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Dhinesh Kallungal | HENB | Thrissur | Sept 2, 2016:: If you are ready to spare some time to rekindle the spiritual pursuit and agility of your body and mind, then the KKG Kalarisangam, Thaliyakonam, in Thrissur is one of the best options available in Kerala where yoga and Kalaripayattu, the traditional martial arts, is being taught in a different way.
In fact, though martial arts and yoga are being taught as two entirely different branches in almost all places, Kalarisangam is one of the traditional academies where it is being taught by combining the two sciences, traditionally and scientifically.
The traditional martial arts performer and yoga instructor at the KKG Kalarisangam, Ashokan Gurukkal, 49, says, “Yoga and martial arts have a lot in common, as both teach heedfulness, awareness, and consciousness, both on the mat and life.”
He has been imparting training for over the past two decades and the Kalaripayattu is now being taught as a means to attain a spiritual level. “Yoga and martial arts are modes of self-healing and stress-busters that dissolve stress and increase awareness, and both share the goal of a tension-free body that uses energy wisely and efficiently,” he says.
Both emphasise breath to fuel energy and movement, and the movements of the martial arts will be very smooth and
harmonious if we combine yoga with it. “The mode allows the practitioner to use their muscles and movements in a more controlled manner,” says Gurukkal.
He has trained thousands of disciples over the years and also imparts special yoga classes. But what worries him is that only a handful who approaches him take yoga as a serious means to attain the spiritual path.
Thapas Krishnan, a 43-year-old Tamil Nadu native, who has been with Gurukkal for 30 years, says, “The relation between the disciple and trainer should be that of a true guru-shishya relationship, as in the past. The learner should aspire to go to new heights and excel in the form.” The story of Krishnan is also very interesting. His parents were rag-pickers, who settled in Kerala, and he does the same even now. But his devotedness made him eligible for the lessons.
Anitha Shamil, a breast cancer patient, who undergoes yoga classes in the Kalari, says, “I was not even physically fit to do yoga when I started my second innings. But now things have changed and I aspire to learn martial arts as well.”
The KKG Kalarisangam, which imparts free training to women as part of their aim of empowering women and children, provides classes in various schools. Besides, Gurukkal gives Kalari chikitsa, which involves healing to keep the body in a regenerative mode. He trains 16 classes in two districts. It is also recognised by the Kerala Kalaripayattu Association and Kerala Sports Council.
Republished from The New Indian Express for a cause of promotion for yoga and Kalaripayattu.