Natya Shastra & Physiotherapy - A proven connection!

On 27th February Krithika gave a very inspiring and practical session about "Physiotherapy" and "Natya Shastra". She started with Sanskrit shlokas from the Natya-Shastra making us wonder how the "Natya Shastra", an old surviving text believed to be written between 200 AD and 200 BC by Sage Bharata Muni, could anyhow be connected to the fairly recent "Physiotherapy". And by the end of the session Krithika had successfully made us realise this correlation through the 'shlokas' and the various 'exercises' mentioned in the Natyashastra.

Everyone has experienced, at some point in their life, one or more kinds of joint pains. Mostly unaware of the implications, we strongly rely on excessive use of medications for immediate relief. However, there are simple exercises derived from the 'mudras' in Bharatnatyam which can be done at one's convenience and help cure pain without any side effects.

Krithika guided us with through traditional aspects of Bharatnatyam including ‘mudras’ (hand positions) ‘abhinaya’ (facial expressions) and ‘padams’ (dance) and later showed us exercises involving movements of the head, neck, eyes and legs. These movements help in dealing with muscular pain and lead to tightening of the muscles.

When I researched a little further, I found an article associated with physiotherapy. About 20 years ago Dr. Ashok Johri, professor of orthopaedics at the renowned J.J. group of hospitals, revealed this correlation and his findings won him the biggest research award from the Orthopaedic Association in 1999.

They say pleasure and pain goes hand in hand. But after Krithika's talk, my perspective has been changed. I hope these gracious dance mudras can help all of us get rid of the excruciating pain, and indeed it wouldbe more pleasure than pain!!!!

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