breathing issues, my parents urged me to take up yoga. After a few months, I got my breathing issue solved and after seeing elders perform, I continued to practice yoga.
"In the days to come, I want to do more research on yoga and teach systematic yoga to people,” added Kushi who is currently in first PUC (PCMB) at Vijaya Vittala College. She also credited her parents, her dedication, sincere efforts, and god’s blessings for getting this award.
Kushi's proud father Hemachandra said, "I am feeling proud about her achievement. I didn’t believe she will get this award but due to her dedication and world record achievement, I had hope. Daily, she practices yoga for three hours. When she had breathing problems, my wife Kumuda decided to put her to yoga so that her breathing issue could be solved. Today, she has gone on to create records. It feels great."
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