Body: Breath by James Nestor


June 23rd, 2021

37 mins 49 secs

Season 6

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

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.

The missing pillar in health is breath, it all starts there

Nestor finds that the science of breathing really is a lost art, and discovers more in ancient burial sites and secret Soviet facilities than in modern science labs. Points to antifragility.

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, asthma, and autoimmune disease; and even straighten scoliotic spines. None of this should be possible, and yet it is.

Mouth vs nose breathing: the experiment

We lose weight through exhaled breath, 85% of the weight lost comes through breathing out CO2

More chewing when young -> better developed faces, mouths and airways -> fewer issues when older

Core ideas

-Breath through nose
-Breathing slowly is best. The ideal breathing rate is 5.5 breaths per minute.
-Long exhalations are particularly beneficial.
-Rapid breathing is generally harmful, but done with conscious control it can be beneficial.

Carbon dioxide is important

Useful breathing exercises at the end of the book