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Under suspension: Indian youths practice Mallakhamb

Vivek Prakash / Reuters

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, on Oct. 19.

Reuters -- 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.

Editors note: Reuters made these pictures available to NBC News on Nov. 13.

Vivek Prakash / Reuters

A group of boys prepare to set up a Mallakhamb pole during a class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, Nov. 3.

Vivek Prakash / Reuters

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, Oct. 21.

Vivek Prakash / Reuters

A boy runs on a manually operated treadmill to warm up as another practices handstands before a Mallakhamb class at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, on Oct. 31.

Vivek Prakash / Reuters

A girl practices a Mallakhamb pose while suspended from a rope at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai, on Oct. 19.

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