Khiv Raj Gurjar, 68, from Jodhpur in the Indian state of Rajasthan, spends time everyday running through up to 45 individual yoga poses on his bike – while perched on the edge of the vertiginous cliff.
After picking up extreme yoga 20 years ago, the pensioner credits it with helping him through immense personal tragedy – the loss of his wife, son and grandson in a car accident in 2014. Khiv began practicing yoga at the age of 12, and says he has been visiting the cliff where he does his stunts since childhood. More after the cut….
‘It was terrible accident and it will take time to heal,’ he said. ‘When I balance and perform complex yoga postures on a cliff, I don’t feel fear or think that I will fall from this mountain. I can do anything on this mountain. I don’t panic anymore.’ ‘As a child, I used to come here from school. Then I brought a BMX cycle and started doing extreme yoga,’ he said. ‘I am confident that I will not fall, I believe in myself.’
Khiv has represented his country at a national level as a cyclist and even competed in his country’s national football league. In the summer, he prefers to exercise at the start of the day, so as to avoids the intense heat. And despite his skills, his family still fret about the dangerous nature of his extreme balancing act.
His granddaughter Yoga Gurjar, 15, says she is proud of her grandfather and wants to imitate his feats – but does worry that he will hurt himself.
She said: ‘I feel a bit scared when my grandfather performs these kind of stances, but I feel also proud because he is the source of inspiration for me and he is the person I want be when I grow old. ‘I also want to perform like him. Having a grandfather who does stunts on mountains is like having an in-house superhero.’