How to Add Ten Years to your Life and to Double Its Satisfactions
by S. S. Curry
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This alternation is still more akin to the action of the body in standing and walking.

Allow the hip to extend outward on the same side which is being extended.

Co-ordination, that is a simultaneous and sympathetic union of many parts in one action or a harmonious variation of a primary response in many parts, is one of the primary characteristics of the organism. It can be secured by a certain feeling that the whole nature shares in the exercise, that the whole body responds to the whole being of man. It is a direct expression of joy and sympathy. In an involuntary performance there is always less co-ordination than in a sympathetic motion. These are feelings vitally necessary to co-ordination and we must not only have and feel them, we must express them in the body.

The alternation of exercises introduces rhythm, which has been found to be one of the most fundamental elements in training. Rhythm consists of proportion in time. This proportion is in alternation: alternation of activity and passivity, and in alternation of one part with another, as in walking.

Rhythm is the continuity of co-ordinations. Co-ordinations cannot be properly preserved without rhythm nor can there be rhythm without co-ordinations.

The exercises 2 to 6 should all be included in No. 1. They should also be individually practiced in order to accomplish the best results and to avoid the omission of any of these primary elements which should be present in and co-ordinate every true exercise.

After being practiced individually, exercise No. 1 should be practiced several times with a greater co-ordinating union of all the elements. The feeling of satisfaction and joy should be realized at once.


Repeat Exercise No. 1; stretch first the right arm and also the leg, bend the left arm and left leg and so on in alternation. Preserve all the movements.

The difference between this exercise and No. 1 is the stretching of each side in alternation. The same elements should be included.


Sustaining all the foregoing conditions; extension, expansion and diffusion of feeling, the retention of the breath and the simultaneous openness and relaxation of the throat, laugh low but heartily:—ha ha, he he, etc.

The tone should be soft and pure. The softer the better. If there is any danger of waking or disturbing someone the exercise should not be omitted but practiced softly.

Joy must not only be felt, it must be expressed. This series of exercises is based upon the fact that the greatest exercises are expressive movements. The smile on the face and active laughter should be used as direct exercises, not only for the body but also for the voice.

This exercise implies some understanding of the fundamental elements of vocal training. The primary co-ordination of voice conditions, that is, the sympathetic, harmonious and elastic retention of the breath causing the co-ordinate passivity at the throat has been explained in "Mind and Voice." This was my discovery and the mastery of it has helped thousands out of ministerial sore throats and other abnormal conditions, and, to my mind, is proved as a fundamental principle. It is of the utmost importance that this little exercise should be practiced in accordance with the principle. The great point of the exercise is the elastic, sympathetic retention of the greatest possible amount of breath and the simultaneous passivity and openness of the throat. The study of laughter or the best possible tone anyone can make will enable him to realize this deep but simple principle.

The effect of this exercise is to centre the breath and to harmonize the activities of the whole man. The central organs should always be exercised before the organs of the surface. The laughter must be sincere, genuine, hearty and natural.

No one can imagine what wonderful effects can be brought to the voice by such simple exercises as these. The voice is an index, not only to mental and emotional conditions but to health. The voice cannot improve truly without improving health.

We reserve breath and have a certain sympathetic fullness due to retention of the breath in the middle of the body. Simultaneously there is an openness of the whole throat and tone passage. All the organs of voice are thus brought into right conditions. When this condition is violated there is a misuse of the voice.

Vocal training consists in the use of such simple exercises as will establish all these conditions that have been mentioned, especially the last. The conditions of voice must be co-ordinated, the vocal organs must respond to thinking and feeling. We cannot ignore, we must demonstrate on every plane. Man is given the greatest opportunity for progress. It is an opportunity he must take. There is no growth, no advance without labor. The labor may not be voluntary, it may not be hard, but man has his work to do. It is a joyous work. Man has an instinctive desire for right exercise which will enable him to really unfold his faculties and demonstrate his powers.


Lying as before, placing both hands flat upon the stomach, keeping the body extended and expanded, breathing full and free, manipulate in a circular, triple rhythm or backward and forward, in dual rhythm, all the vital organs. The thumbs may be placed up under the floating ribs.

This exercise is usually given first in Swedish medical gymnastics. It is especially for the stomach, though it has a vital action upon the liver and other organs. Such manipulations are beneficial to a dyspeptic or to one suffering from congestion of the liver, or from constipation. It is a very important exercise and stimulates all the parts so that they will receive more benefit from the following exercises.

When any particular part, such as the stomach or liver, is found a little tender or sore, special attention should be given to this spot.


Preserving primary conditions, turn the hips vigorously as far as possible one way and then the other.

This gives a vigorous twist through the centre of the body. It affects the stomach, liver and all the vital organs, and if the chest is kept expanded and a full breath is retained, it greatly affects the diaphragm and action of the respiratory muscles.

These movements may be taken also with dual and with quadruple rhythm. If done slowly and steadily, in true rhythm and sequence, they will accomplish surprising results, and bring about a deep harmony. If there is congestion the exercise should be performed twenty or twenty-five times.

This exercise frees the torso and makes it flexible. It strengthens the diaphragm and, obeying one of the fundamental laws, exercises the central muscles of the body.

Do not give sudden jerks or sudden collapses, but steadily, definitely and vigorously pivot the hip.

In many people, there are tendencies to congestion in the stomach, and in the neck and throat. This rotary action tends to remove these constrictions and to develop a certain flexibility in the whole torso.


Knead with both hands the whole throat and neck, moving every part and eliminating any soreness or stiffness.

The night gown should be unbuttoned and the breast bare. The fingers should be used and also the palm of the hand and the thumb so that every part of the neck and throat shall be set free.

In most persons spots will be found that have some tenderness or soreness, especially if there is any cold or sore throat, and these parts should receive careful attention and manipulation, which should be continued until the soreness is removed. Persevere until the whole throat feels perfectly free and relaxed. It is often the case that some gland is weak and can be strengthened by this massage.

This exercise and that of the manipulation of the stomach, as well as the exercises which follow, have a wonderful effect upon the voice.


Pivot the head as far as possible to the right and then as far as possible to the left.

This exercise is also best practiced in quadruple rhythm. The hands may be around the back of the neck. Knead deeply and remove any congestion.

The efficiency of this exercise may be increased by placing the hands on the neck so that at the moment of extreme pivot the hand may knead the parts. This action of the hand increases the effect and tends, in cases of congestion around the throat or ears, to give great assistance towards the elimination of all abnormal conditions. The other exercises for the manipulation of the throat tend to correct catarrhal conditions.


Observing all the conditions, lift the right foot, knee straight, as high as possible, then slowly release it, then lift the left in the same way.

The movement should also be done in quadruple rhythm. The lift should be slow, and there should be a decided staying of the activity, and then a very slow release; then complete rest.

The effect of this exercise is to accentuate further the idea of rhythm; that is, it requires alternate activity and passivity in sequence or a continuity of co-ordinations.

In performing this exercise almost an ache may be felt at the back of the legs, especially at the back of the knees. This is due to the fact that these muscles become too short in sitting and therefore need extension. This exercise gives extension to these muscles. Similar aches will always indicate a lack of extension and call for special help and practice of the opposing muscles.

Of course, it can be seen that whenever parts of the body, such as the knees, are kept bent, the muscles at the front of the limb will grow too long and those at the back of it, too short. Hence, when a man stands up there is a tendency to stand with the knee bent. Old men have a lack of firm backward spring in the knee. It is the aim of several of the exercises to cure this.


With the body well expanded, kept straight, breathing free and full, lift the hips bearing the weight upon the back of the shoulders and the heel.

This exercise needs to be practiced with quadruple rhythm slowly. It gives wonderful exercise to the central muscles and organs of the torso.


With the body well extended and all conditions sustained, lift both legs, knees straight, hold, slowly release, then completely rest.

This exercise is the best help that can be given for a hollow back. It also brings activity into all the abdominal muscles. It will strengthen the muscles concerned in the support of the voice. If the chest is kept well expanded and the lungs full of breath, the exercise will have a wonderful effect upon the diaphragm and the respiratory mechanism. It will strengthen and deepen the breathing and make it more central and reposeful.


Combine the last two exercises and give them in alternation. First, lift the body, then rest, then lift both feet, then the body, and so on.

This alternate movement will bring great relief. The muscles are more or less opposed; at any rate, the activity concerned in each exercise will receive a rest during the other action.

This, of course, uses rhythm as an aid. True, natural rhythm is always helpful and should be introduced whenever possible.


With the heels resting upon the bed carry the balls of the feet in the widest possible circle.

This exercise may be omitted, but it is very important for one who is lacking in freedom in the feet or who suffers from cold feet. It also brings into action the lower extremities and tends to further equalize the circulation.


Rest a moment and feel a sense of satisfaction and then smile and place both hands upon the face, covering it as far as possible and knead the muscles, so as to eliminate every constriction and allow the diffusion of the smile to go into every part.

Do not laugh at this exercise but observe the effect. This exercise, however, should be practiced in union with the smile.

Pay especial attention to any part of the face where there are constrictions or tendencies to constriction, and especially any part that may seem to droop.

Where there has been a good deal of suffering or whining, or both, certain parts of the face, especially the corners of the mouth, are turned downward. This habitual action causes the muscles that lift the corners of the mouth to become too long while the corresponding muscles that draw the mouth down become abnormally short. Kneading is, primarily, to give extension to the muscles that have become too short, and the laughter at the same time is to give exercise to the muscles that have become too extended or elongated.

All parts of the face will be brought into proportion. Crows' feet will be eliminated and the beauty and expression of the countenance greatly increased. Where there seems to be no muscle between the skin and bone, as sometimes in the forehead, there must be manipulation, exercise of the weak muscles.

In the case of the face we have to bring in so-called secondary motions. We have to use the hands in the way indicated to get any effect. Of course, the effect will be temporary unless the disposition is changed. The mental and emotional actions are always the primary cause, but frequently the condition of the muscles has become such that it will take a long time to effect a change. The exercises, accordingly, are a wonderful help.

If one-tenth of the power of this exercise to help the countenance were realized, it would not be neglected.

One of my students opened a room and secured quite a following in facial massage by using these exercises. Some cruder than this one were used, though good results were accomplished. This exercise, as here suggested, can be done by anyone alone. If people use it who have constricted countenances, they should carefully emphasize the smile. That has not been done and hence the best results have not been secured.

The faithful practice of such an exercise and especially the study of the significance of the smile and the practice of laughter, in union with other exercises for the stimulation of vitality, will work wonders in the expressive mobility and beauty of the countenance.

It is worth ten times all the cosmetics as a beautifier. It would banish "Beauty Parlors." It is not, however, for the restoration of beauty of the countenance, but to bring blood into parts that are not used. It has good effect upon catarrh, headaches and neuralgia.

While resting the larger muscles of the body these two important exercises may be introduced, or they may be introduced as the last of the first series, while lying on the back.


Placing the hands upon the head move the whole scalp freely and easily in all directions.

This is really the only effective remedy for imperfection at the roots of the hair, falling hair, or baldness. It will cause natural and rich growth of hair.

It is well, also, to pull the hair. One specialist gives this as the only remedy to prevent it from falling out. Not only will such exercises improve the hair by improving the circulation around the roots, but it will make the muscles of these parts more flexible.


Turn over, face downward, with the body well extended, bearing the weight upon the toes and the elbows, with the upper arm vertical, lift the hips and torso till the body is extended in a straight line.

Be sure that the upper arms are vertical and the fore-arms parallel with each other. Try to keep the body as straight as possible and get the sense of extension.

This may seem to be a severe exercise, but it is not dangerous. In fact, more than any other exercise it tends to correct abnormal conditions in the central portions of the body. It allows the vital organs to be suspended from another angle, rests them, and tends to restore all to normal conditions.

This exercise should be performed in quadruple rhythm, steadily, and slowly. Attention should be given to the complete rest at the climax. Practice it a few times at first until the strength is sufficient to repeat it many times.

It is an unusually important exercise in case of any constrictions. It strengthens also certain muscles of the torso which are apt to be neglected.

This making a bridge of the body, supporting it by the upper arms which should be vertical, and the feet which should also be vertical, has a great effect upon all the internal organs of the torso. It affects any sort of displacement and any kind of congestion. The exercises may be practiced slowly, rising and then staying the activity for a little while, and then allowing the body slowly to descend.

Take a good rest as the exercise is rather vigorous for some persons, especially those who have any weakness through the torso. Those whom the exercise taxes are they who especially need it. It should be repeated several times.


Pivot the head as far as possible to the right, and then lift it backward. Release and carry to the left, and lift it backward as far as possible.

This exercise tends to strengthen the muscles at the back of the neck. It helps the extension of the chest, and strengthens those muscles which hold the head erect.


Lift the head as far back as possible, then slowly draw the chin in lifting the back of the head high.

This exercise develops what sculptors call the royal muscle. This muscle is active, causes an erect head and gives a certain dignity to the carriage of the body and is usually associated with a properly expanded body.

Of course, it alone is not sufficient for a dignified carriage because there must be an expanded chest and the whole body must be normally erect. This muscle, however, plays an important part. It is at the summit of the line of gravity and affects not only the carriage of the head but has a sympathetic effect on the chest. When it is strong and vigorous it tends to make the whole body erect and to bring into sympathetic co-ordination all the muscles used in standing.


With the body well extended lift the right foot, knee straight, as far backward and upward as possible. Then release, and lift the left foot in the same way.

This exercise should be used alternately and given a good deal of activity. The heels may be extended or stretched downward as they are lifted. This will give greater extension to the muscles at the back of the leg.

This exercise causes extension of certain muscles which are kept short when sitting. It is also beneficial for the back.


Turn over to the left side. Vigorously rotate the right shoulder, carrying it in as wide a circle as possible.

This rotary action of the shoulders may be repeated several times in different positions of the body.

The exercise is important for the freeing of the whole torso. The shoulders of most people are rather weak. They should be strong and vigorous especially in brain workers because their action tends to affect the circulation of the blood toward the head. It has also an effect upon the summit of the lungs and certain regions which need freedom.

The rotary action of the shoulders may be given best when lying on the side. The action of the shoulders, however, should not be neglected as it brings a harmonious circulation in the region of the throat. The exercise tends also to affect the whole summit of the chest.

The active shoulder expresses animation and ardor in passion. A good strong shoulder is also an indication of vitality.

The circular and rotary action of the shoulders, the feet, and the hips, is best performed with triple rhythm,—first, upward and forward; second, backward; third, release. The release may be quick and firm.

Triple rhythm has a very sympathetic and stimulating effect. The run is more of a triple rhythm, while the walk is dual. All forms of rhythm, all of the metres should be introduced into the various exercises.


Turn over to the right side, and rotate the left shoulder in the same way.

Whenever an exercise is taken for one side it should also be given for the other unless there is special reason for remedying some condition of one-sidedness.

Exercises for the centre of the body should always be given the preference. There should be as far as possible a series of exercises.

Thus far, the exercises are all used lying down. They may be taken in bed but, of course, it would be better if the bed were firm and not too soft, not too yielding and as level as possible. The exercises would often be more helpful if taken on the hard floor.

It is better to sleep on a narrow cot as Cornaro did. This prevents our doubling up the body and contracting the vital organs. Everyone should lie down to sleep tall, or long, and as expanded as possible.

Another reason for sleeping on a cot is that there are no hindrances to lifting the arms behind the head in some of the first exercises. If we sleep on a bed, when we exercise, the body should be placed more or less across it so as to give more freedom to the arms, or the arms may be stretched out straight at the side although this is not so good.


Sit erect, as tall as possible. Expand the chest fully, carry the arms forward, then backward, gripping the hands almost under the shoulders, chest out as far as possible, taking a deep breath. Repeat this rhythmically many times, sustaining as far as possible the expansion of the chest.

It will be observed that there will come naturally a desire to sit up. It may be well before sitting up to turn on the back and rest a moment and feel the enjoyment of the actions that have been in the body. If the exercises have been properly practiced, there will be a sense of ease and satisfaction.


Sitting as erect as possible with actively expanded chest, pivot the shoulders and upper part of the torso as far as possible, first to the right and then to the left.

This exercise may be performed to advantage with quadruple rhythm.

This movement exercises almost the opposite muscles from Exercise No. 10. It also has the same beneficial results in the extension of the chest, the removal of constrictions or interferences with the diaphragm, and has a beneficial effect also upon the stomach and all the vital organs.

It is an important exercise for strengthening the muscles of breathing and deepening respiration. It should be repeated many times.


Stand, stretch arms upward as far as possible, then carry them in the widest possible circle. Relax the back and all parts of the body so that the fingers come to the floor or near it. Then return and carry the fingers as far back as possible.

This exercise brings extension into all the muscles of the back. Frequently, it is the best possible exercise to develop the chest since the extension of a muscle also stimulates its right contraction.

The elbows and knees should be kept as straight as possible in this exercise. The wide circle should be made not only in coming down but in going back forward and over backward.

This exercise causes great extension of the muscles. The muscles from the heel all up the back of the legs and even of the arms are affected. Then in getting back the muscles of all the body receive a similar extension.

This action is very helpful for the development of erectness of the body. It also causes alternation of the muscles and has a good effect upon the health.


Standing erect carry the hip out over the right foot, surrendering the whole body to the left side. Allow the weight to be carried out over the left foot, the left hip being widely extended.

This exercise tends to get freedom for muscles at the side and the hip so that the hip upon which the person stands will naturally sway out to the side, and the free hip will be surrendered, bringing the body very naturally into its spiral curves.


Standing erect, expand the chest in opposition to the balls of the feet, and allow the body slowly to be lifted seemingly from the summit of the chest upward. Allow it to return very slowly and steadily and to sink to the heels. Repeat many times.

This exercise should also be practiced upon each foot separately. It establishes right co-ordinations of the body in standing and helps in establishing accordant poise. All the muscles in the body which tend to bring the summit of the chest and the balls of the feet into right co-ordination are brought into sympathetic activity. It is really an important exercise for the development of a correct bearing and posture of the body.

In going upward, be sure that the chest reaches upward and that the body is lifted by a species of levitation.

Keep the body as straight as possible from the heel to the centre of the neck, preserving a sympathetic expansion of the chest at all times.

This exercise acts upon the whole body, tending to bring all parts into normal relationship.


Placing your hands against the sides of a narrow door way, allow your weight to come forward upon the hands, the knees straight. Take a full breath, then carry the body back by action of the arms.

This presses the shoulders back and causes expansion of the chest, and a deep breath should, of course, be taken. The exercise should be repeated many times.

This exercise, as well as all others, should be practiced where the air is pure.

Observe that this exercise can be made more severe by placing the feet farther back from the door so that the weight of the body will fall more upon the hands. In this case the hands may be lower. They should be placed slightly below the shoulders.


Lift the arms as high as possible and grasp a pole which has been placed so that it can barely be grasped on tiptoe, and let your weight rest upon the hands, and endeavor to touch the floor with the heels. One can easily have a pole placed upon hooks as high as possible inside a closet.

This exercise frees all the muscles of the back and carries the blood away from the head. It is an exercise especially recommended by Baron Posse for brain workers.

After the exercises take a sponge bath, or if preferred, rub the chest and throat vigorously with a rough cloth with cold water. Some people prefer an entire bath, but getting into very cold water often has a bad effect upon the circulation and breathing. The water should not be too cold at first until one becomes accustomed to the unusual stimulation. Rub till dry and warm. Injury may follow if there is not reaction.

This program may be lengthened or shortened to suit individual needs. Many exercises can be added by each one according to instinct. Some, for example, those turning to the side, except possibly the relaxing of the shoulders, may be shortened. The exercises may be lengthened also by practicing one a longer period of time, making repetitions of a hundred or more. They may be shortened, too, by giving each movement a shorter period.

Each student must study himself and adapt the exercises according to need. Feelings of enjoyment, however, are not a safe guide. We are so apt to let the dull and stupid feeling take possession in the morning and omit the exercises for the day. It takes resolution to perform them but in a few minutes the reward comes in a feeling of satisfaction and rest. The exercises are usually the best means of removing the feeling of dullness. That, indeed, is one of their chief aims. Co-ordinating the performance and the joyous attitude of man will soon cause the exercises to be developed into a habit and one will feel the need of them as much as he feels the need of food.

The exercises demand joy, expansion, extension, stretching, deep breathing, co-ordination of various parts and the specific accentuation of the movements and harmonious as well as rhythmic alternation.

In general, a person can arrange from this program, shorter ones of from five minutes to thirty, according to individual needs.

The principles underlying the exercises should be carefully considered. This will enable students to remember more easily and more correctly to practice the successive exercises.

Moreover, in the practice of the exercises, as has been said, the aim should be always kept in mind. Thus the simplest action may be turned into the most important exercise by being practiced in accordance with principles and for a specific aim.

To aid those who wish a shorter program, one that will not take over ten minutes, the following may serve as a helpful guide.

1. Combine all exercises from one to seven:—laugh, expand the chest, breathe deeply, co-ordinating the balls of the feet with the chest, and stretch. Emphasize all of these exercises. It may be wise to count say six specific, successive steps: 1, the expansion of the chest; 2, deep breathing; 3, laughter; 4, stretch; 5, gradual relaxation; 6, complete release.

One should be sure that each of these elements is practiced correctly. It is wise at first to individualize them until they are normal and then such a combination becomes efficient and may be in fact advisable as a step in progress.

2. Combine exercises nine and ten:—that is, knead the stomach in combination with the pivot of the hips.

3. Exercises eleven and twelve in a similar way combine the kneading of the neck and throat with the pivotal action of the head.

4. Sixteen may be practiced in a way to unite fourteen and fifteen.

5. Eighteen and nineteen may be practiced as one. The movements, however, should be separated and may be alternated by passing from the face to the head.

6. Exercise twenty, as many others, should always be practiced individually and separately.

7. Twenty may be combined, but not so well with eleven and twelve.

8. All the sitting exercises may be omitted or combined with the standing exercises taken before the exercises on the pole.



Since exercises are primarily mental it can be seen that it is not merely the movement but the mental and emotional attitude toward that movement, in short, the conditions of its practice, upon which the accomplishment of right results most depend. An exercise performed with a feeling of antagonism, gloom, or perfunctorily without thought, will not accomplish nearly as much as one practiced with sympathy and joy.

Only thinking and feeling will establish the co-ordinations. Mere perfunctory performance of an exercise or a mechanical use of the will may produce certain local effects, and in this way may actually do harm, while the same exercise practiced with a feeling of joy and exhilaration will bring into co-ordination various parts, and, in fact, affect the whole organism. Practice the exercises accordingly for the fun of the thing; laugh, feel a joyous exultation.

Joyous normal emotion acts expansively. The circulation is quickened and the vital organs are stimulated to normal action. Without the awakening or enjoyment of life the vital forces show little response.

If anyone will examine himself in a state of anger he will feel that it is the lower part of his nature that is dominating him. He can realize that his muscles and vital organs are constricted and cramped. Who has not felt a deep feeling of bitterness, almost of poison, after a fit of anger? Who has not felt a certain depression, at times even of sickness, after antagonism or giving up to despondency?

There is also a feeling above negative emotions of certain dormant possibilities, certain affections and a better nature in the background. In all true exercises this sub-conscious, better self should be the very centre of the endeavor.

So universally is true training and even the nature of an exercise misunderstood that it may be well to summarize a few points to secure intelligent practice.

1. Practice with your whole nature.

Do not regard the performance of movements as a mere matter of will. Expression requires a unity of the whole life of our being.

Regard an exercise as a means of bringing all your powers into life and unity. Let practice be a means of demonstrating your own abilities, spontaneous and deliberative activities to yourself.

2. Practice with an ideal in mind.

The accomplishment of an endeavor implies the reaching or attainment of an ideal. Practicing with no end in view accomplishes nothing. The goal must be an ideal.

There is a universal intuition in an ideal man. There is an intuition deep in ourselves of our higher possibilities. The feeling that better things are possible inspires all human endeavor. Movement merely for the sake of movement, mere haphazard practice, without an ideal, accomplishes but little. We want not only an instinctive ideal but we want one which is the result of thought and study.

3. Practice hopefully and joyfully.

That is to say, there should not only be thought and imagination in practice, there should be feeling,—a normal and ideal emotion. The realization of the possibility of attaining an ideal brings joy, hope, courage and confidence.

4. In every exercise feel a sympathetic expansion of the torso.

It is not only necessary to feel joy, we must express it, and the primary expression of joy is expansion.

Expansion is needed not only as one of the exercises; it is more than this. It is a conditional element of all exercise. From first to last, in every movement, feel also a certain expansion of the chest.

5. In every exercise feel exhilaration of the breathing.

Increase of the activity of breathing in direct co-ordination with expansion is a part of the expression, not only of joy but courage, resolution, endeavor and all normal emotions.

Taking a full breath is given as one of the exercises, but here again we have a condition for all exercises. This is the reason why we should give attention to exalted emotion. It will diffuse through the whole body causing expansion and also quickening all the vital functions.

Respiration is the central function of the body. All the vital operations depend upon it. Perfunctory exercises which do not stimulate breathing are useless and injurious.

6. Accentuate the extension of the muscles of the body in all exercises possible.

The kneading of the face helps the parts as well as being important in itself. If we rub the muscles while whining we tend to confirm the condition in the parts at the time. Thus we may develop whines and frowns. It is very important, therefore, that there should be a cheery smile on the face during the manipulation, if the looks are to be improved by the exercise.

In kneading the stomach and the diaphragm if we have a full chest, as in laughter, the manipulation will produce a far better effect upon the diaphragm than if we have little breath.

In practicing an exercise, therefore, it is not only necessary to study which part most needs development or which muscle is weak, but it is just as necessary to notice which muscles need extension.

7. Practice harmoniously.

We should exercise all parts of the body in a similar way. If we exercise, for example, the action of the feet it is well also to practice rotary action of the arms, or at any rate, of the head.

We should see to it that when we practice one part of the body the corresponding part of the body should be equally exercised. We should not give more exercise to one side or part, except when there are congested conditions. We should not give much more to the arms than to the legs unless we have to walk a great deal.

8. Practice in such a way that every movement affects the central parts of the body.

Hence the program takes first the expansion of the chest and breathing and chuckling, also the transverse action of the torso. We should be cautious about performing violent exercises with the arms, or even with the feet, without simultaneous expansion of the torso because this is a central action which is conditional to all proper action of the limbs. Contraction of the torso while working upon the limbs may draw vitality from the vital organs.

Gymnasts, as a class, die early because they are always performing feats. Other dangers are found in the gymnasium, such as practicing exercises perfunctorily, using quick jerks and too heavy and labored movements which affect only the heavy muscles. The absence of rhythm and co-ordination, the presence of too antagonistic movements, the desire to make a show, too much work upon the superficial muscles are also frequent faults.

Another reason for the beginning of the day's exercise with joy is the fact that the positive emotions affect a man in the centre of his body. They are all expressed by sympathy and right expansion of the torso. This is not only central in expression, it is also central in training.

The muscles affecting the more central organs should in every exercise in some sense cause co-ordinate actions in various parts. The expansive action of the chest is one of the chief exercises because it not only frees the vital organs but co-ordinates the normal actions of a man in standing and walking.

Observe that harmony demands that all parts be equally exercised, but unity demands that we begin our exercises at the center. The organic centrality of the whole body is of first importance.

We should not only feel expansion of the chest in all exercises, but we should begin with exercises for the torso rather than with exercises for the limbs. We want to reach the deepest vital organs as a part of all exercises.

Sometimes a man goes into a gymnasium and works for the muscles of the arm, for example, while the muscles of his chest and around his stomach and diaphragm are weak. In this case the central muscles may grow weaker. Exercises, not properly centred, will decrease harmony.

I have found many people with lack of support of the voice and weakness of the diaphragm and the muscles relating to the retention of breath, but I have found very strong muscles in the arms, while the muscles in the center of the body were surprisingly weak.

In following "external measurements" too much attention is often given to the muscles of the limbs that can be measured. It is easy to discover the fact that the lower limbs have more muscular development than the arms, but this is of little consequence compared with the weakness of internal and hidden muscles like the diaphragm.

It cannot be too often emphasized that an organism necessarily is one. The parts sympathize with each other, and the higher the organism the more is this true. The voice expresses the whole being and body, and it not only calls for great activity of the central muscles, such as the diaphragm, but every part of the body seems to share in voice conditions.

A human being with his legs cut off can never sing or speak as well as he could before he lost them.

9. As far as possible, always feel in all the muscles a sympathetic action with certain opposite parts that support or naturally co-operate with these.

Specific exercises must be directed to central and harmonious effects. For example, expanding the chest and extending the balls of the feet downward as far as possible co-ordinates the parts that are used in standing, though in a different way. It gives extension to the parts; and to extend muscles is often the best way to bring activity into them.

Formerly a horse was fed in a high trough in order to make him hold his head high, but no horse carries his head so high or has such a beautiful arch to the neck as the wild horse, that feeds on the ground.

Weak muscles may often be improved by giving them extension. This eliminates constrictions and brings more rhythm or balanced activity in opposition to other muscles or in union with them.

The co-ordination must be felt. When there are co-ordinations there will be a sense of satisfaction in the vital organs. The exercises will not weary. They will not be a strain or tax the strength. They accumulate vitality rather than waste it.

Co-ordination must especially be studied and used consciously and deliberatively with reference to the chest. In the start of every exercise there should be, as has been said before, something of an increase of activity in the chest and the breath.

10. Practice all exercises as rhythmically as possible.

Rhythm and co-ordination are the deepest lessons of life and are necessary to each other. Activity and passivity must alternate in proportion as far as possible in all exercise.

Observe also that the active exertion of an exercise should determine the amount of the reaction. We should go as slowly in the recoil or eccentric contraction as we do in the concentric contraction.

Nature is always rhythmic. Notice the beating of the heart, going on constantly for eighty or a hundred years. It acts and then re-acts. Observe, too, the rhythm of the peristaltic action of the stomach.

An exercise must obey this universal law of nature.

Jerks should never be permitted; but all be easy and gradual. Even the surrender of a movement should be gradual.

The eccentric action which results is more important in many cases than the concentric. For example, in the diaphragm we make voice by an eccentric action of the inspiratory muscles. We take breath by a concentric action of the diaphragm, we give out breath in making voice by eccentric contraction.

Rhythm, therefore, means primarily that there should be a rest after each exercise. If we feel very weary we should especially emphasize this rest. It is lack of this rest that causes strain and weariness and makes a person nervous. The normal effect of the exercises when practiced rhythmically, is to eliminate fatigue, correct nervousness and weakness.

Rhythmic movements accomplish ten times more than unrhythmic ones, even if unrhythmic movements do not produce unhealthy and abnormal results.

Observe that nature always responds to rhythm. The body will respond to rhythm. Let the exercise be taken vigorously and definitely. Let also the reactions or rests be equally definite and decided. Vigor should never lead to constrictions or to great labor.

If we lie on our back and stretch one side and then the other it is easier and we accomplish better results as a rule than we do by stretching both arms and feet simultaneously.

It is hard to explain the sympathetic union of co-ordination and rhythm. I have never found any explanation or even reference to this. Even Dalcroze, who has so many good ideas regarding rhythm, has not grasped the principles of co-ordination of different parts of the body and especially the relation of co-ordination to rhythm.

Awkward people lack both co-ordination and rhythm and the two are vitally connected. By establishing co-ordinations we begin to establish rhythm, and by establishing rhythm we help in the co-ordinations.

The principle of rhythm applies to all our human actions. We should walk rhythmically, and we should stand allowing all the rhythmic curves of the body to have their normal relationship. We shall always have the right rhythmic curves if we have the right centrality and co-ordinations.

One of the greatest effects of music is due to the rhythm. All movements, however, have a rhythm of their own.

11. Use in every exercise, as far as possible, all the primary actions of the muscles.

We can distinguish four actions of the muscles. First, active contraction, shortening of the muscles sometimes called concentric contraction; secondly, we can stay the tension of the muscles at a certain point. This is called static contraction. Third, we can allow the muscle gradually to release its contraction, that is, allow it to slowly lengthen. This is called eccentric contraction. Fourth, we can take the will entirely out of a muscle and allow its complete quiescence.

Rhythm demands the presence of all these actions; and also all these elements in proportion. And in the practice of all exercises it is well to accentuate all four of these elements by counting. In the stretch for the whole body, for example, we can extend the limbs slowly as far as possible, and there will be a contraction of the extensor muscles. Then we can stay the body when stretched to the fullest extent. Then we can gradually release the action of these muscles and then completely rest.

Some of the exercises can be practiced with dual movements, first with activity and then release, but by varying the climactic action for a moment and gradually releasing, that is, by giving these a quadruple rhythm, we can accomplish better results than in the dual.

In dual rhythm we are apt to collapse suddenly after a movement. In fact, it is harder to control the release of the contraction of the muscles than to control the gradual increase of their contraction. This is illustrated in the difficulty of retaining breath. Breath is normally retained by sustaining the activity of the diaphragm, that is, its eccentric contraction. However, the body needs occasionally the complete surrender of muscles, but this should not be too sudden or jerky. The gradual surrender brings greater control and the higher type of development.

When we use what are known as secondary movements, that is, when we use the hands to manipulate the stomach or when somebody else rubs us, we should restfully and completely give up the muscles and manipulate them or let them be manipulated in a state of rest.

At times it may be well to manipulate a muscle when at full tension. When there seems to be a tendency to great constriction it may be well to manipulate a muscle during both contraction and relaxation and to test its relaxation. Again if a muscle does not seem to act as far as possible the opposing one may be found too short and may be manipulated to allow greater extension.

12. Practice thoughtfully.

That is to say, study yourself. Observe your needs. For example, stand against some perfectly straight post or door, with the heels and back of the head against it. Where the back curves most, there will be room for the hand. Now where do you feel the most constriction? Give attention to such parts.

Even when lying on your back, by stretching the limbs and expanding the chest such wrong tendencies or faults in standing can be corrected. The chest can be set free when it is constricted. When it is carried too low you can directly separate the breast-bone from the spine. By sympathetic expansions of the torso and by manipulating with the hands the parts that are especially constricted, curvatures, even in the back, can be improved.

In all cases in practicing expansion we should be careful that there is no increase in the curvature of the spine. The back should remain normal, or become more nearly normal if we find any perversions.

A hollow back, as is well known, is more difficult to correct than a hollow chest, though both of them are abnormal. A hollow back can best be corrected by the lifting of the feet, and the extension of the muscles of the back. If the hand is placed under the back where there is the greatest curvature there will be felt a normal action upon this curve of the spine.

One point which has been discussed is whether training can affect the bones, or only the muscles. The whole body can be affected by training if the right methods are used. In correcting something like a hollow back, which has been of long duration, not only the balance of the muscles but the very articulations and ligaments and even bones may be affected by patient and persevering practice.

If there is congestion in the region of the throat, the pivotal action of the head is important, but the hands can be made to do a great deal of work also during the pivotal actions. Such manipulation is one of the best remedies for sore throat, and also for dizziness, unless the dizziness is caused by a wrong condition of the stomach or liver, in which case the pivotal actions of the torso should be vigorously performed, with kneading by the hands, of the abdomen.

If one limb is weaker than its mate it should be given more practice until balance is restored.

If there is any muscle weak in any part of the body, we should find an exercise to strengthen it harmoniously.

It can hardly be emphasized too often that the central muscles should be stronger than the surface muscles. Whenever we find, for example, a weak diaphragm, we should use a greater number of exercises for it and be careful not to give too much attention to the arm muscles.

It is not mere strength to lift a heavy weight that measures the degree of vitality or indicates length of life, but rather the harmony of all parts working together. The muscles connected with breathing should be stronger in proportion than the superficial muscles of the arms or lower limbs.

People who perform one particular movement a great deal, such as a blacksmith in hammering, should study and use exercises for the parts that are habitually neglected.

A little thought can correct every abnormal condition, even stiff joints and headache. By practicing patiently such tendencies may be practically eliminated.

13. Practice progressively.

Exercises are often taken intemperately. The student begins with enthusiasm, feels uncomfortable results from the extravagance, and then gives up the exercises.

Begin carefully. Patiently practice the movement at first ten or twenty times, counting four with each step and accentuating the stretches, each day increasing a little, and after a week or two the results will be surprising. Let there be regularity even in the increasing of the exercises.

We must take steps slowly, and gradually add others until we have the number which the normal condition of our system demands.

Study your own strength and the effects of the exercises upon you.

There are many ways by which an exercise may be made progressive. First, by gradually increasing the vigor of the movement. For example, lifting the feet from the bed, one foot may be lifted at a time, which is easier, or both may be lifted only a few inches at first. Second, the exercise may be performed more slowly and more vigorously. Third, by repeating the exercise a greater number of times. Fourth, by the addition of a greater number and variety of exercises.

Sometimes a person is lame from practice. This is usually due to the breaking of small, delicate fibres. These fibres may have grown together by monotony of movement and by extending them suddenly or violently they may have been wrenched apart too suddenly. Muscular fibres should move freely. They will do so if we practice gradually, but violent practice may strain unused muscles and thus cause soreness. In general, the actions of muscles should be as varied as possible, but should be easily, progressively developed. Every successive day, exercises should receive a little more vigor until normal conditions are established.

Some kinds of exercises may be omitted at first. We may leave out all the exercises sitting or those lying on the side. A few of the standing exercises may also be omitted.

You will be tempted, however, to omit too much as a rule and then some special day to practice too many. Even if you do get a little sore or lame or feel a little as if you had overdone it is better than under-doing, and nature will soon correct the abnormal condition. The next time you practice the exercise you can eliminate the bad effects of your former practice.

In all cases of sickness, or weakness from any cause, special care must be given to gentle stretches and manipulation. The movements should be slow and steady. Do not leave yourself in a state of pain but of enjoyment.

Remember that growth in nature is slow. The stronger the organism, like the oak, the slower the growth. A weed may grow almost in a night. Be patient, therefore, do not worry,—be persevering and regular in all the habits of life.

Some constitutions need more exercise than others. Those who are growing fleshy need quick, vigorous exercises, while those who are growing thin and emaciated need slow, steady ones, as do those who are nervous.

14. Establish periodicity.

All development in nature proceeds in a regular and continuous sequence. There are certain alternations and variations, but these take place at specific periods.

The organism will adapt itself to regular periods. Thus, if we take our meals regularly, we get hungry at the same time every day. We should go to bed at a regular hour; at that time the system demands rest and we become sleepy.

Parents are so anxious that their children have a good time that they frequently cultivate irregular habits and thus lay the foundation of future failure.

Health is greatly dependent upon regular hours for both work and recreation. Anything that interferes with periodicity in the human body interferes with vital functioning. Observe how regularly we breathe. There is a normal respiration, circulation, and beating of the heart which are practically the same for everyone. Any variation from these regular rhythms is serious.

This principle of periodicity applies to exercises as well as to anything else. Some men have the habit of going to a gymnasium once a week. They take the exercises one day and neglect them for several days, then try to make up for lost time. The exercises in such cases are not enjoyed. They will be performed mechanically, if not perfunctorily: at any rate, satisfactory results will not follow.

If we take exercises every day at about the same time, say upon waking in the morning and on going to bed at night, the system will come to long for them just as the stomach craves food.

Nature does not grow a little one day and then stop for a while; she does not grow a limb on one side and then another on the other side. All growth is continuous.

Of course, this continuity is rhythmic. There is a different action day and night, but this in itself is a form of periodicity. In the same way we have summer and winter. The tree feeds itself in summer and during the winter the life remains hidden at the root while the process of making the texture firm proceeds with rhythmic alternation.

All phases of life and growth are periodic. If, for any reason, there is an unusually severe winter the plants are killed. If there is a long period of drought vegetation dies. A certain normal amount of rain as of air, food, or soil is necessary to the growth of the plant.

One reason for practicing in the early morning is the fact that it will connect exercise with the natural habits of the individual. The time of waking up should be periodic and will be so if we retire regularly. The practice of exercises on first awakening or retiring will also tend to help the normal time and amount of sleep. If we take exercises on first waking, as suggested, we shall awake about the same time and with greater enjoyment.

The system will come to expand naturally; every cell will leap like a dog that prances with joy when it sees its master getting ready to go for a walk.

15. Practice regularly.

Not only should the time be regular, the amount of exercise also should be about the same each day. We should not give a half hour or an hour one day and neglect it entirely the next any more than we should eat one extraordinary meal and then go without anything to eat for two or three days.

The same is true also regarding the kind of exercise. It may be helpful to change some of the exercises, but we should have exercises for all parts of the body. If we substitute one exercise for another we should take care to exercise all the parts equally. We may change the kind of food, but the degree of sustenance it contains should not greatly vary.

16. Practice patiently.

Do not expect great results to come in a day, though you ought to feel some effect very quickly, yet it may take weeks, especially if there is any unusual weakness or abnormal condition. The slower and more varied the practice the better, other things being equal, because conditions are more important than the exercise and the normal adjustment of the various parts of the body is much more important than strengthening any local part.

17. Practice slowly but decidedly and vigorously.

The more slowly an exercise is practiced the deeper the effect. The lifting of the feet very slowly, for example, will have more effect upon the diaphragm than if done quickly. The holding of the chest high while lifting the feet slowly, causes wonderful action of the diaphragm and of the stomach and vital organs.

Slowness, however, does not mean hesitation, indifference, nor laziness. Mere lazy, indifferent practice will accomplish nothing. Let the movements be done slowly but decidedly and definitely.

One should be careful if there is any particular part that causes pain. We should bring in secondary or kneading movements, with the hands. If the action is thoughtfully directed to the right part, if it is truly rhythmic and sympathetic, abnormal conditions will be removed.

18. Exercise as well as sleep in the purest air possible.

Sleep with your windows open. Let the air circulate across your room though not across your bed. Let the air be as pure as that out of doors.

Perform your exercises in bed with your windows open and with but little covering. The vigorous exercises will bring greater warmth and you will feel the desire to throw off the blanket. Some of the exercises, of course, as lifting the legs, cannot be performed so well without removing the covering.

The method of practicing the exercises as well as the amount, number and character of them, depends greatly upon the health and the vitality of the individual, but there must be a continual advance in the vigor and the number of the exercises.



The benefit of exercises must be tested by the help they give to the actions of every-day life. The human body must perform certain movements which are continually necessary. These exercises enable us to do these movements with more grace and ease, with more pleasure to ourselves, with greater saving of strength and vitality, and in a way to give greater pleasure to others.


"Man is the only animal," says Sir William Turner, "with a vertical spine." The bird stands upon two feet but the spine is not vertical. Strictly speaking no animal stands erect except man.

The primary aim of all true exercise for the improvement of health and the prolonging of life must affect the erectness of the human body and the counterpoise curves of the spine. The axis of the spine must be vertical.

Nearly all the exercises from the very first tend to accomplish this result. The expansion of the chest, the pivotal flexing of the torso, the lifting of the feet, the stretching, the co-ordinate action between the summit of the chest and the balls of the feet, and the exercises in sitting and standing, all tend to establish this most important condition.

There must be activity at the summit of the chest. The head and the chest are the first to give up and sag. We can see that the skeleton has no bones below the breast bone to support it. The lower ribs are floating ribs and the other ribs have an angle downward. Everything is arranged with reference to the expansion of the chest. This is the central activity in standing properly.

We can see, as has been shown, that man is held up seemingly from above. Man comes into stable equilibrium only when the body is supported from the summit of the chest. Levitation opposes gravitation.

It will be observed that the first exercises concern the expansion of the chest and when the exercises are properly performed, this expansion of the chest is indirectly sustained through them all.

If we observe a person standing properly, we find that a line dropped through the centre of the ear will fall through the centre of the shoulder, the centre of the hip, and the centre of the arch of the foot. The things that cause bad positions are: the chest inactive, the hips sinking forward, the head hanging downward or lolling to the side, the body sinking to the heel, and weak knees; but all of these seem to be corrected when the chest is properly expanded and elevated.

To stand well, therefore, one should stand upright; the chest well expanded so as to bring all parts into co-ordination and establish a true centrality in the body. In a certain sense, there seems to be an axis of the body by which it rests easily upon one foot while the other leg and hip are perfectly free. The body is also perfectly free to pivot and to pass the weight to the other foot.

The recommendation to "stand tall" is more or less helpful, but there must be some qualification. Stand tall, but not with rigidity or stiffness. The body must be elastically and sympathetically tall, and also sympathetically expanded, man must stand as if held up from above rather than from below, expanded and elevated by feeling and thought rather than by mere will. The centrality, ease and harmony of the poise are of more importance than the tallness.

When one stands properly on one foot a spiral line from the top of the head to the foot is developed. The head inclines slightly toward the side that bears the weight, the torso slightly inclines in opposition and the active lower limb takes a slightly opposite inclination. This line which has been called the line of beauty is very common in nature. It is found all over the human body.

When the face is animated with joy and gentleness, such spiral curves appear in all directions. The presence of this line is an element of a beautiful face and of a graceful body.

The beneficial effects of such a poise are seen at once. The breathing is free. When a person stands in bad poise there is constriction of the respiratory muscles so that he is uneasy, he shifts from foot to foot. But when one stands in stable equilibrium, he stands restfully, easily and gracefully, and can move in any direction freely. His body also becomes expressive and acts under the dominion of feeling.


The character of a person's position in standing will determine the character of the walk. If one has learned to stand in stable equilibrium he will walk suggesting repose. If he stand in a discordant poise he will walk in a discordant chaotic way and will be continuously fighting to stand up.

When a person stands in an accordant poise the walk is a progression forward and a levitation upward rhythmically and freely, the spiral lines alternating with every step.

Every line of the body acts rhythmically. There is not only rhythmical alternation of the lower limbs and of the movements of the weight from foot to foot but all the lines of the body alternate rhythmically.

A good walk is the carrying out of a man's purpose. Accordingly there is an attraction forward and upward at the summit of the chest.

There are some abnormal walks where men seem to be drawn by the head, some walk as if drawn by the nose or chin, by the hips or by the knees or even the feet. The gravitation of the body forward toward the carrying out of one's purpose should be from the centre of gravitation and should be upward.

"Onward and upward, true to the line." Man in his very walking seems to be a progressive being. To climb a declivity, he seems to move forward and upward. In a bad walk a man seems drawn downward.

The poise of the body in standing and walking is most affected by this series of exercises. The co-ordination between the summit of the chest and the feet in rhythmic alternation, the simultaneous activity of the chest in all movements or exercises develop good positions in standing and natural actions of the body in walking.

The extensions especially when in alternation bring the body also into the normal spiral lines and tend also to extend the muscles especially at the side so that the shoulder does not seem to be drawn down toward the hip, but acts with the torso freely.

When exercises are practiced properly the whole bearing of the body will begin to improve.


Badly as people stand, they sit possibly worse. Most people sit in the most unhealthful as well as in the most ungraceful way. Generally there is a complete "slumping" of the chest, the spine is brought into a wide, single curve instead of its counterpoise curves.

All the exercises from the very first, have a bearing upon the establishment of the normal conditions of the spine. If the exercises are well practiced, especially the elevation and expansion of the chest, the spine is strengthened and its normally proportioned curves are established.

Bad positions in sitting are extremely common. Book-keepers, editors, seamstresses and children in school need careful attention. Special exercises should be given, such as the "harmonious expansion of the chest" in sitting and the use of the arms to develop the uprightness of the torso.

Bad positions in sitting are often due to a false sense of rest. Muscles not acting harmoniously tend to completely collapse. Many people sit without true rest, and are continually shifting their position in a vain search for rest.

What is rest? The chief rest comes through the alternation of activity and passivity, that is, through rhythm. Passivity alternating with activity brings rest to the human heart and is the best mode of rest. Rest also results from normal functioning. A person can sit or stand in true poise, giving freedom to breathing, and be able to rest much more truly than in an unnatural, abnormal, collapsed condition.

This can be well illustrated by the fact that when a person starts out to walk with the chest slumped, the head hung down and with all the vital organs cramped, he comes back more weary than rested.

In walking we should, as has been shown, keep the chest well expanded, the body elevated, co-ordinating all the normal relations of parts. If we walk in this way it tends to rest rather than to weary us.

Therefore stand sympathetically expanded and easily tall. Walk in the same way and sit in the same way. Let there be a certain exhilaration and a sense of satisfaction.


Dr. Lyman Beecher said that one should always assume a horizontal posture in the middle of the day. The heart, he said, had less difficult work to pump the blood horizontally than vertically.

Henry Ward Beecher attributed his power to do a great deal more work than ordinary men to this habit of his life of always resting in the middle of the day.

He justified his habit by quoting from his father, using even his father's antique pronunciation of "poster."

There is no doubt truth in this. To one very active and who performs a great deal of work it brings a variety of positions and greater rhythm. It rests the vital organs. It brings a harmonious repose and relation of parts.

Even in lying down, we find abnormal conditions. Some men cramp and constrict themselves. The chest is allowed to collapse and the whole body tends to be drawn together. Grief or any negative emotion of feeling or condition destructive to health tends to act in this way.

People, therefore, should lie down properly. They should lie down, as has been said, sympathetically and expansively long. They should directly manifest courage rather than shrinking, joy rather than sadness, with thankful animation rather than in a despairing state of mind. By the expression of joy and courage and peaceful repose and with a deep sense of the acceptance and realization of the good of life lying down will mean more. Express this in the body by normal position, by expansion, no matter what attitude the body may occupy. Man, whether he chooses or not, always expresses the state of his mind in the action of his body. And by cultivating the right mood and expressing the right feeling and so exercising the parts of his body as to express normally and more adequately that mood, men will develop not only health, strength and long life; but will also develop a nobler and stronger personality and more heroic and courageous endurance.

The exercises, accordingly, should be applied to the simplest movements of every-day life. They must not be taken as something separate from life, but as an essential part of it, as necessary to life as a smile is to the face.



"Blessed," says Carlyle, "is the man who has found his work. Let him seek no other blessing."

A man out of work is one of the saddest of all sights. There possibly is a sadder one, the man who has lost the power to play. The child in whom the spirit of play has been crushed out is saddest of all.

Work is natural. One who does not love to work is greatly to be pitied. Fortunately, such people are rare. When a man finds his work and becomes actively occupied with it he is happy. He, however, often overdoes it and the difficulty is not to work but to play.

Usually it is thought that there is antagonism between work and play. On the contrary, they are more alike than most people think.

According to William Morris, "Art is the spirit of play put into our work." The union of work and play is absolutely necessary to human nature.

By work we generally mean something that comes as a duty, something which we are compelled to do or something which we must do from necessity in order to win a livelihood.

Play is usually regarded as something that is pure enjoyment and spontaneous. A recent cartoon pictured a boy complaining because his mother had asked him to carry a small rug up to the top of the house, then portrayed the same boy, after a ten-mile trudge, climbing a steep hill with a load of golf sticks, the perspiration streaming down his face, saying, "This is fine!"

The same task may therefore be regarded as work or play according to the point of view. The difference is the degree of enjoyment, the attitude or feeling toward the thing to be done.

We can control our attention, we can look for interesting things in almost any effort. In either work or play we require a rhythmic alternation between enjoyment and resolute endeavor.

The principles advocated in this book and its companion, "The Smile," should prepare a man for the work and the play of life. Exercises taken at any time should serve as a remedy for the evil effects of hard work of any kind.

The exercises give the best preparation for work and because many of them are taken lying down they do not exhaust but accumulate energy. They also stimulate and develop a harmony and activity of man's whole being.

The shortest and best answer that can be made to the question "How to work" is, to work rhythmically. This is the way Nature works. There is action and reaction.

The law of rhythm, which has already been explained, must be obeyed in our every-day tasks. It applies to every step we take.

One of the best results of these exercises is that they develop a sense of rhythm.

There are many violations of rhythm. One is continuing along one line too long. Work can be so arranged as to be varied. We can work at one thing several hours and then we can deliberately drop it until the next day and take up some other phase of work.

Without rhythm, work becomes drudgery. A more specific violation of rhythm is a failure to relax and to use force only when needed.

The greatest effect of force comes through action and reaction. Sometimes a man uses unnecessary parts and uses them continually. That, of course, will cause weariness.

There are hundreds of questions regarding such discussions in as many books in our day. Mr. Nathaniel J. Fowler, Jr., in "The Boy," a careful book which is a treasure house of information, has gathered answers to leading questions from two hundred and eighty-three prominent men. Many of these, in fact, most of them, advise a boy, when he is not satisfied with his work and is pretty sure that he is not adapted to it, to change his occupation.

It is a difficult point upon which to give advice, but other things being equal, work should be enjoyed. When not enjoyed there should be a serious study of the man himself, a study of his attitude toward life, a study of his possibilities, a study of his opportunities, and also a study of what he is best fitted for, and an endeavor to find this.

It is surprising, however, how far men can adapt themselves, even change their very nature in accomplishing a work which is laid upon them as a duty. One of the greatest artists of New England took care of his brothers and sisters and his father's farm, at a crisis, and kept a little shed outside the house where he painted at odd moments. He had an avocation as well as a vocation. He gave up his trip to study in Europe as he wished to study; he did a vast amount of work which was regarded by many as drudgery, and he was compelled to study his art only at odd moments. Despite all this, George Fuller became one of the most illustrious and original of American artists. Today his pictures are in all the leading museums, and command a high price.

What is drudgery? Dr. James Freeman Clark defined it as "work without imagination." Anything can be made drudgery. A man can study art, or sing, paint pictures, edit newspapers, or write books and make his work drudgery. Drudgery is working perfunctorily. It is work without aspiration, work without an ideal.

No man can do anything well in life, without an ideal. If a man undertakes a certain work he must begin it by awakening and realizing the importance of that work in the world's life. He must form a definite ideal of the best possible way of doing that work and of its relation to the world.

In short, no man can accomplish anything in a negative, indifferent attitude toward his work. He must look upon it from the side of its importance, the side of its beauty, the side that is interesting to him, the side that shows its influence and helpfulness toward the world.

Play, to the little child—and also to the hard working man—is more serious than work. When work begins to be perfunctory, play is the only remedy. In such a case a man is in a dangerous rut and must adopt a new rhythm.

"All work, and no play, makes Jack," or any other donkey, "a dull boy."

The first principle of play must be to obey our higher impulses. To play means the ability to change our occupation. It means the ability to obey other impulses than perfunctory ones.

Some men regard play as something low. On the contrary, notwithstanding the "recapitulation" theory, play should be a new aspiration, a deeper assertion of freedom, a higher opportunity for suppressed energies.

To play, certain feelings and conceptions of our nature must be awakened. Play reveals character even more than work because it shows the latent impulses of the man. Therefore, if in college, in school, or in childhood, in playing with companions, the right associations are brought to bear, the right persons are received as mates, then the very sympathy and contact with others will cause higher aspirations, deeper enjoyments, more spontaneous endeavor, and renewal of life. Play is sub-conscious, it is giving way in some sense, to instinct; but it is deliberatively giving up. It implies enjoyment but it does not necessarily imply the gratification of low desire.

Something can be said in favor of athletics. A story is told of a gentleman who visited his nephew in a large private school. He went around the athletic field and asked the trainers about his relative. Then the uncle found the boy in his room, digging. He said, "What are you doing here? None of the trainers see anything of you. What is the trouble?" The student answered, "I have been sick and I have been working hard to catch up." "Get out of this," replied the uncle, "I went to preparatory school and to college to find friends, to get enjoyment, to learn how to play, to come in contact with men. That is the serious business of school and college."

There are some who consider this the very worst of heresies. I used to think so myself; but contact with students in colleges and universities has enabled me at least to see the point of view of this gentleman. Many times I have met men who were not getting the most out of their college or university course though you could not tell that from their scholarship or so-called "standing." They lacked the spirit of enjoyment, the power of initiative. They lacked the power of sympathetic touch with other men that makes greatly for success in life.

To my mind there are some games which bring no sympathetic touch among men. Mere games are not always worthy of the name of play. They become drudgery, and they cause certain constrictions. They fetter the whole life. They call for perfect silence, call for the exercise of great mechanical skill. Frequently we find men playing games which are analogous, if not identical, with their work. Games should be different from work. They should bring sympathetic enjoyment. They should bring exultation.

A noted physiologist sent by his government to examine into the physical training of other countries visited a leading school in England and found the pupils one morning, during the best hours of the day, at play. Approaching one of the boys, he asked for the principal, and was conducted very politely to the master. The visitor was greatly impressed by the boys. He asked the principal why it was that his boys were playing during the best part of the day. "Ah," said the principal, "that is part of our method. We want the best time in the day to be devoted to their outdoor exercises and sports. We take the utmost care that the boys shall come into the most sympathetic spirit with each other, and anything that happens wrong on the playground is to us fully as serious as what happens in their studies."

There is a universal conception that play is not serious. Children are allowed to do just as they please. This is a mistake. Froebel has taught the true spirit and importance of play. Some people consider his explanations as being purely speculative, if not insane; but the great majority of those who have really studied child life agree with him.

It is important what games the child is given. The play must be enjoyed. It should awaken creative energy. It should appeal to the imagination and feelings and not be a purely mechanical exercise of will. It is absolutely necessary for the unfoldment of character that the child come into touch with other minds, and also into contact with things.

Someone has summed up the whole principle in a sentence: "Bring such objects before the child as will stimulate spontaneous activity." The objects may be animals, birds, leaves, flowers, balls, sticks, anything which can awaken human faculties or be turned into a tool.

Arts are given us rather for avocations, for our enjoyment, as a test of our ability to appreciate the different points of view. Each art, as I have often tried to say, expresses something that no other art can say, and he is a cultivated human being who can read all the arts and enjoy them. The aim of art is to guide our energies in higher directions, and to stimulate our ideals. Art develops attention and trains us to become interested in a great variety of directions.

As a proof of this observe the great beauty of nature. We are stirred to go out of doors, to go into the woods and note the beautiful scene and the music of the pines that calls us. Nature everywhere seems at play, seems to invite men to come out into her unlimited playground, the playground of universal principles and fullness of life.

The poet, Schiller, explained all art as being derived from the play instinct. It has been said that play is the overflow of life. Life, love, joy, all noble ideals, must awaken spontaneity or they will not grow. All parts of man's nature must have expression and not be repressed. Play is given to stimulate and to express the spontaneous in us, to manifest emotion and imagination and a sense of freedom. Freedom is a necessity of all unfoldment. Even the flower must bloom spontaneously from the energy within. The sun that calls forth the leaves on all the trees does so by warming the roots in the tree and bringing the gentle south winds which fan the waving branches into activity and cause the unfolding buds to be filled with spontaneous life.

The whole world is full of joy and love. It is human ambition and jealousies that bring the hindrances.

The rhythmic alternation and the necessary relation of work and play to each other can be seen in the very constitution of man. Play alone may develop obedience to lower impulses; while work alone tends to repress the higher aspirations and spontaneous energies.

Even a man's health and strength as well as success depend upon the rhythmic alternation of work and play.

While reading over the copy for this book for the last time, when in that agonizing state which some writers know, undecided whether to throw it into the fire or send it to the printers, I read at the suggestion of a friend, Eleanor H. Porter's little book, "Pollyanna." That simple, wholesome story has given me courage. The fundamental lesson in it is that we should find always something about which to be glad, no matter how severe the trial or how disappointing the event.

Goethe gave as rules for a life of culture:—"Every day see some beautiful picture, hear some beautiful piece of music, read some beautiful poem." These might develop culture in a narrow sense, but to broaden and deepen our lives we need every day to see something beautiful in nature, and in the lives and characters of our fellow beings.

Dr. Howard Crosby once remarked that by giving ten minutes to the telegrams of the newspapers any man should be able to keep in touch with the life of mankind.

The Boy Scouts and the Campfire Girls are emphasizing some important phases of education and life which have been too often overlooked.

One of the Boy Scout rules implies that every day a boy should perform some kindly act for others.

The importance of a boy's stepping up to an elderly lady looking for an electric car and giving her assistance, or carrying a lot of bundles for someone cannot be too highly emphasized. These boys take no "tips." They are trained to serve for the sake of the serving. These suggestions and services awaken the higher nature of the boy or girl. Such movements should be universally supported.

One of the most important helps to the boys should not be overlooked. In offering their services they are led to express their best selves. It is important that they should learn to approach strangers with polite confidence and courage when offering assistance.

I gave my seat once to a woman in a street car and at first I felt a little resentful because not by look or word did she express gratitude. As I glanced at the woman, however, I saw that she really desired to thank me but was embarrassed. She did not know how to do so. How few are taught the languages!

If the Boy Scouts and the Campfire Girls do nothing else than to learn to express their willingness to serve they have made a wonderful gain for active, useful and successful lives.

Of course, the primary aim is the good deed, but are not the kind tone, word and polite bow fully as necessary? Are they not the entering wedge and do they not appeal to the higher nature in the same way that the thought of being of service inspires the boy or girl?

While doing is the great thing, yet it is necessary to say in union with doing. There is really no antagonism between expression in kind looks, tones or words, and acts. They are inseparably connected.

These same principles apply also to the Campfire Girls. They must not only be trained to do things but trained to realize their own personalities and to draw out the best in others. Then the actions will begin to be more expressive of the real personality of the boy or the girl and the seeing, doing and becoming will form an organic unity. Someone has said that the great law of education is, first, to know; second, to do; third, to become. The doing implies not only action, but expression. Certainly we do not become what we know till we do or express through word, tone and action.

The most successful men in the world have certain principles to guide their every-day life. If we could only smile instead of frown, when people criticize or condemn us, how much more successful would be our lives!

Every day we can discover something interesting in our fellow-men.

We can learn to listen.

We should work when we work and play when we play. We should not play in a half-hearted way worrying about our work; and when we work we should do so with all our might.

We ought to have regular periods of rest; we ought to avoid unpleasant topics in conversation. Everyone should have a vocation as well as an avocation.

May we not summarize all these suggestions into a few statements which will enable us to co-ordinate work and play, and aid us in our daily lives to obey the principles that should govern us from our first waking moments? Every Day:

1. Smile when tempted to frown; look for and enjoy the best around you.

2. See, hear or read, that is, receive an impression from something beautiful in nature, art, music, poetry, literature or your fellow-men.

3. Think, feel or realize something in the direction of your ideals and in some way unite your dreams with your every-day work and play.

4. Express the best that is in you and awaken others to express the best in them.

5. Serve some fellow-being by listening, by kind word or deed.

6. Share in some of the great movements of the race.

All these refer to an important point—that we should be teachable and should receive right impressions. This is of primary importance. Breathing means the taking of breath. We should begin the day with joyous and glad acceptance of life and all that it brings. A spirit of thankfulness and acceptance is the true spirit of life.

We, however, need active expression. As breathing implies not only taking breath but giving it out, so impression and expression are necessary elements of the rhythm of life.

Hence even these six things are incomplete. We should also exercise our higher faculties and powers, especially those we are not habitually using in our work. Our whole nature should be active if we are truly to live. Our higher faculties should not be regarded as concerned only in mere dreaming. Our ideals should be connected with our daily work and contact with mankind if we are to cease drudging or working without imagination. Accordingly by word, thought or act, we should express every day the best that is in us. Moreover, fully as important as these, we should every day come into sympathetic touch with our fellow-beings and call forth the best in them.

Expression implies a neighbor,—some other being with whom we can communicate. Do not think for a moment that such expression is empty. Of course, we must go on and endeavor every day to serve someone by a kind act, but a kind word must not be despised. How many hearts are over burdened because they lack a sympathetic listener! To be a polite listener is one of the beautiful things in human life. Remember, also, that many who have seen an opportunity and desired to do a kind act have failed from inability to express the wish by word, smile or bow.

Expression is not separate from impression. We must receive our impressions from every source, then we must express to others the best that is in us and become such sympathetic listeners that others will unfold the best in themselves and thus come into that plane where we can sympathetically participate in the lives of others.



Anyone who wishes for improvement in health, strength, grace, ease, or vitality, or, in fact, in anything, must realize especially the significance of the law of rhythm.

Rhythm is a law of the whole universe. The music of the spheres is no fable. Observe, too, the rhythm of the seasons. Everywhere there is a co-ordination of the finite and the infinite, the individual and the universal,—a unity of forces acting in a sequence of natural co-ordinations.

Of all the illustrations of rhythm one of the most important is the alternation of day and night. Every plant awakes and rejoices with the sun and it recognizes the sunset and goes to sleep as the darkness comes. The few exceptions only prove the rule, and even these simply reverse day and night and are equally rhythmic.

The value of day and night to man is well known. When there is a continuous work to be done it has been proven scientifically that those who work at night cannot accomplish so much as those who work by day. The very same man cannot do the same amount and grade of work in a night that he can do in a day.

The human system is built up by various rhythms like that of day and night. There is a natural call for rest, for recuperation and the surrendering of all our voluntary energies that the spontaneous activities may have their turn.

The Psalmist, after he has gone all over the beauties of the world exclaims, "Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening." Here he pauses, for the beauties of the evening seem to awe him for a moment into silence, and then he breaks forth into a universal paean of praise: "O, Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all."

Night is a part of the normal rhythm of nature. Every plant and every bird welcomes night as well as morning.

Serious and abnormal, indeed, is the state of one who cannot sleep. Next to the importance of a right awakening in the morning is the peaceful, restful retirement at night.

Edison boasts of how little sleep he needs, and claims that sometime man will cease to sleep. He says that sleep is only a habit.

As a matter of fact, by working rhythmically through all the hours of the day, by obeying the law of rhythm at all times, a man may possibly need less sleep, but the repose of unconsciousness seems a part of the Creator's economy.

"He giveth His beloved sleep."

By living in obedience to the law of rhythm and especially by taking some rhythmic exercises before lying down, we can sleep better.

Almost innumerable are the suggestions, rules, or recipes on how to go to sleep.

One says, "Keep counting until you fall asleep."

Another says, "Watch a flock of sheep jumping over a fence, counting each one as it jumps."

A third says, "Watch a bird sailing around in the sky. Keep the mind upon it and watch it as it steadily sails until you are asleep."

Someone says, "Repeat the Twenty-third Psalm over and over, the more rhythmic, the better."

Another says, "Think of the sky. Keep the mind upon its expanse."

Still another, "Think of the Infinite and Eternal Source of the universe."

Among all these suggestions we can find some truth. Nearly all of them imply concentration of the mind. If attention can be focused and held at a point, the excited activity of thinking may be stopped and the body consequently brought into a state of acquiescence. They succeed, if they do succeed, because attention is turned from worries to something besides the antagonism, excitements and duties of the day.

Another element in the suggestions is their regularity. Watching the sheep jump over a fence and counting one at a time, for example, affects the breathing and all the vital forces of the body. This causes rhythmic co-ordination of all the elements and the unity of this will, of course, bring sleep. The sense of harmony and rhythm and self-control should be gained; all antagonistic, chaotic and exciting thoughts and all worry should be eliminated as far as possible before lying down. When we lie down, we should turn our attention away from the excitements of the world to something calm and reposeful.

Accordingly there is nothing better than to repeat some of the exercises of the morning. These stretchings, practiced slowly and rhythmically, will equalize the circulation, the taking of deep breaths, very rhythmically, will tend to restore respiratory action and the other exercises will tend to eliminate constriction from local parts.

Observe the necessity once more of harmonious thought and positive emotion, for here again there will be a temptation to dwell upon the failures of the day. It is so hard to forget some unkind word, some failure on our part to grasp a situation at the right time. We can easily remember the wrong word we ourselves spoke and deeply regret our failure to enter into sympathetic touch with someone.

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