James Nestor | The Lost Art of Breathing

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In today’s episode, we cover breathing with James Nestor. James has written for Scientific American, BBC, The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Public Radio and more, and is the author of the best-selling book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.


Breathing incorrectly can have detrimental effects on your sleep, metabolism, inflammation, and even your lifespan, but what is the correct way to breathe, why is evolution working against us so we breathe worse over time, and what exercise can you use to train your body to subconsciously breathe correctly?  


What to Listen For

  • Introduction – 0:00
  • How did James Nestor become so focused on breathing?
  • How is evolution working against our breathing?
  • What do people often get wrong about survival of the fittest and evolution?  


  • The Lost Art of Breathing – 11:10 
  • Why is breathing not talked about by the medical community when it’s so crucial to our health and wellbeing?
  • How does breathing impact your sleep and what can you do to improve your sleep with your breathing?
  • How does breathing impact your metabolism and how can you use your breathing to help you burn more calories?
  • How are lung capacity and lifespan connected and how can you increase your lifespan?


  • Breathe CORRECTLY to eliminate inflammation – 34:00 
  • How is your breathing on a daily basis making your chronic inflammation worse and how should you be breathing instead?
  • Why do you need to stop breathing with your mouth?
  • Why do we feel better as humans when we breathe through our noses and not our mouths?
  • How long should you inhale, hold your breath, and exhale to train your body to breathe correctly?
  • How can correct breathing make you a better public speaker?


Many people go through their entire lives without thinking about the way they breathe. It’s one of those things that our bodies do automatically so it’s easy to shrug off, but breathing is arguably one of the most important activities we do on a daily basis, so time should be spent trying to understand the best way to breathe.


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Resources from this Episode

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

James Nestor’s website

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker


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