THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'Who would have thought something as simple as changing the way we breathe could be so revolutionary for our health, from snoring to allergies to immunity? A fascinating book, full of dazzling revelations' Dr Rangan Chatterjee
There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. In Breath, journalist James Nestor travels the world to discover the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.
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, allergies, 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 ancient wisdom and 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.
'If there's one book you read this year, make it this one'
'Who would have thought something as simple as changing the way we breathe could be so revolutionary for our health? James Nestor is the perfect guide to the pulmonary world and has written a fascinating book, full of dazzling revelations' -- Dr Rangan Chatterjee
'In the past few years, there have been several potentially life-changing books, from Matthew Walker's Why We Sleep and Shane O'Mara's In Praise of Walking, to Norman Doidge's The Brain's Way of Healing. Breath deserves a place alongside such volumes. Read it, and I guarantee you will want to change the way you breathe' -- Evening Standard
'I highly recommend this book' -- Wim Hof, on Instagram
'This book is awesome. Most people have no idea how to do breathing exercises and how beneficial they are. I learned a lot from James Nestor's book. Over the last few weeks I've been using the methods I learned and I can tell you there are absolutely some real benefits to be had from this' -- Joe Rogan, on Instagram
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. I already feel calmer and healthier just in the last few days, from making a few simple changes in my breathing, based on what I've read. Our breath is a beautiful, healing, mysterious gift, and so is this book -- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
'A wonderful book that reminds and enlightens us about how breath and mind are intertwined' -- Rahul Jandial, author of Life Lessons from a Brain Surgeon
'If you want to read a book about the power of the breath, this is it!' -- Patrick McKeown, author of The Oxygen Advantage
'I would have thought that breathing was pretty simple and well understood. Then I read this book. Now I know it's a hugely complex and wondrous process which we need to understand much better. Fascinating and provocative stuff' -- Daniel M. Davis, author of The Beautiful Cure
'James Nestor's fascinating new book is playful and optimistic' -- Spectator
'A transformative book that changes how you think about your body and mind' -- Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein
'Breath is an utterly fascinating journey into the ways we are wired. No matter who you are, you'll want to read this' -- Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do with My Life and Nutureshock
'An eye-opening, epic journey of human devolution that explains why so many of us are sick and tired. A must-read book that exposes what our health care system doesn't see' -- Dr. Steven Y. Park, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and author of Sleep, Interrupted
'I don't say this often, but when I do I mean it: this book changed my life. Breath is part scientific quest, part historical insight, part Hero's Journey, full of groundbreaking ideas, and a rollicking good read. I had no idea that the simple and intuitive act of inhaling and exhaling has taken such an evolutionary hit. As a result, I figured out why I sleep so badly and why my breathing feels so often out-of-sync. With a few simple tweaks, I fixed my breathing and fixed myself. A transformational book' -- Caroline Paul, author of The Gutsy Girl
'If you breathe, you need this book. When we undervalue anything, including something so basic as breathing, bad things always happen-and Nestor makes it clear how awful it's gotten. But he also provides a clear airway back to better, deeper, stronger respirations' -- Wallace J. Nichols PhD, author of Blue Mind
'Breath shows us just how extraordinary the act of breathing is and why so much depends on how we do it. An enthralling, surprising, and often funny adventure into our most overlooked and undervalued function' -- Bonnie Tsui, author of Why We Swim and American Chinatown
'Super interesting' -- Emma Gannon
It's an incredible book, I absolutely loved it -- Tim Lovejoy
'A really, REALLY interesting book' -- Ella Woodward, Deliciously Ella
About the Author
James Nestor has written for Scientific American, Outside Magazine, Men's Journal, National Public Radio, The New York Times, and more. His book, Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What The Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves, was a finalist for the PEN American Center Best Sports Book of the Year and a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. Nestor has appeared on dozens of national radio and television shows, including ABC's Nightline, the CBS Morning News and NPR. He lives and breathes in San Francisco. More at mrjamesnestor.com.