Watch the video above

and see all the Kalaripayattu Animal Exercises that we’ve learned during 30-day training in India.

I have experienced the following benefits of doing kalaripayattu animal exercises.

Benefits Of Kalaripayattu exercises:


There are 8 kalaripayattu animal postures – Ashta vadivu:

  1. Gajja Vadivu: Elephant posture
  2. Ashwa Vadivu: Horse posture
  3. Simha Vadivu: Lion posture
  4. Varaha Vadivu: Wild boar posture
  5. Kukuda Vadivu: Rooster posture
  6. Sarpa Vadivu: Snake posture
  7. Matsya Vadivu: Fish posture
  8. Marjara Vadivu: Cat posture

Kalaripayattu Animal EXERCISES

1. Valinju Amarnnu

Stretch down into horse posture (Ashwa Vadivu)

One of my favorite kalaripayattu animal exercises is related to horse posture. It improves hip mobility, hamstring flexibility, and core strength. We learned two different transitions connected with this exercise.

Thiringu valingamarnnu – transition in Valinju Amarnnu (thiringu – turn),
 valingamarnnu – going backward in Valinju Amarnnu (maari – backward).

Kalaripayattu animal exercises

Horse posture is similar to warrior 1 in Yoga or Gong Bu stance in Kung Fu. This posture is also performed during some of the kicks’ transitions.

2. Othadi Amarnnu

Exercise in elephant posture (Gajja Vadivu)

Watch the video to see all the Kalaripayattu Animal Exercises that we’ve learned during 30-day training in India.

Kalaripayattu training also includes a lot of squat positions. It occurs in exercises related to elephant posture and wild boar posture. They are an extreme workout for the back and leg muscles.

Thiringu othadiyil amarnnu – transition in Othadi Amarnu (thiringu – turn).

Thachu valanju – sequence of circles. It is an exercise performed after othadi amarnnu.

This exercise requires a lot of back flexibility. This is why doing it can help to accomplish bridge position and standing from the bridge position.

3. Keri Thanjam

Exercise in wild boar posture (Varanasi Vadivu)

Maari Thanjam – going backwards in thanjam

kalaripayattu animal exercise


The first sequence that we have learned during a 30-day stay in Sreerangom C.V.N. Kalari  was:

1. Meypayattumey (body), payattu (practice).

The second sequence, which probably is the most important, was:

2. Poothara Thozhal – salutation.

Salutation is performed before each class. However, it is an advanced movement sequence. It requires both flexibility and familiarity with kalaripayattu kicks and kalaripayattu animal postures. This is why, mostly, it is not taught during the first classes.


Kalaripayattu Kicks

Training In India

30-Day Kalaripayattu

Training Experience – Part 1 

30-Day Kalaripayattu

Training Experience – Part 2