Or The Yogi Philosophy Of Physical Well-Being
by Yogi Ramacharaka (1904)
Now, do not pass-by this chapter, because it treats of a very common subject.
If you feel inclined to so pass it by—then you are the very person for whom
it is intended, and by whom it is most needed. Those who have looked into the
matter and have learned something of the benefit and necessity of fresh air,
will not pass this chapter by, even though they may know all that it
contains—they are glad to read the good news again. And, if von don't like
the subject, and feel inclined to skip it, then you surely need it. In other
chapters of—is book we have spoken of the importance of breathing—both in
its esoteric as well as its exoteric phase. This chapter is not intended to
take up the subject of breathing again, but will merely give a little
preachment upon the necessity of fresh air and plenty of it—a preachment
much needed by the people of the West, where' hermetically closed sleeping
rooms, and air-tight houses are so much in vogue. We have told you of the
importance of correct breathing, but the lesson will do you but little good
unless you have good fresh air to breathe.
This thing of people shutting themselves up in tightly closed rooms, lacking
proper ventilation, is the most stupid idea that one can conceive of. How
people can do it after acquainting themselves with the facts regarding the
action and functions of the lungs, is more than the thinking man can answer.
Let us take a plain, common-sense, brief look at this subject.
You will remember that the lungs are constantly throwing off the waste matter
of the system—the breath is being used as a scavenger of the body, carrying
off the Waste products, broken down and refuse matter from all parts of the
system. The matter thrown off by the lungs is almost as foul as that thrown
off by the skin, the kidneys and even the bowels—in fact, if the supply of
water given the system is not sufficient, nature makes the lungs do much of
the work of the kidneys, in getting rid of the foul poisonous waste products
of the body. And if the bowels are not carrying off the normal amount of waste
matter, much of the contents of the colon gradually works through the system,
seeking an outlet, and is taken up by the lungs and thrown off in the exhaled
breath. Just think of it—if you shut yourself up in a tightly closed room,
you are pouring out into the atmosphere of that room over eight gallons an
hour of carbonic acid gas, and other foul and p01sonous gases. In eight hours
you throw off sixty-four gallons. If there are two sleeping in the room,
multiply the gallons by two. As the air becomes contaminated, you breathe this
poisonous matter over and over again into your system, the quality of the air
becoming worse with each exhaled breath. No wonder that anyone coming into
your room in the morning notices the stench pervading it, if you have kept the
windows lowered. No wonder you feel cross, stupid, quarrelsome, and generally
"grouchy" after a night in this kind of a pest house.
Did you ever think just why you sleep at all? It is to give nature a chance to
repair the waste that has been going on during the day. You cease using up her
energies in work, and give her a chance to repair and build up your system so
that you will be all right on the morrow. And in order to do this work right,
she requires at least normal conditions. She expects to be supplied with air
containing the proper proportion of oxygen—air that has been exposed to the
sunlight of the preceding day and which has thereby been freshly charged with
Prana. Instead of this you give her nothing but a limited amount of air,
half-poisoned with the refuse of your body. No wonder she gives you nothing
but a patch-work job sometimes.
Any room that smells of that peculiar fetid odor that you have all noticed in
a poorly ventilated bedroom, is no place for you to sleep in until it has been
ventilated and kept supplied with fresh air. The air in a bedroom should be as
nearly as possible kept as pure as the outside air. Don't be afraid of
catching cold. Remember that the most approved modern method of treating
consumption calls for the patient to be kept in the fresh air, at night, no
matter how cold it is. Put on plenty of bed covering, and you will not mind
the cold after you get a little used to it. Get back to nature! Fresh air does
not mean sleeping in a draught, remember.
And what is true of sleeping rooms is also true of living rooms, offices, etc.
Of course, in winter one may not allow too much of the outside air to get into
the house, as that would bring down the temperature too low, but still there
is a happy compromise which may be made even in cold climates. Open the
windows once in awhile and give the air a chance to circulate in and out. In
the evening, do not forget that the lamps and gaslights are using up a goodly
supply of oxygen also—so freshen things up a little, once in awhile,
Read up something on ventilation, and your health will be better. But even if
you do not care to go that deep into the matter, think a little bit of what we
have said, and your common sense will do the rest.
Get out awhile every day and let the fresh air blow upon you. It is full of
life and health giving properties. You all know this, and have known it all
your lives. But, nevertheless, you stick indoors in a manner which is entirely
foreign to Nature's plans. No wonder you do not feel well. One cannot violate
nature's rules with impunity. Do not be afraid of the air. Nature intended you
to use it—it is adapted to your nature and requirements. So don't be afraid
of it—learn to love it. Say to yourself while walking out and enjoying the
fresh air: "I am a child of Nature—she gives me this pure good air to
use, in order that I may grow strong and well, and keep so. I am breathing in
health and strength and energy. I am enjoying the sensation of the air blowing
upon me, and I feel its beneficial effects. I am Nature's child, and I enjoy
her gifts." Learn to enjoy the air, and you will be blessed.