Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Let It In with Guy Lawrence

Nov 1, 2020

#143 Have you ever been curious about the way you breathe? Or even about your breath itself? Generally, we all go through the motions of inhaling and exhaling everyday with little to no thought. We don’t notice our breath unless we’re not breathing! But as you will hear in my conversation this week with the amazing James Nestor, there are so many health benefits that come from breathing correctly.

James is a science journalist who has written for the Scientific American, the Outside Magazine, National Public Radio, The New York Times and more and in this episode he is here with me to discuss his newest book Breath: The New Science of Lost Art and the importance of our breath in maintaining our mental and physical health.

If only more of us knew how to breath correctly we would not need to rely on many medications and alike. So, if you are interested in the breath and breathwork, or if you are a mouth-breather, this one is for you.

About James: James Nestor is an author and journalist who has written for Scientific American, Outside Magazine, The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, Surfer's Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more. He spent the last several years working on a book called Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.

His book explores the million-year-long history of how the human species has lost the ability to breathe properly and why we’re suffering from a laundry list of maladies because of it. He ended up traveling the world in an attempt to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

He discovered that the answers weren’t found in pulmonology labs but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of Sao Paulo. 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.

Key points with time stamp:

  • James’s work in his own words (2:29)
  • The reception of James’s book, Breath, and the effect of the book on James (3:17)
  • How did James first enter the field of Breathwork? (5:15)
  • James’s first experience with breathing classes and Sudarshan kriya (9:49)
  • James’s journey with writing Breath as a science journalist (11:52)
  • Bridging the gap between the spiritual and medical aspects of breathing (14:58)
  • The resistance around breathwork (20:40)
  • How James went through some of the breathing experience in his book (22:35)
  • The side effects of mouth-breathing (24:59)
  • The relationship between breathing and longevity (27:43)
  • What surprised James most while writing Breath (31:03)
  • Is how we breathe talked about in mainstream media and western medicine? (33:13)
  • The changes to James’s own habits after writing Breath (34:24)
  • Breathing through the nose while exercising (38:18)
  • The correlation between breathing and altitude (40:28)
  • A low point which became a blessing for James (45:00)
  • James’s morning routine (45:47)
  • A book recommendation from James (47:29)
  • What James leaves us with (48:43)

Mentioned in this episode:

  • Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, 2020. A book by James Nestor
  • The Scientific American
  • The Outside Magazine
  • Men’s Journal
  • National Public Radio
  • The New York Times
  • Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves, 2014. A book by James Nestor
  • The Pan American Center
  • BBC Radio
  • Sudarshan kriya
  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • Patrick MckKeown
  • Stanford University
  • Wim Hof
  • Dr. Jayakar Nayak
  • The Framingham Heart study
  • Why We Swim, 2020. A book by Bonnie Tsui

About me:

My Instagram:
My website: