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GENERAL BACKGROUND The stretching exercises prescribed in this health program are a blend of Yoga and Chinese martial arts exercises and techniques. Each exercise comprises a short series of movements to be executed in a slow, smooth and well-coordinated manner. Strong emphasis is placed on proper breathing techniques – deep rhythmic breathing – to achieve maximum benefits. Participants are taught to do the exercises according to their individual needs and physical condition. They also learn to listen to their body and do the exercises to their optimum capability. To stay focused is the key. In addition, participants are essentially taught to stretch the right way - in a relaxed and sustained manner, with total attention focused on the muscles being stretched. Conversely, the incorrect way of stretching such as bouncing up and down or stretching to the point of pain can actually do more harm than good. Hence, it is very important to listen to one’s body and adapt accordingly while doing these exercises. BENEFITS OF STRETCHING Stretching exercises should be part of our daily routine because stretching relaxes the mind, tones the muscles and body. Regular and consistent stretching provides the following benefits. Reduces muscle tension and relaxes the body. Improves body coordination by enhancing free and easier movement. Increases range of body motion, improves body reflexes. Prevents potential injuries especially when one is engaged in strenuous physical activities. Calms the mind. Improves blood circulation, energizes or revitalizes the body. PREREQUISITES OF A GOOD STANCE There are eight basic but important points to observe in a good stance. They are: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, with the feet parallel or slightly toed-in (about one inch). Straighten the buttock by tucking it in. Straighten the back and spinal chord. Straighten the neck and head. Lower and tuck in the chin. Keep the shoulder squared and relaxed. Relax the arm. Relax the forearm. When the correct posture is assumed, one is  said to be standing in a “Yong Chuan Ma” posture.  One should feel completely relaxed, no muscle tension. BASIC BREATHING EXERCISES There are two basic breathing exercises employed. They are done consecutively, one after another, as one complete sequence or set. 1. Pierce the sky and stretch it wide open with both palms. 2. Embrace the sky and pull it towards you with both palms. Some points worth noting are: 1. When one inhales, expand the stomach. 2. When one exhales, compress the stomach and tighten up the buttock. 3. Inhalation and exhalation are done through the nose in a slow and smooth-flowing manner rhythmic breathing. Initially inhalation and exhalation are done to a count of four. As one progress, try to do the exhalation to a count of six. EIGHT BASIC STRETCHING EXERCISES Eight basic stretching exercises are taught in this program. They are: 1. Neck Rotation 2. Shoulder Rotation 3. Waist Rotation 4. Crescent 5. Sit-up on the Squat. (Luohan Squat) 6. Half Bend 7. Full Bend 8. Full Bend plus Forty-Five Degree S The above exercises are done with the two feet either together or shoulder width apart. Participants are encouraged to use the method that is more comfortable.  Nonetheless, the exercises must be done slowly with one’s focus on the breathing and the stretched muscles. The following are supplementary exercises which the participant may wish to learn as a natural progression from the basic exercises. 1. Bow and Arrow Stance and its variations. 2. Dragon Stance and its variations. 3. Stretch Up and Down to Right and Left 4. Dun-Tuo (concentrate on the breathing from the Dan-tien) 5. White Crane Spreads its Wings 6. Triangle 7. Sanzhan 8. “Lady  of Beauty Sees Mirror” and Basic Tai Chi Movements 9. Liew Lan Fei 10. Tui Shou & Kong Shou 11. Rowing Boat Technique and its variations 12. Fong Yang Swing or Dragon Claw Swing GROUND WORK Some ground work exercises involving: Stretching of left and right legs on support pole. Stretching sitting on ground with both legs open – left, right, and front. Right leg over left leg and bend waist to right; left leg over right leg and bend waist to left. Cobra. Dog. Sit-up and its variations. Push-up and its variations.

GENERAL  "Tailored"   EXERCISES  FOR  HEALTH

Principal Instructor : Tim Chan See Meng

Caution: Please consult your doctor before embarking on any exercise               regime.