CHAPTER I – SALAAM
………….The Western Student IS apt to-Be some-what confused in His ideas, re’garding The Yogis, and Their Philo-sophy and practice. Travellers to India have written great tales a’bout the hordes of fakirs, Mendicants, and mountebanks Who infest the great roads of India, and the streets of it’s cities – and Who im’pudently claim the title of, “Yogi”. The Western Student IS scarcely to-be blamed for thinking of the typical Yogi as an emaciated, fanatical, dirty, and ignorant Hindu – Who either sits in a fixed posture until His Body Be’comes ossified – or-else, holds His Arm up in The Air until it Be’comes stiff and withered, and for-ever-after re’mains in that position – or per’haps, clenches His Fist, and holds it tight, until His fingernails grow through The Palms of His Hands. That these people ex’ISt IS true, but Their claim to the title of, “Yogi” seems as absurd to the “True Yogi”, as does the claim to the title of “Doctor” – on the part of The Man Who pares One’s corns – may seem to the eminent surgeon. Or, as does the title of, “Professor” – as assumed by the street-corner vendor of “worm medicine” – seem to the President of Harvard or Yale.
………….There have Been, for ages-past – in India and other Oriental countries – Men Who de’voted Their time and attention to the de’velop-ment of Man: Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually. The ex’perience of generations of earnest Seekers has Been handed-down, for centuries, from teacher to pupil – and gradually, a de’finite Yogi Science was built-up. To these investigations and teachings, was finally applied the term, “Yogi”. From the Sanskrit wORd, “Yug”, meaning “to join”. From the same source, comes the English wORd, “yoke” – with a similar meaning. It’s use, in-connection-with these teachings, IS difficult to trace, with different authORities giving different ex’planations. But probably the most ingenious ex’planation IS that it IS The Hindu equivalent for the idea con’veyed by the English phrase, “Getting Into Harness”, or “Yoking-Up” – as the Yogi un-doubtedly, “Gets Into Harness” in His wORk of con’trolling The Body and MIND by The WILL.
………….Yoga IS divided into several branches, ranging from that-which teaches the con’trol of The Body, to that which teaches the attain-ment of The Highest Spiritual de’velop-ment. In this wORk, We shall-not go into The Higher Phases of the sub’ject, ex’cept when “The Science Of Breath” touches-upon the same. The “Science Of Breath” touches Yoga at many points. And, al’though chiefly-con’cerned with the de’velop-ment and con’trol of The Physical, has also it’s Psychic side as-well – and even enters The Field of Spiritual De’velop-ment.
………….In India, there Are great schools of Yoga, comprising thousands of the leading Minds of that great country. The Yoga Philo-Sophy IS The Rule Of Life for many people. The Pure Yogi teachings, how-ever, Are given, only, to The Few; the masses having to-Be satisfied with “the crumbs which fall from the tables” of The Educated Classes… The Oriental custom in-this-re’spect Be’ing opposed to that-of The Western WORld. But Western Ideas Are Be’ginning to have their effect, even, in The Orient. And teachings which were, once, given only to The Few, Are now Freely-offered to Any Who Are ready to re’ceive them. The East and The West Are growing closer to’gether, and both Are profiting by the close contact; Each in’fluencing The Other.
………….The Hindu Yogis have al’ways greatly paid-attention-to The Science Of Breath, for reasons which shall-Be apparent to The Student Who reads this book. Many Western Writers have touched-upon this phase of The Yogi teachings, but We Be’lieve that it has Been re’served for The Writer of This wORk to give-to The Western Student – in con’cise fORm and simple language, the under-lying Principles of The Yogi Science Of Breath – to’gether with many of the favourite Yogi Breathing Exercises and Methods. We have given The Western Idea, as-well as The Oriental – showing how One dovetails into The Other. We have used the OR’din’ary English Terms – al’most en’tirely – a’voiding the Sanskrit Terms – some-times con-fusing to The Average Western Reader.
………….The first part of the book IS de’voted to The Physical Phase of The Science Of Breath. Then, The Psychic and Mental sides Are con’sidered. And finally, The Spiritual Side IS touched-upon.
………….We hope that We Are pardoned if We ex’press our’selves as pleased with Our success in con’densing so much Yogi LORe into so-few pages – and by-the-use-of wORds and terms which may Be Comprehended by any’One. Our only con’cern IS that it’s very simplicity may cause some to pass-it-by as un-wORthy of attention – while They pass-on-Their-way – searching for some’thing “Deep”, mysterious, and in’comprehensible. how-ever, The Western MIND IS eminently practical, and We Know that It IS only a question of a short time Be’fORe it shall re-cognize the practicability of this wORk.
………….We greet Our Students, with Our most pro’found, “Salaam” – and bid Them, “be seated” for Their first lessons in The Yogi Science Of Breath