London: An eight-year-old Indian-origin schoolboy who is the under-11 UK national yoga champion has been named the British Indian of the Year for his achievements in the field. Ishwar Sharma has won a string of titles in both individual and artistic yoga, most recently a gold medal representing Great Britain at the World Student Games 2018 in Winnipeg, Canada, in June.
"I believe I am competing with myself rather than anyone else, which makes me challenge myself to do the difficult postures," said the schoolboy, who studies at St Michael's Preparatory School in Kent.
"I will always be a student of yoga and am deeply grateful to my teachers for the wisdom they have shared with me," he said.
He was named British Indian of the Year in the Young Achiever category at the sixth annual awards ceremony held in Birmingham earlier this week. "We feel proud of his achievements and it has improved his academic performance. We want him to inspire adults and other children with this lifestyle habit," said his father Vishwanath, himself a keen yoga practitioner.
"He and I perform Vedic Yoga with choreography to music, which includes Hatha Yoga postures with Acroyoga and artistic yoga," he said.
The family is originally from Mysore, home to world-renowned yoga gurus, and travel to the region annually. "He rejuvenates himself there and would love to stay for more time and get yoga training with the teachers there," added Vishwanath.
His son has performed in more over 100 events across the UK and worldwide and among his many skills is the ability to chant up to 50 'shlokas' from the 'Vedas' and 'Bhagavad Gita'. He won a gold medal at the Euro Asian Yoga Championships in Turkey in May and has also performed at a number of charity events to raise funds for the under-privileged.
Some of his upcoming competitions include one in Chile in December and then Beijing in January next year. He is also training for the World Games in Canada next year. "Ishwar is determined to spread awareness about yoga and its benefits, especially among children,? his father said.