"This is by far the most compelling and complete book on breathing I've ever read. It is 'must' reading for everyone who is interested in optimal health."—Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
"Lewis teaches us how to assess our breathing and provides practical tools to help us learn to breathe better and create a healthier balance in our everyday lives. He makes clear that how we breathe reflects who we are and the manner in which we express ourselves—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This book is a wonderful resource for anyone who wishes to improve his or her health and vitality through the breath."—Len Saputo, M.D., coeditor of Boosting Immunity
"Dennis Lewis has a deep understanding of the central importance of breathing, in both its physical and spiritual dimensions—as the breath of life and the breath of the spirit. This book is a practical, inspiring guide to opening yourself to the larger energies of life through the medium of the breath. Highly recommended!"—John Welwood, author of Toward a Psychology of Awakening
"A delightful and innovative path to the most profound truth, shared by the world's greatest healing traditions: the way through any trauma, stress, illness, or injury is to first put attention on the breath. The reader will not only understand through Dennis's inspired writing, but get to experience through numerous excellent, practical exercises how conscious and authentic breathing is the gateway to enhanced health and vitality."—Meg Jordan, Ph.D., author of The Fitness Instinct
and founder and editor of American Fitness
"It is extremely difficult to write well and truly about the healing role of breathing both in our everyday life and on the way to great self-knowledge. Dennis Lewis succeeds through a rare combination of clear-headed, practical thought and spiritual sensitivity."—Jacob Needleman, author of The American Soul
"Dennis Lewis is a colleague, teacher, author, poet, and dedicated student of the breath and breathing. Free Your Breath, Free Your Life
is not just a good book—it is a great book. It is required reading for all my students attending the Optimal Breathing School. It should be required reading for everyone."—Michael Grant White, Executive Director, Breathing.com
"This is a truly inspiring and informative book. It is a master breath-worker's book for those who wish to attain breath, and thus self-mastery."—Dr. Joy Manne, author of Soul Therapy,
editor of The Healing Breath: A Journal of Breathwork Practice, Psychology, and Spirituality
From the Publisher
The way we breathe shapes every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, "Few of us in today's stress-filled world breathe in a free, natural, and harmonious way," says Lewis. "Our mostly fast, constricted breathing undermines our physical, emotional, and spiritual health," and "reduces our capacity to sense, feel, think, and act in clear, sensitive, and effective ways."
To help remedy this situation, Lewis shows how breathing exercises really work. He does so by exploring the seven basic self-directed approaches to working with your breath: conscious breathing, controlled breathing, focused breathing, movement-supported breathing, position-supported breathing, touch-supported breathing, and sound-supported breathing. Within each of these approaches he offers a wealth of breathing practices and insights to help you open up the constrictions in your breathing, breathe with your whole body, and live with more presence and vitality in your everyday life. His emphasis throughout is on helping you to learn how to exhale more fully, to let go of everything that impedes the movements of your breath.
According to Lewis, we in the Western world dont pay much attention to the way we breathe, but the world's great spiritual traditions all have practices of breath awareness. Lewis maintains that "the breath of life" is what truly connects the different dimensions of ourselves--body, mind, and spirit--and that through conscious breathing we can help transform not just our health but also the very way we live. Lewis explores in depth both the physical and spiritual aspects of how we breathe, and discusses the many ways that our self-image (including the clothes we wear, the way we exercise, and our sense of self-importance) shapes our breathing and our lives.
Many books on breathing have appeared in recent years, but Free Your Breath, Free Your Life is one of the rare few that does not take a one-size-fits-all approach. Lewis explores the basic principles of healthy, whole-body breathing in clear, simple language, with numerous illustrations, and offers a variety of safe exercises and practices for experiencing these principles firsthand. And just as important, Lewis shows how you can apply these principles in relation to your own specific physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, so that you can live a freer, fuller, more conscious life.