Passion for yoga paves a path to stardom for timid Chinese boy, 7, whose earnings top US$16,000
Sun Chuyang’s mother suspected he might be autistic, but his confidence soared when he started to stretch
A seven-year-old boy from eastern China is well on his way to his first million after making more than 100,000 yuan (US$15,900) over the past two years appearing in movies, and television and fashion shows.
Sun Chuyang’s story is all the more remarkable considering that his mother, Ye Wenyun, once thought her child was autistic.
“When he was about two years old, Sun refused to play with or talk to other children at the day care centre, and would lose his temper frequently for no reason,” Ye said.
A paediatrician friend suggested the youngster might be on the autism spectrum, but apart from carrying out her own online checks, Ye never pursued the matter.
She just wanted her son to get some confidence and be happy, she said.
Ye used to run a clothes shop in the family’s home city of Taizhou, Zhejiang province, but decided to give up work to devote more time to her son.
The breakthrough came when she took him to her yoga class. Far from being bored as his mother went through her stretches and poses, Sun was enraptured.
“After we went home, he said, ‘Mummy, I can do it too’, then repeated all of the yoga poses, and did them pretty well,” Ye said.
At the age of three, Sun began attending his own yoga classes and at six achieved a certificate allowing him to work as a teaching assistant for other children.
His skill at yoga attracted the attention of talent scouts and at the age of five he was signed up by an agent.
Since then he has appeared on several television shows, where he performed his yoga routines, and in three films.
“I wanted him to go on TV so he would become braver,” Ye said.
“He is almost a completely different person now. He even introduces himself to people when he meets them, which he never did before.”