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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've worked with computers for many years and have faced (and continue to face) a great deal of stress in my life. I've tried a variety of breathing exercises to help deal with this stress, but most of them didn't really help--at least not for very long.
I picked up a copy of this new book a couple of weeks ago at the
San Francisco New Living Expo, where the author gave a talk, and it has already helped immensely. The book does not take a "one size fits all" approach to breathing exercises, but rather explains the seven fundamental ways that we can work with our breath, including what he calls conscious breathing, touch-supported breathing, movement-supported breathing, and sound-supported breathing. His exploration of these various approaches, along with safe exercises illustrating each one, has given me many new insights into what I suppose could be called "the anatomy of breathing exercises." It has helped understand better what various types of breathing exercises can and cannot do, and which ones are most helpful for me personally.
In addition to offering a variety of simple practices, along with helpful illustrations, the book provides an entire section to help open up our "breathing spaces," a section on the relationship of breathing to our self-image and to the spiritual dimensions of breathing, and another section with some very helpful breathing meditations for going deeper into ourselves. The two meditations that I have found very helpful so far (I have not tried them all yet) are "Awakening the Breath of the Heart" and "Expanding Time."
I recommend this book very highly to anyone who has to deal with high levels of stress in their lives, which is probably most people today. It has already helped me a lot.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I came across this book when looking for something to help me understand and deal with a problem of overbreathing, which was leading to a variety of health problems. As a lapsed meditator, I'm familiar with watching the breath, but over the years had developed a habit of trying to breath too much, and, in return, not breathing well.
This book gave me first of all a chance to look at my breathing and see how it should be. The early sections of the book, that discuss how you breathe, and above all how you should let yourself breathe, recentered me in this area. Then the exercises let me relax and calm my breathing, until it quickly got back to a more normal ryhthm and depth. While there's a long way to go, the book's many exercises and insights provide an ideal program for rediscovering the breath and letting it do its work correctly.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this book helpful for stress relief, more conscious breathing and better sleep. It's well organized and easy to absorb. Aside from the practical applications it lays out, the book also offers good insights on why we don't breathe properly and the negative effect poor breathing can have on the body and on overall health. I highly recommend it.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Author Dennis Lewis has created a masterpiece with "Free Your Breath, Free Your Life". In the society in which we function, everyone seems to forget about the mind, body and spirit, which truly begin with the breath. We could all live a higher quality of life, be healthier and happier if only we'd find a way to relieve the main cause of our negativity. That cause is stress. The best alternative in my mind is to learn how to breathe again, breathing free like when we were babies. Breathing freely allows us to release mental and physical stress. But the key is to find a way to reconnect to that type of breathing.

Luckily for us, Dennis has created a simple roadmap that leads us back to free breathing. What separates this book from the tons of others I've read on breathing is that it doesn't take the same approach for each individual. It presents seven different methods of breathing specifically tailored to the individuals needs and presented in highly detailed and descriptive terms so that there is no confusion to exactly how to apply this process. And the great part is they are simple to perform so they won't feel like you `have' to do them. Once you've mastered these exercises, this method of breathing will become second nature...just like breathing;)

Through these methods, you can easily reconnect to effortless breathing in order to heal the mind and body. Dennis allows us to free our breath so as to infuse our bodies with oxygen to improve overall health and allow us to release stagnant air from the lungs to relieve physical and mental stress (as well as release old emotions I believe) while helping us to open up breathing spaces in our body we were never aware of using a multitude of methods including postures, sounds and physical touch. This is such a simple way to improve the quality of your life. Who wouldn't want such an simple, easy way to have a better quality life?

Free Your Breath, Free Your Life also includes three appendixes giving us further detailed information of important breathing methods such as inhaling through the nose, standing postures and exercises for alleviating pain. If you want to improve your quality of life, begin with the breath and begin with Dennis Lewis.

I am an author of a breathing book myself, which is an exercise system for singers and speakers to improve vocal power. I feel that this book works well with my singing methods because Dennis' books fills in all the gaps I've left out in mine. While I am showing people how to sing better through breathing, he is showing people how to live better through breathing. I am making this book a requisite for all of my students!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Lewis demonstrates how to find breathing practices most suitable to you rather than assuming there is one best way to breathe for everyone. Choose from seven different self-directed ways of working with breath. Want to reduce the stress load in your life? Breathing properly is one of the best places to start.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Our breath is the only thing that is with us from beginning to end...the breath is who and what we are...the breath is interconnected with Spirit and every time we breathe in and every time we breathe out, we are breathing in and out the One Creative Power that creates all of life out of Itself...

The breath does not judge. The breath does not condemn. It is the breath's job to sustain us at all times. I dare you to sit and breathe deeply for one hour. I betcha can't do it. If all of us decided to just spend one hour breathing deeply in and breathing deeply out, this world would be transformed in a day...it really would...because deep breathing calms us, centers us, awakens those parts of us that we have stuffed, repressed, or have just wanted to forget.

I've gotten to about 26 minutes of deep breathing and I cried like a baby. I had such stirring memories - future as well as past - as to what life could truly be about. Just like the book says, when we free our breath, we free our life.

That shallow little nose and mouth breath we do is not breathing, just like those Chicken McNuggets and that extra large coke is not sustenance. We need to spend time nourishing our bodies, our minds, our hearts, and our souls in ways that replenish us and awaken us to the beauty that just sits and waits for us to finally notice...

Breathe!

I mean, really, really breathe...it is a gift...it is the gift.

Peace & Blessings.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
A wonderful book that, besides offering many of easy practices, along with truly helpful illustrations, the book provides an entire chapter to help open up "breathing spaces" as well on the relationship of breathing to self-image and the spiritual dimensions of breathing, and also has some very helpful breathing meditations - very good book on the science of breathing!

If you are looking to use breathing as a key for OBE or Out of Body Experience, then perhaps I can recommend another book, I can think of no better training tool for the student of Meditation and especially the Science and Practice than this wonderful little book:
The Hindu-Yogi Science Of Breath: Manual Of Oriental Breathing Philosophy Of Physical, Mental, Psychic & Spiritual Development - it contains careful, sound and easy to follow directions on quieting and controlling the mind and breath in ways that will greatly enhance self control, calm, metabolism and open the gateway to some incredible Cosmic Experiences, if one is patient and willing to apply these techniques over a reasonable period of time.

Peace!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic. I wanted to learn breathing exercises and have the basics of breathing practices explained. This book provided to both of these needs with simple and varied exercises as well as a very nice bibliography. I plan on purchasing the book and will further my understanding of the breath by utilizing the information provided in the bib.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
After delving into the mind-body connection recently, I became interested in breathing for stress relief/illness recovery. I learned a few basic breathing exercises from other books, but nothing too complicated. I figured this book would expand my knowledge of the subject. This book explains, in detail, several different types of breathing exercises you can teach yourself to do. I thought it would be difficult to learn how to breath from a book, but the author does a good job of explaining the exercises.

While this book provides what it promises - it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a book with more explanations on what each breathing exercise does for you. I wanted to know more about how breathing affects emotions and illness. This book did not really delve into the "why" too much (sorry, I am a gemini so I always want to know "why"). It is mostly a "how to". So if you are looking for instructions, this is the book. However, if you want more in depth information about the mind/body connection and how breathing affects it, there are better books. One book in particular is The Presence Process, by Michael Brown.

All in all, I rate this book 4 stars, because it gives the reader what it promises. But, that is all you get.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
We all know that we cease to be alive when we can no longer breathe. Dennis Lewis, however, understands that we cease to truly live when we are not consciously choosing to connect with our breath. Living the fullest expression of ourselves requires expanding our self knowledge, along with the expansion of our breathing. Mystics through the ages have understood this concept, and Lewis illustrates it beautifully in his book. You will learn ways to support your spirit, mind, body and heart through conscious breathing, and thus be much better prepared for change and challenges in your life.
Marcia Breitenbach, Transformation Specialist, speaker, author and songwriter [...]
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