Last month, Indian-origin yoga prodigy Ishwar Sharma was honoured by the government of the southern Indian state of Karnataka at the Yogathon 2022 event held at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, the state capital. He was honoured by the state’s sports minister, C Narayanagowda.
At 12, Ishwar is already an award-winning icon whose mission is to spread yoga across the globe and especially among children with special needs.
Among the many awards that Ishwar, who is from Sevenoaks, Kent, England, has won, are the Point of Light Award from British prime minister Boris Johnson and a gold medal in the Global Yoga contest conducted by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. More recently, he won the Global Child Prodigy Award 2022, the second time after 2020.
Ishwar has also won three national and 18 international medals in athletics, acroyoga and artistic yoga. He has taken part in many public performances and done charity work, such as conducting free online yoga classes for children during the pandemic-induced lockdown to help them keep fit physically and mentally. He has also donated prize money to a Covid-19 charity fund.
The Eastern Eye spoke to Ishwar about his life journey so far and how yoga has transformed his life.
“Ever since I was three, I learnt about yoga from my dad who has been practising it nearly all his life. Early in the mornings, he would do ‘suryanamaskar’. I, as a young child, tried to copy him and eventually became a master of ‘suryanamaskar’ myself,” Ishwar said about journey.
“Then my dad started teaching me other programmes and I was hooked into yoga. He signed me up for the UK National Yoga Championships and at the age of six, I won the Under-11 category. That is how I got started in competitive yoga and how I ended up here today,” he added.
Does Ishwar try to influence others as a young yoga role model, something which he has become already?
He said he likes to influence others by following the yogic lifestyle by performing it throughout the year. He also said that teaches yoga over Zoom and taught daily during the 2020 lockdown.
Talking about his recent visit to India, he said he enjoyed it. He liked the many ancient and new buildings that he saw in India and even met relatives that he didn’t even know he had. He loved the Indian culture and the competition in Delhi and cities such as Varanasi and Mysore that he visited during the trip.
Ishwar also takes interest in a number of other sporting activities. Other than yoga, he loves to play falconry, football, rugby, hockey, cricket and equestrian sports like horse riding.
When asked about how he sees his future in yoga, Ishwar said he would continue yoga throughout his life and take it up as his profession.