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Frédérick Leboyer, The Art of Breathing

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Doctors, midwives, and all those who have concentrated on helping women in childbirth, have rightly put the emphasis on breathing. But trying to understand it in simple physiological terms, they have not appreciated that today women are being taught exactly how they should not breathe. As Frédérick Leboyer became aware fo the ordeal of being born and its pain which leaves a mark on each of us, he started to try and make things easier and more gentle for the baby. Over the years through his study and practice of Yoga, Martial Arts and then of chanting, he percevied the deep importance of correct breathing. But the approach to breathing which he is suggesting in The Art of Breathing - and which happens to be very close to the essence of Zen teaching - is not offered merely to make delivery a little less painful. The author hopes it will transform the whole experience of pregnancy and labour and give them their true depth and perspective.