Skip to main content

The following is a collection of 22 old books from my library on breathing.

As you can see, the practice of breath and breathing exercises for health and healing is not a new concept!

I think it’s a good idea for Breathworkers to know about some of the early teachings in the west.

The 22 books included here represent an additional 5,000 pages of information!

Have fun perusing them, and please take notes, and share anything that you find interesting or important!

Love and thanks,



  • The Home Book of Life and Health, by W. A. Alcott, MD (1858)
  • The Breath and the Diseases that Give It A Fetid Odor, by Joseph W. Howe, MD (1874)
  • The Blood and the Breath: A System of Exercises for the Lungs and the Limbs, by J. E. Frobisher (Goodyear’s Pocket Gymnasium 1876)
  • Deep Breathing as a Means of Promoting the Art of Song and of Curing Weaknesses and Affections of the Throat and Lungs, Especially Consumption, by Sophia Marquise Ciccolina (1883)
  • Gymnastics of the Voice, a System of Correct Breathing, by Oskar Guttmann (1884)
  • The Art of Breathing, by Leo Kofler (1887)
  • Shut Your Mouth, by George Catlin (1890)
  • Keep Your Mouth Shut, by Fred A. Smith, MD (1893)
  • Respiratory Exercises in the Treatment of Disease, by Harry Campbell, MD (1899)
  • God’s Breath in Man, by Thomas Lake Harris (19??)
  • The Hindu Science of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka (1904)
  • The Science of Breath; Nature’s Finer Forces, by Rama Prasad [translated from Sanskrit] (1907)
  • Health Through Self Control in Thinking, Breathing, Eating, by William Anthony Spinney (1907)
  • The Law of The Rhythmic Breath, by Ella Adelia Fletcher (Author of “The Woman Beautiful) (1908)
  • My Breathing System, by Lieutenant J. P. Muller (1914)
  • The Breath of Life, by John Burroughs (1915)
  • Breathe and Be Well, by William Lee Howard, MD (1916)
  • Massage and Exercises Combined, by Albrecht Jensen (1920)
  • The Art of Singing, by William Shakespeare (1921)
  • Vitalic Breathing, by Thomas Robert Gaines (1921)
  • Library of Health, Complete Guide to Prevention and Cure of Disease, by Frank Scholl, MD (1921)
  • Dynamic Breathing and Harmonic Gymnastics, by Genevieve Stebbins (1892)

0001: Breath of Life - John Burroughs


As life nears its end with me, I find myself meditating more and more upon the mystery of its nature and origin, yet without the least hope that I can find out the ways of the Eternal in this or in any other world. In these studies I fancy I am about as far from mastering the mystery as the ant which I saw this morning industriously exploring a small section of the garden walk is from getting a clear idea of the geography of the North American Continent. But the ant was occupied and was apparently happy, and she must have learned something about a small fraction of that part of the earth’s surface.


0002: Breathe and Be Well - William Lee Howard

1. General Observations upon health … 3

2. The Morning Fresh Air Cocktail-The Nightcap-How to Breathe Them In … 23

3. The Little Things That Prevent Proper Breathing … 45

4. Snoring – The Causes And Cures … 67

5. Breathing for Beauty – Breathing and Eating … 81

6. Breathing Through The Skin Necessary For Health … 100

7. New Tissues For Old-Rejuvenating The Body And Skin … 117

8. Some Simple Breathing Exercises … 139


0003: Deep Breathing As A Means of Promoting The Art Of Song And Of Curing Weaknesses


The following pages on Deep Breathing seem to me too valuable not to he preserved in permanent form. They were originally translated by Mr. B. S. Werner for the admirable paper which he publishes, entitled The Voice, and, after having done good service in that journal, he has kindly consented to have them appear in this form for still more extended usefulness.


0004: Gods Breath In Man - Thomas Lake Harris


A VERY ancient document, now much discredited, avers that God breathed into man the breath of life, and that he became a living soul. The converse of that statement is the scientific one, that
Nature breathed into man, and that he became a dominant and intelligent animal.

2. Here is no appeal to books, however valid; a rest on no bygone authorities, however venerable and precious. Socrates replied to the questioner, in effect, that a man must first know himself before he should speak of the unknown deities. I am a centralized and rounded man: I intelligize from the root-ground to the utmost leaf and flower of personality: so, knowing my personality, in it, through it, by all its faculty, by all its sense, I know God, “whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.”


0005: Gymnastics of the Voice - Oskar Guttmann


The rapid sale of the first English edition of my ” Gymnastics of the Voice,” and the speedy necessity of a second edition, lead me to hope that the book will have as prosperous a career here in my adopted country as in my native land. To do all in my power for this end, I have, in accordance with the desire of my publisher, undertaken a complete change in the arrangement of the text,—the substance of which, however, remains entirely unchanged,— for the purpose of making it more intelligible to the general public and better adapted for use in schools.


0006: Health Through Self-Control in Thinking, Breathing, Eating - William Anthony Spinney


This book is composed chiefly of several lectures that the author has given during several years before public and parlor audiences and to his and Mrs. Spinney’s private students in connection with their courses in ” Mental and Physical Poise through Diaphragmatic Breathing, Scientific Physical Culture, and Correct Nutrition.” It is published at the urgent request of his lecture listeners, and of their private pupils.


0007: Keep Your Mouth Shut - Fred A. A. Smith, M.D


The idea of writing this little work was first suggested to me by having so many children brought for consultation who were the subjects of long-standing and progressive disease,—for the most part susceptible to relief, but in too many cases almost past amelioration, and still more often beyond cure.

Mothers or others in charge of them, when told the causes of their children’s ailments,have almost invariably exclaimed :

“Why was I not told this before ? Had I only understood the case as you put it, I should certainly have brought my child years ago to be properly treated.”



0008: Library of Health - B. Frank Scholl M.D.


The use of home medical books has now become general and they are recognized as being just as essential to the protection of the family, the care of health, the prevention of disease, the care of the young child; in giving assistance in the absence of the doctor, and in preventing unnecessary sickness and sufifering and the saving of life itself, as the scientific text books are essential to the physician.


0009: Massage & Exercises Combined - Albrecht Jensen


In this volume I have endeavored to place before the public a novel method of real scientific massage movements combined with exercises, so that the benefits of both may be obtained simultaneously.

The simplicity of its technic together with its ready personal
application make it possible for any individual to achieve excellent results from its use.



0010: My Breathing System - Lieutenant J. P. Muller


It may be a matter of surprise to some that I should add yet another volume to the already lengthy catalogue of booklets on “The Art of Breathing. “In justification I must state that my first reason is, that I have either to found all such works to be too much of the nature of text-books on the so-caUed “art ” ; hence it is now my ambition to bring forward the commonsense book on breathing.


0011: Respiratory Exercises in the Treatment of Disease - Harry Campbell, M.D.


By modifying the respiratory movements in certain ways we can produce profound effects upon the organism. Not only can we regulate the absorption of oxygen and the elimination of the respiratory excreta, but we can also influence the circulation of blood and lymph, both generally and locally.

Now, it occurred to me that some of these effects might be useful in the treatment of disease, and after prolonged and careful investigation I have come to the conclusion that properly-devised respiratory exercises have a great therapeutical value.


0012: Shut Your Mouth - George Catlin


No person on earth who reads this little work will condemn it : it is only a question how many millions may look through it and l)enetit themselves by adopting its precepts.


0013: The Art of Breathing - Leo Kofler





History of this Book.


A Short Autobiographical Sketch as far as it Concerns

THE Shaping of the Principles Contained

IN this Book.

  • A Very Early Professional Career.
  • The Champion Questioner.
  • A Profitable Season in Berlin and my Career in America.
  • Fighting Consumption Successfully with Breathing-Gymnastics.
  • The Question Solved.
  • The Conclusion of this Chapter.


0014: The Art of Singing - William Shakespeare

PREFACETHE art of singing, like other arts, has had its periods of development, culmination, and decay. The only period which concerns us here is that in which singing has been associated with the growth of modern music, and which may be said to date from the rise of the modern harmonic style in Italy in the 17th century. The art was then cultivated with great assiduity and success, and reached its highest point towards the middle and end of the 18th century, since which time the development of music in other directions, especially in relation to the orchestra, has led composers to a comparative neglect of the voice as an instrument to be studied on its own account. With the disappearance of that school of composition in which composers wrote specially for the voice, has likewise vanished, to a great extent, the successful cultivation of the art of singing.


0015: The Blood and Breath - Joseph E. Frobischer


This manual is the result of a sincere enthusiasm in the labor of its production, Necessity has compelled the author to seek some means of restoring the power constantly expended in teaching Elocution. The daily protracted use of the lungs, coupled with frequent excessive emotional effort, requires more than ordinary support, and this can be found only in a healthful muscular basis.


0016: The Breath, and the Diseases Which Give It a Fetid Odor - Joseph W. Howe, M.D.


Maeked changes in the breath have heretofore received little consideration from the profession. Our medical text-books contain scarcely an allusion to their existence. I have endeavored, in the following pages, to give a succinct account of the diseased conditions in which a fetid breath is the most important feature. The principal tacts detailed concerning the production of the offensive odors are the results obtained from personal investigations, conducted both in private practice and in our city hospitals.


0017: The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath - Yogi Ramacharaka



Salaam ……. 6


“Breath Is Life” ….. 8


The Exoteric Theory of Breath ….. 11


The Esoteric Thery of Breath …. 16


The Nervous System …. 20


Nostril Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing …. 29


The Four Methods of Respiration …. 27


How to Acquire the Yogi Complete Breath …. 33


Physiological Effect of the Complete Breath …. 36


A Few Bits of Yogi Lore …. 40


The Seven Yogl Developing Exercises , …. 43


Seven Minor Yogi Exercises …. 48


Vibration and Yogi Rhythmic Breathing …. 51


Phenomena of Yogi Psychic Breathing …. 55


More Phenomena of Yogi Psychic Breathing …. 61


Yogi Spiritual Breathing …. 69


0018: The Home-Book of Life and Health - W. A. Alcott, M.D


While travelling in the United States, during the last twelve or fifteen years, as a public lecturer and missionary of health, the question has been asked me a thousand times, What work have you written, not unlike your course of lectures, which may be regarded as containing the substance of your views on health ? to which I have been obliged to reply, None at all.


0019: The Law of the Rhythmic Breath-E A Fletcher


I. “Breath is Life” 9

II. The Master-Key of Creation 20

III. How to Gain the Master-Key 35

IV. How to Use the Master-Key 46

V. The Evolution of the Tattvas 57

VI. The Universality of the Tattvas 67

VII. More About the All-Pervading Tattva: Akasha 75

VIII. The Specific Influence of the Tattvas … 83

IX. Tattvic Influences : Tejas, the Fire of Life . . 92

X. Happiness Vibrations : Apas and Prithivi . . 104

XI. The Atmospheric Currents of Prana . . .116

XII. The Circulation of Prana in our Bodies . . 125

XIII. The Manifestations of Prana 137

XIV. Planetary Influences upon the Tattvas . . .148

XV. The Activities of the Macrocosm in the Microcosm 161

XVI. More About Macrocosmic Activities in the Microcosm 173

XVII. Mercury and the Activities of the Sushumna . 185

XVIII. Vital Centers for Concentration 196

XIX. The Connection of the Zodiac with Vital Centers . 208


0020: The Science of Breath - Rama Prasad


A WORD of explanation is necessary with regard to the book now offered to the public. In the ninth and tenth volumes of The Thcosophist I wrote certain essays on “Nature s Finer Forces.” The subject of these essays interested the readers of TJie Thcosophist so much, that I was asked to issue the series of essays in book form. On reading the essays for this purpose I found that in order to make a book they must be almost entirely rearranged and perhaps re-written. However, not being equal to the task of re-writing what I had once written, I determined to publish a translation of the book in Sanskrit on the Science of Breath and the Philosophy of the Tattvas. As, more over, without these essays the book would have been quite unintelligible, I decided to add them to the book by way of an illustrative introduction. This accordingly has been done.


0021: Vitalic Breathing - Thomas Robert Gaines


From earliest recorded time, intelligent humans have noted the vital and stimulating properties inherent in air.

The “pneuma” of the old Greeks was actually considered a bit of the same ethereal warp and woof of which the spiritual essence of the man was woven. Modern science recognizes in this shrewd guess of the inspired philosophers and medical men a startling resemblance to a wonderful truth.


0022: Genevieve Stebbins - Dynamic Breathing and Harmonic Gymnastics


Humans have been aware of the power of air since ancient times. The Greeks believed air was part of the soul and modern science has revealed this may be true. Air is a remarkable force with many properties that can benefit us physically, spiritually, and mentally.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This