If we can control our respiration we can control every aspect of our being.

“Yogis…have made extraordinary claims about the value of studying the breath. They say flatly, for example, that the breath is the link between the mind and the body, and that if we can control our respiration we can control every aspect of our being.”

-H. David Coulter, in Anatomy of Hatha Yoga, 2001. Body and Breath, Inc., Honesdale, Pa. p. 67

The lungs are placed in a recess so sacred and hidden…

The lungs are placed in a recess so sacred and hidden that nature would seem to have specially withdrawn this part both from the eyes and from the intellect: for, beyond the wish, it has not yet been granted to any one to fit a window to the breast and redeem from darkness the profounder secrets of nature. For of all of the parts of the body, the lungs alone, as if shrinking from observation, cease from their movement and collapse at once on the first entrance of light and self-revelation. Hence such an ignorance of respiration and a sort of holy wonder. Still let me draw near to the inmost vitals, and concerning so obscure a matter, make at least a guess.”

-John Mayow, in Ttractus Quinque (1674), quoted from Proctor’s A History of Breathing Physiology, p.. 153 (in -H. David Coulter, 2001. Anatomy of Hatha Yoga. Body and Breath, Inc., Honesdale, Pa. p. 67)