To open the mouth or to close the mouth, that is the question

I picked up a book recently, entitled Breath, written by James Nestor[1]. It had been hugely recommended to me by a few people, and it turned out to be easy to read, totally addictive, and something in which I would immerse myself for a whole weekend.  When I surfaced, I decided to check out my breathing!

Have you ever woken up, mouth open, making little piglet impressions? I guess many of us have and, I have to admit, I’ve been known to as well!  We can open mouth breathe if our nose is a bit blocked from a cold, or if we are lying on our back. We all know people who do not just imitate cute little piglets but snore very badly, warthog style!  But did you know it is actually bad for them, not just for the sufferers who sleep in the same room?

James Nestor states:

“Mouthbreathing, it turns out, changes the physical body and transforms airways, all for the worse. Inhaling air through the mouth decreases pressure, which causes the soft tissues in the back of the mouth to become loose and flex inward, creating less space and making breathing more difficult. Mouthbreathing begets more mouthbreathing.

“Inhaling from the nose has the opposite effect. It forces air against all those flabby tissues at the back of the throat, making the airways wider and breathing easier. After a while, these tissues and muscles get ‘toned’ to stay in this opened and wide position. Nasal breathing begets more nasal breathing.”

If you want to know more, just read this deeply interesting book which looks at everything from Western science to Eastern breathing practices.  Then take a look at the work of The Iceman (Wim Hof).  Below is a link to one of his introductory videos; he talks a lot of sense and following his regimes definitely starts changes in the body and breathing.[2] Wim states that his research shows his breathing techniques are effective in rendering the body alkaline as opposed to acidic; alkaline is optimal.[3]

Enjoy, and may you be blown away by the possibilities of attending to your breath!

[1] Nestor, J. (2020). Breath. Published by Penguin Life, UK.

[2] Wim Hof breathing tutorial by Wim Hof – Bing video

 Guided Wim Hof Method Breathing – Bing video

[3] Acidosis vs Alkalosis And How They Affect Your Body (

Alkaline vs. acidic foods – NourishDoc

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