Mallakhamb is an ancient Indian sport which originated as a complementary exercise for wrestling, but is now practiced as a sport in itself. The name is a combination of the words malla, which means athlete or strong man, and khamba, which means pole. Athletes perform a variety of yogic and gymnastic poses while suspended from a rope or on a pole. Practitioners say that the sport not only develops a healthy and strong body, but also strengthens willpower and helps compose the mind.

titel

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A boy with powder applied on his hands grabs onto a Mallakhamb pole during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole as others watch at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

Boys laugh during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A group of boys prepare to set up a Mallakhamb pole during a class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A group of girls hang from parallel bars during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A girl with painted fingernails holds onto a rope before performing a Mallakhamb pose at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A boy stretches while waiting for his instructor during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

Boys line up before performing Mallakhamb at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A boy runs on a manually operated treadmill to warm up as another practises handstands before a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A boy hangs from a bar during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

An instructor watches children performing during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

Girls practise a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A boy walks under a statue of Balambhatta Dada Deodhar, founder of the modern version of Mallakhamb, before a class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

titel

A boy carries a gymnastic mattress during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai. VIVEK PRAKASH/REUTERS

Dec 03, 2012