Breathing is something that of course we all do everyday, so when the idea of a book about how to breathe and breathwork comes up – many people are often left wondering what exactly the point is of it.
Well, breathing is more than just a necessary function for us as humans to survive. It is one of the most important features in yoga and it can make all the difference between performing a successful yoga pose and having a disappointing experience.
But when you’re looking for the top tips on breathing, you will probably be surprised as to how many books on the subject actually exist on the market. As a result, you might be questioning what the best books on breathing and breathwork are.
Luckily though, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve compiled this list of the top 8 works of literature on the subject. Hopefully, these books will help you to achieve exactly what you are looking for.
Ready to learn more? Read on for all the answers!
What Are The Best Books On Breathing And Breathwork?
Without any further delays, let’s dive straight into this list. At least one of these books will change the way you approach your breathing and how you focus on your breathwork!
We can’t have a list about the books on breathing and breathwork without including this absolute classic written by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a bestseller that tries to help everybody in this area, but in particular the ones that are curious beginners.
The author discusses the teachings of Buddah and how conscious breathing practices make a difference. Specifically, the author draws on the 16 techniques which you can use to better improve your mental and physical health using this spiritual exhalation.
While there is a lot in this book about Buddhism, the book is far from being a completely religious text. Anybody who is looking to learn a lot more about breathing and improving their breathwork can benefit from reading this book.
The book employs a simple, easy to follow and direct guide with clear actions which can improve the way you approach your breathing. This includes breathing techniques at a whole range of levels and situations.
Whether that is in times of significant stress or whether it’s during a time of meditation, Hanh will walk you through each of these exercises without bogging you down in religious or philosophical jargon.
This book is certainly worth the time and the money, and it’s perfect for everybody but certainly a text for beginners to consider!
- Great for beginners
- Easy to follow
- Not religiously focussed
- Other books are more modern
This text written by Blandine Calais-Germain is a breath of fresh air (if you will excuse the pun), because it does not zone in too hard on scientific jargon – which can be very easy to do when it comes to books about breathing.
However, it is a very intense book about how the breathing actions work and how they operate – along with how breathing relates to your other everyday activities. A lot of these techniques are in the smallest of details too, so you’ll be very informed.
This book can be described as a vessel of knowledge which provides plenty of details about how the body breathes. It does this through the role of your internal organs and how other factors creep into your breathing.
While the concepts seem a little complex, the author manages to do this in a very easy to follow and simplified manner, including the different types of breathing which are often overlooked.
- Simplified science
- Might be a little too science focused
This is a little different because this is an audiobook – but nonetheless, it’s an excellent guide for the intrinsic nature of breathing. It’s performed by the celebrity doctor Andrew Weil who is famous for his views on integrative medicine and the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
This audiobook consists of two parts. The first focuses on breathing techniques, the mechanisms and the importance of performing the right breathing. The second on the other hand is the more practical part of the book.
Many people who have listened to the book call the second part their “guided breathing”, and this is easy to understand because the book allows for easy to follow actions. Despite a few mentions of meditation, there is no mention of religion here either.
There are some very handy tips for breathing here too including how to lower your blood pressure and resting heart rate.
- Easy to follow
- Not religiously focuses
- Some people would prefer a written text
The author Richie Bostock is affectionately known as “the breathing guy” or “the breath guy” and his career is all about how to use modern breathing techniques. He is a breathing coach who has literally given his life and career to this discipline.
His coaching expertise has been called on by many high profile athletes and huge corporations in the past, including UniLever and Google.
This is somewhat of a short book coming in at only 240 pages, but it’s packed with plenty of things to learn. It’s mostly about learning how to breathe and how the impact of breathing works using scientific information.
The book covers plenty of breathing strategies which should benefit you and your health – most of which are modern, but there are some from ancient traditions from around the world.
- Modern take with some historical information
- Science-backed exercises
- Experienced author
- Short book
Because of the author’s amazing and unique personality, he has somewhat become a cult following over the last ten years or so.
He strives to give his knowledge to others, but in particular his spiritual and emotional connections with breathing and general wellbeing.
This book is essentially his how-to guide for how he manages to attain such connections and how you can push yourself beyond what you think you can, in order to get to the same levels that he has reached himself.
The book is a spiritual journey with an amazing mix of both science and philosophy using the author’s unique style of storytelling.
It’s an incredibly positive and inspirational book with plenty of reviewed techniques that are certainly worth exploring.
On top of this, the author informs you of an accompanying mobile app that you can download for even more information and tailored advice.
- Great storytelling
- Not for everyone
This is a very comprehensive book for anybody who is looking for much more information about how to breathe and its importance.
It’s a book designed for the modern reader and it uses very up to date scientific information.
Using empirical evidence, the book shows you the right path to use breathing techniques to your advantage, allowing you to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
It discusses a lot of obstacles and how you can work to avoid them.
What makes this book somewhat unique is its ability to provide you with plenty of tools which improve your quality of life, your energy levels, your health and lots of other very handy information.
The book uses high quality communication methods which are excellently conveyed and brilliantly structured.
While this book has plenty of information on the surface, it also teaches you how to find out a lot more that lies beneath the obvious.
- Highly informative
- Unique style
- Good communication
- Might be too science-focused for some
We have another audiobook here on our list, but once again, this one is something that anybody who is looking for more information on breathing and the breathing techniques should look at buying.
It’s tailored to people who are already on a spiritual journey of self-growth and how you can improve your life in the best possible ways. Using a series of ideas, thoughts and transformative tips – Max Storm gives the reader an amazing guide.
He draws a lot from the Eastern philosophies but he does so in a way that does not make the book too focused on religious or philosophical teachings.
The book is pretty much known as the author’s descriptions of his previous experiences and how they shaped him.
Using this wisdom, he can help those who listen to discover how things like yoga and meditation are critical to success.
The way in which he discusses how these things helped to shape his positive future are seriously inspiring, and almost anybody will find some awesome tips in here for their own lives.
- Easy to listen to
- Tailored for the reader
- Lots of tips
- Audiobooks aren’t for everyone
James Nestor’s book here became a New York Times bestseller and when you read it, it’s easy to see why.
It draws upon both the mystical and the technical importance of breathing and now we as a modern society have completely got it wrong.
Despite the fact that Nestor describes the act of breathing as innocuous, he also explains how finding the right way to breathe has its own benefits, so it’s definitely worth picking this book up if you can.
The book is split into 10 different chapters, and this makes it very easy to follow and to understand.
It guides the reader using both a spiritual and a scientific lens. Nestor explores how and why we breathe the way we do, and why it’s important to discover the best way.
Things you may never have considered before like the impact of pollution in the modern world are brought into the equation – and it makes for a very compelling read.
- Highly informative
- Easy to follow
- May be too long for some readers
And that’s everything you need to know about the best books on breathing and breathwork! We hope this guide has been helpful for you. Good luck on your journey!
Frequently Asked Questions
We will now explore some of your most frequently asked questions. We hope we answer them all for you.
You will be surprised how much information there is that is left completely untouched by our modern education systems. Despite how everyday and uneventful breathing is generally, there’s plenty in these books that explains its importance.
So, if you’re asking if it is worth reading more about breathing and breathwork – absolutely!
Absolutely. Anybody who has ever taken part in yoga will know how much breathing plays a role. Understanding the best ways to breathe and why it’s so important can significantly improve your yoga practice!
It’s up to you – and a couple of these are audiobooks. In reality, you’d be best placed getting them all!