Sun Chuyang, a seven-year-old boy from Taizhou city, Zhejiang province, has become a professional yoga coach, earning more than RMB 100,000 ($15,900) as pocket money by teaching the ancient Indian practice to over 100 students.
Having practiced yoga for three years, Sun became a certified yoga teacher a year ago, becoming the youngest yoga teacher in China, or perhaps the world.
The seven-year-old’s story was widely shared on Chinese social and state media, not just because of his unusual talent for yoga at his young age, but also for the story behind it.
Sun was diagnosed with slight autism when attending a childcare center when he was three. His mother quit her business to become a stay-at-home mom taking care of Sun, and took him to practice parent-kid yoga.
After taking several yoga classes, Sun showed a special interest as well as a natural talent in yoga. What’s more, to his mother’s delight and surprise, little Sun became more communicative and active day after day during the process of practicing yoga. After two years engaging in yoga, Sun showed no signs of autism at all.
At the age of six, Sun gradually became famous because of his special talent. He found employment as he was approached by several local yoga centers to help teach youngsters the ancient Indian practice.
Researchers have claimed that certain yoga postures help children with autism, which is a mental condition that can impact communication and social skills and trigger repetitive behavior.
Since the early 2000s, yoga has become increasingly popular in China. There are more than 10,000 registered yoga centers across China, with millions of yoga practitioners.