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The Hindu Yogi Science of Breath
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Life is absolutely dependent upon the act of breathing. "Breath is Life."Differ as they may upon details of theory and terminology, the Oriental and the Occidental agree upon these fundamental principles.
To breathe is to live, and without breath there is no life. Not only are the higher animals dependent upon breath for life and health, but even the lower forms of animal life must breathe to live, and plant life is likewise dependent upon the air for continued existence.
The infant draws in a long, deep breath, retains it for a moment to extract from it its life-giving properties, and then exhales it in a long wail, and lo! its life upon earth has begun. The old man gives a faint gasp, ceases to breathe, and life is over. From the first faint breath of the infant to the last gasp of the dying man, it is one long story of continued breathing. Life is but a series of breaths.
Breathing may be considered the most important of all of the functions of the body, for, indeed, all the other functions...
Yogi Ramacharaka was the pseudonym of William Walker Atkinson, an American writer who was influential in turn-of-the-century (1890s-1900s) spiritual and philosophical movements such as 'New Thought' (a precursor to today's New Age movement) and Theosophy. Atkinson, writing as Ramacharaka, helped to popularize Eastern concepts in America, with Yoga and a broadly-interpreted Hinduism being particular areas of focus. Ramacharaka's Advanced Course in Yoga Philosophy and Oriental Occultism remains widely respected as an excellent primer for the Western layman, despite the fact that it reached 100 years old in 2004 and is understandably dated in some respects. There are a number of other Ramacharaka works, in addition to several popular books written by Atkinson under his own name. Many of Atkinson's works sold well at the time of their publication, although he has not been favored with significant historical recognition.
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