Breathing is an essential and natural thing that we all do from the moment we enter this world. What is more fascinating is that today, most people do not breathe in a way that is good for their health and longevity of life. It is also one part of life that cannot be monetised, one of a handful of things that elude the ability of corporations and big businesses from making money from the basic needs that we have.
How have so many people today lost the ability to breathe well? Ways that were known for their benefits from way back in our history in ancient cultures. Knowledge that has been present throughout history but rarely elevated into the universal conscious awareness among people across the world. One can only speculate why this has been the case. I believe the reasons are clear to me, but they are my informed conjecture and choose not to spell it out.
I have just finished reading a book by James Nestor titled, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, what an amazing work from this author. A book that took him years of his life in the search for improvement to his own health before feeling the need to write it, not something he conceived at the beginning of his quest. A journey that started in the pursuit of understanding his own breathing issues, a path that led to knowledge from across the world and a diverse range of individuals and resources. A period when he put himself through experiments to gain first-hand experiences and understanding, reading a catalogue of books, and discussions with pioneers of today. It all led to the creation of his book, to share what he had become aware of and was astounded by. It references 210 sources that qualify quotes and statements included. in a kind of diary/journal of that complete period filled with some incredible accounts as you journey with James in the discovery. He suggests how many breaths we are likely to take in reading the book to set the stage for what follows.
This is not a work of fiction, but a very long and overdue compilation of existing life-changing data and techniques for anyone who chooses to improve their breathing, extend their lifespan, improve health, cure ailments and medical conditions that conventional medicine has stepped away from, leaving them to suffer from their pain and little hope. Or even worse, by prescribing medication that does not cure the problem and simply suppresses the condition with the potential to degrade health further.
I tip my hat to James Nestor for publishing his research and learning, launched in the midst of the Pandemic in 2020 when breathing, mask-wearing and health became a highlighted part of life, which has continued to become a highly contentious topic and under extreme scrutiny across the globe this year.
My understanding of breathing had already been primed long before I began to create videos of breathing techniques used in Yoga. The videos are a fairly new activity that I can see a need for in the world as a result of what many people are struggling with since early in 2020. Albeit that the book was published in 2020, it didn’t enter my vision until the beginning of this year through an interview discussing the book, instantly of interest to me because of what I had embarked upon myself. You could describe that as Synergy, in arriving just at the correct moment in time, when it would mean so much to me for reasons that I could have understood at that moment.
From the first chapter, I learned new information that ensured I would continue in anticipation of what more I would discover. I wasn’t disappointed at all! Every chapter gave me something that was powerful and moved my thinking and understanding forward with it. In one sense, I felt as if the previous chapter had been superseded by each new one I read, but realised about three-quarters of the way through the book, it was adding to and not subtracting from. I was acquiring a greater and broader view of the numerous ways that improvements can be made to our health via improved and conscious breathing.
There is a sincerity and commitment to his writing, a man who describes his own life and what brought him to research the subject of breathing, to follow on and rediscover what had merely been ignored and forgotten through time. In a recent interview I listened to with Russell Brand, James suggests why these techniques have never made it into our lives today, what should have been a natural process, but didn’t happen. He explained that Breath could not be monetised and thereby has never seen to be something to invest into. That immediately hit me in the sense that, the statement is based on a monetary-based profit/control activity, with nothing to do with the well-being of people. Could it be that something, which clearly can benefit all people can only come to reality if it is adopted as a business practice to make money from, being dictated and controlled by and for business interests?
If such things as these breathing techniques were understood and practised by everyone, I doubt that the pharmaceutical industry would consist of such wealthy global corporations and businesses that we have now, people not needing the millions of medications that are prescribed and taken daily. Who does that situation really benefit? Of course, there are many drugs and medications that are good within the realms of proper and correct medical care, which can be life-saving and beneficial. But, should it be requisite, that large profits must be available before something is seen as viable? When such benefits for all in reducing illness, suffering, and pain, increasing longevity and health that can only improve life, simply by breathing in better ways that support personal health rather than degrading it.
Back to the book! Through the 10 chapters, James Nestor takes us on his journey, introducing us to mind-blowing learning and knowledge as he digs deeper into this subject and its history. The people he talks with who have discovered, rediscovered, practised and documented, so many techniques, accumulating evidence and proof that various breathing methods can create such dramatic changes in our complete state of health. Not just biologically but on all levels. From Taoist monks, yogis, doctors, etc., and through to today with people such as Wim Hof.
Please do your own research on the book and author. Should you choose to read the book, I challenge you, not to let it change the way you breathe and improve your health afterwards!