Kalari – the yoga of massage
As the oils, the heat, the herbs and the massage melt you deeper and deeper, this sacred Kalari treatment allows a union with your inner divine, a return to oneness.
Thousands of years ago, the science of longevity was revealed to enlightened seers or Rishis in the continent we now call India. They trained student disciples and passed down the wisdom orally for countless generations before it was recorded as the sacred scriptures of Ayurveda. In the South of India, there was a Sage known as Agustya. It is said that unto him, amongst many things, was revealed the existence of marma. Marma – is the sacred geography of the body, the sites where the vital energy is most abundant, places which determine the health and vitality of your physical body.
You may have heard of the seven chakras, well these are known as mahamarma – great marmas. There are over 100 marma points on the surface of the human body, places where the life force or prana exists, nourishing the deeper tissues and organs, governing and maintaining the physical, mental and spiritual flow of our being. The ancient traditions all acknowledge that the subtle, vital energy of the body determines the health of the more dense physicality of flesh and bones. So treating the energies underlying the physicality will effect change on a physical level. This is exactly what kalari massage does.
For thousands of years in India, as part of the Ayurvedic and Siddhavedic schools of medicine, marma points have been used for healing. Out of these ancient traditions and compilations of wisdom came the Kalari warriors who fought using great skill and knowledge of the marma point system. There are a number of marmas which are deadly if struck with force and this early martial arts system made great use of this knowledge. The flip side of harming with marma is indeed healing with marma and a massage therapy was given to rejuvenate the warriors and keep them in peak fighting condition. Agile, alert, all energy flowing perfectly, limber and in prime mental state. This treatment is still used today, over 3 thousand years later to treat both kalari payattu fighters and other members of the community.
Popular in the south of India and found only here and there in the rest of the world, Kalari massage is a magnificent full body treatment which uses warm medicinal oils, herbal compresses, marma point work, massage and mantra to bring the receiver into a space where they can reveal their true health. It is incredibly soothing, promotes deep relaxation, calms the mind and any anxiety and allows blockages to just melt away. These blockages are held at the marma points, first as a subtle impression or emotion, then over time they build into a physical disorder such as a swelling or perhaps arthritis (as an example of an advanced state of disrepair). Kalari therapy works the marma points and nadis (pathways of prana) with heat, herbs and love to encourage the release of old blockages and allow the vital energy to exist again in these places.
As such, Kalari therapy is wonderful for all sickness and injury, as well as for healthy individuals as a rejuvenative maintenance- a gift of love to the self, a mode of going deeper into wellness, firmly establishing it as your way. Performed with a deep reverence for all life, this sacred massage treatment seems to exist in a category aside from most other health treatments, promoting union with your source, and the expression of it in everyday life. A blessing to give and a blessing to receive.
Aum Augustya namah
This article was written by Chaitanya for her friend and fellow Kalari practitioner Nandini Nicole Young. Nandini's website can be reached here:
Chaitanya's treacher's teacher -
the Kalari Master Hanuman Das from Kerala.
Please see website: