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Book Review: Perfect Breathing

March 18th, 2009 · No Comments

A colleague Al Lee recently sent me a copy of his new book Perfect Breathing. What a great book! When I heard that Perfect Breathing was coming out, I wondered what about breathing could possibly fill a whole book. I was afraid it was going to be about 20 pages, in, let’s say, 100 point font. I was wrong!

Perfect Breathing is the perfect combination of education, exercises, and stories. Its first section reviews why breath is important, how breath relates to body, emotional and spiritual health, and provides a series of exercises to help you connect with your breathing. The next sections look at how breath can decrease stress, promote healing, improve performance, and help you control emotions like anger.

For readers with pain, here’s an example of an exercise which can quiet pain, called “Waterfall Breathing”:

With each inhale, imagine that your abdomen is filling like a pitcher with cold clear water. Hold it for just a moment and as you exhale, release it and let it flow right to the center of the pain. Picture the fire that represents your pain and with each exhale imagine that the fire is becoming weaker and fainter as it is extinguished by the water.

There are several wonderful chapters on the connection between breathing and spiritual practices, meditation, and finally death and dying.

The book is clearly written, well-researched and enjoyable to read. Al Lee and his co-author Don Campbell are clearly well-versed in the topic, and beautifully share their expertise. The breathing exercises are easy to follow, inviting you into the book and into the practice of breathing. I’d strongly recommend Perfect Breathing to all who are interested in meditation, improving health, the study of breath, the mind-body connection, and spirituality. A must-read!

“The universe provides nourishment, and breathing is our way of absorbing it.”  ~ Heiner Freuhauf

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