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Pictures | Tue Nov 13, 2012 | 9:51pm IST

Indian pole gymnastics

<p>A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. 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. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. Mallakhamb is an ancient Indian sport which originated as a complementary exercise for wrestling, but is now practiced as...more

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. 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. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy carries a bucket of powder and a bottle of castor oil, both of which are used to increase friction, during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A boy carries a bucket of powder and a bottle of castor oil, both of which are used to increase friction, during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy carries a bucket of powder and a bottle of castor oil, both of which are used to increase friction, during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy carries a gymnastic mattress during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012.     REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A boy carries a gymnastic mattress during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy carries a gymnastic mattress during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole as others watch at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012.    REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole as others watch at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole as others watch at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Girls practise a Mallakhamb "pyramid" pose in the shape of a crown while suspended at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012.    REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Girls practise a Mallakhamb "pyramid" pose in the shape of a crown while suspended at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Girls practise a Mallakhamb "pyramid" pose in the shape of a crown while suspended at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy sits on top of a mattress as he watches others perform during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012.     REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A boy sits on top of a mattress as he watches others perform during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy sits on top of a mattress as he watches others perform during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy helps another stretch on a mat as they warm up before a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012.   REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A boy helps another stretch on a mat as they warm up before a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy helps another stretch on a mat as they warm up before a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>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, October 31, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

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, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy hangs from a bar during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A boy hangs from a bar during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy hangs from a bar during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A group of boys prepare to set up a Mallakhamb pole during a class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

A group of boys prepare to set up a Mallakhamb pole during a class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A group of boys prepare to set up a Mallakhamb pole during a class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Girls practise a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Girls practise a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Girls practise a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>An instructor watches children performing during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

An instructor watches children performing during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

An instructor watches children performing during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy stretches while waiting for his instructor during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

A boy stretches while waiting for his instructor during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy stretches while waiting for his instructor during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Boys line up before performing Mallakhamb at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Boys line up before performing Mallakhamb at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Boys line up before performing Mallakhamb at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>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, October 31, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

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, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A girl with painted fingernails holds onto a rope before performing a Mallakhamb pose at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A girl with painted fingernails holds onto a rope before performing a Mallakhamb pose at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A girl with painted fingernails holds onto a rope before performing a Mallakhamb pose at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A group of girls hang from parallel bars during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A group of girls hang from parallel bars during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A group of girls hang from parallel bars during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>Boys laugh during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

Boys laugh during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Boys laugh during a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>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, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

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, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole as others watch at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012.  REUTERS/Vivek Prakash</p>

A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole as others watch at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole as others watch at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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<p>A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash </p>

A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A boy performs a Mallakhamb pose on a pole at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

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