Contortionists are often looked on as sideshow freaks but the reality is that the derogatory stereotype is just one of numerous myths about the art of contortion. In fact, just watch this viral video to see how much fun contortionists can have at their job.
In this video, posted to YouTube on December 3, a group of Rastafarian contortionists amaze onlookers on a street in London, England, as they gleefully put on a incredible display of what the human body can do for a group of flabbergasted onlookers — all set to reggae music.
While it helps to have a natural talent for flexibility, the truth is, anyone willing to put in the time and effort can learn to practice contortion, which is not all that different from yoga.
Not even age is an obstacle to learning the art of contortion, according to professional contortionist Nina Burri, who answers questions about the practice on her site.
“Honestly, I can’t tell you an age limit since I started when I was 30 and my body has never showed any particular problems with those extreme movements. I guess I can go on as long as I am willing to do the training! By the way: the oldest contortionist that is still on stage is 67 years old!”
According to The Contortionist’s Handbook, an instruction manual for beginning contortionists, the art of twisting one’s body into extreme positions is not only possible for anyone in reasonably good health — it carries significant health benefits.
“You probably will be one of those that won’t suffer of osteoarthritis when you get old,” the Handbook states. “Amongst people who are not practicing activities like yoga or contortion, only one in fifty will escape some form of rheumatic or arthritic complaint in their lifetime.”
Even if you don’t want to take up the art of contortion as your chosen way to stay in shape, you can still marvel at the abilities of contortionists like the London bunch in the video, above.