Leap into tradition and fitness

Jul 09, 2013, 02:56 IST | Devika Desai

Starting today, NCPA will host a three-month sequel Kalaripayattu workshop with the hope of bringing out one of India's hidden jewels before it loses its lustre completely

Nowadays, most of us turn to the West for solutions to our health and fitness problems. However, little do we realise that such answers lie within our own Indian traditions and our own practices. Kalaripayattu, an age-old martial-art form from Kerala is one such example. In a bid to rejuvenate the beauty of this practice, NCPA will be hosting its second Kalaripayattu workshop, which begins today and will continue till September 24.


“I have received only positive responses from participants who attended my previous workshops”, shares Belraj Soni, a university champion in Kalari, who will be conducting the workshop. “Generally, most people dedicate the least time towards their health due to the fast lives they lead, and the overwhelming busy schedules and daily mental pressure. Kalari techniques are useful for mental and spiritual growth and so, practicing it will give such people the ability and strength to face such taxing situations.”

Not just a form of self-defense, kalari is also a unique way to rejuvenate the internal and external parts of the body, thus toning up the body to be more flexible and sharp. No fitness level has been defined as a needed qualification to enter the workshop. “Anyone above 18 years can join the workshop. The last date to register is today.

Classes will also be conducted in Bandra, Dadar and Somaiya College on a regular basis from July 15,” adds Soni. He believes that the effects of kalari practices can also be felt mentally and spiritually: “Kalari blends the body, mind and spirit. It encourages mental and spiritual development.”

Once used as a mode of combat in war, Kalari is now seen as a source of speed, strength, co-ordination, concentration, memory power and much more. It is a centuries-old practice that remains untouched and unchanged; it is a window into the customs of our traditional past, and will always be practiced in its traditional way.

“I feel people don’t value our traditional art forms, like yoga. Yoga was initially an Eastern practice but it was only when the West took it up, did we realise it’s beauty and value. We only value what is foreign, but this isn’t right. We should realise the importance of our traditions and prosper from them before it’s too late”, warns Soni.

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