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Breath The New Science of a Lost Art

Pdf Book Name: Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
Publisher: Riverhead Books
ISBN-10, 13: 9780735213616,2019050864
Year: 2020
Pages: 235 Pages
Language: English
File size: 2 MB
File format: PDF,EPUB

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art Pdf Book Description:

The place looked like something out of Amityville: all paint-chipped walls, dusty windows, and menacing shadows cast by moonlight. I walked through a gate, up a flight of creaking steps, and knocked on the door. When it swung open, a woman in her 30s with woolly eyebrows and oversize white teeth welcomed me inside. She asked me to take off my shoes, then led me to a cavernous living room, its ceiling painted sky blue with wispy clouds. I took a seat beside a window that rattled in the breeze and watched through jaundiced streetlight as others walked in. A guy with prisoner eyes. A stern-faced man with Jerry Lewis bangs. A blond woman with an off-center bindi on her forehead. Through the rustle of shuffling feet and whispered hellos, a truck rumbled down the street blasting “Paper Planes,” the inescapable anthem of the day. I removed my belt, loosened the top button on my jeans, and settled in. I’d come here on the recommendation of my doctor, who’d told me, “A breathing class could help.” It could help strengthen my failing lungs, calm my frazzled mind, maybe give me perspective.

For the past few months, I’d been going through a rough patch. My job was stressing me out and my 130-year-old house was falling apart. I’d just recovered from pneumonia, which I’d also had the year before and the year before that. I was spending most of my time at home wheezing, working, and eating three meals a day out of the same bowl while hunched over week-old newspapers on the couch. I was in a rut— physically, mentally, and otherwise. After a few months of living this way, I took my doctor’s advice and signed up for an introductory course in breathing to learn a technique called Sudarshan Kriya. At 7:00 p.m., the bushy-browed woman locked the front door, sat in the middle of the group, inserted a cassette tape into a beat-up boom box, and pressed play. She told us to close our eyes. Through hissing static, the voice of a man with an Indian accent flowed from the speakers. It was squeaky, lilting, and too melodious to sound natural, as if it had been taken from a cartoon. The voice instructed us to inhale slowly through our noses, then to exhale slowly. To focus on our breath. We repeated this process for a few minutes. I reached over to a pile of blankets and wrapped one around my legs to keep my stocking feet warm beneath the drafty window. I kept breathing but nothing happened. No calmness swept over me; no tension released from my tight muscles. Nothing.

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