V. Nanammal

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V. Nanammal
V Nanammal.jpg
Nanammal in 2018
Born(1920-02-24)24 February 1920
Died26 October 2019(2019-10-26) (aged 99)
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
OccupationYoga instructor

V. Nanammal (24 February 1920 – 26 October 2019) was India's oldest yoga teacher. She trained one million students over 45 years and taught one hundred students daily. Six hundred of her students have become yoga instructors around the world.[1]

Her work was honoured with India's National Nari Shakti Puraskar in 2016[2] and the country's fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2018.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Nanammal was born on 24 February 1920 in an agricultural family at Zameen Kaliayapuram, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.[5] At the age of eight, she learnt yoga from her father, eventually mastering more than 50 asanas.[5]

Nanammal's father and grandfather were both 'Registered Indian Medicine Practitioners (RIMP)'. Yoga was their family tradition and they were not teaching yoga to anyone outside the family and it stayed within the group. During those days, the primary business of the family was traditional Siddha medicine and agriculture. Her family owned coconut and cashew farms in the Kerala state.[6]

Nanammal's husband was a Siddha practitioner and was into agriculture and cultivation, with whom she moved to Negamam and later to Ganapathy.[5][7] She cultivated a liking towards naturopathy after her marriage.[7] She has five children, 12 grand children and 11 great grand children.[5]


Nanammal started practising yoga when she was 8 years old. According to Nanammal, her father knew martial arts and had taught her Yoga. She continued practising yoga throughout her life.[7]

In the year 1972 she established "Ozone Yoga centre" in Coimbatore. Nanammal and her family, follow the traditions passed over to the next generations. The centre taught their traditional style of yoga, which focuses more on Pranayama (Breath control).[5][6] The 'Ozone Yoga school' was established by her and since then, Nanammal and her family have taught yoga to over 100,000 people.[6]

Over her last five decades, Nanammal trained more than one million students and continued for the remainder of her life to teach 100 students daily at the 'Ozone Yoga Centre'. Around 600 of her students, including 36 members of her family, have become 'Yoga instructors' teaching students around the world.[7][5] According to her son Balakrishnan, she had trained over 60 family members as Yoga teachers in her lifetime.[8]

Later life and death[edit]

Nanammal attempted to get on to the Guinness Book of World Records by teaching yoga to over 20,000 students and enthusiasts in Coimbatore. Her objective was to create awareness among women, mainly girl students, about yoga techniques by going to various educational institutions to solve several health-related problems, especially after marriage. She was also going to take part in Indian reality show 'India's Got Talent' as a contestant.[9] She had gained popularity on YouTube which included videos of her performing difficult yoga positions in her usual attire, a pink sari.[10]

Nannamal suffered a fall from her bed in the autumn of 2019 and was confined to bed thereafter.[8][10] She died on 26 October 2019, in Coimbatore.[11]


She was affectionately known as Yoga Grandma.[11] For her achievement, Nanammal was conferred with the following awards and citations:


  1. ^ a b K Jeshi (19 June 2017). "Bend it like Nanammal". Online Edition of The Hindu, dated 19 June 2017. 2017, thehindu.com. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Government of India. "Nari Shakti Puraskar 2016". Online Edition of Ministry of Women & Child Development. 2016, Government of India. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  3. ^ Madhurima Sarkar (21 March 2018). "V Nanammal Receives Padma Shri; The 99-Year-Old Yoga Practitioner Continues to Follow A Lifestyle Close to Nature". latestly.com. 2018, latestly.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Padma Awards 2018, Know the recipients". The Times of India. 20 March 2018. Archived from the original on 2 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Nanammal, the yoga grandma, wins Padma Shri". The Times of India. 26 January 2018. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Sushma UN. "India's oldest yogini says you're doing yoga wrong if you're working up a sweat". qz.com. 2017, Quartz India. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d Merin James (20 August 2016). "V Nanammal: The nonagenarian yogini". deccanchronicle.com. 2016, deccanchronicle.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b "99-year-old 'Yoga Grandma' V Nanammal passes away in Coimbatore". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  9. ^ Staff. "Nanammal: The 97-year-old woman from Tamil Nadu who teaches yoga to 100 students". dailyhunt.com. 2018, dailyhunt.com. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  10. ^ a b Nath, Akshaya (26 October 2019). "Yoga grandma V Nanammal passes away at 99 in Coimbatore". India Today. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  11. ^ a b "India's 'yoga grandma' breathes her last at 99". BBC. 26 October 2019. Archived from the original on 26 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Padma Awards 2018" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 March 2018.
  13. ^ GovOfIndia. "Story of Smt. V Nanammal, India's oldest Yoga teacher - Padma Awardee 2018". Online Edition MyGov India. 2018, MyGov India.
  14. ^ Govt. of India. "Padma Awards 2018: V. Nanammal". padmaawards.gov.in. 2018, padmaawards. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  15. ^ "At 98, Amma Nanammal, India's Oldest Yoga Guru, is Giving Us Some Serious Fitness Goals". News18. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  16. ^ Special Correspondent V.S. Palaniappan (22 March 2018). "In Coimbatore Today". thehindu.com. 2018, thehindu.com.

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