Reyansh Surani (India) is the youngest certified yoga instructor in the world, setting a new record at the age of 9 years 220 days.
The young yogi received his certification from the Anand Shekhar Yoga School on 27 July 2021, after completing their 200 Hour Yoga Teacher's Training Course.
Reyansh started practising yoga at four years old, but he loved sitting in on his parents’ yoga sessions at an even earlier age.
"Yoga is something I am passionate about." - Reyansh
Reyansh’s road to becoming a qualified instructor began when he found out his parents were attending a yoga teacher’s training course in Rishikesh, India.
"I decided to join them and surprisingly found out I enjoy teaching as well," Reyansh said.
Moving from his home in Dubai to live in Rishikesh for a month was a bit of a culture shock for Reyansh.
"It was different! The first time I came to know we were going [to Rishikesh], I was curious to live a rural life. I saw that side of the world for the first time - a place with such spiritual grip."
Reyansh had no internet access and had to live without other luxuries such as air conditioning. However, he quickly adapted to his new surroundings and embraced the humble lifestyle.
"I felt very close to nature. The stay was exciting and adventurous because we went tracking every now and then. It was a fun way to relax from the intense yoga training schedule."
The 200 Hour Yoga Teacher's Training Course at Anand Shekhar Yoga School is a four-week-long intensive residential program.
This is a student’s typical daily schedule:
- 6:30 – Pranayamas & Kriyas
- 7:30 – Ashtanga Vinyasa/Alignment Flow
- 9:00 – Breakfast
- 10:00 – Yoga Philosophy
- 12:00 – Ayurveda/Shatkarmas/Yoga-Anatomy
- 13:00 – Lunch
- 14:00 – Rest & Assignments
- 15:00 – Alignment Workshop/Teaching Methodology
- 17:00 – Tea break
- 17:30 – Hatha Flow & Meditation
- 19:30 – Dinner
Reyansh learnt "many aspects of yoga" from this course.
"Earlier I used to think yoga is only about physical posture and breathing, but it’s much more than that," he said.
"I learnt alignment, anatomic philosophy and the nutritional facts of Ayurveda. It’s an intense course."
Currently, Reyansh teaches small private classes due to pandemic restrictions. He also teaches his classmates at school, in groups of 10-15 students per session.
Reyansh’s favourite aspect of teaching yoga is the "satisfaction or sense of accomplishment" that it brings him.
"I'm happy I can pass on my experience and knowledge to individuals around the world for their wellbeing."
Reyansh feels "like a star" after earning his Guinness World Records title.
"I’m the first one in my community and my school to receive this honourable record," he said.
Now 10 years old, Reyansh’s focus remains on teaching yoga and doing well at school. He hasn’t made any concrete plans for his future, though one of his goals is to host virtual reality yoga lessons.
"I want to teach yoga in the metaverse, that would be fun." – Reyansh
Reyansh tries to save as much of his income as possible. He also believes in donating a part of his earnings.
"My family has always taught me that one who is kind will share [money], even if it’s only a little bit."
His top yoga tip for beginners is simply to stick with it: "Yoga is fun and not boring, I promise! After the initial push, you’ll really start enjoying it."