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Review: Breath by James Nestor

20 Jan 2022 | News

The New Science of a Lost Art

I finished reading Breath a fortnight ago and there isn’t a day since that it hasn’t been on My mind.

I had heard about it last year through some friends and popped it onto My list of books-to-read (always much longer than the time I have available) as it seemed to be an interesting bridge between things I already know about Tantric and Meditative breathing techniques, polyvagal nerve theory, and things that I’m currently studying – namely trance and hypnosis – and their effects on the body and mind. I was a little bit right, a whole lot wrong, and never have I been more pleasantly surprised to be so.

The passion and curiosity that James Nestor has for the subject matter – how we breathe, why we breathe the way that we breathe, what’s changed, why we should care – comes through effortlessly in their writing. Their interviewees and collaborators, or fellow pulmonauts as they are described, range widely from athletes to doctors to scientists to orthodontists. There are 40 pages of references at the book, with many more listed on the website www.mrjamesnestor.com/breath/

If you enjoy finding out more about bodies and brains and how they work and the gorgeously intricate complexities of their nuance, you will enjoy this book. It straddles the woo and the science and is written in accessible language. The only downside is that I have not been able to find an audio book.

Go forth and enjoy!

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