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    Parkoura��s not about daredevilry anymore, ita��s for health nuts. We speak to top trainers about what it takes to keep fit

    Brick Mansions, Paul Walkera��s last movie that released in April, is well known in parkour circles, since it also stars David Belle, the founder of parkour. What had seemed awe-inspiring oncea��when Daniel Craig chased parkour-trained villains in Casino Royale or Matt Damon did the moves in the Bourne seriesa��is now quite commonplace. So much so that the monkey vaults and laches are not being done just by professionals; fitness buffs have taken it up as part of their routine, too. Some of the countrya��s top traceurs (as parkour practitioners are called) tell us that it also has a positive impact on the mind and personalitya��including better agility, self-awareness and better time managment. No wonder everyone from movie stars to schoolchildren are turning to these experts to bring a change in their lives. We talk to them about starting out, diet and places to practice:
    Narayan RNarayan R Pissurlenkar
    At 32, Pissurlenkar is the oldest member of Mumbai-based group of traceurs, Free Souls. Having seen his share of broken bones and twisted ankles, he makes it a point to bring safety into the equation first during training. a�?Parkour strengthens the legs and hands, as well as the upper body,a�? he says, adding that having a paunch shouldna��t stop you. Emphasising its difference from free-running (the flips in the latter are replaced by vaults in parkour), he breaks myths about maintaining a diet or going to the gym. a�?You can eat anything, as long it is healthy,a�? assures the traceur, who has been practicing since 2010. Suggesting daily sessions of 30 minutes for a beginner, he recommends parking lots at railway stations as ideal places to practice. He has trained clients like Bollywood actress Elena Kazan. `1,500 a month. Details: 9768847079

    Sreeram (6)Sreeramachandra Y Modukuru
    Having received his certification from American Parkour (APK) recently, Modukuru, a level-two certified instructor, trains clients whose ages go up to 45. a�?Beginners can start with plyometrics, which include precision jumps and strides, and then eventually move into vault sessions and flows,a�? he says, adding that because of the balance, endurance and agility skills, a traceur is a complete athlete, with a�?homeostasisa�? (stability) in his/her strides. a�?Before every training session, one should raise the body temperature by doing jumping jacks, hops, jogs, or even a short walk or cycling,a�? he advises. Talking about the growing culture in the country, he points to groups like Chaos Factory (a parkour group in Bangalore) as being his favourites. Rs.1,200 a month. Details: 9989085505

    prabu-mani-cpk-3Prabu Mani
    With over eight years experience, Mani is the mainstay of the Parkour Chennai group. An advocate of organic food, he looks at parkour as a way to respond to the environment in the most efficient waya��strengthening not just the muscles, but also the ligaments, tendons and bones. Recommending warm-up exercises like joint rotations, lush/pull ups and short runs, Mani says, a�?Almost all basic movements can be attempted by beginners, but the distance over which they do will have to be small enough till the technique is perfected,a�? adding, a�?Rest is very important, so a break every three days is a must.a�? `800 a month. Details: 9768847079

    Giles d' Souza (3)Giles Da��Souza
    He is easily one of the most recognisable faces of parkour in the country. Certified from UK-based Parkour Generations, he works with prominent fitness trainer Abbas Ali, who trains actors like Shahid Kapoor. a�?I always focus on precision jumps for beginners, as that trains onea��s nervous system to move and balance better,a�? Da�� Souza says, adding that conditioning is a must for any beginner; else it will end up harming the body. a�?One must also check the surroundings for loose or damaged surfaces,a�? he warns, saying that as a coach it is important to make sure that the clienta��s weak areas are conditioned, before moving on to bigger moves. Rs.4,000 a month. Details: 8097397662

    Zeeshan (1)Shaikh M Zeeshan
    Another member of Free Souls, Zeeshan is one of the managers of the Parkour Dubai team. Talking about the cardio benefits of parkour, he points out the spiritual sidea��it makes one calm and patient. a�?The fun thing about parkour is that it can be learned by anyone and you can train anywhere and everywhere. All you need to do is find a wall, ledge or railing, or even a childrena��s playgrounda��anywhere you can jump across, jump over, climb, swing, etc,a�? he says. But he does warn against damaging or vandalising property. Calling the urban landscape of Mumbai as the ideal setting for any traceur, he says, a�?I also love the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad, which makes me feel like I am in a Temple Run game.a�? Rs.500 for a two-hour session and for children, Rs.300. Details: +971558664806

    Choose the best
    a�?The best trainers are those who looks at their clients individually and recommends moves based on their strengths,a�? says Pissurlenkar. a�?Trainers certified by foreign organisations like American Parkour and ADAPT have an edge,a�? adds Modukuru.
    a��Karan Pillai


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