CHAPTER XI – THE SEVEN YOGI DE’VELOPING EXERCISES


………….The following Are the seven favourite exercises of The Yogis for de’veloping The Lungs, Muscles, Ligaments, Air Cells, etc..  They Are quite-simple but marvellously effective.  Do-not let the simplicity of these exercises make You lose interest, for they Are the re’sult of careful ex’periments and practice on the part of The Yogis, and Are the essence of numerous in’tricate and com’plicated exercises, the non-essential portions Be’ing e’liminated and the essential features re’tained.


(1) THE RE’TAINED BREATH

………….This IS a very im’pORtant exercise which tends-to strengthen and de’velop The Re’spiratory Muscles, as-well as The Lungs, and it’s frequent practice Will also tend to ex’pand The Chest.  The Yogis have found that an occasional holding of the breath, after The Lungs have Been filled with The Complete Breath, IS very beneficial, not-only to The re’spiratory ORgans but to The ORgans Of Nutrition, The Nervous-System and The Blood it’self.  They have found that an occasional holding of the breath tends to purify The Air which has re’mained in The Lungs from fORmer in’halations, and to mORe fully oxygenate The Blood.  They also Know that The Breath, so re’tained, gathers up All the waste matter, and when The Breath is ex’pelled it carries with it the effete matter of The System, and cleanses The Lungs just as a purgative does the bowels.  The Yogis recommend this exercise for various dis-ORders of The Stomach, Liver, and Blood – and also find that it frequently re’lieves “Bad Breath” – which often a’rises from poorly ventilated Lungs.  We re’commend Students to pay con’siderable attention to this exercise, as it has great merits.  The following directions Will give You a clear idea of the exercise:

1.  Stand erect.

2.  In’hale a Complete Breath.

3.  Re’tain The Air for as-long-as comfortably possible.

4.  Ex’hale vigorously through the open Mouth.

5.  Practice The Cleansing Breath.

………….At first You will Be-able-to re’tain The Breath only a short time, but a little practice Will also show a great im’prove-ment.  Time Your’self with a watch if You wish to note Your progress.


(2) LUNG CELL STIMULATION

………….This exercise IS de’signed to stimulate The Air cells in The Lungs, but Be’ginners must-not over-do-it, and in-no-case should it Be in’dulged-in too vigorously.  Some may find a slight dizziness re’sulting from the first few trials – in-which-case let Them walk-around a-little and dis-continue the exercise for a while.

1.  Stand erect, with hands at Your sides.

2.  Breathe in very slowly and gradually.

3.  While in’haling, gently tap The Chest with The Finger Tips, con’stantly changing
position.

4.  When The Lungs Are filled, re’tains the breath and pat the Chest with the Palms of The Hands.

5.  Practice The Cleansing Breath.

………….This exercise IS very bracing and stimulating to the whole Body, and IS a well-Known Yogi practice.  Many of The Air Cells of The Lungs Be’come in’active by reason of in’complete breathing and often Be’come al’most atrophied.  One Who has practiced im’Per’fect breathing for years Will find it not-so-easy to stimulate All these ill-used Air Cells into activity, All-at-once, by The Complete Breath a’lone.  But this exercise Will do much to’ward bringing-a’bout the de’sired re’sult – and IS worth study and practice.


(3) RIB STRETCHING

………….We have ex’plained that The Ribs Are fastened by Cartilage, which are able to ex’pand con’sider-ably.  In pro’per breathing, The Ribs play an im’pORtant role, and it IS well to occasionally give them a little special exercise in-ORder-to pre’serve their e’lasticity.  Standing or sitting in un-natural positions, to-which many of The Western People Are addicted, IS apt to render The Ribs mORe-or-less stiff and non-elastic – and this exercise Will do much to over’come that state.

1.  Stand erect.

2.  Place The Hands, one on each side of The Body, as high-up under The Arm-Pits as is comfort-able – Thumbs to The Back – Palms on the sides of The Chest – Fingers to The Front, over The Breast.

3.  In’hale a Complete Breath.

4.  Re’tain The Air for a short time.

5.  Then, gently squeeze The Sides – while slowly ex’haling.

6.  Practice The Cleansing Breath.

………….Use moderation in this exercise and do not over-do it.


(4) CHEST EX’PANSION

………….The Chest IS quite apt to Be’come con’tracted from bending-over One’s wORk, and from generally poor posture.  This exercise IS beneficial for the pur’pose of re’storing natural con’ditions and gaining Chest-ex’pansion.

1.  Stand erect.

2.  In’hale a Complete Breath.

3.  Re’tain The Air.

4.  Ex’tend both Arms for’ward, and bring the two clenched Fists to’gether on a level with The Shoulder.

5.  Then swing-back The Fists vigorously until The Arms stand-out straight, side-ways from The Shoulders.

6.  Then, bring them back to Position 4, and swing back to Position 5.

7.  Re’peat several times.

8.  Ex’hale vigorously through the opened Mouth.

9.  Practice The Cleansing Breath.

………….Use moderation and do not over-do this exercise.


(5) WALKING EXERCISE

1.  Walk with Head up, Chin drawn slightly in, Shoulders back, taking big (yet comfort-able strides).

2.  In’hale a Complete Breath – mentally counting:  “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.” – with one count for each step – making the in’halation ex’tend over the eight counts.

3.  Ex’hale slowly through the nostrils – mentally counting as Be’fORe:  “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.” – one count per step.

4.  Rest be’tween breaths  (It can be assumed that the original authOR meant to take a few steps in-between the in’halation and ex’halation sans the counting – not that One should stop walking.) Continuing walking and counting:  “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.” – one count for each step.

5.  Re’peat until You Be’gin to feel tired.  Then rest for-a-while, and re’sume at pleasure.  Re’peat several times a day.

………….Some Yogis vary this exercise by re’taining the breath during a, “1, 2, 3, 4.” count – and then ex’hale in an eight-step count.  Practice which-ever plan seems most agree-able to You.


(6) MORNING EXERCISE

1.  Stand erect, in a military attitude, Head up, Eyes front, Shoulders back, Knees stiff, Hands at The Sides.

2.  Raise The Body slowly onto the toes while in’haling a Complete Breath, steadily and slowly.

3.  Re’tain The breath for a few seconds, maintaining the same position.

4.  Slowly sink to the first position – at-the-same time, slowly ex’haling The Air through The Nostrils.

5.  Practice The Cleansing Breath.

6.  Re’peat several times – varying by using Right Leg a’lone, then Left Leg a’lone.


(7) STIMULATING CIRCULATION

1.  Stand erect.

2.  In’hale a Complete Breath and re’tain.

3.  Bend for’ward slightly and grasp a Stick or Cane, steadily and firmly, and
gradually ex’erting Your En’tire Strength upon the grasp.

4.  Re-lax the grasp, re’turn to the first position, and slowly ex’hale.

5.  Re’peat several times.

6.  Finish with The Cleansing Breath.

………….This exercise may Be per’fORmed sans the use of a Stick or Cane, by grasping an imaginary Cane, using The WILL to ex’ert te pressure.  The exercise IS a favourite Yogi plan of stimulating The Circulation by driving The Arterial Blood to The Ex’tremities, and drawing-back The Venous Blood to The Heart and Lungs – so-that it may take-up The Oxygen which has Been in’haled with The Air.  In cases of poor Circulation, there IS not-enough Blood in The Lungs to ab’sORb the in’creased amount of Oxygen in’haled, thus The System does-not get the full benefit of the im’proved breathing.  In such cases, particularly, it IS well to practice this exercise, occasionally with The Regular Complete Breathing Exercise.