Kalarippayat is a traditional Southern Indian martial art that evolved alongside Ayurveda and Yoga. It is a body of knowledge created to allow individuals to bring peace to worldly conflict – both internal conflict (of the mind and ego), and external conflict (between individuals and communities).
Being underpinned by Ayurveda (traditional Indian health system) and Indigenous health sciences; Kalari includes knowledge of diet, herbs, health, natural systems, moral and ethical behavior, psychophysical development, and religious studies.
For many students and masters, studying Kalarippayat is a lifelong process of discovering the nature of one’s own physical, mental, emotional, and Spiritual self.
“Kalari has a systematic approach to training the complete Self: the body, the emotions and the mind.
Practice begins with movement-based warm-up and conditioning exercises. Then the practitioner moves to a set of flowing movement sequences called body forms. Next are weapon forms, and animal postures.
Kalari is a physically demanding practice, but the beauty is that persons of any physical condition can participate.
The key principles include the concept of Siva (masculine) and Sakti (feminine), expansion of sensory awareness, continuous flow of contraction and expansion and the reenactment of the eternal cosmic story of creation and destruction.
Unlike in many schools of modern Yoga, experience is not induced by the teacher’s instructions and practicioners are usually not told when to in- or exhale. In Kalari breath follows movement, not movement breath.
The practicioner’s subtle as well as his physical bodie’s own innermost intelligence and power is encouraged to unfold as he starts to truly embody the forms.”
Gerhard Schmid, student of Gurukkal C.M Sherif, Kalari Sangha