He performed Jala Yoga on frigid Mansarovar waters at -8 degrees Celsius

When he set off for pilgrimage to Mansarovar in 2013, Anantha Narayanswamy had a quirky plan: to float on the frigid waters of the lake. The doctors in the entourage advised him against stepping into the waters with temperatures hovering around -8 degrees Celsius, leave alone floating on it. But he didn’t relent; insisted on executing the plan. The doctors suggested if he was very particular he could consider sprinkling a few drops of water on him, which, according to them, was as good as taking a bath. He was not game for that either. Finally, the doctors gave up — but only after getting his signatures on a form which said he would be solely responsible if any unfortunate incident happens. “I told them that if I die they could bury me there itself. I had not promised my family that I would certainly return. So don’t worry,” Narayanswamy told them.

According to him, he performed pranayama for a few minutes and made the body sweat. “Then I stepped into the cold water and did a couple of asanas and came out. After stepping out, I repeated pranayama for a few minutes to regain the temperature lost,” he said.

Narayanswamy, 62, is a man with a mission. He believes his purpose in life is to popularize Jala Yoga. He spends hours together perfecting his skills. A resident of Thrissur in Kerala, he is always ready to impart his skills to youngsters who are interested in learning the techniques.

Narayanswamy got attracted to Jala Yoga when he saw a seer practicing it on the Pampa river way back in the 70’s. “I was so impressed that I wanted to possess his skill. Later, Madhava ji (senior RSS pracharak) taught me jalashayanam,” he added. Narayanaswamy, a former RSS pracharak, was imprisoned during the Emergency in 1975-76.

For Narayanaswamy, Jala Yoga is not just about a healthy body and mind, but a message to protect and conserve the environment.