The story or the legend attributed to the revival of Mallakhamb is as follows: In the 19th century, two wrestlers called Ali and Gulab from the Nizam of Hyderabad once came to the Darbar of Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa. They threw open a challenge to the State wrestlers by calling for a bout. A young lad of 18, named Guru Balambhattdada Deodhar accepted their challenge and asked for some time for preparation. During this period he very sincerely started practicing yoga and tricks of wrestling. Once, while in deep meditation, he saw a vision of Lord Hanuman demonstrating a few tricks on a wooden pole. He rigorously practiced the tricks from his vision on the wooden pole and as legend goes, defeated his opponents easily. Since then the art of Mallakhamb became rejuvenated and gained wide publicity and extensive popularity among the youth.
How it works – the Mallakhamb pole is firmly fixed into the playground. Castor oil is applied to it, in order to reduce friction and prevent abrasive injuries to the body of the player. The player mounts over the tower, performing numerous poses and postures, which cover various awkward twists, turns, hooks, grips, catches and hanging positions. Besides these, a number ofasana postures and aerobatic feats are also performed.
But there are other varieties of Mallakhamb also, such as a short fixed pole, suspended or hanging, single or double poles, a horizontal pole, an unsupported stationary or non-stationary pole, a banana or plantain trunk, sugar-cane or palm trunk and a suspended rope Mallakhamb.
Mallakhamb is considered to be a perfect exercise because it is intermingled with various poses and postures of yoga. It is not hectic or jerky and gradually develops all the physical and mental faculties of the human body. The benefits of this training are innumerable. In all the other exercises, there is monotony, however Mallakhamb is a systematic, scientific and very methodical mode of physical exercise. It imparts proper tone and form to every muscle and perfect control over each part of the body. The grace and beauty are enhanced by the balanced and well-controlled transitions, turns, bends and coils. This exercise in particular stimulates the mind and builds the body. The controlled and rhythmic breathing and smooth balanced movements help a lot in developing the mental and physical faculties of our body. The magnificent display of artistic and difficult feats shows the value of patience coupled with deep concentration.
It imparts adequate exercise to the sinews, joints and the vertebral column, thus ensuring perfect health and longevity. The arm-holds and the upper handgrips help to develop powerful wrists, strong forearms and muscular biceps and triceps. The clinging grips of the fingers, palms and toes render the nerves and muscles strong and powerful. The acrobatic nature of the feats improves the sense of judgment and the hectic swings, jumps or somersaults promote toughness and fearlessness. By the hanging and swinging actions, neuromuscular co-ordination is enhanced. The light jerks and jumps gradually tone the lungs and improve the efficiency of the respiratory organs. The forward and backward bends during the display help to accomplish the healthy functioning of the kidney, spleen, liver pancreas and urinary systems. The balancing activities like lifting and resting the body at various angles tone the ligaments of the spine, vertebral column, knees, elbows, ankles, neck and shoulders. It is a note-worthy fact that the various movements or actions done in the course of a performance bestow good health and physique to the performer. It gives a perfect Herculean body with vigor; vitality and well balanced functioning of routine activities.
Even in the case of diseases or disorders like insomnia, anemia, chronic pains in the body, abdominal problems, kidney troubles, E.N.T. problems, headache, migraine, chronic bronchitis, chest pain, respiratory or lung troubles, rheumatism and other types of irregularities of hygienic disturbances, Mallakhamb proves to be of immense value.
Though Mallakhamb is an art centuries old, its official national tournament commenced in 1962 when the Gymnastics Federation of India started organizing the Annual National Championships of Mallakhamb. So far, the Mallakhamb Federation has successfully conducted 24 National Championships and 18 National judging examinations.
Participation is increasing every year and more and more members of foreign Nationals are interested in learning Mallakhamb. International Mallakhamb Championships are being conducted for last 5 years in different countries viz. Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Spain and Italy and recently, the International Mallakhamb Federation has also been formed. One can easily say from this rapid progress that soon Mallakhamb, the best traditional fitness sport of the country, will become a globally popular sports discipline. And now you can find classes for Mallakhamb in Mumbai | Delhi | Bangalore | Pune | Gurgaon around you.
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