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Program in focus: Kalari (Good Vibes 2019)

By December 28, 2018Blog

Our brand new music & wellness retreat is making its debut in March and we’ve got a heavy itinerary planned! We sat down with Kalari master Ramona Lalita (Director, Kalari Healing) to get an insight into what guests can expect from the upcoming retreat:

 

Tell me about your background in Kalari? 

 I began studying Kalari Healing and Kalaripayattu Martial Arts in 2009 in Australia. A year later I visited my teacher and Guru, Sat Guru Hanuman Das, the founder of the Kalariyil Dharmikam Ashram in Kerala and I return to India every year to study and deepen my training and skills. Since 2009 I have been practising and sharing the Kalari Healing and Martial Art systems in different parts of the world, and am now based in Melbourne. I have been training both the healing and martial aspects of Kalari, and thoroughly enjoy each and every part of the practice. I continue to hold workshops and classes and I work in clinics to share and spread the teachings. I am also a naturopath and I combine both the ancient and western practices together in my classes and consultations. My aim has always been to grow spiritually and physically, and contribute to others wellness, while building a strong foundation in the basics of the healing and martial arts. Kalari’s multimodal system helps me delve into ancient spiritual technologies, utilising them in a way that helps me understand myself and others. I am a firm believer that when using Kalari methods, one can synergize the body, mind and spirit.

 

What attracted you to Kalari, martial arts and eastern practices?

I believe I always had a fighting spirit since a young age. I was first interested in self defence as a traveller especially as I have always been interested in more dangerous and remote places in the world. I studied Taekwondo in Singapore, Karate in Japan and Capoeira in Brazil. All the martial practices including Kalaripayattu from India are based on discipline and integrity to one’s inner and outer worlds, health and wellness, and social responsibility. They all encompass spiritual learning practices along with weapons and body training. I resonate with this and the way that martial arts and healing has allowed me to grow and develop. I was drawn to Kalari as it is unique and whole and it encompasses many aspects of training – discipline, healing, herbs, medicines, massage, spirituality, body forms, weapons, flexibility, meditation, yoga and most importantly the connection to teacher and Guru. I have learnt through my dedication to Kalari practices that I can manifest and create inner harmony and happiness. 

 
What are you planning to focus on primarily with your students at Good Vibes?

We will be focusing on discipline and focus in the body and mind through Kalari movement. I would like to give students a taste of Kalaripayattu training, and assist them in aligning their bodies in the class, while shaking off any tension and tightness.  We will be practising warm up exercises to open the energy channels, developing a greater connection to the core and earth, along with training our traditional first form which is a salutation to 4 directions and very similar to a martial sun salutation. I hope they will be able to add this to their movement practice tool kit.
 
 
How do you see the relationship between Kalari and drumming?

Kalari is about movement, body alignment and vibrations, so I see a very big connection between both practices. They both require body coordination and movement of the creative spirit through the core energy and they help engage the whole body and connect with nature, the community and our surroundings. In both Kalari and drumming we are developing our hand-eye coordination and so each practice helps the other. I play a Pandeiro (Brazilian hand drum) and I find that my flexibility and strength training in Kalari has improved my ability to endure long songs and shows, and my speed and precision in my playing and ability to focus has greatly improved. 

 

What do you want your students to take away from your teachings at Good Vibes?

 

I would like the students to be able to take a piece of Kalari home with them and be able to utilise the practices for their drumming and in other aspects of their lives. Ideally if they can learn some of the movements they will be able to use them as a warm up or body/mind balancing activity, before or after they play. Kalari is an embodied practice that utilises core principles such as discipline, integrity and respect and sharing these is a part of how I believe we can make a change within ourselves, and to others, and to come closer to our peaceful nature and contribute to society and the environment.

 

Itinerary

Communal jams

Drumming for all levels, beginners, intermediates and advanced

Meditation

Yoga

Body Percussion

Kalari (Indian Martial Art)

Bonfires

Guided walks

When:

March 1st – 3rd 2019

Where:

Sokil Eco Retreat, Great Otway National Park

Tickets

African Drumming Calendar 2018