Avesta, so-called glandular exercises.
SO-CALLED GLANDULAR EXERCISES.
When carrying out the following three exercises, take the rhythm from the chorus of the tune « Espoir du monde » either singing the words, or the syllables la - la, or tra - la - la, or vowels as preferred.
All variations are performed in a seated position, head and shoulders quite straight, body relaxed, feet placed naturally on the ground; heels are approximately ten centimetres apart.
While singing the tune, follow the rhythm with a very smooth turning movement of the hands in front of the chest, from front to back and the reverse (winding and unwinding movement).
1°--- Starting position: elbows held to the body, forearms horizontal, meanwhile softly brush thighs with fingertips; then fling each arm into the air, in a relaxed movement, several times for each, alternating right, left, right, etc., and let it fall back with its own weight. The spinal column and back of the neck remain straight, and the whole body loose and supple.
2°--- Throw both arms in the air at the same time, always in a relaxed movement, without suddenness or hardness, and let them fall back naturally, several times in succession while singing.
3°--- With hands placed naturally on thighs close to the knees, thumbs inwards, fingers outwards, arms loose and supple, shoulders not tensed or raised. Give rhythm to the singing of the tune by a movement of the head as follows: let the head fall forwards with its own weight, the chin should touch the chest without effort, then send it backwards without suddenness, rather as if pulled by its own weight, always keeping the spinal column and back of the neck quite straight without stiffness.
4°--- Actively throw the head right and left, swinging it into the cervical articulation. Do not move the shoulders. The chin should, after a little while, be able to be placed without difficulty on each shoulder. Always do this while singing, of course.
5°--- Complete circular rotating movements of the head in the atlas articulation, to the right, then to the left, keeping the torso quite straight, shoulders motionless; keep the rhythm going slowly and push the movement all the way to the front, to the right, to the left, then to the back. This will be a little difficult for some people to start with, but very quickly joints, tendons and muscles will be rid of the mineral deposits that "impregnate" and stiffen them, and the movement will become wide and without any difficulty. It is difficult to specify the benefits of this so simple exercise; the tension, stiffness that exists in this part of the body in the majority of individuals, is a particularly serious obstacle for cerebral and nervous transmission, and for the free circulation of thought. It is essential to all and at any age for the head to be fully mobile and capable of turning to look to the left, to the right and to the back without turning the top of the body. The cracking and wrenching that this movement may cause to start with, in most individuals, is proof of the beginning of a seizing up which was taking place in them, and which is not limited to the bodily part but which ends up taking a grip on the brain which it then extinguishes. Advice therefore: the more it cracks, the more painful the movement, the greater the proof of the urgency in making these circular movements of the head.
6°--- Do this same movement of connecting rod that we have indicated previously: elbows to body, hands closed held against shoulders and elbows held in the air; do the movement forwards and backwards in time with the singing, head and shoulders quite straight. The position of the shoulders and the suppleness of their joints and shoulder blades makes a decisive contribution to the body's uprightness and freedom of movement. In general, and without them being aware of it, the majority of people hold their shoulders badly (raised, tensed, or turning forwards) which, as well as the imperfect posture that this involves, causes a large amount of internal damage. The thoracic cage does not therefore have its proper range and the lungs do not have the faculty of moving freely within it; the aspiratory and expiratory muscles, if too slack or too tensed, do not allow the arrival and expulsion of air to take place correctly, and the tension extends to the whole body and the brain; think about this often, outside of the exercises, and roll the arms in the shoulder joint, then let the shoulders take their natural place, holding them slightly thrown backwards.
7°--- Still seated in the same position, but flex the torso onto the thighs, then, with both hands, make the pretence of picking up some imaginary object on the ground, raise the torso, and lift the hands as high as the shoulders. Continue in the same manner, several times in succession while singing. Excellent exercise for strengthening the spinal column, lumbar region, kidneys.
8°--- Flex the torso onto the thighs, and at the same time do the rowing movement, opening out the arms as widely as possible; raise the head and shoulders still as if rowing, continue to sing the chorus.
9°--- Still seated, head and shoulders quite straight, feet fixed to the ground. Cross the arms onto the chest, twist the upper body a quarter turn round in the hip joint, to the right, then to the left, while singing.
10°--- Same position; still singing, make complete rotations of the upper body within the articulation of the pelvis, in both directions; arms crossed in front of the chest, then next hands joined behind the neck. Suppleness of the waist, normalisation of its size, re-education of the digestive and excretory organs, quickly follow the repeated and regular practice of this exercise.
11°--- Still seated, upper body straight, hands on thighs; without the feet leaving the ground, perform a "trotting" movement in time with the singing. The drop back onto the seat must not, of course, be sudden, but to the contrary smooth and elastic, so as not to produce any violent internal jolts. Also do this trotting movement with the arms falling inertly from their weight on each side of the body; then next accompany the trotting with a corresponding movement of the arms (relatively unpronounced connecting rod movement, hands to the front). Unequalled for strengthening the abdominal organs and kidneys, and for activating the various vital circulations.
12°--- Arms crossed flat on the chest (tips of fingers reaching the shoulders), sway the upper body in rhythm with the singing, to the front and to the back, with a movement as extended as possible without effort, then to the right and to the left.
End the sequence while singing, and waving the hands above the head, shaking them in the wrist joints; let the arms fall back with their own weight while exhaling deeply.
Seated position as for the previous exercise. Keep in time while singing the tune " Tralala ".
1°--- Close the fists, with thumbs onto the fingers; pound the top of the shoulders (at the joint) with the phalanges of the thumbs, with a movement that is well directed and smooth, almost elastic. Do not hit too hard, but rather with a "tapping" action.
Next, hands held open but very loose, do this same elastic tapping (starting from the wrist) with fingertips, on the chest, shoulders, parts of the back within reach, diaphragm, kidneys, without moving the torso, which should remain quite straight and relaxed. This session of tapping movements is gently stimulating for the lungs, heart, thymus and thyroid region; the accompaniment of the internal vibratory massage provided by the singing, increases the benefit tenfold, Can also be done standing, but the effect is better in the seated position.
2°--- Still seated. Close the fists (thumbs outwards) place them in the hollow of the back, and with a pressing and vibrating movement, dig in by pressing and chanting, while at the same time singing the tune "Persévérance" (page 244 ) at a lively pace. The kidneys, adrenal glands, which play an important part in physical vitality, quickly benefit from the regular performance, in the morning, each day for a few minutes, of this simple exercise. Is also done standing, but is preferable in the seated position.
Still seated position. In time with the tune: « Ni chagrin ni souci ».
The fingers of both hands are brought together "back to back", and the fingertips, placed on the thymus region (under the tip of the sternum); move the elbows apart and hold them at normal height, which does not cause fatigue; then press firmly with the fingertips, and without tensing, in such a way as to obtain an effect of upwards oriented vibration. Since this movement is delicate to perform, it is essential to remain constantly relaxed and supple and to always keep the spinal column straight. With a little practice one can succeed very well in making the area next to the heart vibrate naturally, without hurt or contraction. This exercise has a most particularly profound effect from the point of view of integral development. Most of the movements in this so-called glandular series can also be performed while seated on le ground: legs crossed (yoga or eastern fashion) or possibly extended to the front.
These variations have the best regenerative effect on the glands, and re-educative effect on ptoses, deformities, etc.
We will come to an end here on this simple presentation, but for which the application of the exercises that it covers is an inexhaustible source of improvements in all areas of human existence. We remind you that, in the Art de la Respiration, we have provided a series of digital exercises, page 580 (with illustration) which are immensely useful for giving suppleness and control of nerves. Functional balance is improved by the different positions taken by the fingers which are in correspondence with the various organs and the brain: by the nervous system. Stiffness of fingers indicates ill-being in the organs corresponding to those fingers. The suppleness of hands, the agility of digital joints is not only useful to good manual activity, but also indicates a precise intention, a clear attitude.
Everything is related, everything has its correspondence in the organism and, to the extent that functions are in harmony, bodily appearance and facility of action, general normalisation in direction and performance are built up and sustained, and individual realisation is affirmed. The programme is simple, but complete: good intention and perseverance are enough to make it the key to continual development.
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