The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 110 pages of information about The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga.

Exercise No. 8.

Lie full length on the back of the floor, hands clasped under head.  Tense the muscles of the right leg, raising the knee slowly until it touches or almost touches the body, at the same time bending the foot downward as far as possible, stretching the toes towards the floor.  Now slowly lower the right leg, still tense, towards the floor, straightening the knee and turning the toe upward towards the body.  As the right leg is being lowered, raise the left one upward in the same way tensing the muscles, knee to chest, toes stretching upward; as the left leg goes down, point the toes and foot toward the knee 5 times, increasing gradually to 10 times.



Exercise I.

(1) Extend the arms straight out in front of you, on the level of the shoulder, with palms of the hand touching each other; (2) swing back the hands until the arms stand out straight, sideways, from the shoulders or even a little further back if they will go there easily without forcing; return briskly to position 1, and repeat several times.  The arms should be swung with a rapid movement and with animation and life.  Do not go to sleep over the work or rather play.  This exercise is most useful in developing the chest, muscles of the shoulders, etc.  In swinging the hands backward, it is an improvement if you will rise on your toe during the backward sweep; sinking on your heels as you move the arms forward again.  The repeated movements should be rhythmical, backward and forward, like the swinging of a quick pendulum.

Exercise II.

(1) Extend the arms straight in front of you, letting the little fingers of each hand touch each other, the palms being upward; (2) then keeping the little fingers still touching, bring the hands straight up in a curved circular movement, until the tips of the fingers of both hands touch the top of the head back of the forehead, the backs of the fingers touching, the elbows swinging out as the movement is made until (when the fingers touch the head, with thumbs pointing the rear) they point out straight sideways; (3) let the fingers rest on the top of the head a moment, and then with the elbows pressing back (which forces the shoulders back) force the arms backward with an oblique motion until they reach the sides at full length, as in the standing position.

Exercise III.

(1) Extend the arms straight out, sideways, from the shoulders; (2) then, still keeping the upper arms extended in same position, bend the arms at the elbow and bring the forearm upward with a circular movement, until the tips of the extended fingers lightly touch the tops of the shoulders; (3) then with fingers in the last position, force the elbows out to the front until they touch, or nearly go (a little practice will enable you to touch them together); (4) then, keeping the fingers still lightly touching the tops of the shoulders, swinging the elbows as far back as you can get them. (A little practice will enable you to get them much farther back than at the first attempt.) (S) Swing the elbows to the front position and then back to the rear position, several times.

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The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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