Indian yoga teachers enjoy life in China

Updated: 2017-08-07 13:24

Since the first Indian yoga college in China was established in June 2015 at Yunnan Nationalities University in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, batches of Indian yoga teachers have come to China and their love for this country has taken root.

"Put your palms together in front of your chest with your spine in a neutral position," a 37-year-old Indian yoga teacher Subbulakshmi Velusamy said to her students.

After showing the movements, she observed her followers and corrected them.

This intermediate yoga course was available for the general public. Although only a few people attended the class during summer vacation, Velusamy still imparted the skills and knowledge with great enthusiasm.

Having lived in China for a year and a half since 2015, Velusamy has adapted herself to the climate and life in Kunming and built her own social circle.

She knows where to buy materials on her ingredients list and how to commute to the yoga college as if she were a local.

Velusamy has reaped friendship in China. "Local people are really friendly to me. While they may feel curious about me at the first sight, they show hospitality and warmth when they know I am from India," she said.

Before coming to China, Velusamy watched many Chinese movies, particularly those starring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, which gave her initial knowledge about this country.

Having contacted the local government for several times, Velusamy was amazed at its efficiency. She said that Kunming officials take less than a week to deal with things which take half a month in India.

Through her experience in Kunming, Velusamy witnesses the fast-paced development of the southwestern Chinese city. "While Indian cities also grow fast, Kunming performs better across a variety of metrics," she said.

As for her future plan, she said: "If possible, I would like to continue to live in China."

Yatindra Amoli, another Indian yoga teacher in the college, is addicted to Indian and Chinese cultures.

He is surprised at the similarities between the two peoples' minority cultures, lifestyles, dietary habits and even marriage customs.

"Chinese people once transported many commodities like tea to India through the Ancient Tea Horse Road (a trade link in Southwest China, extending to South Asia). The history of trade may partly explain our similarities," he said.

Tai chi, as a Chinese treasure, is usually compared with yoga. Yunnan Nationalities University has also established a tai chi college, which helps promote the two arts by learning from each other.

"Tai chi is the best meditation method and can help us have more prana (a term in Hindu philosophy, meaning the force that keeps all life in existence). Through tai chi exercises, we can feel the flowing energy of the world," Amoli said.

Living here for one and a half years like Velusamy, he is treated friendly by Chinese people.

Despite the recent China-India tension, his colleagues and students as well as the local people do not turn a cold shoulder to him. He told Xinhua that he will love his profession and China as always.