Callisthenics

Every training session should begin and end with a callisthenics routine. At the beginning of a session it should immediately follow the preparatory meditation. This tones up the muscles, making them easier to control and co-ordinate, and also loosens the joints. At the end of a session it immediately precedes the closing meditation, and helps to prevent stiffness.

A good idea is to start with the neck, rotating the head first in one direction, then the other; bending the head sideways, then forward and back; finally twisting it from side to side. Work systematically down through the body, rotating the arms to loosen the shoulders; bending sideways, forward and backward; twisting the trunk; rotating the hips; stretching and spreading the legs; rotating the knees and ankles; and, finally, shaking the limbs loosely in order to relax muscles and joints. Deep breathing may be added at the end of a session.

Strength exercises may also be included in the routine, but on the whole may be regarded as 'extra-mural'. Every student should know for himself which particular sets of muscles require most work in his own individual case.

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