Video: What Yoga Can Do for You

The blogosphere is agog this week over the above YouTube video documenting the traditional Indian form of gymnastics—make that extreme gymnastics—known as Mallakhamb.

For the uninitiated, Mallakhamb traces its origins back several centuries and today competitions are held at the local, state, and national level. The Mallakhamb Federation of India (MFI) was founded in the early 1980s with the intent of giving the sport more structure and widely-agreed upon standards for competition.

What's clear from the above eye-opening video, though, is that if this form of pole gymnastics is ever made an Olympic sport, India's much-lamented Olympic medal deficit will quickly become a thing of the past. 

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Jeff Tompkins is New York Content Manager at Asia Society.