No one can live without air as one can without water for a few days and without food much longer. Therefore, nature has surrounded us with air on all sides so that we can get it without any effort.
We take in air through our nose into our lungs. The lungs act as a sort of bellows. The
atmospheric air which we breath in has a life-giving substance- a gas
known as oxygen. The air that we breath out contains poisonous gases.
These can kill us if they are not immediately allowed to spread out and
get diluted by the atmospheric air. Hence the necessity of proper
The air comes into close contacts
with blood in the lungs and purifies it. Many people do not know the act
of breathing. This defect prevents an adequate purification of their
blood. Some people breath through their mouth instead of their nose.
This is a bad habit. Nature has so designed the nose that it acts as a
sort of filter for the ingoing air and also warms it. In mouth breathers
the atmospheric air reaches the lungs without the preliminary filtration
or warming. It follows therefore that those who do not know how to
breathe should take breathing exercises. They are as easy to learn as
are useful. I do not wish to go into a discussion of the various asanas or postures. I do not mean to say that these are not important or
useful. Bu I do wish to emphasize that a well-regulated life outweighs
the advantage of studying elaborate postures that ensure
breathing through the nose and free chest expansion is enough for our
If we keep the mouth tightly
close, the breathing would have to be carried out by the nose. Just as
we wash our mouth every morning, the nose should be also be
cleaned. Clean water, cold or Lukewarm water is the best agent for this
purpose. It should be taken in a cup in the palm of the hand and draw up
through the nostrils. It is possible to draw the water up through one
nostril, the other remains closed, and expel in through the other by
opening it and closing the former. The process should be carried out
gently so as to avoid discomfort. In order to cleanse the back portion of the nose known as nasopharynx, water should be brought out by the
mouth or even swallowed.
We must see that the air that we breath in is fresh. It is good to cultivate a habit of
sleeping in the open under the star. The fear of catching a chill could
be dismissed from the mind. Cold can be kept out by plenty of covering.
This covering should not extend beyond the neck. If cold is felt on the
head, it can be covered with separate piece of cloth. The opening of the
respiratory passage - the nose - should never be covered up.
The day clothes
should be changed for loose night clothes before retiring. As a matter
of fact no clothes are necessary at night when one sleeps covered with a
sheet. Tight-fitting clothes should be avoided even during day.
The atmospheric air around us is not
always pure, neither it is the same in every country. The choice of the
country does not always lie in our hands but the choice of a suitable
house in a suitable locality does rest with us till some extent. The
general rule should be to live in a locality which is not too congested
and insist upon the house being well lighted and well-ventilated.