Rinpoche, A. & Zangmo, A.C.(2013). The Tibetan Yoga of Breath.
Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Reviewed by: Alexa D’Angelo, Hunter College
Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo collaborate on The Tibetan Yoga of Breath, offering insight and experience in relation to the importance of the breath. The book focuses heavily on the positive effects of yogic breathing on physical, mental and emotional health. It also touches upon the negative effects of improper breathing on our health, while offering suggestions to change our pattern of breathing. While this book is written to benefit and guide those interested in yogic breathing, it could easily generate an interest in the topic for a wider audience. The Tibetan Yoga of Breath, offers breathing techniques that require no additional time, only inward attention during one’s daily routine.
Yogic breathing can offer peace of mind through the control of the breath. The book illustrates how one is capable of responding with less agitation to external stimuli, through a conscious, inward focus on the breath during times of disorder or conflict. By slowing the breathing, and subsequently taking fewer, deeper breaths, the flow of air can calm the mind in those few breaths (17). This process can ease the experience of anxiety and depression through the learned techniques of wind energy training (46,47).
The second half of the book offers clear instructions as to how to practice wind-training techniques. We are given a step-by-step guide to the Nine Cycles of the Breath, accompanied by several images to enhance our understanding of the practice (64-65,71). Part II is entirely composed of the application of the breath to life’s varying circumstances. The authors attempt to ease the fear of impermanence, and suffering, along with the cultivation of healing and kindness. Part II aptly applies the breathing techniques to everyday life in a manner that is comprehensive and manageable.
The Tibetan Yoga of Breath, effectively and clearly outlines the positive effects of yogic breathing on our overall health and wellbeing. It does so through both a holistic and Western lens, utilizing the experiences of the Yantra, Yogi masters, along with science. Through the examples and exercises, the book allows us to experience the effects of the controlled or elongated breath while reading about their endless effects on our mind, body and emotions.
Rinpoche, A. & Zangmo, A.C. (2013). The Tibetan Yoga of Breath. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Paperback, 132 pp., References and suggested further reading included.