Page 17 - ScienceOfBreath
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It will be noticed that the Western scientific theories regarding the breath confine 

themselves to the effects of the absorption of oxygen, and its use through the 

circulatory system, while the Yogi theory also takes into consideration the 

absorption of Prana, and its manifestation through the channels of the Nervous 

System. Before proceeding further, it may be as well to take a hasty glance at the 

Nervous System.

The Nervous System of man is divided into two great systems, viz., the 

Cerebro-Spinal System and the Sympathetic System. The Cerebro-Spinal System 

consists of all that part of the Nervous System contained within the cranial cavity 

and the spinal canal, viz., the brain and the spinal cord, together with the nerves 

which branch off from the same. This system presides over the functions of animal 

life known as volition, sensation, etc. The Sympathetic System includes all that 

part of the Nervous System located principally in the thoracic, abdominal and 

pelvic cavities, and which is distributed to the internal organs. It has control over 

the involuntary processes, such as growth, nutrition, etc.

The Cerebro-Spinal System attends to all the seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, 

feeling, etc. It sets things in motion; it is used by the Ego to think - to manifest 

consciousness. It is the instrument with which the Ego communicates with the 

outside world. This system may be likened to a telephone system, with the brain as 

the central office, and the spinal column and nerves as cable and wires 


The brain is a great mass of nerve tissue, and consists of three parts, viz., the 

Cerebrum or brain proper, which occupies the upper, front, middle and back 

portion of the skull; the Cerebellum, or "little brain," which fills the lower and back 

portion of the skull; and the Medulla Oblongata, which is the broadened 

commencement of the spinal cord, lying before and in front of the Cerebellum.

The Cerebrum is the organ of that part of the mind which manifests itself in 

intellectual action. The Cerebellum regulates the movements of the voluntary 

muscles. The Medulla Oblongata is the upper enlarged end of the spinal cord, and 

from it and the Cerebrum branch forth the Cranial Nerves which reach to various 

parts of the head, to the organs of special sense, and to some of the thoracic, and 

abdominal organs, and to the organs of respiration.

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