Updated: July 10, 2015 2:49:53 am
It is said that the average room contains 2,345 objects which Russian President Vladimir Putin can use to kill you, including the room itself. The former KGB agent who radio-collared an Amur tiger to get the hang of it before going on to collar a beluga whale, and who disports himself with assault rifles, has experienced the stopping power of the man with the 56-inch chest. While conveying the glad news that India is about to get permanent membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Putin admitted to feeling challenged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s yoga diplomacy. “When you people do [yoga], it looks difficult,” he said. But he also found it “appealing” and gamely offered to attempt asanas that go with his favourite sports.
Putin is an enthusiastic skier, so can we look forward to the slalomasana? He likes bikes and bikers, so the Harleynamaskar cannot be ruled out. And he’s a black belt in karate who gets down and dirty on the tatami, in public. Shimewazasana suggests itself, but yoga is too humane to countenance choke holds, yet. It has barely adjusted to innovations like nude yoga, which ought to be done privately, and hot yoga, which is achieved by artificially generating the climate of Dindigul in a room in, say, Alaska.
Yoga has opened up an unexpected diplomatic channel, disarming the Russian president who likes to pin his opponents to the mat like exotic butterflies. Can it change the nature of international relations? Will a thousand padmasanas bloom where the stiff uppercut was wont to blow? Will Putin be spared the bother of seeking 2,345 objects in the average room to kill you with? Incidentally, he inherited that responsibility from Chuck Norris. Who would be fighting mad if he knew that macho Putin has been unmanned by something as supine as the shavasana.
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