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WARRIOR STYLE

Fitness regime!


BY Ruwandi Perera

So while we take in Sri Lankan culture in all its colourful glory this month, it’s also interesting to look at fitness in a cultural way. Although it’s not very well known, Sri Lanka’s historical fitness rituals are immersed in its most glorified form of martial arts – Angampora.

Combining self-defence, sports, fitness rituals and meditation in true local style, it’s probably the most difficult, challenging and yet rewarding form of keeping fit in this country. So why not try some moves from the warrior toolkit for a change this month?

Opt for more whole body workouts without using too much equipment. Try carrying your own weight with more cardio workouts. Do a spot of dancing and move your body to the rhythm. Understand your body, and get to know what tones your muscles and warms your tendons – and achieve better body balance when working out.

And if it intrigues you, sign up for an Angampora workshop out of town and you’ll be surprised at the results. Venture outside, soak up some Avurudu sun and go cultural in your workout to test your fitness… warrior style.

RAW FITNESS RITUALS

  • Footwork – To be trained in Angampora style combat, one must master footwork and be light, agile and flexible. A key component of exercises even today is working out on your legs from the heels to the thighs.
  • Rhythm – Ancient warriors were trained to move in rhythm to beating drums. Having your favourite workout playlist on is a sure-fire way to keep you motivated.
  • Whole body – Ancient Sri Lankan fitness rituals always prioritised whole body movement over the repetitive practice of isolated techniques. So up your cardio game even if it means doing jumping jacks.
  • Animal style – Walking like a feline, fighting like a sloth bear and running like a deer are key attainments for Angampora warriors. Adopting animal-like movements and giving into your raw instincts every now and then – this will not only give you a sense of relief but improve your agility too.
  • Breathing – The true spirit of a warrior depends on how he or she controls breath and therein heartbeats. Work on your breathing to ensure that you breathe right and full… before, during and after workouts.
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