S.S.M Satheesh Kanth: Beyond the Limits of the Body

Camilla Trodyb
Copenhagen, Denmark.

In a crowded classroom at the Sri Aurobindo Mira Matriculation Higher Secondary School sits S.S.M Satheesh Kanth. The 16-year-old is the city’s very own yoga prodigy. And despite his young age he has already taken home four gold, two silvers and one bronze medal in various yoga championships, writes Camilla Trodyp

S.S.M Satheesh Kanth

S.S.M Satheesh Kanth

Yoga All the Way

Kanth has been doing yoga since the age of seven years when he learned it at Ellora Montessori School where he studied till class V. But even earlier his grandfather had already introduced him to the graceful and demanding exercises.

'I've always been interested in yoga. My grandfather introduced me to yoga when I was a child and since then it has always been yoga and is very exciting and versatile,” admits
Satheesh Kanth.

Besides his grandfather his parents are very supportive of him. Although Sateesh no longer in Ellora Montessori School, the school and his former yoga master of six years Mr. Balasubramanian still support and follow his accomplishments. For the past one year, Sateesh Kanth has been under the tutelage of his new yoga master guru Jeeva who is the vice-president of Tamil Nadu Yoga Sports Development Association (TNYSDA).

Recently Sateesh Kanth was in Singapore to participate in the Commonwealth yoga competition and here he made both the city of Madurai and India proud when he a gold medal in artistic yoga and a silver medal in athletic yoga. And it’s no wonder that this yoga prodigy keeps bringing home medals because he is capable of doing 40 different positions in four minutes and 15 seconds and in the competitions one only needs to do 8 – 12 positions in 2 ½ minutes. Sateesh Kanth believes in surpassing his earlier milestones. He currently is trying to accomplish 100 positions in ten minutes and there is no doubt about that the young achiever will put on a great show.

"Some people do yoga for health and do positions for that. But I can do some very hard positions... I don’t do it just for the fun it... And it is easy for me while other people find it very difficult," says Sateesh Kanth.

The Show Must Go On

But before the show can go on there is a prize to be paid. Entering the Commonwealth competition cost Kanth and his family the overwhelming amount of Rs.1.2 lakh and the government doesn’t provide a helping hand and as Kanth’s father Murali Kanth stated in The New Indian Express they can’t do it on their own.

"It was difficult for a middle class family, but I did manage to arrange for it, with support from friends and community members."

The situation, of course, bothers the 16-year-old. He is certain that it takes a lot of work and more people with his talent to convince the government that he is entitled to some form of sponsorship because the government simply doesn’t consider yoga a sport but rather a fitness regime. But there is no doubt that Kanth will sustain his passion for yoga, because not only does yoga bring him sparkling medals it also bestows confidence and tolerance in his everyday life.

"Yoga especially brings me confidence in my studies and you can achieve so many great things with confidence,” admits Sateesh Kanth.

And hopefully that will shine through when Kanth goes off to study nanotechnology when he finishes school later this year.

Following his Dream

But there will be more than just nanotechnology on the teenage yoga prodigy’s mind in the future, because he is preparing for the Olympic yoga competition in 2012. And this particular competition is unlike any other competition Kanth has participated in. For this is not only going to be his biggest athletic achievement it is also going to affect him on a personal level because winning the competition is his ultimate goal at this point.

Although I am not an expert in yoga, after seeing Kanth in action, and witnessing how far he pushes his body and how effortlessly he brings his heels to the back of his head, am convinced that he will continue his winning streak and will bring home yet another gold medal. But that accomplishment will unfortunately only be possible if he is able to raise the money for it or hopefully finds a sponsorship by then.








Ashta Vakarasana II


Poorna Dhanurasana


Poorna Salabasana






Poorna Uchattasana


Akapudha viruchikasana II


Akapudha viruchikasana I