Full disclosure, somehow I stumbled upon two very interesting books at the same time. The one I’m thankful for today is the one I’ve almost finished and the other I’ll have finished by the end fo the next weekend. Both books have a very strong similarity, a focus on the power of breath.
Breath by James Nestor has been one crazy factoid after another. Throughout the book there’ve been many interesting nuggets of information – supported by science – as well as ways to take advantage of our physiology. Never in my life would I have imagined that I knew as little about the essential bodily function that I do so many thousand of times each day. Hearing about how the body breathes and all the ways I can impact it has been mind blowing.
One nugget in particular I’ve been consciously focusing on improving is nasal breathing. I’m not sure if it is due to allergies or something else, but my nose is seemingly always stuffy. This stuffiness has led to the habit of breathing through my mouth. During especially rough allergy seasons I’ll wake up in the morning with a raw throat from breathing out of my mouth all night long.
This book showed me just how important it is to breathe through my nose instead of my mouth – and not just for the reason of a dry and irritated throat. Through a handful of the exercises in the book I’m already finding I have the ability to control how open my nose is. In a matter of minutes I can go from stuffed up to breathing through my nose only. It’s crazy!
What I’m also finding are so many ways to breath in ways that are much more healthy (yes, there are healthy and less healthy ways to breathe). When I combine the ideas from this book with the other I’m reading I’m finding ways to increase my lung capacity. There are several things I’m looking forward to trying over the next couple of weeks to see how I can improve my fitness and athletic performance as well.
If you suffer from asthma, allergies, or anything else breathing related or are interested in the physiology of the nose I’d recommend picking up a copy of the book. My mind is already blown and I’m not even done yet!