“Kalaripayattu is a complete technique which encompasses the physical, mental, spiritual and medical aspects of a human being,” says Lakshmanan Gurukkal from KalariGram in Auroville.
He is currently in Hyderabad for a week-long workshop at Our Sacred Space, starting January 24 onwards. KalariGram is a Kalaripayattu school established in 1950 under the patronage of guru Veerasree Sami Gurukkal. It is also a resource centre for learners interested in ancient Indian scientific heritage, Ayurveda healing, Indian culture and aesthetics.
Says Lakshmanan, “Age is no bar for learning this art form. Anyone, male or female from eight to 80 years can learn this art form. The focus of the workshop would not only be the traditional martial art forms, but also the benefits of inner healing including the healing of the body and soul through the traditional massage with medicinal oil. There are many movements and postures that bring in body balance. The combat techniques have animal postures of Gaja Vadivu (elephant), Ashwa Vadivu (horse), Simha Vadivu (lion), Varaha Vadivu (wild boar), Sarpa Vadivu (snake), Marjhara Vadivu (cat), Kukkuda Vadivu (cock) and Matsya Vadivu (fish).”
“This form of training helps in dividing your attention between multiple tasks and demands, attending to key information within a large area, ignoring distractions, quickly picking out patterns, decision-making in time-sensitive situations and quickly recalling recent information,” he says.
— The writer is a musician, creator of ‘Jaywant Guitar’ and a freelance photographer...