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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin. Narrated by James Nestor.

THE INTERNATIONAL 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

No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly.

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. Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

The answers aren’t found in pulmonology labs, as we might expect, but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of São Paulo, Brazil. Nestor tracks down men and women exploring the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya and Tummo and teams up with pulmonary tinkerers to scientifically test longheld beliefs about how we breathe.

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 medical texts and recent 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.

Critics Review

  • ‘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

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