September 21, 2021 – Initial Review of “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art” by James Nestor

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

I’d been doing a day to day posting of a continuing study-sketch project with figures in a watercolor landscape and ran into a time roadblock – grandchild, groceries, fitness (walking, yoga, Essentrics), picking up line art to practice-paint at my printer, etc 😊 and wasn’t able to wiggle any more time to work on that project and write about it, so…

I took a deep breath and picked up a book (virtually, via my Kindle Reader, lol!)

The editorial reviews often mentioned this read like a novel & my intro and beginning pages already confirm that.

Nestor’s anecdotes of how he found himself even vaguely interested and compelled into “trying” out a breathing class, and eventually more and more information, in a subtle and very satisfying blend of personal and scientific straight forward, usually unusual information, that cuts away, past to present, present to past, cinematically, like jump cuts, and leaves one so interested, or at least me (and a lot of reviewers) that I’m compelled to keep reading!

My plan, if I don’t bum out on the book 😏 is to post this 1st impression starting-out review, then hopefully one about mid-way through, and of course a final review.

There’s a strong mix of dissenting non-editorial reviews with the very positive life-changing-for-me reviews, and I want to be fair to a topic that, from personal experience, besides at yoga studios (mostly non-functioning right now) is seldom addressed beyond medications and/or surgery (deviated septum etc).

Here’s a smattering of excerpts from the 1st 12 pages (7% read on my Kindle reader) —

Ten, maybe 20 minutes passed. I started getting annoyed and a bit resentful that I’d chosen to spend my evening inhaling dusty air on the floor of an old Victorian. I opened my eyes and looked around. Everyone had the same somber, bored look. Prisoner Eyes appeared to be sleeping. Jerry Lewis looked like he was relieving himself. Bindi sat frozen with a Cheshire Cat smile on her face. I thought about getting up and leaving, but I didn’t want to be rude. The session was free; the instructor wasn’t paid to be here. I needed to respect her charity. So I closed my eyes again, wrapped the blanket a little tighter, and kept breathing.

Then something happened. I wasn’t conscious of any transformation taking place. I never felt myself relax or the swarm of nagging thoughts leave my head. But it was as if I’d been taken from one place and deposited somewhere else. It happened in an instant.

The tape came to an end and I opened my eyes. There was something wet on my head. I lifted my hand to wipe it off and noticed my hair was sopping. I ran my hand down my face, felt the sting of sweat in my eyes, and tasted salt. I looked down at my torso and noticed sweat blotches on my sweater and jeans. The temperature in the room was about 68 degrees—much cooler beneath the drafty window. Everyone had been covered in jackets and hoodies to keep warm. But I had somehow sweated through my clothes as if I’d just run a marathon.

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

Evolution doesn’t always mean progress, Evans told me. It means change. And life can change for better or worse. Today, the human body is changing in ways that have nothing to do with the “survival of the fittest.” Instead, we’re adopting and passing down traits that are detrimental to our health. This concept, called dysevolution, was made popular by Harvard biologist Daniel Lieberman, and it explains why our backs ache, feet hurt, and bones are growing more brittle. Dysevolution also helps explain why we’re breathing so poorly.

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

The book (still within those 1st 12 pages) explained how cooking, a human innovation, also changed our facial bones and breathing.

Nestor, in the immediate pages ahead (I peeked) relates an experiment he agreed to participate in where his nostrils were plugged and all his breathing was via his mouth. I’m not 100% sure, but doesn’t sound like it went well, lol!

I think I’ve definitely found a book relative to my physical challenges today and think I’ll be reading into this book each day, even if bit by bit. Kinda like my art nowadays, bit by bit ❤️

Either way, if I give up on this book, I’ll post that.

If I don’t, and I reach about mid-point; I’ll do a follow-up review at that point.

Reading further, and applying the breathing info I think/hope I’ll be getting will be a challenge.

But isn’t that what my dapple light figure studies watercolor acrylics on light molding paste are also all about?

A challenge to improve myself, live more fully, enabling myself to be more creative, more expressive, more fully?

Whatever that may turn out to be?


Thanks so much everyone! Take a deep breath – I’m hoping to be able to take a lot more myself, lol!

Hopefully next post I’ll have some samples of my sketch-studies done on the line art I picked up from my Austin based printer, Southside Printing 😊


Direct link to my blog post in above tweet 😊

My Related Posts Here On My Blog

My Related Amazon Affiliate Search Products

My Amazon search for “breathing, in the Kindle Store” –

Direct link to The Breathing Cure, on Amazon 😊

My Latest Posts On My Website!

Thanks again, everyone! 😊


Artist self portrait - photo of Felipe Adan Lerma on converted railway track bike ferry for the Island Line Trail connecting mainland Vermont to South Hero on Lake Champlain.

Twitter / Instagram / FB @FelipeAdanLerma
Amazon Author Page –
Fine Art America (FAA, Pixels) –

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.