Why the Prime Minister and I Are Kindred Yoga Spirits

I’m convinced Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I have one thing in common: we both practise our version of yoga regularly and desperately want to be yogis. Sure, the prime minister encouraged the United Nations to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day and millions of Indians watch videos of Modi’s animated self perfectly executing various asanas, while I haven’t even managed to convince the husband to join me in a surya namaskar (sun salutation). Still, I believe Modi and I are kindred yoga spirits.

After perusing many videos and images of the prime minister doing yoga these past few years, I’m convinced we have the same favourite asanas (all beginner level – though who knows, he might show us a few new moves today). Like the prime minister, I can hold the thunderbolt pose or vajrasana as long as you need me to, though the prime minister is always better accessorised than me when he sits on his knees (think all white with an Indian tricolour scarf). From here we can fall back and execute a fairly competent supta vajrasana, but when we try a forward bend from this position, our bodies invariably lift off our heels of their own accord.

We both do the lotus pose or padmasana though frankly, between you and me, we prefer the half padmasana. Why cross your legs and place both feet on both thighs when you can close your eyes and look equally meditative with half the effort?

Modi and I both find it easy enough to go from the mountain pose or tadasana to the tree pose or vriksasana where we stand on one leg and raise our hands high over our head. This looks great in pictures too, and makes viewers believe we really know what we are doing.

I once executed this pose on

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