King of yoga attempts 40-hour marathon in Hong Kong record bid

Yogaraj C.P. plans to hold 1,500 positions in 40 hours

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 February, 2015, 10:44am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 February, 2015, 12:06pm

Yogaraj C.P. will stretch himself to his limit this weekend when he attempts to beat his own record for the number of yoga positions held continuously, in a 40-hour marathon in Hong Kong.

Members of the public are welcome to witness the yoga instructor’s multiple twists and turns at his Tsim Sha Tsui studio, Prana Yogam, which will be open for the duration of the challenge. He will hold his first posture beginning at 7pm on Friday and, if he succeeds, will finish at 11am on Sunday.

“My target is 1,500 yoga positions,” says 29-year-old Yogaraj, who held 1,019 positions in his first, 28-hour record-breaking marathon also in Hong Kong, in 2009. “I can do between 500 and 1,000 randomly, but I will use pictures to remind me. I must hold each position for a minimum of five seconds,” he says.

I can do between 500 and 1,000 randomly, but I will use pictures to remind me. I must hold each position for a minimum of five seconds
Yogaraj C.P.

Under Guinness World Records guidelines, Yogaraj will be able to break for five minutes after every hour, or take an accumulated 15-minute break after three hours. “I can eat and drink while holding the positions, and I can also talk,” he says.

In order to maintain strength he will stick to a liquid diet of protein powder and juice, with Indian black tea and herbs to keep him awake. “I won’t eat any solid food because it may disturb my stomach. I will also have a student watching over me, and that will give me energy,” Yogaraj says.

He says the most difficult positions he will hold are the “peacock sequence”, which will include five to seven consecutive handstand postures during which he must balance on just one hand.

Yogaraj, which means “king of yoga”, started practicing the discipline at the age of five and began teaching when he was 12. Among other records under his belt, in 2003, the year he first came to Hong Kong, he held a headstand for two hours and 40 minutes. Back in India in 2011, he held 23 postures while balancing on the seat of a moving motorbike.

“When I was in India, I used to travel a lot by motorbike for private classes. It could be a long trip so I used to practice on the way home. I’d seen yoga done under water but never on a motorbike. It was interesting and challenging,” he says.

The record-breaking attempt is being supported primarily by the Indian consulate. If he succeeds, Yogaraj will dedicate the record to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was instrumental last year in the UN’s decision to declare June 21 International Yoga Day. “It was great recognition for yoga, so to thank our prime minister I want to achieve this Guinness World Record and help propagate yoga on a global level,” he says.

June 21 is doubly joyous for Yogaraj, because it is also the birthday of his two-year-old daughter, Gia.

Watch Yogaraj’s record attempt at Prana Yogam, 2/F Ocean View Court, 43 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui