Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor’s anedoctal and referential richness inspires the reader to delve (& breathe) deeeper.
Similar to Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams*, this book is research rich, but James Nestor in my opinion, better combines story with science. I find myself curiously scouring his references and footnotes for more knowledge. 🌬
Amidst his new-found insights, he brings us on his journey of discovery, as he experiments with different breathing techniques! While he doesn’t actively invite us to try the techniques he mentions, they feel familiar and as breathing creatures we can join right in!
He shares a lot of wisdom on the topic; which of the following have you already come across?
- Nose breathing vs. mouth breathing
- Right nostril vs. left nostril breathing & how it affects our feelings
- The nose is awesome; it can filter, heat, purify air
- Cultural & Religious Practices focus on long inhales & exhales, thus prayer can relax us :)
- Chewing: developing the face through stem cell production in the jaw, preventing bad teeth and bad breath!
- Different nerves in our lungs are triggered when we breathe deeper and slowly vs. when we breathe quickly and superficially, relaxing us versus prepping us for explosive output.**
I’m starting to believe I’m quite ‘gullible’, -> barefoot shoes, veganism, sustainability, minimalism, etc. :p
Some extracts coming soon…
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*I had to put down Why We Sleep, as I would often fall asleep reading it 😋 A few easy reads down the line, I might pick it up again. Though as I mentioned, I often found the science was thrown at me & I would struggle to extract and subsequently remember all that golden knowledge. I guess in the end of the day like all good education, it’s about building an awareness. ** And how the nerves triggered by long calm breaths can help digestion. I’ve often struggled with tummyaches! And have thus been exploring the topic of mindful eating.