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WHY WRITE A BOOK ON ... "BREATHING?"
By Sophie Gabriel
I am often asked how I became so involved and passionate about 'breathing'. Although my story is more involved, my initial interest started at the age of fourteen when my martial arts instructor taught me Abdominal Breathing. I instantly became fascinated with the sensation I experienced in my mind and body as a result of good quality deep breathing. A few years later, I found a breathing teacher, and I also continued to explore different practical applications of breathing in as many areas possible. It is now 24 years later, and I am still learning and fascinated with breathing .and I know I always will be.
One thing I have realised is...breath is timeless! Anyone, at any age, at any time, anywhere in the world can take a deep breath and experience an unexplainable sensation; something which is definitely worth pursuing. But the awesome and wonderful thing about breathing is that it can be used in a myriad of ways, and in so many different areas. I've found that if people are interested in the subject of breathing, it is because either they are shallow breathers, or breath control is part of their profession or passion, for example singing. I've also found that once a person discovers how breathing techniques have helped in one area of their life, they are curious for more knowledge and become interested in how it could help in other areas, such as for relaxation and exercise.
As I had people coming to me for varying reasons, I eventually created my own style of teaching breathing to encompass the variety of breathing techniques available, hence the term: 'Breathing Training.' As I couldn't find a book that explained all the different types of breathing that I found to be most effective in achieving results, I was continuously asked to write one. I wanted the book to be practical and instructional, but also educational, including basic but important information that I believe should be common knowledge to all. I particularly focused on making sure I answered the main questions I had been asked over the years, and to also clearly explain how to overcome the problem areas when learning breathing techniques.
Apart from what I had discovered from my own training and what I'd learnt from my breathing teachers, I spent many years researching and finding as many people as I could who knew anything at all about the practical applications of breathing, and I included feedback and insights from a variety of people who I have personally trained. The book also contains valuable information by experts who are experienced in technical side of breathing. I was fortunate enough to have Dr. Chin Moi Chow - a well respected respiratory physiologist from the University of Sydney - help me for one and a half years write about the technical aspects of breathing. I am very thankful to have had my publisher and his brilliant team of editors and artists' work so diligently to help me bring the instructions alive through the use of photographs, illustrations and beautiful colours; all these factors make a huge difference to learning effectively from a book.
Only after I finished writing Breathe For Life did I realise that
the value of a book is that the written word allows you to pause at any
moment to ponder or absorb the content, especially sections most relevant
to each individual. Information from so many different sources can teach
aspects that can't be taught in a practical session, and can also help
you efficiently progress in the direction according to your specific need/s.
Ultimately, my primary motivation to write a book about 'breathing' is
so that people from any background - especially those who struggle with
their breath - can experience the joy of good quality deep breathing,
and the positive benefits it brings, both mentally and physically.
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