You are in your forties, busy with your career and family, and exercise and sports are a distant memory. Sometimes you wistfully recall your younger more agile- self; it can never be like that again. Of course it can, says Jayachandran Palazhy, who runs the Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, Bangalore. It is all in the mind. The centre is now conducting movement classes called ‘Mature Movers’ which use a combination of Kalari (a martial art form from Kerala), yoga, contemporary dance and Pilates. “These forms help the class to imagine and perceive their bodies to be beautiful, to create a sense of being and to remove resistance from the body during the course of these movements,” says Palazhy who is the artistic director of the centre.
In its advanced stages, Kalari, an ancient martial art form used for self-defense, involves vigorous footwork, but Palazhy assured us that at the centre the students are only expected to push their bodies according to their individual ability. “We are simply aiming at creating a sense of good body line and the ability to be aware of your body though the course of the day. We want to remove any feeling of inferiority you may have about your body,” he says.
Jayachandran Palazhy performing
A typical class will take participants through a warm-up which is followed by dance sequences that each individual is allowed to understand and express in their own way keeping in mind some basic steps and sequences. The result after an hour and a half, twice a week, are well-stretched and lean muscles, increased rate of metabolism, great sense of balance and even possible weight-loss because a lot of the activity is cardio-vascular. The exercises have also been designed to ensure minimal impact on the joints.
Unlike other forms of exercise that use rhythm and repeated motion and provide physical exercise, the movement arts are wholesome and over a period of time make you feel younger and energized.
Sundar Sarukkai, 46, who has been participating in the classes for a couple of weeks says he now knows how he should be walking and what the alignment of his body should be. “I come out of each class feeling energized” says Sarukkai, who is Professor and Dean at the School of Humanities at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.
Mature Movers classes are conducted every Monday and Wednesday between 6.30am and 8:00am at Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, Wilson Garden, Bangalore. For more details call 080 22123684.