There is a societal compulsion that a woman’s life becomes complete only after marriage. It is repeatedly emphasized that a woman’s purpose of life is fulfilled only with the successful performance of her role as a homemaker. Many women renounce all their aspirations, entertainments, desires and dedicate their life only to the welfare of her family. Her life becomes threatened when there a conflict arises with her husband. The moment there is a controversy she becomes embroiled with the immediate questions of how to run the family and how to bring up the children. With such a story, Gnanavani, a yoga teacher from Sivakasi, raises up gloriously to the challenge like a phoenix. She shared her story saying that she is able to garner strength from the pain of married life and its separation.
“My native is Sathur. I got married like any other girl who had completed her graduation. Before mutually understanding about us or the bonding of marriage we got a child. Having committed to my husband solely I decided not to go for work but to stay at home, doing domestic chores and bringing up the child and home. But gradually, many insignificant instances of difference of opinion between my husband and I reached to a point of divorce notice. After separation it has become my sole responsibility to bring up two children at home. I was not aware of the world as I was totally tied to my home. But I was not able to reconcile to the fact that this is the way my life is going to be henceforth, just raising my home. I cried often and became much stressed out. Though I realized that my life is committed to my children I could not come out of the pain of being separated” her voice broke, unable to speak further.
“In order to come out of my stress I have learnt yoga. At that time, my first son was on tenth standard and the second one at LKG. I found it difficult at the beginning to manage the situation, rearing up children and attending classes. With persevering effort and training I was able to successfully complete my post graduation in yoga. My parents extended their support to some extent. It turned wrong to consider my husband as my trustful partner in my married life. I was thirsting to create my own identity and determined not to use his proxy identity for me socially. I joined a school as a yoga teacher and also continued to conduct yoga classes at home, for women and children in the neighborhood, keeping myself busy. At that time, there was a state level competition on yoga and I participated in the program and won the award”. Feeling proud about her achievements she continued further on it.
“Encouraged by the first taste of state level victory I made a world record by doing 310 asanas (postures) within 20 minutes in the year 2013. Next , I was able to make 1875 asanas, thereby entering into the India Book of Records and Universal Achievers Book of Records in 2015. Right now I am aiming for Guinness Book of Records. I am sure I will gain that soon”. She spoke with confidence. She continued sharing with us the way she teaches yoga to others.
“I am conversant with Varma kalai (a kind of martial art using pressure points of body). The physical and psychological ailments of women can be cured by yoga and the varma kalai. I teach women training on those art forms. I am committed to the traditional knowledge and practice. I wish the growing generation should have healthy food and healthy living. So, I teach children yoga for free and also the disciplined and healthy practices followed by the Siddhars. There are many children who eagerly learn about those knowledge systems. When I look back about my life, it is the self determination that turned my life successful, like a spinning ball that raises tall above the ground”, she concluded overwhelmingly.
(This article written by R Jeyalakshmi in Tamil has been reproduced in English by V Amalan Stanley)