New Delhi: With three world records on hand, including being the youngest yoga instructor in the world, a schoolgirl sets her sights on a new achievement – training with one of India’s most celebrated yogis, the Prime Minister.
Seven-year-old Praanvi Gupta began learning yoga at the age of three, in imitation of her parents, who regularly practiced the ancient Indian discipline at home.
When the family moved from New Delhi to Dubai four years ago, Gupta began taking yoga classes.
Last year, she completed a 200-credit hour course by the Yoga Alliance, the largest non-profit organization representing yoga teachers, and in late November 2022 was validated by Guinness World Records as the youngest yoga instructor.
At 7 years and 165 days old, Gupta beat Riansh Surani, who was 9 years and 220 days old when he earned his degree in 2021.
“I feel really proud and excited because no one has succeeded at this age,” she told Arab News. “I know yoga is good. I want to spread this word that everyone should do yoga and kids should do it.”
Gupta already knows her next career steps. She wants to write a children’s yoga book and, encouraged by her accomplishments, also meets Indian leader Narendra Modi, an avid yogi, who has been promoting the discipline at home and abroad.
“I want to do yoga with him one day,” said Gupta. “I heard that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a big yoga enthusiast, and he loves yoga.”
The girl’s formal yoga education began at the Vedic Yoga Center in Dubai, under instructor and teacher Vincent Earth Kottayil, who encouraged her to enroll in a course for instructors.
“I’ve been teaching yoga for 25 years. I think she’s one of the greatest students for me because she has some innate skills to practice yoga,” said Kotale.
“She was showing extra talent for yoga and showing enthusiasm to learn more about yoga. I suggested she join the yoga teacher training course, and she completed the course with great success.”
Yoga is not the only field in which Gupta has won laurels. She already has many records and medals in other areas, both physical and academic.
Her father, Pramod, said he was “very proud” of her achievement.
“She has two more world records for reciting all countries and their capitals when she was five years old, and in 2021 she has a world record for pronouncing the 10 longest words in English in just 81 seconds,” he said.
At the age of four, shortly after moving to the United Arab Emirates, Gupta participated in the annual Dubai Run and completed a 5 km course.
“She loves challenges. When you challenge her to something, she will learn that thing quickly,” Gupta’s mother, Priyanka Sengar, told Arab News.
Sengar, founder and CEO of Women First Jobs, an organization that aims to close the gender disparity in employment, is aware of her daughter’s talent for yoga and has also fostered an interest in books.
But none of the Gupta parents try to plan the future for her.
“We only support her; whatever her dreams are, we only support her,” Sinjar said.
“The future is going to be bright for her, and we are 200% confident of that. Whatever she does, she will do her best and she will shine at it.”

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