Foreword Reviews

Breath Is Life

Taking in and Letting Go: How to Live Well, Love Well, Be Well

Laurie Ellis-Young’s Breath Is Life is about transformation, from the inside out.

Breathe. Your body, your relationships, and your life will change. It’s that simple. That’s the message of Ellis-Young’s book—a compelling invitation to start right here, right now, to become refreshed and take steps toward a more fulfilling, healthy life. The book is based on foundational truths: that breathing is both an art and a science, and that people are capable of consciously managing their nervous systems.

The book has a strong structure that builds its instruction well. It begins with basics like why breathing is important, and addresses breathing as a continual, vital process that many people take for granted. Next it teaches foundational breathing practices, like belly breathing and the Bip/Bop Breath: Breathe In Peace/Breathe Out Pain. Then it suggests transformative practices, like tailoring one’s breathing practices to the varied needs of daily life—sleep, courage, intuition—as well as breathing in life’s larger movements, like aging and end of life.

Ellis-Young worked with George T. Ellis on the project; their differing expertise gives the book depth and richness. The central approach is based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and touches on disciplines like yoga and meditation, but the collaboration leads to vital insights from psychology as well. The ideas from each realm bolster each other, helping when it comes to understanding one’s body and inner self.

The book has a calm pace, augmenting the tone of its instruction. The pages are roomy with beautiful, restful botanical accents. Each chapter ends with breathing essentials: a key idea plus a BLIPP—Breath Literacy’s Instant Power Practice—to make sure learning goes from the mind to the body. Breath Is Life is a health book that shows that new life is as close as your lungs.

Reviewed by Melissa Wuske

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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