AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly. There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren’t found in pulmonology labs, as we might expect, but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of São Paulo. Nestor tracks down men and women exploring the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo and teams up with pulmonary tinkerers to scientifically test long-held beliefs about how we breathe. Modern research is showing us that making even slight adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can jump-start athletic performance; rejuvenate internal organs; halt snoring, asthma, and autoimmune disease; and even straighten scoliotic spines. None of this should be possible, and yet it is. Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head. You will never breathe the same again.
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"If you're not breathing properly, none of your other healthy habits matter. That's the premise presented by James Nestor in his book "Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art" . And it's something that Nestor himself had to learn the hard way. Nestor chronicles his own journey of rediscovering proper breathing, as well as the science behind why it's so important. Proper breathing can improve sleep, reduce stress, increase athletic performance, and even alleviate chronic pain. Yet, as Nestor points out, most of us don't breathe properly. We take shallow breaths from our chests instead of deep breaths from our diaphragms. This not only means that we're not getting all the oxygen we need, but it also means that we're not releasing all the carbon dioxide that we should. This might not sound like a big deal, but it can have serious consequences over time. Fortunately, Nestor provides practical tips for how to breathe properly. He also debunks some common myths about breathing (such as the belief that nose breathing is always best). Breath is an interesting and informative book that will leave you with a new appreciation for the importance of proper breathing."
RDG (5 out of 5 stars)