Breath

James Nestor |  Nonfiction, 2020

280 pages

two-hearts

This is an interesting book, presenting some potentially useful ideas and posing interesting questions.  It also infuses a history of yoga and meditation practices, which were originally developed as breath practices.  However, the book seriously lacks in real medical double-blind studies, and is over-reliant on the author’s and others’ anecdotal evidence.

As I progressed, Breath moved from four hearts for its interesting hypotheses, to three hearts for its complete lack of statistical evidence, to two hearts as the techniques for “better breathing” grew more and more bizarre.  Like giving a woman 35% carbon dioxide through an inhaler bag to spark her fear, because she had never felt fear and kept putting herself in danger.

Among the more useful health/breathing considerations, if you do only one thing, learn to breathe in for 5.5 seconds and breathe out for 5.5 seconds, for a total of 5.5 breaths per minute.  Here is a simple tool to help.  https://www.google.com/search?q=breathing+exercise

So, read if you are interested, but not if you are looking for sound medical advice.

01/21

 

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