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Its kind of impressive to make a whole book that can be summed up as "You should probably breathe through your nose". I gave in on the repetitive subject matter that is revealed during the opening few chapters.
Seeing high ratings of this book everywhere and western critics going gaga on this book, I thought reading something new. And I was terribly disappointed. What this book has discussed is something which decades old books of Bihar School of Yoga under Swami Satyananda had already revealed and discussed in much superior way. If you don't believe, just go through their Prana and Pranayam by Niranjananda Or Prana Vidya by Swami Satyananda, the master himself. Just astonished how west still keeps stealing original works and labels it its own and the sheepish world calls it marvelous. This book is not even 1 percent lifw changing of what the suggested two books from Bihar School of Yoga is capable of.
This book is a collection of anecdotes and pseudo science about breathing.
These range from insubstantial; a man in the 1930's met another man who'd benefited from visiting Tibetan monks who breath through their noses. To plausible; anxiety can be controlled with breathing, strengthening the chest muscles and diaphram can help with breathing (eg. physiotherapy is good for people with emphysema). To mystical; breathing can infuse the body with a magical 'energy' called Prana.
Any conclusions seem to be contradictory: breath in little sips, take big breaths, reduce the amount of oxygen in our bodies, increase the amount etc.
A lot is written concerning a study he and a friend took part in where they taped their noses shut for 10 days to force them to breath through their mouths. Apparently this will make you feel rotten, snore more and grow bacteria in your unused nasal cavity. Hardly surprising.
I am sorry to say that I didn't finish reading this book. It is super boring and long read. I get the point, I get the value, but it could have been a brochure if the author skipped on so many words and stories about literally nothing. Too vague for me. I prefer the literature to get to the point, share tips, examples, but this i more like.. novel or such.
I found this book interesting at first, until it went on to talk about horrible experiments on dogs in which a scientist used the dogs own breath to kill them, which I found disturbing, he lost me after that, so in theory this book just made me angry.
I was hopeful this book would lead me to a daily practice of breathing after I've found mindfulness meditation to be lacking. There are elements of this book that seem logical, however most of the points made in this book lack any kind of scientific rigor or backing. What's worse, most of the anecdotes in this book do come across as one quack after another who have theories on breathing. What seems to be the capstone finding in this book, optimal breathing being 5.5 breathes per minute, each 5.5 seconds is not substantiated with much of anything.
Because I have suffered some lung damage, I was hoping this book would offer some insight and help. While the first chapter or two were indeed helpful, the rest of the book was quite scattered with the history of often contradictory breathing techniques. At the end I didn't know if I should take deep breaths, shallow breaths, breathe slow, breathe fast, hyper or hypo ventilate. In fact some of the techniques at the end seemed rather dangerous. With all due respect, it was rather useless at best.