dands and bethaks

Dands and Bethaks are often considered as a pair in vyayam. Both are body-weight exercises and both compliments the other. In the Akhara, wrestlers will be doing one exercise or the other around the pit  as a warm up or a training session and can do many, many repetitions, sometimes going consecutively for an hour or more for either or both movements.


The Dand is similar to the dive bomber push up in the west, though it's background comes from the surya namaskar (sun salutation)  in yoga. The beginning position is that of the downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Swanasana) then bending at the elbows and diving toward the floor before gliding the chest past the floor and pushing the upper body into the cobra position (Naga  Asana). The wrestler then pushes back to recock into the starting position and commences  the next repetition. The movement is carried out smoothly and cyclically.


Bethaks are freestanding squats, the wrestler will descend to the ground smoothly coming up on the balls of his feet before reversing the motion to stand tall, flat footed. During the motion the arms are swung loosely  to increase momentum. Bethaks are done continuously and are the premier leg exercise in the Akhara. They help with endurance and provide great cardiovascular benefit.

There may also be combinations of  Dands and Bethaks to form a kind of burpee exercise.


Like Jor and other Akhara exercises, Dands and Bethaks provide mental and physical exercise and the wrestlers doing many repetitions seem transfixed during their training.  After they feel invigorated and strong.