The New Mind-Blowing Science of Breathing with James Nestor



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Most of us go throughout the day without giving the act of breathing a single thought. Considering how impactful the way we breathe is on our physical and mental health though, I think it’s time we change that.

Breathing is such an underrecognized topic in the health space that today we’re resharing an in-depth episode all about it, with author James Nestor.

How well our body takes in oxygen impacts our health on every level. From how well we sleep to our stress response and even our metabolism, breath is an incredible tool for optimizing health. On this episode of The Dhru Purohit Podcast, Dhru talks to James Nestor about the forgotten power of breathing and how we can tap into it to dramatically improve how we feel. 

James Nestor is an author and journalist who has written for Scientific American, Outside, The New York Times, and more. His latest book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, was released in May of this year and was an instant New York Times bestseller. Breath explores how the human species has lost the ability to breathe properly–and how to get it back. 

James has appeared on dozens of national television shows, including ABC’s Nightline and CBS’s Morning News, and on NPR. He lives and breathes in San Francisco.

In this episode, we dive into:  

  • How important our breathing process is to human health (2:59) 
  • The connection between human evolution and the way we breathe (5:56) 
  • How our breath influences so much of our health (10:43)  
  • Stanford University breathing experiment (12:40) 
  • How our modern industrial diet has impacted the way we breathe (16:08) 
  • How lung capacity is synonymous with longevity (25:54) 
  • How breathing less increases oxygen and CO2 (31:01) 
  • How to establish better nasal breathing (47:39) 
  • Mouth breathing and dehydration (54:45) 
  • The importance of eliciting a parasympathetic response before you eat (59:39)
  • How to breathe in order to reduce inflammation in the body (1:00:56) 
  • Are we getting enough oxygen when we wear a mask? (1:04:07)

Also mentioned in this episode:

For more on James Nestor, you can follow him on Instagram @MrJamesNestor, on Facebook @MrJamesNestor, on Twitter @MrJamesNestor, and through his website Get his book, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art at

For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here. 

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Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD


Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.


If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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