Amazing balancing acts

A boys perform a Mallakhamb pose on a pole as others watch at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai

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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.