Archive for November, 2009

Kalari Photo essay

Posted in kalari on November 1, 2009 by martinprihoda

The following photos were taken during my stay at the Hindustan Kalari Sangham in Kerala, South India. Run by a wonderfully generous family, the ashram is also an Ayurvedic treatment/massage clinic as well as a Kalarippayat training centre. Kalarippayat is widely regarded as one of the world’s first martial arts and legend has it that a Kalarippayat master brought the art to China, from which it evolved to various other practices (Kung Fu etc…)

A typical massage treatment lasts 14 days and practitioners use no small amount of oil to lather the body before grinding into your sore muscles with their feet. Patients come from all around to have fractures and sprains set and young children can be heard battling at six in the morning.

The evenings are punctuated with elaborate pooja ceremonies, often lasting a few hours. In these rituals different gods and goddesses are worshipped and sacrifices are made. Incense is burned and its in this setting I feel the love for India burst through my heart. I adore the festivals, the ancient traditions and the cathartic devotion people bring.

It was a wonderful, eye opening experience and I am grateful that for me, yet another small layer has been peeled away from the infinite mystery that is India.