While practicing the “alternate breath,” fix your attention and concentrate your power of will upon what you axe trying to accomplish. As you inhale through the right nostril, will the magnetic currents to flow along the right side of the spine, and as you inhale through the left nostril, consciously direct the currents to the left side.
There is more virtue in this exercise than one would expect, considering its simplicity. It has been in practice among the Yogi of India since time immemorial.
The wise men of India knew that with the breath they absorbed not only the physical elements of the air, but life itself. They taught that this primary force of all forces, from which all energy is derived, ebbs and flows in rhythmical breath through the created universe. Every living thing is alive by virtue of and by partaking of this cosmic breath.
The more positive the demand, the greater the supply. Therefore, while breathing deeply and rhythmically in harmony with the universal breath, will to open yourself more fully to the inflow of the life force from the source of all life in the innermost parts of your being.
This intimate connection of the individual soul with the great reservoir of life must exist. Without it life would be an impossibility.
While the alternate breathing exercises are very valuable for overcoming obstructions in the air passages, for establishing the habit of rhythmic breathing and for refining and accelerating the vibratory activities on the physical and spiritual planes of being, they must be practiced with great caution. These, and other “Yogi” breathing exercises, are powerful means for developing abnormal psychical conditions. They are therefore especially dangerous to those who are already inclined to be physically and mentally negative and sensitive. Such persons must avoid all practices which tend to refine excessively the physical body and to develop prematurely and abnormally the sensory organs of the spiritual body. The most dangerous of these methods are long extended fasting, raw food diet, that, is, a diet consisting of fruits, nuts, oils and raw vegetables and excluding the dalry products, “Yogi” breathing, and “sitting in the silence.” That is, sitting in darkness, in seclusion or in company with others, while keeping the mind in a passive, receptive condition for extraneous impressions. These practices tend to develop very dangerous phases of abnormal and subjective psychism, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, mediumship and obsession.
Aside from breathing, gymnastics in general—or in the case of illness or deformity, special corrective and curative exercises—should be taken every day.
Physical exercise has similar effects upon the system as hydrotherapy, massage and manipulative treatment. It stirs up the morbid accumulations in the tissues, stimulates the arterial and venous circulation, expands the lungs to their fullest capacity, thereby increasing the intake of oxygen, and most effectively promotes the elimination of waste and morbid materials through skin, kidneys, bowels and the respiratory tract.