Learn yoga the right way

Learn yoga the right way

healing power Meera Seshadri finds out what makes Dr S N Omkar one of the best yoga teachers in the country.

Celebrity clients: Dr Omkar helps cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid (left) with their yoga routine.

Dr Omkar, who trained under the legendary BKS Iyengar for close to two decades, follows in his footsteps by offering specially designed aids for those practising yoga. For instance, there are circular boards for aasanas involving rocking movements.
These boards help in bringing balance to the body besides enhancing hip/knee/ankle stability. Then, there are specially designed balls on which one can fully stretch the back. This particular movement helps in combating backache and strengthens the back muscles. Cycle tyres and ropes are also used as props for movement exercises. These props come in handy in exercises meant to develop the neck and shoulder muscles. Cushions are used in a few aasanas and, I’m told, they help to strengthen the visceral organs.

The principles of acupressure are incorporated in yoga, wherein lawn-tennis balls are used. It is said that infertility and menstrual disorders can be cured with the regular practice of certain aasanas. “With these props, one can flex the body without causing damage to any body part,” says Dr Omkar, who has been conducting yoga classes for 25 years.

His students range from young techies to fitness fanatics to those battling various ailments. His celebrity clients include Kannada film actors Vishnuvardhan, Srinath and others. Dr Omkar, who is the National Cricket Academy’s yoga consultant, has conducted classes for the Indian cricket team, where his students included Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, M S Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly and others.
This enterprising yoga guru, who works as principal research scientist at the Indian Institute of Science (Aerospace Engineering Dept), has travelled all over the US, enlightening people on the benefits of yoga through lectures and demos. He was even invited to the AKKA world conference at Chicago, USA. He has chaired technical sessions at the Asia-Pacific Congress (Sports Technology) held at Tokyo and Singapore, and has authored articles on yoga.

Dr Omkar is a popular figure on Kannada TV channels, where he explains the working of the human anatomy and physiology in great detail through computer graphics. He has also delivered lectures on yoga, nutrition and dietetics (in which he has a diploma) on All India Radio and on Gyan Vani (FM station).
 Dr Omkar’s lecture topics range from Pathanjali’s yogasutras and use of yoga to deal with lifestyle ailments like insomnia, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
He has also delivered innumerable lectures on ‘Biomechanics coupled with yoga’ at schools and colleges.

 He recently released four DVDs. While two are on aasanas for women and expectant mothers, the other two feature aasanas for a strong back and surya namaskar. A recipient of the Rajyotsava and Kempegowda awards, Dr Omkar has been awarded titles such as Yoga Ratna, Apoorva Yoganidhi, Jnana Ratna, Nada Sammitra and Yoga Bhaskara.