Review: The Healing Power of the Breath by Richard P. Brown and Patricia L. Gerbarg

The Healing Power of the Breath: Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety, Enhance Concentration, and Balance Your Emotions - 'Richard P. Brown',  'Patricia L. Gerbarg'

Quick review for a quick read. To make a few notes on my reading on "The Healing Power of the Breath", I'll admit that I didn't have access to any of the supplemental materials that were noted to be included with this text. Considering that the text hinges so much on the audio CD and supplemental material, it's difficult to grade the helpfulness of this text without it. In searching for supplemental material on meditation, health/wellness, and breathing techniques to supplement my own practices - I came across this text on NetGalley.

It's a useful text that expounds upon different techniques/approaches to breathing and how it ties into overall health and the mechanics of disease processes and body mechanics. It also (briefly) expound upon different populations that use breathing exercises. In addition, it addresses specific needs in terms of breathing exercises for various populations, such as those who suffer from anxiety and depression. The instructions are clear cut, and line up in such a way that you can follow along with the CD as it instructs, but I found the text by itself to be dry and tedious to move through for an introductory text. There were so many times when it would explain that it "would explain" certain techniques for breathing and I kept thinking "Why not explain it while you're on the subject instead of deferring it?" Also, there were very obvious anedotes to common problems with respect to meditation distractions here. Of course someone would know that their pet would be distracting in times of meditation; I wasn't turned off by the suggestion of taking one's pet to another room in that situation (because it's helpful advice), but rather the instruction in that case among others seemed to talk down to the reader in spells and state common sense practices. I think it could've streamlined the information much better and gotten to the heart of the chapter content much quicker than it did.

I'm not going to say that this book isn't useful (because I found certain expansions to be enlightening), but considering the book doesn't stand well on its own for content and that it doesn't streamline the information as much as it could've, I think this wouldn't be a good singular resource for meditation/breathing practices. It, to me, left much more to be desired for presentation and intrigue on the subject matter.

Overall score: 2/5 stars.

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Shambhala Publications.