In the West changes in respiration have been regarded primarily as signs and symptoms of disease. Mechanisms for abnormal ventilation—malfunction of the respiratory control centers, neuromuscular disease, or excess work of breathing—have been elucidated and therapeutically modified (Guenter, 1984). In the East, however, voluntary modifications of breathing have long been used for treatment of disease and for influencing physiological function of the nervous and other systems of the body. The methods were drawn from disciplines practiced by esoteric communities for spiritual purposes, especially in India. A statuette found in an Indus valley excavation suggested that yogic breath control was well developed in the third millennium Bc and was associated with physical and spiritual well-being (Rowland, 1953).


Inspiratory Muscle Inspiratory Capacity Inspiratory Muscle Training Negative Intrathoracic Pressure Diaphragmatic Breathing 
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Further Reading

  1. The Gheranda Samhita London: Theosophical Publishing House Ltd, 1976.Google Scholar
  2. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, 1975.Google Scholar
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  5. Kuvalayananda, Swami. Pranayama. Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1966.Google Scholar
  6. Rama, Swami, Ballentine, R., and Hymes, A. Science of breath. Honesdale, Pennsylvania: Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy, 1979.Google Scholar
  7. Satyananda Saraswati, Swami. Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha. Monghyr, Bihar, India: Siva-nand Ashram, 1973.Google Scholar
  8. Vivekananda, Swami. Raja yoga. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1973.Google Scholar
  9. For further information about yoga and its practices, please refer to: Yoga Journal (published by the California Yoga Teachers Association, 2054 University Avenue, Berkeley, California 94704).Google Scholar
  10. Yoga and Health (published by Yoga Today Ltd, 21 Caburn Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 INR England).Google Scholar
  11. Yoga Biomedical Trust P.O. Box 140 Cambridge CB4 3SY EnglandGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank A. Chandra
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HealthLondonEngland
  2. 2.Yoga Biomedical TrustCambridgeEngland

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