CHAPTER VI- NOSTRIL vs MOUTH-BREATHING
………….One of the first lessons in The Yogi Science Of Breath, IS to learn how to breathe through The Nostrils, and to over-come the common practice of Mouth-Breathing.
………….The breathing mechanism of Man IS so-con’structed that He may breathe either through The Mouth or Nasal passages, but it IS a matter of Vital im’pORtance to Him which method He follows – as one brings Health and Strength, and the other – Dis-ease and Weak-ness.
………….It should not-Be necessary to state to The Student that the pro’per method of breathing IS to take The Breath through The Nostrils. But alas! The ignor-ance among “civilized” people re’garding this simple matter IS a’stounding. We find people, in All walks-of-Life, habitually breathing through Their Mouths, and allowing Their Children to follow Their horrible and dis-gusting example.
………….Many of the dis-eases to-which “civilized” Man IS sub’ject, Are un-doubtedly caused by this common habit of Mouth-Breathing. Children per’mitted to breathe in this way, grow-up with im’paired Vitality and weakened con’stitutions. And-thus, in Man-hood and Wo’Man-hood, break-down and Be’come chronic invalids. The Mother of The Savage Race does better – Be’ing evidently guided by Her intuition. She seems to in’stinctively re-cognize that The Nostrils Are the pro’per channels for the delivery of Air to The Lungs. And-thus, She trains Her infant to close It’s little lips and breathe through The Nose. She tips It’s Head for’ward when It IS a’sleep – which causes the Child to closes It’s Lips, making Nostril-Breathing imperative. If Our “civilized” Mothers were to a’dopt the same plan, it would wORk a Great Benefit for The Race.
………….Many contagious dis-eases Are con’tracted by the dis-gusting habit of Mouth-Breathing. And many cases of Cold and Catarrhal affections Are also attributable to the same cause. Many per’sons Who – for the sake of appearances – keep Their Mouth closed during The Day, persist in Mouth-Breathing at night – and often con’tract dis-ease in this way. Carefully con’ducted scientific ex’peri’ments have shown that Soldiers and Sailors Who sleep with Their mouths open Are much mOre-liable to con’tract contagious dis-eases than Those Who breathe pro’perly, through The Nostrils. An instance IS re’lated, in-which, smallpox Be’came epidemic on a “Man-Of-War” (a type of sailing ship used be’tween the 16th to 19th century) in foreign parts, and every death which re’sulted was that of some Sailor or Marine Who was happened to-Be a Mouth-Breather… Not a single Nostril-Breather ever succumbed to the dis-ease.
………….The ORgans Of Respiration have their only protective Apparatus, Filter, or Dust-Catcher, in The Nostrils. When The Breath IS taken through The Mouth, there IS no Thing, from Mouth to Lungs, to strain The Air – or to catch The Dust and other foreign matter in The Air. From Mouth to Lungs, the dirt or im’Pure sub’stance has a clear track – and the en’tire re’spiratory system IS un-protected. And, mORe-over, such in’correct breathing ad’mits cold Air to The ORgans, there-by injuring them. In’flammation of The Respiratory ORgans, often, re’sults-from the in’halation of cold Air through The Mouth. The Man Who breathes through The Mouth at night, al’ways a’wakens with a parched feeling in The Mouth and a dryness in The Throat. He IS violating One of Nature’s Laws, and IS sowing the seeds of dis-ease.
………….Once-mORe, re-member that The Mouth affords no pro’tection to The Respiratory ORgans – and cold Air, dust, im’Purities, and germs – readily, enter by that door. On-the-other-hand, The Nostrils and Nasal Passages show evidence of the careful design of Nature in-this-re’spect. The Nostrils Are two narrow, tortuous channels, con’taining numerous bristly hairs which act as a “Filter” or “Sieve” – to strain The Air of it’s im’Purities, and other matter, which Are then ex’pelled when The Breath IS ex’haled. Not-only do the nostrils serve this im’pORtant pur’pose – but they also per’fORm an im’pORtant function in warming The Air in’haled. The long narrow winding nostrils Are filled with warm mucous membranes, which warm the in’haled Air when It comes in-contact-with Them. In this way, the Air can do no damage to the delicate ORgans of The Throat, or to The Lungs.
………….No Animal, ex’cept Man, sleeps with The Mouth open or breathes through The Mouth. In-fact it IS Be’lieved that it IS only “civilized” Man Who so-perverts Nature’s functions – as The Savage and Barbarian Races al’most in’variably breathe correctly. It IS pro’bable that this un-natural habit among “civilized” Men has Been acquired through un-natural methods of Living, enervating luxuries, and ex’cessive warmth.
………….The re’fining, filtering, and straining apparatus of The Nostrils renders The Air fit to reach the delicate ORgans of The Throat and The Lungs, and The Air IS not-fit to so-reach these ORgans until it has passed through nature’s refining pro’cess. The im’Purities which Are stopped and re’tained by the “Sieves” and The Mucous Membrane of The Nostrils, Are thrown-out again by the ex’pelled Breath in ex’halation. And in-the-case-that they have accumulated too rapidly or have managed to e’scape through the “Sieves” and have penetrated for’bidden regions, Nature protects us by pro’ducing a sneeze, which violently ejects the intruder.
………….The Air, when it enters The Lungs IS as different from the out-side Air, as IS di’stilled Water different from The Water of The Cistern. The intricate Purifying ORganization of The Nostrils, arresting and holding the im’Pure particles in The Air, IS as im’pORtant as-IS the action of The Mouth in stopping cherry stones and fish bones and pre’venting them from Be’ing carried-on to The Stomach. Man should no-mORe breathe through His Mouth than He would attempt to take food through His Nose.
………….A further detri’ment of Mouth-Breathing IS that The Nasal Passages, Be’ing thus comparatively un-used, con’sequently fail to keep them’selves clean and clear, and Be’come clogged-up and un-clean. And as-such, Are apt to con’tract local dis-eases. Like a’bandoned roads that soon Be’come filled with weeds and rubbish, un-used nostrils Be’come filled with im’Purities and foul matter.
………….One Who habitually breathes through The Nostrils IS not-likely to-Be troubled with clogged or stuffy nostrils. But, for the benefit of Those Who have Been mORe-or-less addicted to the un-natural Mouth-Breathing – and Who wish to acquire the natural and rational method – it may per’haps Be well to add a few wORds re’garding the way to keep Their nostrils Clean and Free from im’Purities.
………….A favourite Oriental method IS to snuff a little Water up The Nostrils, allowing it to run-down the passage into the throat, from thence, it may Be ejected through The Mouth. Some Hindu Yogis immerse the face in a bowl of Water, and by a sort-of suction, draw-in quite a quantity of Water. But this latter-method re’quires con’siderable practice – and the first-mentioned method IS equally efficacious (and much-mORe easily per’fORmed).
………….Another beneficial practice IS to open the window and breathe Freely, closing one Nostril with The Finger or Thumb, sniffing up The Air through the open Nostril. Then re’peat the pro’cess on the other Nostril. Re’peat several times, changing Nostrils. This method Will usually clear The Nostrils of obstructions.
………….In-the-case-that the trouble IS caused by Catarrh, it IS well to apply a little Vaseline or Camphor Ice (or similar preparation). Or, to sniff-up a little Witch-Hazel ex’tract every-once-in-a-while, and You shall notice a marked im’prove-ment. A little care and attention Will re’sult-in The Nostrils Be’coming Clean and re’maining so.
………….We have given con’siderable space to this sub’ject of Nostril-Breathing – not-only Be’cause of it’s great im’pORtance in it’s reference to Health – but Be’cause Nostril-Breathing IS a pre-requisite to the practice of the breathing exercises to-Be given later in this book. And, Be’cause Nostril-Breathing IS one of the basic principles under-lying The Yogi Science Of Breath.
………….We urge, upon The Student, the necessity of acquiring this method of breathing – if He has it not – and caution Him against dis’missing this phase of the sub’ject as un-im’pORtant.