STRETCHING FOR HEALTH
Today’s exercises will provide a good indication as to how stiff, tight and tense you may have grown in many key’ points of your body. The stiffer you find yourself, the greater your need for the gentle stretching movements of Yoga. A stiff, inflexible body cannot be a truly healthy and beautiful one. Remember that you must never strain, jerk or fight to achieve a more extreme position. Just go as far as you can, regardless of where it may be, and have the patience to hold as indicated. The holdâ will gradually impart the elasticity that is needed to accomplish the most extreme positions. This is true regardless of your age or physical condition. Once achieved, you will find that you can retain this wonderful flexibility for your entire life!
The Yogi (one who practices Yoga is a Yogiâ) attaches great value in terms of both health and beauty to a strong, elastic spine and an ancient Yogic adage proclaims, You are as young as your spine is flexibleâ. You have only to look at the people around you to determine the truth of this statement.
Young people whose spines have grown rigid will appear to be much older than their actual years. Conversely, people who have retained the elasticity of their spines and limbs appear youthful and aliveâ in middle age and beyond. Therefore, a number of our exercises will be practiced for the express purpose of promoting the health, strength and flexibility of the entire spine, from the cervical vertebrae in the neck to the lowest of the lumbar vertebrae. If you follow our Yoga plan you will discover, to your delight, that the youthful “springâ is returning to your spine and joints within two to three weeks.
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