Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

I started listening to this book on Audible during my morning walk last week. I had just completed the introduction and told Self: “This is a book you’ll never forget.

And YOU will likely say, why should I bother. Or as a line from Nestor’s intro says: “But why do I need to learn how to breathe? I’ve been breathing my whole life.”

Exactly what I said.

Now, I can’t get this book out of my head.

Every breath, a gift.

Excerpts from the Introduction:

“90 percent of us—very likely me, you, and almost everyone you know—is breathing incorrectly and that this failure is either causing or aggravating a laundry list of chronic diseases… This work was upending long-held beliefs in Western medical science. Yes, breathing in different patterns really can influence our body weight and overall health. Yes, how we breathe…

This book is a scientific adventure into the lost art and science of breathing. It explores the transformation that occurs inside our bodies every 3.3 seconds, the time it takes the average person to inhale and exhale…

It will take the average reader about 10,000 breaths to read from here to the end of the book. If I’ve done my job correctly, starting now, with every breath you take, you’ll have a deeper understanding of breathing and how best to do it. Twenty times a minute, ten times, through the mouth, nose, tracheostomy, or breathing tube, it’s not all the same. How we breathe really matters…

By your 3,000th breath, you’ll know the basics of restorative breathing…

By your 6,000th breath, you will have moved into the land of serious, conscious breathing…

By your 8,000th breath, you’ll have pushed even deeper into the body to tap, of all things, the nervous system…

By your 10,000th breath, and the close of this book, you and I will know how the air that enters your lungs affects every moment of your life and how to harness it to its full potential until your final breath…

By the law of averages, you will take 670 million breaths in your lifetime. Maybe you’ve already taken half of those. Maybe you’re on breath 669,000,000. Maybe you’d like to take a few million more.”

James Nestor, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art (Riverhead Books, May 26, 2020)



  1. niasunset says:

    Exactly… Great, this is great. Thank you dear David, Love, nia

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This sounds like a fascinating read, pal. I have long suspected I could help myself manage stress more effectively by getting a better handle on my breathing,,as I have always found yoga soothing, but have I done anything about it? No., of course not. Perhaps now’s the time. Where are you in your journey?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Well, I guess I know what I’ll be ordering today…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A must read – just reading your post had me thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have a friend who is a yoga instructor. We were walking on the beach one day, the Michigan side of lake Michigan, and she told me she’s a certified Breath-Walk instructor!
    Yes, it exists. I’m sending here this now!

    I also am a believer in the Wim Hof method!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I found your words/your work
    from a JJ
    who told me one thing. Write on
    the breath.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m replying to the above. Below:
      I say to my young pups,
      Breathe. Respond. That’s all you need to do for this audition.
      (They are so beautiful and try so hard…. )
      I’m only talking
      to myself…
      but maybe the words will land on a not-so-random hand gesture…. (NO emjoi here)
      Maybe something will shift in their echo
      of the Pinter pause they have accidentally landed.
      It will be a private earthquake.

      I don’t bet on any of this.
      But I sometimes inhale
      and let go slowly.

      Liked by 3 people

    • JJ?


  8. YES!!! The science behind yoga breathing. It changed my life. Sounds like a great book!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Deep breath!!! … “By the law of averages, you will take 670 million breaths in your lifetime. Maybe you’ve already taken half of those. Maybe you’re on breath 669,000,000. Maybe you’d like to take a few million more.” – James Nestor, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art (Riverhead Books, May 26, 2020)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dammit David.
    All jokes aside, I cannot help but think of Mick who could not breathe properly for thirteen years… I guess I’ll be adding this one to my Audible…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I tried to alter my breathing, once because of my mom’s doc who told her to breathe deeply more often; once when I read a book on aerobics; and once again from a book of prayer. All I can say is, shallow breathing is underrated. (It works!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shallow breathing….He’s suggesting 5.5 inhales and exhales a minute.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL, my first thought upon reading that is, does the author think we are baby belugas?? Which caused me to look up sea mammals’ respiration, but I only got as far as seeing the gills of a splendidly retch-inducing sea slug and the next paragraphs were devoted to the 100-year old “strong argument” of two schools of scientists over the means of increased fish respiration when swimming faster — brain-preprogramming or contracted muscle-toggled. Anyway, I just tested myself by the second hand of the kitchen clock — 5.5 respirations in 35 seconds (by sheer force of will). I could probably make it all the way to a full minute. ONCE. lol How about you? Have you tried to do it?

        Liked by 1 person

  13. One to add to the list of must reads … thanks, Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. thanks for the book recommendation – sounds like it took your breath away… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I snatched up the last copy at the local bookstore. Your book references have never let me down. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sounds intriguing 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thanks Dave, I will check it out. 👍🏾

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh yeah, I’ve known for years I dont breathe right. I’m a shallow breather.
    About 20 years ago I started losing some teeth. All in the back, so I kept my good looks, mostly. They would hurt like hell then just fall out. I guess about 6 teeth were lost. I learned that if I laid there and moaned, loud and long, it provided some relief. I didn’t know how, but it seemed to help.
    Nowadays I wake up sometimes with a sour stomach. The same thing works. I moan and groan, loud and long. The more pitiful I sound, and the louder and longer I moan the better it works.
    After about five or six big long pitiful moans, the discomfort is pretty well gone.
    Anyway, we were talking about meditation at my NA group last week. A guy was talking about breathing while he meditates. And I realized that the way all my moaning and groaning works is because of the way it regulates my breathing. Long deep breath, then a long deep moan!
    I think there is probably more to meditation than just moaning and groaning, but it’s a start.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. This does sound fascinating! Since last October when I went to Toronto to begin a year long course on the embodied present, I have met weekly via Zoom with my cohort from the course. All of the embodied present begins with releasing the pelvic bowl to the in-breath, releasing to the out-breath. I am always entranced how grounded I am when I remain conscious of deep belly breathing — which allows me to bring my consciousness down out of my head brain into my belly brain!

    Thanks for the book recommendation. Checking it out! I recommend Philip Shepherd’s “Radical Wholeness” – Philip is the architect of The Embodied Present Process

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I ordered this after reading a bit of it on Amazon, it’s FASCINATING and I think very informative. Reading it while nosebreathing and walking around our neighborhood. Many thanks for pointing it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Just stumbled on this NYT article on Breathe Better with These Nine Exercises. Maybe a quicker study than working through the book.

    Liked by 1 person

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