Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

“Who would have thought something as simple as changing the way we breathe could be so revolutionary for our health, from snoring to allergies to immunity? A fascinating book, full of dazzling revelations,” shares Dr. Rangan Chatterjee about James Nestor’s book, Breath, published July 8, 2021.

There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. In Breath, journalist James Nestor travels the world to discover the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

“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, allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disease — and even straighten scoliotic spines,” explains Nestor, who explores how the human species has lost the ability to breathe properly over the past several hundred thousand years and is now suffering from a laundry list of maladies — snoring, sleep apnea, asthma, autoimmune disease — because of it.

Nestor traveled the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren’t found in pulmonology labs, he realized, but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of Sao Paulo.

“None of this should be possible, and yet it is,” explains the author who drew on thousands of years of ancient wisdom and cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology. “We are turning the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head.”

You will never breathe the same again. Learn more here.


About James Nestor: An author and journalist who has written for Outside Magazine, The Atlantic, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Scientific American, Dwell Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, and more.

Nestor’s book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, was released through Riverhead/Penguin Random House on May 26, 2020. Breath spent 18 weeks of the New York Times bestseller list in the first year of publication and was an instant bestseller in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Sunday London Times. Breath was awarded the Best General Nonfiction Book of 2020 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Breath was translated into more than 30 languages in 2021.

Nestor’s first narrative nonfiction book, DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What The Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was released in the United States and the UK in June 2014. DEEP was a BBC Book of the Week, a Finalist for the PEN American Center Best Sports Book of the Year, an Amazon Best Science Book of 2014, BuzzFeed 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2014, ArtForum Top 10 Book of 2014, New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, Scientific American Recommended Read, and more. The book has been translated into German, Chinese, Italian, Polish, and more; the audiobook, read by Nestor, was released by Audible in June 2016.

Nestor has presented his research at Stanford Medical School, the United Nations, UBS, Global Classroom (World Health Organization+UNICEF), as well as more than 40 radio and television shows, including Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Joe Rogan Show, BulletProof, ABC’s Nightline, CBS Morning News, and dozens of NPR programs.

Discover more at mrjamesnestor.com.