Here’s My Thoughts

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

My interest in breathing was sparked by Kym Burls, Wim Hof Method (WHM) instructor, (whom I interviewed in Episode #52). Breathing technique is one of the most important aspects of the WHM and during our podcast discussion, he mentioned the book “Breath” by James Nestor so I sought it out.

The back-cover blurb is compelling: “No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you re, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly.” So, does it live up to the build up?

It makes logical sense that breathing correctly is important for our wellbeing – inhaling air is how we get oxygen into our bodies necessary for cellular respiration and exhaling is how we get rid of the waste product, carbon dioxide. Like many people, I suspect, I don’t often pay much attention to the automatic act of breathing except in a yoga class or during exercise. Just because we do breathe, it does not mean we do it correctly.

Nestor set out on a personal odyssey involving research, interviews, adventure, anthropology and self-experimentation. The book is both entertaining and enlightening. I learned that exclusive mouth breathing is terrible for our health, that breathing through your nose can boost athletic performance and so much more about the links between how we breathe and our health.

Yes, for me it lived up to the build-up, especially the section about athletic performance.

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