Books & Literature

The Breathing Revolution, by Yolanda Barker

HEALTH: Supported with science and enriched with sensitivity, understanding and personal experience, The Breathing Revolution is an empowering guide to breathing practices that can be truly life-changing.

A book to read a day at a time, sharing knowledge to last a lifetime.

At first this novel was a little hard to get into as the introduction is a little boring and includes a story that seemed a bit fanciful. The story I refer to is perhaps meant to engage the reader straight away and was of how she immediately calmed her friend down through breathwork. Instead, it sounded like too much of a “quick fix” solution and made me immediately sceptical of the content.

Later, she gives validity to the initial story, as she notes some people who go in with an open mind can pick up calming breathwork quicker than those with years of practice. However, when you pick up a book with solutions that you inherently know take time to achieve, the idea of a quick fix for a first example devalues it.

Nevertheless, the multiple references interspersed throughout the text as she is explaining the different exercises for each day do finally give scientific redemption to the claims she makes, with references used from practitioners, therapists, yogis, other spiritual or breath-based exercise streams (such as tai chi), and the neuroscientific community.

With a background in filmmaking, branding and marketing, author Barker has left no detail out of the design of her debut book. With an entire cover set in calming teal, white and yellow print for the script, the paperback also displays an elegant front cover illustration. This illustration cleverly guises the lungs as a plant, with little flowers representing the alveoli.

It has an introduction of three parts, followed by two major parts, a conclusion, acknowledgements, and further references. The two major parts are broken down further, with part one split into an introduction, a seven-day (chapter) programme, and a summary. Part two contains the everyday hacks for the time constrained.

Although the blurb talks about appealing mainly to an anxious audience or those in need of inner calm, this book is suitable for anyone. Throughout the book, she repeats the same message, to complete an exercise only in so far as it makes you comfortable, and so the author is always meeting you at your level.

She also insists that those reading who suffer from any form of illness, in particular mental health issues, seek guidance from their practitioner prior to engaging in her programme. In addition, she stresses not to use breathwork as an alternative to anxiety treatment, as it is only part of the picture.

The Breathing Revolution is quite relatable for everyone and is written with full empathy, by a yoga teacher that has trained many, and also happens to be the award-winning filmmaker of several projects!

Reviewed by Rebecca Wu

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not Glam Adelaide.

Distributed by: Bloomsbury
Released: November 2021
RRP: $24.99

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