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Rebel Book Club x Breath by James Nestor | Featuring March Russell, Jonny Miller + Conni Biesalski | October 2022

February 16, 2023

October x Breath by James Nestor

First up, let's recap on our October shortlist:

Book #1:

We Were Made for These Times: Skillfully Moving through Change, Loss, and Disruption

by Kaira Jewel Lingo | Published by Parallax

Why we chose it?

In We Were Made for These Times, the extraordinary mindfulness teacher Kaira Jewel Lingo imparts accessible advice on navigating difficult times of transition, drawing on Buddhist teachings on impermanence to help you establish equanimity and resilience.

Times of darkness hold the power and potential for deep transformation. Kaira Jewel Lingo is a wise and inspiring guide in navigating the challenges of our times with courage, equanimity, and compassion. She shares timeless teachings and practices that reveal our belonging and free our hearts.”—Tara Brach

Book #2:

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

by James Nestor | Published by Penguin

Why we chose it?

There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. In Breath, journalist James Nestor travels the world to discover the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

'In the past few years, there have been several potentially life-changing books, from Matthew Walker's Why We Sleep and Shane O'Mara's In Praise of Walking, to Norman Doidge's The Brain's Way of Healing. Breath deserves a place alongside such volumes. Read it, and I guarantee you will want to change the way you breathe' - Evening Standard

Book #3:

The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe

by Jeremy Lent | Published by Profile Books

Why we chose it?

A compelling foundation for a new story of interconnectedness, showing how, as our civilization unravels, another world is possible... The result is a breathtaking accomplishment: a rich, coherent worldview based on a deep recognition of connectedness within ourselves, between each other, and with the entire natural world.

"Cultures shape values, and those values shape history. By the same token, our values will shape our future. One way to equip yourself for this heroic task will be to read this enormous, learned, yet garrulous and helpful book." ― New Scientist

October Vote Result

1. Breath 40%
2. We Were Made for These Times 33%
3. The Web of Meaning 27%

... we think we all need to breathe a little more.

🫁 Reading goals according to James Nestor:

"It will take the average reader about 10,000 breaths to read this book."
By 1,000 breaths - "you'll understand why modern humans are the only species with chronically crooked teeth, and why that's relevant to breathing."
By 3,000 breaths - "you'll know the basics of restorative breathing".
By 6,000 breaths - "you will have moved into the land of serious, conscious breathing."
By 8,000 breaths - "you'll have pushed even deeper into the body, to tap (...) the nervous system. You'll discover the power of over breathing."
By 10,000 breaths - "you will know how the air that enters your lungs affects every moment of your life and how to harness it to its full potential"

"I’ve been getting into it over the weekend and I’m now catching myself when I breathe through my mouth 😂 it’s exactly what I was looking for, a chance to read more nonfiction that will hopefully lead to some personal development."
- Catherine (Rebel Book Club member)

So, what happened at October's events?


In London, 70+ club members gathered at The Ministry to discuss Breath + to enjoy a guided experience with London-based breathwork expert and coach March Russell.

Judging by the buzz in the venue and the conversations that continued well after 9pm, Breath is a book which definitely educated, alerted us to unhealthy habits and incited action (beyond mouth-taping) with long-lasting health benefits.

The guided breathwork exercise March led us into was proof we can calibrate, relax + calm anxiety and then gather energy in a matter of minutes, just through our breathing.

About March Russell:

March is a London-based certified breathwork facilitator.

Having extensively explored meditation since his teens, March's dedication to the practice has taken him around the world, from Buddhist monasteries to learning from some of the best teachers in India, Europe, and the UK.

It has been both his passion and curiosity for this practice that led him to breathwork, training and specialising in Conscious Breathwork with Alan Dolan's teacher training program.

Breathwork has had a profound impact on his life and has brought new layers of depth to his existing practice. Whilst March continues to always be a student, it is his mission to share this life-changing practice with others.

Here's March on Instagram.


In Bristol co-host Rachel's words...

"Whilst we didn’t have any breathwork practitioners available in the Bristol contingent of RBC, we had a great session on Tuesday!

Taking part in a superb breathing-themed quiz (curated by Laurie), listening to RBC member Sam talk about his ongoing experiences of seeing a breathwork practitioner (thanks Sam!), taking part in some lively discussion and following some breathing practices led by Anderson Olson (via the audiobook).

Of course there was lots of random chat too about (amongst other things) eyesight, cults and how much low alcohol beer you’d have to drink to get drunk. Looking forward to seeing what comes up next month!"

Global Digital Event

For our Global Digital event on Monday 31st October, we spoke to Jonny Miller + Conni Biesalski. The event was attended by 40+ wonderful Rebel Book Clubbers from Wisconsin to California, Saudi Arabia to Ibiza, and of course, all across the UK.

As with our London + Bristol events, our online event focussed on the October theme 'Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life' via October's read 'Breath' by James Nestor.

We kicked off with a Q+A with our experts talking about how breathwork had a massive impact on them and why they chose to become practitioner. We were then guided through a breathwork exercise by Conni + then by Jonny, before closing with some group chat with our international crew.

It's fair to say this was one of our most relaxing months this year + there's now a lot of mouth-taping + future interest in continuing with this practice.

Here's a bit more about Jonny + Conni:

Johnny Miller - Nervous System Specialist + Podcast Host

Jonny is the founder of the Curious Humans podcast and monthly newsletter as well as a breathwork facilitator, meditation teacher, startup, and emotional resilience coach, and the creator of nervous system mastery.

Conni Biesalski - Breathwork + Somatic Coach

Conni is a Meditation + Breathwork Teacher, as well as a writer, video storyteller, photographer, and vegan surf-yogi. Conni teaches people how to use the breath as a vehicle for healing, to improve their physical and mental health, and to retrain the mind-body connection.

How can you carry on your breathwork practice?

Everyone has a different stylistic preference when it comes to working with meditation and breathwork teachers + you know what, that's okay! So here are all of the wonderful teachers + their courses from our events this month.

Check them out + support their work...

Let us know how you get on!

Finally, massive shout out to our October partners:

The Ministry + Framework Bristol for being amazing venue hosts.

And to Peak Mood Drinks for fuelling our event - use discount code "PEAKREBELS" to receive 20% off your online order

What's happening in November?

November's theme is OUT OF THIS WORLD + our members have voted for Michio Kaku's, 'The Future of Humanity'.

Here's an intro... 'Human civilization is on the verge of living beyond Earth. But how will it happen? World-renowned physicist Michio Kaku takes us on a journey to the future, introducing the mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology that will one day enable us to make our homes among the stars.'

"With admirable clarity and ease, Kaku explains how we might colonize not only Mars but some of the rocky moons of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn... The book has an infectious, can-do enthusiasm" - Steven Poole, The Wall Street Journal

We've got some stratospheric guests in the pipeline, so make sure you're signed up as a member if you're not already...

Join us!
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