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The Science of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka, 1904
Life is absolutely dependent upon the act of breathing. To breathe is to live, and without breath there is no life. Not only are the higher forms of life dependent upon breath for life and health, but even lower forms must breath to live, and plant life is likewise dependent upon the air for continued existence.
A new born baby 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 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 depend upon it. We can exist some time without eating; a shorter time without drinking; but without breathing our existence is measured by a few minutes. And, not only is Man dependent upon breath for life, but he is largely dependent upon correct habits of breathing for continued vitality and freedom from disease.
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