Kalarippayat – South Indian Martial and Healing Art
An alert and clear mind
In a strong and flexible body
For calmness and serenity
Kalarippayat, or ‘Kalari’, originated in the South of India. Just like Yoga and Ayurveda, other Indian treasures, its beginnings also date back several thousands of years. One of the objectives of martial arts is to develop the mind and body to a point where the path of life can be walked fearlessly and courageously. All of us bear the potential to live the way of the warrior – Kalari provides us with the opportunity and tools for recognizing and unfolding this potential.
Like few other physical practices, Kalari enhances flexibility, strength and stamina as well as coordination, presence and calmness – all at the same time. This dynamic training purifies the energetic system of the body, removes blockages and frees energy. Among other techniques, it is comprised of body conditioning excercises, the unique set of kalugal (leg swings or kicks), vadivu (animal postures), meippayat and kaikuttyppayat (choreographed sequences of movement) as well as more advanced techniques, such as a vast variety of partner excercise scenarios with and without weapons.
The movement sequences and postures allow the practioner to experience the energies from the animal world and thus awaken our deeply rooted instinctive movement patterns. This actually makes it quite easy for our bodies to learn and remember the sequences, although it may seem odd at first, and soon enough we become immersed in the flow of movement. The combination of coordination, alignment of the senses and a certain mindset teaches us absolute presence in the moment, becoming one with what is – the goal of meditation.
Just as important as the physical development are the healing aspects of Kalari. The “gurukkal”, grandmasters of Kalarippayat, are also healers. Using massage and an individually adjusted excercise program, the healing knowledge of Kalarippayat may even be able to correct old physical ailments.
Kalarippayat is said to be the mother of martial arts originating around 4000 years back in Southern India. This practice is a unique system of physical exercises, with and without weapons, that will purify the energetic pathways of the body called “nadis”, leading to strength, flexiblity, balance, grounding and a refined development of all senses. This practice leaves you sweaty, fully aware of all muscles in your body, awake, extremely energized from head to toe and profoundly calm and centered – all at once. A full body oil massage is part of the Kalari healing system which was developed side by side with the martial arts practice and is closely related with Ayurveda.Practice at Kalarippayat Berlin from Katrin Kueker on Vimeo. Kalari Berlin from Katrin Kueker on Vimeo.
‘Keep on renewing yourself every moment.
One thing has to be remembered, that past is no more, clinging to the past is clinging to the dead. It is very dangerous, because it hampers and hinders your life, in the present and for the future. One should always go on freeing himself of the dead past. That is one of the fundamentals of life: to go on renewing yourself every moment, to die to the past and be born anew. That which is gone is gone – don’t even look back. looking back is not a good sign.’