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3rd Ray

Calisthenics are "gymnastic exercises to achieve fitness and grace of movement." The word calisthenics comes from the ancient Greek words kállos (κάλλος), meaning "beauty," and sthenos (σθένος), meaning "strength." It is the art of using one's body weight as resistance to develop muscles.

The practice was recorded as being used in ancient Greece, including by the armies of Alexander the Great and the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae. Calisthenics were also recorded to have been used in ancient China. Along with dietary practices, Han dynasty physicians prescribed calisthenics as one of the methods for maintaining health.

The modern form of yoga uses asanas in a similar way. Both calisthenics and yoga involve using one's body weight to build strength, flexibility, and balance. Calisthenics focuses on dynamic, high-intensity movements to enhance muscular strength and endurance, often incorporating exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and squats.

Yoga, on the other hand, incorporates a series of postures (asanas) designed to improve flexibility, balance, and mental focus while also strengthening the body. Modern yoga practices, such as Vinyasa and Hatha, include sequences that flow from one pose to another, creating a harmonious blend of movement and breath control.

The Egyptian yoga we practice is closely associated with calisthenics, as we always work with harmony and balance while strengthening our bodies. Like traditional calisthenics, Egyptian yoga emphasizes the importance of bodyweight exercises to develop physical strength. However, it also integrates elements of mindfulness and breath control, fostering a holistic approach to fitness that nurtures both the body and mind.

By combining the principles of calisthenics with the fluid movements and meditative aspects of yoga, practitioners can achieve a well-rounded physical and mental workout, promoting overall health and well-being.

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