Discovering India with Kalaripayattu: 4 Things to Learn

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The Spiritual Power Of Chanting Gayatri Mantra (गायत्री मंत्र)

By Rishikul Yogshala

February 20, 2017

A foundational martial art form evolving in the East, Kalaripayattu is the source of all other combative disciplines popular in modern times. The defense routine of Kalari takes inspiration from animalistic fervor and instincts of the wild. Its postures index a number of interesting fluid movement sequences, the mastery of which demands tremendous willpower and physical prowess of the practitioners. Kalaripayattu is found in the purest of its traditional forms in its land of birth. Kerala, India’s southern coastal frontier, is home to the best of the traditional Kalaripayattu masters, offering their expertise and wisdom in the comprehensive learning program amalgamating yoga with the martial arts form.

Here is what you can expect from undertaking a typical Yoga-Kalari course in India:

Knowing and Activating the “Marmas”

Learning the art of Kalari involves knowing all 107 energy points in the human body called marma points. The knowledge of marma will enable an individual to snap out of weaknesses just by the power of light touches on these secret points. The art of marma chikitsha or healing by the knowledge of marma is based upon this thorough medical understanding of the human body. Channeling vital energy flows in the right direction, correction of energy deficiency by tapping at its source, and looking at marma in relation to Ayurveda and human anatomy are all part of the marma understanding.

Health Benefits

Kalaripayattu has been evaluated as a discipline with a handful of health benefits which are also in accordance with medical sciences and anatomy. Here are few to point:

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Muscle strengthening and bone and joints relaxation
  • Improves agility and drives away sluggishness
  • Develops overall body balance

Intensifies and Compliments Yogic Discipline

To receive Kalari lessons in combination and complementation to yoga life learning could provide a great boost to your physiological capacities. While yoga with the components of meditation and mindfulness implicit in the curriculum will deepen the sense of calm and concentration in you, the practice of Kalaripayattu will hone your spontaneity and presence of mind. Indeed an effective way to power your reflexes and be on one’s guard constantly!

Knowing Armed and Unarmed Combat

The discipline of Kalaripayattu involves training in the use of an armory of interesting tools. Slashing and thrusting while on the defense, whip for driving away the evil, shielding and mace to protect—it’s all in the way of Kalaripayattu combat and included within the learning package of the combined yoga-kalari training.

In addition to the vigorous armed combat style, the course curriculum will also include a line of unarmed fight techniques. The unarmed stances use the human body as a wall and shield and an instrument for building offensives. Beating and blocking with hands, leg offensives, elbow thrusts, and ramming with the head are all part of the unarmed Kalaripayattu strategizing.

Kalari, according to the ancient Indian tradition is found in interrelation with various performance forms and is complimentary to yogic attitudes. You can learn it for the pleasure of both body and mind and welcome its general energizing impact.

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