“A fantastic guide to one of the most important exercises we've completely forgotten about.” – Dr Rupy Aujla, Founder of Doctors Kitchen
We take around 17,000-29,000 breaths daily and yet almost 40% of us are doing it incorrectly. Improper breathing can exacerbate symptoms of fatigue, headaches or cause digestive issues and sleep disorders.
To address the issue of improper breathing, Richie Bostock wrote a book ‘Exhale’ which aims to help you alleviate stress and anxiety, and improve health and physical performance through breathwork.
Richie Bostock, a renowned breathwork coach, author, and speaker, is on a mission to reintroduce the world to the power of purposeful breathing.
Through his commitment to the field, he has collaborated with numerous influential organisations to advance the practice of Breathwork worldwide.
Bostock’s involvement as a board member of the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance further demonstrates his dedication to promoting training and ethical standards in Breathwork, as well as facilitating its integration as a recognised and effective healing modality on a global scale.
What is the book about?
‘Exhale’ by Richie Bostock is a transformative guide that unlocks the power of purposeful breathing. Drawing from years of experience and the wisdom of breathwork masters, athletes, therapists, and researchers, the author presents essential knowledge and techniques to help readers harness the full potential of their breath.
Starting with an inspiring exploration in Chapter 1, the book unveils a real-life superpower that lies within each of us – breathing. Discover how proper breathing can enhance energy, mental clarity, calmness, meditative states, athletic performance, sleep quality, and overall happiness.
Chapters 2 and 3 provide insights into different breathing habits and offer a 21-day ‘Breathe Right’ program to transform and optimise breathing patterns.
The book goes further by presenting a range of breathwork techniques in Chapter 4 for everyday use and delving into specialised techniques in Chapter 5 to address specific situations, such as panic attacks, athletic performance, hangovers, and chronic ailments.
With a focus on unleashing the untapped potential of our breath, ‘Exhale’ empowers readers to embrace the profound impact of breathing on their life journey – from the first breath to the last –and breathe with purpose every step of the way.
Table of contents
- Introduction: Change your breath, change your life
- 1. Born to breathe
- Beginning a journey with the Iceman
- Discovering and defining Breathwork
- 2. What kind of a breather are you?
- Get acquainted with your breathing muscles
- Learn to recognize different types of breather
- Take the three Breathing Tests and find out how you breathe
- 3. The 21-day Breathe Right program
- Introducing the 21-day program to optimize your day-to-day breathing
- 4. Your daily Breathwork tool kit
- Morning Motivator—breathing to wake up the body
- Afternoon Boosters—breathing for energy
- Stress Busters—breathing for relaxation
- Evening Calmers—breathing for sleep
- 5. A world of breathing techniques
- Mental well-being—anger and frustration; road rage; nervousness; anxiety and panic attacks; performance anxiety; mental rehearsal; decision-making; creativity; focus and concentration; meditation
- Sports performance—nasal breathing benefits; high-altitude training; post-workout recovery
- Physical health—better sex; quitting smoking; headaches and migraines; asthma; high blood pressure; pain; hangovers; nausea and motion sickness
- The Wim Hof Method—autoimmune diseases; endometriosis; chronic pain and fatigue; irritable bowel syndrome; altitude sickness
- Integrative Breathwork—the extraordinary healing power of the breath
- Further reading
Key takeaways from ‘Exhale’
1What is e-mail apnoea and how to cope with it?
You must have heard about people who are chronic over-breathe, mouth breathers, or belly breathers. But have you ever heard of people who hold their breath unconsciously or about a phenomenon called ’email apnoea’
The book explains that this type of apnoea stems from unconscious breath-holding caused by a reflex in response to a stressor or threat. For example, when you are writing an email to your boss or are just fulfilling some work task, you might suddenly realise that you are not breathing. Surprisingly, email apnoea is a rather prevalent phenomenon in any office environment.
‘Exhale’ emphasises the importance of becoming aware of breath-holding moments and provides a simple technique to release tension and restore relaxed and rhythmical breathing. Instead of immediately inhaling, the book suggests exhaling through the nose while consciously relaxing the body. By scanning for tension and letting it go, people can cultivate a state of calm and maintain a more effortless and natural breathing pattern.
2Stretching can aid the way you breathe
Our posture and neck muscles are more related to breathing than we think. Thus, improper breathing can cause muscle tightness while bad posture may exacerbate breathing patterns.
Muscles, engaged in the process of breathing, can often be stiff or tight. Frequently, these are the same muscles that become tense due to prolonged sitting or extensive computer work. Therefore, the book recommends stretches that are designed to specifically target the muscles that have a direct or indirect influence on breathing, aiming to alleviate stiffness and enhance the overall respiratory function. These stretches include vertical dogs, forward folds and cat cows.
3Breathwork can increase energy levels
Breathwork is well known for its stress-relieving properties. But did you know that breathing exercises can actually boost energy levels?
Breathwork can help activate the part of your nervous system responsible for relaxation, which slows down your heart rate, increases oxygen flow, and enhances your overall sense of well-being. It also helps circulate positive energy, improve your mood and energy levels.
In his book, Richie Bostock provides an exercise, called ‘Breath of fire,’ which is said to increase energy levels. Here is its procedure, try and decide whether it works for you😊.
Note that this breathwork should not be performed by pregnant women or individuals suffering from stomach issues.
‘This breath can be done seated or standing.
Exhale forcefully through your nose, also with a forceful contraction of your abdominal muscles.
Following the exhale, allow the inhalation to happen by itself as you relax your abdominal muscles.
Complete 20 rapid breaths.
Inhale through your nose completely.
Hold your breath for 10 seconds.
While holding your breath, relax your abdomen, back, chest, shoulders, and neck—you may feel some slight pressure go into your head.
Sigh out through your mouth and relax for a few seconds.
Repeat this 3 times.’
Overall rating & strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Offers a variety of breathwork exercises suitable for beginners and those looking to incorporate breathwork into their daily routines.
Covers a wide range of topics, from managing anger and stress to improving concentration and creativity.
Provides specialised exercises for mental well-being, sports performance, and physical health.
Lacks an explanation of how the respiratory system works as well as research to support the effectiveness of certain exercises.
Best quotes from ‘Exhale’
“Breathwork is when you intentionally become aware of your breath and use it to improve your physical and mental health and performance and emotional well-being.”
“You’re sitting at your desk, writing an e-mail to your boss, updating her on your work progress. Suddenly, you realize you’re not breathing! So you take in a big gasp of air. You’ve just experienced “e-mail apnoea,” a term credited to former Apple executive Linda Stone, describing unknowingly going without breathing for extended periods of time. If this is you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Just ask your fellow employees if they’ve experienced this before. You may be surprised how prevalent it is.”
“In 2018, a UK-wide survey on stress showed that 74 percent of the participants had at some point over the past year felt overwhelmed or unable to cope with a situation as a result of stress.”
‘Exhale’ by Richie Bostock is a breathwork guide that explores the power of purposeful breathing. The book focuses on explaining how to perform breathing exercises rather than on the theoretical knowledge behind breathwork.
Thus, the book is best suited for people who already have knowledge about the science behind breathing and want to enrich their daily routines with different breathing exercises.
Where to buy
You may purchase ‘Exhale’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in Kindle, audio and paperback versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
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