How to breathe with James Nestor

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Imagine if we could reduce — or even REVERSE — asthma, anxiety, psoriasis, and much more, all by changing a single habit.

No, this is NOT some far-off fantasy… 

According to my guest today, it’s something you can do yourself without spending a single penny on doctors, drugs, or devices.

In fact, he says, changing the way you BREATHE could influence your body weight and allow you to hack into your nervous system, control your immune response, restore your health, and perhaps even help you live longer.

I’m joined by journalist James Nestor, the author of a fascinating new book called Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

Today, he and I are going to discuss how your lungs affect your weight, whether inhaling or exhaling is more important, and the role FOOD has had on our breathing (and even the shape of our skulls).

We’ll also discuss the breathing technique that may reduce inflammatory markers 40-fold within a matter of weeks!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why your ancestors had perfectly straight teeth — and why we DON’T (2:15)
  • What happens when you ONLY breathe through your mouth (6:45)
  • How you can get 20% MORE oxygen by using THIS “neglected” organ (9:15)
  • How a piece of tape can improve your sleep (11:55)
  • Why putting a few books underneath your bed can actually help you get rid of sleep apnea (13:45)
  • What the size of your lungs can say about how LONG you’ll live (16:00)
  • The surprising reason EX-haling may be more important for your health than IN-haling (17:20)
  • Why you need to SLOW DOWN to run faster (18:35)
  • How your lungs help regulate your weight (20:45)
  • Why you probably need to breathe LESS (22:30)
  • The Tibetan Monk technique which can help you dry sheets, melt snow, and balance your immune system (24:15)
  • How 20 minutes of stress a day can help your body completely relax — and why it’s GREAT for people with autoimmune diseases (28:30)
  • The breathing pattern that can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure by 10 — or even 15 — points (30:35)
  • A simple technique to stimulate your creative side with your breath (32:45)
  • Why yogis sleep on their right side (35:00)
  • The “stinky” vegetable that may actually be the BEST food for your gut (44:00)

Mentioned on this episode:

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

Breath citations and bibliography

Breathing videos

Wim Hof breathing method instructional video

Lung size and cardiovascular/mortality risk

Tibetan guru teaches tummo breathing

If you like this episode, you may also enjoy:

Can’t quiet your mind to meditate? Emily Fletcher explains why that’s OK

Yes, You CAN Exercise Too Much! Will Ahmed Talks Overtraining

Shawn Stevenson talks ways to easily boost the quality of your sleep

The 9-minute trick to decrease depression risk by 44%

Episode Transcript:

Watch on YouTube:

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