Mallakhamb Balances Your Body and Mind: Guna

Umakant Sahu, better known as Guna, is one of the rare gems that comes from Odisha and has shone on several national stages because of Malkhambh sojourn.

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Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Umakant Sahu is a familiar face in the landscape of Mallakhamb. It’s a traditional art that finds its mention in ancient epics. After a stagnation, this art form incorporating science and yoga philosophy, finds a renewed interest in modern India. Sahu’s successes are a good example of this. He displayed this art in shows like ‘India’s Got Talent’. Sahu had a struggling life, but his adamant nature has given India a refined novelty for health and wellness. We applaud his journey. In an exclusive interview with THIP Media, he talks about his sojourn with Mallakhamb.

Q. How did you become interested in Mallakhamb?

Mallakhamb is a distinctive sport apart from other games. My initial encounter with Mallakhamb in 2003, left a profound impression on me. As I also received training in yoga since childhood and actively participated in various competitions, I made the decision to delve into Mallakhamb. This choice was fueled by the fact that Mallakhamb combines elements of both yoga and gymnastics. Since then, I have wholeheartedly dedicated myself to excel in Mallakhamb, putting forth my best efforts.

Q. Mallakhamb is a traditional Indian sport that integrates yoga and physical strength. How do you perceive the relationship between Mallakhamb and overall health?

Guna

Undoubtedly, Mallakhamb stands as a source of immense pride, being a traditional Indian sport, originating from the ingenious Dada Ballambhatt Deodhar, this unique discipline seamlessly weaves yoga, gymnastics, and pranayama together, making it not just a sport but a holistic practice that champions health and physical strength.

Mallakhamb goes beyond being a mere exercise; it serves as a revitalising force for the human body. By integrating the principles of yoga and gymnastics, it not only fosters physical fitness but also nurtures mental well-being. Mallakhamb has a considerable amount of proven therapeutic benefits, offering relief for various health concerns.

The profound connection between Mallakhamb and overall health underscores the significance of traditional practices in fostering both physical and mental wellness. It stands as a testament to our rich cultural heritage, contributing significantly to the holistic development of individuals.

Q. What are the key health benefits that practitioners derive from Mallakhamb and its yoga-based approach?

A Mallakhamb practitioner can get many benefits from it. Such as: physical fitness, mental well-being, balance development, cardiovascular health, posture improvement, breathing techniques, therapeutic benefits, holistic wellness to name the major.

Q. In what ways does Mallakhamb differ from other forms of yoga in terms of its impact on health and fitness? Could you describe some specific yoga postures or asanas that can contribute significantly to practitioners’ health?

Among all other sports, Mallakhamb stands out as a unique game that involves distinct obstacles, primarily integrating Yoga and its Asanas. This captivating sport is performed on a pole and includes two other variations: ‘Rope Mallakhamb’ and ‘Hanging Mallakhamb’. Despite the diverse obstacles, some events and Asanas remain consistent across these different forms.

In Mallakhamb, the events are intricately connected with the Seven Chakras and offer health cure tips. For instance:

  • Climbing up and sitting on the top of Mallakhamb, helps to clean your bladder and Gallbladder. It’s connected to Muladhara Chakra.
  • Abdominal balance focusing on digestion, corresponds to the Manipura Chakra.
  • ‘Dasaranga’ designed to alleviate Sciatica, is associated with the Swadhisthana Chakra.
  • ‘Kuruma Asana’ serves to relieve joint, back, and neck pain. It’s relevant to Anhata Chakra.

How does it help in maintaining mental health?

Pranayama in Mallakhamb practice serves as a foundational element that enhances breath awareness, energy flow, concentration, stamina, and the bi-lateral mind-body connection. It complements the physical aspects of Mallakhamb, contributing to a holistic approach to health and well-being.

In your opinion, how accessible is Mallakhamb as a form of yoga-based exercise for people of different ages and physical abilities across India?

Mallakhamb, as a form of yoga-based exercise, is generally accessible to people of different ages and physical abilities across India. However, it’s important for individuals to consult with healthcare professionals before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions. Additionally, participating in Mallakhamb classes under the guidance of a qualified instructor ensures proper technique and reduces the risk of injury.

Overall, Mallakhamb’s adaptability and varied intensity levels make it a potentially inclusive form of exercise for people with different ages and physical abilities across India.

Are there any misconceptions about Mallakhamb and its relationship with health that you frequently encounter? How would you clarify or address them?

Guna

While Mallakhamb is gaining recognition for its multifaceted health benefits, there are few misconceptions also. One misconception is that Mallakhamb is only for highly trained athletes or gymnasts. While it can be challenging, proper guidance and progression make it accessible to individuals with varying fitness levels. Some may assume that Mallakhamb poses a high risk of injury. In reality, with appropriate instruction and gradual progression, the risk of injury can be minimised. Safety measures are integral to Mallakhamb practice. Also there might be a belief that Mallakhamb is not suitable for older individuals or those with certain health conditions. In reality, modifications can be made to accommodate different ages and physical abilities, under proper supervision.

Could you share any personal anecdotes or experiences that highlight the profound impact of Mallakhamb and yoga on an individual’s health or well-being?

Over the years, Mallakhamb practice has not only helped me maintain my body weight but has also been instrumental in preserving proper physical postures, elevating energy levels, and sharpening mental clarity. The dedication to Mallakhamb has brought me immense pride, evident in the numerous prizes and medals I’ve received from state and national-level competitions.

Moreover, the journey has taken me to platforms like ‘Best of Odisha’, (winner— with Group) ‘Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’, (semi-finalist— with Group) and ‘India’s Got Talent’, (Semi-finalist— with my wife).

This is where I had the opportunity to showcase my skills and passion for Mallakhamb on local and national TV channels. These are good testimony of how Mallakhamb and yoga can have an impact on individuals’ health and well-being.

How do you see the future of Mallakhamb and its integration with the broader understanding of yoga and health in India?

The future of Mallakhamb appears promising, with potential growth and continued integration into the broader understanding of yoga and health in India.

As awareness of traditional practices like Mallakhamb continues to grow, there’s potential for increased recognition on a national and international scale. This recognition can lead to more support, resources, and platforms for practitioners.

Integrating Mallakhamb into educational programs and curricula can contribute to its sustainability. Schools and institutions may recognize its value not only as a sport but as an educational tool promoting physical and mental discipline.

As Mallakhamb continues to evolve, its future may involve a balance between preserving its traditional roots and adapting to contemporary needs. The integration of Mallakhamb with the broader understanding of yoga and health in India holds the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s health landscape.

How do you continue to stay updated and enhance your skills in aerial yoga?

I regularly attend aerial yoga classes and workshops. These sessions often introduce new techniques, poses, and variations, keeping your practice fresh and challenging. Consistent practice is key to enhancing skills. Regularly challenge yourself with new poses and sequences and pay attention to alignment and form. You can participate in aerial yoga events, festivals, or conferences. These gatherings often feature expert instructors, masterclasses, and opportunities to learn from leaders in the field.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Neelam Singh

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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Aditi Gangal
Aditi Gangal
A science graduate by education and a content writer by profession, Aditi is responsible for research and analysis of medical content.
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