|Basic InformationLatest NewsLinksBook Reviews|10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training101 Ways to Meditate29 Gifts3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga5 Mega Miles with Toning Band7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Body Brain Balance8 Keys to Practicing MindfulnessA.M. EnergyAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAM/PM YogaAnswers for AristotleAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaAuthentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBack in Action: Yoga for a Healthy BackBack To Basics: Fitness with Charlotte OrdBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Meditation & Mindful StretchingBeginners Yoga DVDBeginning YogaBellyFit ElementsBetter Sex Through YogaBody By BethennyBorn to Balance - Balance BasicsBreath-Centered YogaBreathingBrightening Our Inner SkiesBuddhist Boot CampCalm Body Clear MindCalm EnergyCalm Focus JoyChakra MeditationsChoosing CivilityClassical Pilates Technique DVDComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCore YogaCreative Core AbsCreative Writing In Health And Social CareDance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop PartyDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDeep ListeningDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDetox YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitEastern Body, Western MindEasy YogaElement: Barre ConditioningElement: Targeted Toning Pilates for BeginnersElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityElements of Yoga, Earth FoundationsElements of Yoga, Fire DynamicElements of Yoga: Air & WaterEmotional Chaos to ClarityEmotions, Stress, and HealthEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday Workout for the Everyday WomanEveryday Yoga for Stress Release Everything VeganExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow and YinFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Ripped & ChiseledGood MedicineGoodbye, ThingsHandbook of MindfulnessHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing Through Movement: Pilates Head to ToeHealthy AgingHealthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy How to Cook Everything VegetarianHow Would Buddha Act?I Contain MultitudesI'd Rather LaughIn Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrated YogaIntegrative MedicineIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKnowing the Nature of FearKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga : DVDKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - MONDAYKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - TUESDAY - CoreKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLife MakeoversLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living BeautifullyLiving Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMean GenesMeditation in a New York MinuteMeditations for BeginnersMindful AmericaMindful AngerMindfulnessMindfulness for BeginnersMindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and ApplicationsMisadventures of a Garden State YogiMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNamaste Yoga: Season 3 Part 1NeuroLogicNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesNutrition Essentials for Mental HealthPassionate VegetarianPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPilates for MenPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga for HappinessPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPrenatal FlowPrescriptive StretchingPresence Through Movement: Yin YogaPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptPure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQi Workout AM/PMQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRed Lotus YogaResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeSara Ivanhoe's Taste DVDSaving NormalSelf-CompassionSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessSports Hypnosis in PracticeStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStrength, Grace, HealingStress ReliefStrong & SculptedStrong Body, Ageless BodySun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuper Seniors: Box, Balance, & Lift SupersurvivorsSurf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTaming Your Inner BratTeach Yourself MeditationTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Minutes to RelaxThe Accidental VeganThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Best Things You Can EatThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Breathing FieldThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Good LifeThe Happiness of PursuitThe Harvard Medical School Guide to YogaThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Indian VegetarianThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Nature FixThe Perfect ExerciseThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Playful BrainThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Road to Calm WorkbookThe Self-Compassion Skills WorkbookThe Spa DeckThe Spirit of Buddhist MeditationThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Ultimate BALLET YOGAThe Ultra MindsetThe Way of StretchingThe Weight of the NationThe Well-Tuned BrainThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Yin Yoga KitThink SmartTotal AstangaTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal PilatesTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Turkish CookingViva Vegan!Walk It Off in 30 DaysWalk to the HITS Radio RemixesWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWellbeingWhat We Say MattersWhen Things Fall ApartWriting in FlowYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga 4 TeensYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga and PsychologyYoga as MedicineYoga Beauty BodyYoga Bliss HipsYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for Energy & Stress ReliefYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for Strength & FlexibilityYoga for the Young at HeartYoga for Your WeekYoga In BedYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress ReliefYoga on DemandYoga Quick FixesYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga TherapyYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga to the Rescue for Pain-Free Back, Neck & ShouldersYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on FoodYour Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,Your Miracle BrainZen Encounters with Loneliness
by Andrew Weil
Sounds True, 1999
Review by David Wolf on Dec 29th 2004
Rarely does the implied promise of any self
improvement program lead to complete fulfillment in its delivery.
Half-believing, we think, "Oh well, let's try this," then we listen
or read, as the case may be, and end with mixed results. Gradually, we learn
not to hope for much.
Andrew Weil's Breathing is
an exception to all this. He appears to promise very modestly: how much can we
expect from such a title? But listening to these tapes reveals a startlingly
easy, effective, almost magical power for health and healing, as Weil says,
"literally right under our noses." What's more, it's free and
non-toxic. Breathing is about breath, energy, spirit, health, healing,
better lives, balance; specifically, the power of working with breath to
correct problems of health and spirit.
Andrew Weil, M.D. is a graduate of
Harvard College and the Harvard Medical School who has been widely read and
heard in recent years, both as physician and as an expert in the uses of
healing herbs, integrative medicine, and other alternatives (or additions) to
the traditional medical model. He is a professor of internal medicine at the
University of Arizona, founder of Weil Lifestyle LLC, and world-renowned author
of bestselling books like Spontaneous
The first bridge to the power of
this two-cassette program is Weil's careful, physician's reintroduction of
breathing itself in the first tape. His central insight is that breath is the only voluntary link to our otherwise
involuntary nervous system. Those who remember a bit of high school biology
will recall that the human nervous system has two branches, one voluntary, the
other involuntary. For example, running
down the street: voluntary. Heart beating: involuntary. Weil reminds us the
involuntary is called the Autonomic nervous system, itself divided into two,
the Sympathetic, that revs us up, and the Parasympathetic that calms us down.
Absolutely unique to our lives is breathing: it's both voluntary and
involuntary, thus it is served by both branches of our nervous system. This
makes breath the "doorway to the autonomic nervous system," as Weil
says, because we can influence that involuntary system using our voluntary
breath. Not only is this an insight of singular distinction, it is one of great
potential power for anyone willing to apply it.
You don't need to think of the
possibilities, because Weil thinks of them for you and spells them out in
fascinating detail. It's really quite trilling to recognize the potential power
in getting a voluntary grip on things, like stress, threatening our health.
Our nervous systems are out of
balance today. Constant Sympathetic stimulation creates stress, leading, in
turn, to imbalances that cause things like high blood pressure, heart disease,
and a long list of bodily diseases. Learning to use our breath, as Weil
explains, can resolve these stressors and help us deal with, or even eliminate,
Also, breath work--the guided use
of voluntary breathing--can center the mind and help turn our direction away
from the physical to the spiritual world. Although the power to do this
originated in ancient India, it does not require deep or deeply cultural
knowledge to achieve; it's available to anyone who makes a brief study of the
matter and practices a few simple techniques that Weil teaches in this program.
He imparts simple but powerful methods he has used on hundreds of patients
during many years of practice.
The value of this becomes apparent
when we consider the alternatives everywhere in society: prime examples, the use of suppressive
medications, the misuse of addictive drugs like nicotine and alcohol, the abuse
of food. Today, people are turning increasingly to pharmacological answers that
are expensive and harmful to the body. In contrast, Weil gives case examples of
patients who have, under his care, used breath as a way forward from drugs and
the harmful effects of stress.
How does it work?
We need to learn how to breathe
"more slowly, more quietly, more deeply, and regularly," says Weil.
These are the governing principles. Learning about our breath and doing it
voluntarily and correctly "increases Parasympathetic tone," therefore
brings our two systems back into balance. It does this over time, not
immediately, so it's not a quick fix. It is a powerful and lasting solution to
many defects and physical problems, however, one that has no unwanted side
effects. This program introduces, explains, and offers practice in breathing
exercises (tape two).
Related but nonetheless distinct is
the advantage of voluntary breath as a link between the conscious mind and the
unconscious. Psychotherapy has long sought to do this. Breath can provide
greater access to dreams, for instance. Breath work can also harmonize the
physical body and the mental life. Part of the intrinsic harmony of breath work
is that it participates in the rhythms of all life, the yin and yang or in and
out of energy and, indeed, the whole of creation. Not a bad program for
self-improvement available in so small a package.
Who should buy this program?
First of all, it's for healthy
people who want to stay healthy and get more out of life in every way. It's
also for all those whose response to stress has already resulted in some
symptoms of degenerative disorder--high blood pressure, elevated LDL
cholesterol, overweight, anxiety or depression just to name a few probable
conditions. Still more urgently, those who are ill with diabetes, artery
disease or any other disorders in treatment should consult with their doctors,
after listening to Weil's program, about how to put this program to work to
augment their treatment plans.
Dying patients have special needs.
This program can go far to help them physically, mentally, and spiritually. It
would also be a valuable program for those who work with the dying. Learning to
breathe well and using it as a mode of physical and spiritual
balancing--breathing more regularly, more slowly, more deeply, more
quietly--can be a profound comfort when under stress of any kind; it has
unlimited possibilities for healing and for renewal.
© 2004 David Wolf
David Wolf is the author of Philosophy That Works, a
book about the practice of philosophy. His book page for orders (hardback &
paperback) is www.xlibris.com/philosophythatworks
; readers can also see the first chapter there.