a Body fit to manifest Beauty
have said that from a young age children should be
taught to respect good health, physical strength and
balance. The great importance of beauty must also
be emphasised. A young child should aspire for beauty,
not for the sake of pleasing others or winning their
admiration, but for the love of beauty itself; for
beauty is the ideal which all physical life must realise.
Every human being has the possibility of establishing
harmony among the different parts of his body and
in the various movements of the body in action. Every
human body that undergoes a rational method of culture
from the very beginning of its existence can realise
its own harmony and thus become fit to manifest beauty....
far I have referred only to the education to be given
to children; for a good many bodily defects can be
rectified and many malformations avoided by an enlightened
physical education given at the proper time. But if
for any reason this physical education has not been
given during childhood or even in youth, it can begin
at any age and be pursued throughout life. But the
later one begins, the more one must be prepared to
meet bad habits that have to be corrected, rigidities
to be made supple, malformations to be rectified.
this preparatory work will require much patience and
perseverance before one can start on a constructive
programme for the harmonisation of the form and its
movements. But if you keep alive within you the ideal
of beauty that is to be realised, sooner or later
you are sure to reach the goal you have set yourself.
education of the body, if it is to be effective, must
be rigorous and detailed, far-sighted and methodical.
This will be translated into habits; the body is a
being of habits. But these habits should be controlled
and disciplined, while remaining flexible enough to
adapt themselves to circum- stances and to the needs
of the growth and development of the being.
All education of the body should begin at birth and
continue throughout life. It is never too soon to
begin nor too late to continue.
Physical education has three principal aspects: (1)
control and discipline of the functioning of the body,
(2) an integral, methodical and harmonious development
of all the parts and movements of the body and (3)
correction of any defects and deformities. It may
be said that from the very first days, even the first
hours of his life, the child should undergo the first
part of this programme as far as food, sleep, evacuation,
etc. are concerned. If the child, from the very beginning
of his existence, learns good habits, it will save
him a good deal of trouble and inconvenience for the
rest of his life; and besides, those who have the
responsibility of caring for him during his first
years will find their task very much easier. Naturally,
this education, if it is to be rational, enlightened
and effective, must be based upon a minimum knowledge
of the human body, of its structure and its functioning.
As the child develops, he must gradually be taught
to observe the functioning of his internal organs
so that he may control them more and more, and see
that this functioning remains normal and harmonious.
As for positions, postures and movements, bad habits
are formed very early and very rapidly, and these
may have disastrous consequences for his whole life.
Those who take the question of physical education
seriously and wish to give their children the best
conditions for normal development will easily find
the necessary indications and instructions. The subject
is being more and more thoroughly studied, and many
books have appeared and are still appearing which
give all the information and guidance needed.
(Ibid. Vol.12, pp. 16-17)