with Nicky Poole and Hans Wolfgramm — Mondays, August 21st & 28th


Kalarippayatu is the ancient martial art form practiced in Southern India. Learn the basics of the Kalarippayatu practice including breathing techniques to increase concentration, the animal postures, jumps and kicks and the graceful flowing vinyasa like movements that enable us to link these forms together. Attendance in both workshops are highly recommended. As is tradition in the Kalari, absolutely everyone is welcome and we all practice together. There are no ‘levels’. But, you can expect to be physically challenged in this workshop as there are LOTS of squats and single leg kicks and it provides a deep cardiovascular workout!

The rich cultural history of the Indian subcontinent has given us many mind body and artistic technologies including ayurveda, yoga, meditation, and various forms of dance. Less widely known is that India is also home to it's own unique system of martial arts that has been practiced in Southern India since at least the 12th century.

Kalarippayatu involves developing knowledge of the outer body through exercise and traditional ayurvedic massage. The exercises known as meiabhyasam (or “body art”) include breathing exercises, poses, linking steps, jumps, and kicks. These are practiced in increasing difficult sequences along the bare earth of the traditional Kalari floor. Every student in the traditional Kalari works through the exercises at their own pace and masters each in turn before being given the next exercise by the teacher. After several years of practice, weapons practice is introduced. Beginning with wooden sticks, the student progresses to complex combinations facing an opponent with metal weapons including daggers, knives, and the sword and shield. As with hatha yoga, repetition of these forms renders the outer body flexible and strong and 'flowing like a river', but with time the practice becomes more and more internally focussed and meditative.

Nicky is thrilled to introduce her teacher Hans Wolfgramm and the traditional practice of Kalarippayatu to the community at Octopus Garden. We will learn about the rich socio-cultural history of the practice and how and where it intersects with the hatha yoga we practice today. Physical forms will be introduced including the preparatory breathing exercises, vaidavu (animal postures) linking steps back and forward across the floor, and kicks.


Dates: Monday, August 21st Hans (Nicky’s Teacher) and Nicky will be co-teaching; Monday, August 28th Nicky will teach.
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Cost: $40 ($30 for members) or for both days $70 ($50 for members)