The best books on breathing

2 authors have picked their favorite books about breathing and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of Break Through with Breathwork: Jump-Starting Personal Growth in Counseling and the Healing Arts

Jim is the creator of Therapeutic Breathwork. He was the first clinical psychologist in America to fully integrate breathwork into his practice, and he has been a leading voice in the breathing world for nearly fifty years. He brings a wealth of experience in the healing of trauma, and he teaches people to use breathwork to meet everyday challenges, for life-long personal growth, and for spiritual awakening. He introduces a brilliant model of “Six Body Themes” and “Six Major Breathing Patterns” with specific coaching tips and goals related to each. This book addresses breathwork ethics and standards. It contains game-changing advice and techniques for professional practitioners, bodyworkers, counselors, therapists, and anyone interested in self-actualization and liberation.

Break Through with Breathwork

By Jim Morningstar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Break Through with Breathwork as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When working with trauma and chronic health issues, it can often seem like the healing process gets stuck or is producing only minimal progress. In this groundbreaking book, clinical psychologist Jim Morningstar, PhD, shows therapists, bodyworkers, and other health care professionals how to achieve remarkable breakthroughs with their clients using the power of Therapeutic Breathwork.  

Unlike more commonly known mindfulness breathwork techniques—which typically only involve slower-than-normal breathing—Therapeutic Breathwork is designed to also include faster-than-normal breathing (35–75 breaths per minute) to enervate the sympathetic nervous system. This is especially useful in helping to release blocks that arise while working through difficult…

Who am I?

I am one of the earliest pioneers of the Modern Breathwork Movement and recognized as a leading expert and authority in the field. I have been studying and practicing the Art and Science of Breathwork since 1970, and I have published a Breath and Breathing Report every month since 1976. I have traveled to over 65 countries and trained more than 250,000 people, including navy SEALs, first responders, Olympic athletes, psychotherapists, medical doctors, nurses, hospice workers, spiritual counselors, corporate executives, yogis, meditation teachers, and celebrities such as Tony Robbins. I am the Founder and Director of The International Center for Breathwork, and The Breathing Festival. 


I wrote...

Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

By Dan Brulé,

Book cover of Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

What is my book about?

What if you could control your outcomes and change results simply by controlling your breath? Now you can. In this definitive handbook, world-renown pioneer of breathwork Dan Brulé shares for the first time his Breath Mastery technique that has helped people from every walk of life all over the world.

Just Breathe is a simple and revolutionary guide that reveals the secret behind what the elite athletes, champion martial artists, Navy SEAL warriors, and spiritual yogis have always known—when you control your breathing you can control your state of well-being and level of performance. So if you want to optimize your health, clear and calm your mind, and spark peak performance—the secret to unlock and sustain these results comes from a free and natural resource that’s right under your nose.

Exhale

By Richie Bostock,

Book cover of Exhale: 40 Breathwork Exercises to Help You Find Your Calm, Supercharge Your Health, and Perform at Your Best

The “Breath Guy” has studied with some of the world’s most well know breathing experts and authorities, and he has become one of the world’s leading practitioners of breathwork. He incorporates movement and posture and stretching into breathing practices. He has put together a collection of powerful breathwork exercises that will help you awaken your energy and your body and will also help you up-level your emotional and psychological health. He offers some simple breathing tests to check your skills, and he gives us several morning rituals, afternoon boosters, stress busters, and evening calmers. And he has included a great 21-day program to optimize your day-to-day breathing so that you feel great and perform at your best.

Exhale

By Richie Bostock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Exhale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More energy, less stress, better sleep, happier lives. Isn't that what we all wish we had more of? Well, the solution is, quite literally, under your nose: your breath.

From leading Breathwork practitioner, Richie Bostock, comes Exhale - a guide to learning the transformative power of breathing to help you lead a happier, healthier life.

Exhale will help you master your physical, mental and emotional state in the comfort of your own home. Whether you're looking to reduce stress, improve creativity, tackle back pain or treat chronic ailments, conscious breathing has benefits for everyone.

With over 40 exercises, experience the…


Who am I?

I am one of the earliest pioneers of the Modern Breathwork Movement and recognized as a leading expert and authority in the field. I have been studying and practicing the Art and Science of Breathwork since 1970, and I have published a Breath and Breathing Report every month since 1976. I have traveled to over 65 countries and trained more than 250,000 people, including navy SEALs, first responders, Olympic athletes, psychotherapists, medical doctors, nurses, hospice workers, spiritual counselors, corporate executives, yogis, meditation teachers, and celebrities such as Tony Robbins. I am the Founder and Director of The International Center for Breathwork, and The Breathing Festival. 


I wrote...

Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

By Dan Brulé,

Book cover of Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

What is my book about?

What if you could control your outcomes and change results simply by controlling your breath? Now you can. In this definitive handbook, world-renown pioneer of breathwork Dan Brulé shares for the first time his Breath Mastery technique that has helped people from every walk of life all over the world.

Just Breathe is a simple and revolutionary guide that reveals the secret behind what the elite athletes, champion martial artists, Navy SEAL warriors, and spiritual yogis have always known—when you control your breathing you can control your state of well-being and level of performance. So if you want to optimize your health, clear and calm your mind, and spark peak performance—the secret to unlock and sustain these results comes from a free and natural resource that’s right under your nose.

Breath

By James Nestor,

Book cover of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

I hate to recommend a New York Times bestseller but I really did love reading this book. It is an easy read through the anthropology, physiology, and very human side of why breathing is important. Breathing well can be confusing and James Nestor unpacks how we can learn to use our breath to benefit our health. Breathing is our superpower and this book will illustrate why.

Breath

By James Nestor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breath as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE PHENOMENAL INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER - OVER A MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE

SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY BOOK PRIZE

'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' Dr Rangan Chatterjee

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…


Who am I?

As a lifelong asthmatic I’ve been working with the body for as long as I can remember. Childhood activities included getting lost in the woods, camping, and roller-skating, and grown-up life has included the professions of a modern dancer, choreographer, yoga therapist, and occupational therapist. If you can learn to slow down and find safety in your body, you can always manage to find your way home.


I wrote...

Yoga Bones: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Pain and Orthopedic Injuries Through Yoga

By Laura Staton,

Book cover of Yoga Bones: A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Pain and Orthopedic Injuries Through Yoga

What is my book about?

Yoga Bones - A Comprehensive Guide to Managing Pain and Orthopedic Injuries Through Yoga explains the common conditions causing bodily pain and the easy and fun ways to self-manage through yoga. Beautifully photographed and illustrated, Yoga Bones discusses conditions such as sciatica, lumbar herniations, and hip replacements among many others. By targeting specific areas of the body, Yoga Bones helps to identify problem areas and use yoga as a roadmap for developing self-care. Yoga Bones also offers lifestyle insight such as breathing, anti-inflammatory nutrition, stress-reduction, mindfulness, and the importance of leisure - teaching us to slow down and feel the powerful effects of self-care.

Breathe Like a Bear

By Kira Willey, Anni Betts (illustrator),

Book cover of Breathe Like a Bear

While this book is a bit longer than a traditional picture book, the simple text and fun, colorful illustrations make it suitable to share with young children. Activities like “Hot Chocolate” and “Bear Breath” introduce simple breathing and stretching exercises. Pick a handful of favorites to practice when your child is feeling overwhelmed to help them find a sense of calm.

Breathe Like a Bear

By Kira Willey, Anni Betts (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Breathe Like a Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Breathe Like a Bear is a beautifully illustrated collection of movements and breathing exercises designed to teach kids techniques for managing their bodies, breath, and emotions. Best of all, they can be performed anywhere: in the backseat of a car, at home, or even at a child's deskat school. Based on Kira Willey's Parents'Choice GOLD Award-winning CD, Mindful Moments for Kids, this is the first book of its kind and is the perfect tool to help children and parents develop a fun and consistent mindfulness practice.

Who am I?

I am a children’s book creator and a parent. Raising an anxious child can be challenging. Events that many children find fun and exciting can be overwhelming and scary for your child. Seemingly small changes in their daily routine can throw some youngsters into a swirl of emotions that is upsetting to them and to those who love them. When I was searching for picture books to help the young worrier in my life, I looked for books that acknowledged their distressing feelings while giving them some strategies with which to cope with their overwhelming emotions. That premise became the theme of my Maud the Koala book series. 


I wrote...

Book cover of Much Too Much Birthday (Maud the Koala)

What is my book about?

Maud the Koala is excited. Today is her birthday and she is getting ready for her big party, after all, big birthdays are the best birthdays. Right? But Maud’s mother has some concerns when she discovers Maud invited 56 children to her backyard celebration. As the crowd builds, Maud starts feeling dizzy and slips behind a bush to find some peace and quiet. In the shrubbery, she finds Simon who is also overwhelmed by the hubbub. Slowly Maud and Simon reengage with the party at their own pace. Socially anxious children will relate to Maud and Simon as they realize big crowds aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

The Power of Breath

By Swami Saradananda,

Book cover of The Power of Breath

Maintaining my meditation practice for over 50 years, I’ve learned the power of breath. If you control your breath, you control your life. Conscious breathwork enhances our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. I’ve recommended these practices since I finished this brief and well-written guidebook. Momentary and lasting bliss is possible with breath. She is the master to follow. 

The Power of Breath

By Swami Saradananda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Power of Breath as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Often the simple act of breathing is overlooked, even by those who practice yoga, but this is the body's most fundamental physical process. Join renowned yoga and meditation teacher Swami Saradananda as she expertly shows you how to enhance your life through the power of breath, making Pranayama (the formal yogic practice of controlling the breath) accessible to everyone. Boost your energy and confidence, reduce stress and anxiety, and address a wide range of health concerns with a wealth of inspiring exercises and tips. Explore all five types of breathing in the Eastern tradition - each related to a particular…

Who am I?

Arriving home from school at age 8 with a story I had written called The Mystery Artist, my mother asked, “Do you want to be a writer?” “Oh yes, and I want to be an actor too and travel all over the world!” Mom smiled and said, “Honey, I believe you will.” I’m now 79, healthy, and happy. Telling traditional and true stories on stages in schools, theatres, and churches, traveling to more than 40 countries, and writing multiple multicultural collections of tellable tales is a dream come true. And along the way, I’ve searched for Light and Life. The journey isn’t finished. There is always more to come.


I wrote...

Vagabond Tales, In Search of Light and Life

By Pleasant DeSpain,

Book cover of Vagabond Tales, In Search of Light and Life

What is my book about?

A Spiritual Journey: Your life stories contain the pattern of your past karma unfolding in this life. Healing karma is possible and probable if you are willing to enter the darkest cave to find the greatest treasure. “A pioneer of the American storytelling renaissance,” Pleasant DeSpain, world traveler and author of 18 award-winning multicultural books, found a wealth of treasures along the way. Join him on this nine-chapter journey of true and traditional tales from around the globe celebrating light and life, healing, surrender, and happiness. 

The Breathing Cure

By Patrick McKeown,

Book cover of The Breathing Cure: Develop New Habits for a Healthier, Happier, and Longer Life

Patrick is the Ninja of Nose Breathing! He is one of those special people who learned how to pick himself up by his own bootstraps! He healed himself of asthma and has helped thousands of others do the same. His first book, The Oxygen Advantage, was a game-changer. And his most recent book, The Breathing Cure takes the Oxygen Advantage to the next level! It is packed with practical teachings and filled with evidence-based exercises and resources guaranteed to help you improve a host of health issues, including stress, anxiety and panic disorders, snoring, Insomnia, lower back pain, high blood pressure, even diabetes, Epilepsy, and more!

The Breathing Cure

By Patrick McKeown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Breathing Cure as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Breathing Cure will guide you through techniques that embody the key to healthy breathing and healthy living. McKeown's goal is to enable you to take responsibility for your own health, to prevent and significantly reduce a number of common ailments, to help you realise your potential and to offer simple, scientifically-based ways to change your breathing habits. On a day-to-day basis, you will experience an increase in energy and concentration, an enhanced ability to deal with stress and a better quality of life.

The essential guide to functional breathing, learn techniques tried and tested by Olympic athletes and elite…


Who am I?

I am one of the earliest pioneers of the Modern Breathwork Movement and recognized as a leading expert and authority in the field. I have been studying and practicing the Art and Science of Breathwork since 1970, and I have published a Breath and Breathing Report every month since 1976. I have traveled to over 65 countries and trained more than 250,000 people, including navy SEALs, first responders, Olympic athletes, psychotherapists, medical doctors, nurses, hospice workers, spiritual counselors, corporate executives, yogis, meditation teachers, and celebrities such as Tony Robbins. I am the Founder and Director of The International Center for Breathwork, and The Breathing Festival. 


I wrote...

Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

By Dan Brulé,

Book cover of Just Breathe: Mastering Breathwork

What is my book about?

What if you could control your outcomes and change results simply by controlling your breath? Now you can. In this definitive handbook, world-renown pioneer of breathwork Dan Brulé shares for the first time his Breath Mastery technique that has helped people from every walk of life all over the world.

Just Breathe is a simple and revolutionary guide that reveals the secret behind what the elite athletes, champion martial artists, Navy SEAL warriors, and spiritual yogis have always known—when you control your breathing you can control your state of well-being and level of performance. So if you want to optimize your health, clear and calm your mind, and spark peak performance—the secret to unlock and sustain these results comes from a free and natural resource that’s right under your nose.

Alphabreaths

By Christopher Willard, Daniel Rechtschaffen, Holly Clifton-Brown (illustrator)

Book cover of Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing

Alphabreaths is brilliant. It’s a colorful alphabet book and a mindfulness book in one. Clinical psychologist Christopher Willard teamed up with family therapist Daniel Rechtsschaffen and illustrator Holly Clifton-Brown to create mindful activities from A to Z. Kids will want to try out these breath and mindfulness techniques because they are so simple, and the illustrations so inviting. You can do each one without any prior understanding of mindfulness or breath techniques.

My favorite pages include: “Question Breath. As you breathe in, ask yourself how you are feeling. As you breathe out, answer.”

“Superhero Breathe. Breathe in and imagine you are a superhero. Breathe out and imagine how you will help someone.”

“Wish Breath. Breathe in and make a happy wish for yourself. Breathe out and send a happy wish to someone else.”

I’m crazy about Clifton-Brown’s illustrations. Her characters express innocence, wonder, and serenity. Her palette is soft yet…

Alphabreaths

By Christopher Willard, Daniel Rechtschaffen, Holly Clifton-Brown (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alphabreaths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Alphabreaths, children will learn their ABCs and the basics of mindfulness through playful breathing exercises. Breaths like Mountain Breath and Redwood Breath will connect them with nature, while breaths like Heart Breath and Wish Breath will help them remember to fill their heart with gratitude and send good wishes to others.

Simple, playful, and with delightful illustrations, Alphabreaths is the perfect introduction to mindfulness and breath awareness.

Who am I?

Whitney Stewart will travel far for a story—trekking in a Himalayan snowstorm with Sir Edmund Hillary, climbing to remote Buddhist monasteries in Tibet, interviewing the Dalai Lama in India, and Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. She is an award-winning author of nonfiction for children, and a longtime meditation practitioner. When she is not writing or traveling, she teaches mindfulness and self-care to children.


I wrote...

Mindful Tots: Tummy Ride

By Whitney Stewart, Rocio Alejandro (illustrator),

Book cover of Mindful Tots: Tummy Ride

What is my book about?

I adapted my mindfulness exercises from Mindful Kids Activity Deck into a board book series to help toddlers manage their emotions and engage more easily in life. Each of the four board books, beautifully illustrated by Rocio Alejandro, offers toddlers one simple mindfulness technique—to calm down, to share kindness with others, to relax into sleep time, or to transition from activity to activity. Barefoot Books published the series in English and in bilingual, Spanish-English editions.

Information Anxiety

By Richard Saul Wurman,

Book cover of Information Anxiety

This book took me and the business world by storm. Wurman truly nailed a feeling that was widely experienced but had not yet been named. He explained how information anxiety resulted from constant overstimulation, especially when we don't have the time or opportunity to make an orderly transition from one idea to the next.

He explained how no one functions well when figuratively gasping for breath. Learning, he said, requires ‘way-stations’ where we have the chance to stop and think about an idea or subject matter before moving on to the next. So true! I particularly like his analogy that basing your view of the world on isolated events is like basing you knowledge of music on what you hear in an elevator.

Most important to me are the five ways to organize information as laid out in the book. If you're wondering, they include by category, time, location,…

Information Anxiety

By Richard Saul Wurman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Information Anxiety as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tackling the problem of the ever widening gap between "what we understand - and what we think we should understand", the book offers tools to sort through daily data and offers suggestions for print media, meaningful charts, graphics and statistics. From the author of the "Access" guides.

Who am I?

I hold the registered trademark as "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," and work with organizations that seek to enhance their productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. I've spoken to Fortune 50 companies such as IBM, Cardinal Health Group, Lockheed, American Express, the IRS, Wells Fargo, and Westinghouse. My books have been published in 19 languages and have been featured in 68 of the top 75 American newspapers, as well as Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. At heart, I'm a simpler living advocate. I believe in giving back to his community and am an active volunteer for Art Space in downtown Raleigh, and the North Carolina Museum of Art.



I wrote...

Book cover of Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society

What is my book about?

Breathing Space is a big concept book on the topic of work-life balance that is easy to read and easy to understand. It explains why most people are drowning in the over-information age. If you face too many emails, too much to read, or simply too much to do, this book will change your life. It explores the socio-cultural roots of our rush-rush society, and then shows how, against all odds, you can craft a personal plan that will enable you to stay productive, competitive, happy, and balanced, most of the time.

Breathing Space is the breakthrough book for a time-pressed generation, with major features in USA TodayThe Washington PostBoston HeraldChicago Tribune, and 75 other newspapers, plus Executive FemaleOffice SystemsLeaders, and Men's Health. Get in control of your space, and control of your time and life will follow.

Ritual

By Emma Restall Orr,

Book cover of Ritual: A Guide to Life, Love, and Inspiration

We are all creatures of habit and many of our habits are akin to what the author calls rituals. This is heavy-duty stuff, and well worth reading. In our modern hectic work-a-day world, too often we lack rituals that could be sustaining and rewarding. Why is this important? Rituals can add richness and meaning to our daily lives. For example, the author says a walk in the park or lightning a candle at certain times of the day enables us to reconnect with others and with our inner self.

During a time when many of us live miles and miles from our families and might not even know our neighbors, rituals provide us with a feeling of belonging. They enhance our sense of who we are, personally and professionally, as well as individually and collectively. The great news is that rituals can easily be adapted to suit occasions and events…

Ritual

By Emma Restall Orr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ritual as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A highly readable and beautifully designed exploration of ritual, ideal for all those who wish to add a touch of spirituality into their daily lives. This has the potential to become a core book on modern ritual. Starting with an introduction to ritual and how it can be used, the book then describes the essential components that make a ritual potent and effective. Although it is grounded in Druidry, it gives a basic framework for each ritual which encourages the practitioner to use the book within their own spiritual tradition. Inspirational and practical, the book includes ideas for rituals to…

Who am I?

I hold the registered trademark as "The Work-Life Balance Expert®," and work with organizations that seek to enhance their productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. I've spoken to Fortune 50 companies such as IBM, Cardinal Health Group, Lockheed, American Express, the IRS, Wells Fargo, and Westinghouse. My books have been published in 19 languages and have been featured in 68 of the top 75 American newspapers, as well as Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. At heart, I'm a simpler living advocate. I believe in giving back to his community and am an active volunteer for Art Space in downtown Raleigh, and the North Carolina Museum of Art.



I wrote...

Book cover of Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society

What is my book about?

Breathing Space is a big concept book on the topic of work-life balance that is easy to read and easy to understand. It explains why most people are drowning in the over-information age. If you face too many emails, too much to read, or simply too much to do, this book will change your life. It explores the socio-cultural roots of our rush-rush society, and then shows how, against all odds, you can craft a personal plan that will enable you to stay productive, competitive, happy, and balanced, most of the time.

Breathing Space is the breakthrough book for a time-pressed generation, with major features in USA TodayThe Washington PostBoston HeraldChicago Tribune, and 75 other newspapers, plus Executive FemaleOffice SystemsLeaders, and Men's Health. Get in control of your space, and control of your time and life will follow.

Book cover of The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water

When I think of The Girl Who Could Breathe Underwater, the first thing that comes to mind is how nuanced and sensitive it is. It tackles an exceptionally difficult topic—sexual trauma—with a finesse and respect for the goodness of humanity that takes my breath away. There are Bad Guys in this book, but Erin Bartels reminds us that they, too, have back stories and reasons why they became the people they are. This book is the epitome of finding beauty amid life’s toughest challenges.

The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water

By Erin Bartels,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Emotions leap off the page in this deeply personal book . . . . Expertly written."--Library Journal

***

The best fiction simply tells the truth.
But the truth is never simple.

When novelist Kendra Brennan moves into her grandfather's old cabin on Hidden Lake, she has a problem and a plan. The problem? An inflammatory letter from A Very Disappointed Reader. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend's brother--and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book. If she can prove that she told the truth about what happened during those long-ago summers, perhaps she can…

Who am I?

I suspect my passion for this topic was born when my doctor came into my C-section recovery room and uttered the words “chromosomal abnormality.” My daughter has Down syndrome, and full disclosure: I had zero interest in being a disability mom. Yet as I fell in love with this beautiful, funny, sassy girl, my whole worldview shifted. I am a far better person than I was when she entered my life. She has taught me the beauty and the blessing wrapped up in the things that first appear to be the most difficult. 


I wrote...

A Song for the Road

By Kathleen Basi,

Book cover of A Song for the Road

What is my book about?

A year after losing her family in an accident, musician Miriam Tedesco stumbles across a program written by her daughter to send her on a cross-country road trip. Armed with her husband’s guitar, her daughter’s cello, and her son’s unfinished piano sonata, she embarks on a musical pilgrimage to honor the family she fears she never loved enough. But nothing ever goes according to plan. Tornadoes, impromptu concerts, and an unlikely friendship… ready or not, Miriam’s world is coming back to life. But as she struggles to keep her focus on the reason she set out on this journey, she has to confront the possibility that the best way to honor her family may be to accept the truths she never wanted to face.

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