Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art Review

A New York Times Bestseller

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2020

"A fascinating scientific, cultural, spiritual and evolutionary history of the way humans breathe--and how we've all been doing it wrong for a long, long time." --Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love

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 twenty-five thousand 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 S�o 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.

Title:Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

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    Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art Reviews

  • Miguel

    In terms of single subject science books, Breath is a bit light on the science and heavy on the anecdotal evidence. Though there doesn’t appear to be anything outrageous or obviously harmful here, t...

  • Diane S ?

    It seems many of us today, breathe wrong? A planet of open mouthed breathers that has caused a myriad of health issues. So, the author sets out to find how and when this changed. Melding, the historic...

  • Story

    I've had respiratory problems since I was a child and thus found this book quite fascinating. The author presents various theories on the best ways to improve our breathing and backs up the methods wi...

  • Steph Mann

    Though I believe there is really good information to help people to better health, the author sometimes supports his ideas with information he got from I-don't-know-where. Example: in 30+ years as a T...

  • Vivian

    Popular science approach to the physiological effects of breathing, and how we breathe, on the body and mind from the cellular level up. Unsurprisingly, a good bit of attention is focused on yoga tech...

  • Rishabh Srivastava

    This was far too new-agey for my tastes, and seemed to cherry pick studies instead of quoting meta-studies. The larger message of the book (nasal-breathing is preferable to mouth-breathing, and slowin...

  • Subodh

    This book has some very important ideas, but goes about them in a roundabout manner - digressing frequently into unnecessary personal anecdotes. The style reminds me of people selling miracle cures wh...

  • Leah

    Well this book was very enlightening, I had no idea correct breathing has such an importance on your overall health and can prevent diseases and conditions.Always breathe through your nose, never thro...

  • John Tankersley

    4 parts good info and 1 part crackpot, this book seems to have a good amount of excellent information that’s well-researched mixed in with some new age nonsense. But on the whole, I’m glad I read ...

  • Kyle Poe

    James Nestor makes it clear at the outset of this book that he is a journalist, not a scientist. As a scientist living in the age of COVID-19 and Donald Trump, I have learned to be wary of journalists...