JUNE 17th, 2021
OF THE PSYCHEDELIC LEADERSHIP PODCAST
Breathe to Reduce Stress & The Science of Breathwork with Inward Breathwork Founders Amanda Laine and Harry Taylor
Laura Dawn drops in with co-founders of Inward Breathwork about the science of breathwork and how we can breathe to reduce stress and balance the nervous system.
We’ve come to realize breath, as the absolute foundation to everything else that arises in our life. It is that most basic unit of life force, which allows for everything else to flourish.
About This Episode:
Breathwork is making a comeback, and for good reason. Through the simple act of conscious breathing, we can tune ourselves to new ways of being, reduce stress and tap into our body’s inherent healing wisdom.
In this episode Laura Dawn drops in with Amanda Laine and Harry Taylor who have dedicated their lives to helping others achieve personal growth and elevated states of wellbeing, creating Inward Breathwork, the world’s leading on-demand breathwork platform combining the most experienced facilitators in the world across ancient and new age techniques including Pranayama, Wim Hof and Buteyko method.
Amanda and Harry share their very first breathwork experience that transpired at Burning Man and how it radically transformed their lives.
They share their WHY for breathwork: why practice breathwork? Why should we care?
They dive into the science of breathwork and Amanda and Harry offer different breathing techniques for activating the sympathetic nervous systems and parasympathetic nervous systems and the counter-intuitive reason why training the sympathetic nervous systems helps us manage stress. Finally, they offer easy to implement breathing techniques to reduce stress in the moments you need it the most.
Explored in this episode:
Episode #28: Amanda Laine & Harry Taylor Psychedelic Leadership Podcast.
Laura Dawn: My name is Laura dawn, and you’re listening to episode number 28 of the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast, featuring my conversation with co-founders of Inward Breathwork Amanda Laine and Harry Taylor.
Harry Taylor: We just we’ve come to realize breath, as the absolute foundation to everything else that arises in our life, it is that most basic unit of lifeforce, which allows for everything else to flourish. Our physiologies, which control our state of consciousness, how we feel about ourselves, right now at this moment, compared to everything else. Do we feel good and grounded and centered. So we made that realization that it was really the breath, that was at the root of all of our experiences, but it made sense for us to really focus on the breath.
Amanda Laine: When you don’t have enough co2 In your bodies when you’re exhaling a lot through the active breath sessions, your co2 level drops that limits the ability of your blood to release oxygen to your organs. So, blood now is not being released as much to your brain. And that is the state of the prefrontal cortex, which is that thinking analytical, you go with your mind that chatter, chatter, chatter mind is able to quiet. So through this really upgrade your breathing, you’re able to then enter a state of bliss.
Harry Taylor: Of all these things, stress, our bodies, but in turn, activates the pathway of health to deal with stress and for the rest of the day.
Amanda Laine: There’s so many like reading, you know, practices, but the real main ones that are needed to learn is just actually having breath awareness and just like, actually at the moment, noticing how you’re breathing because most people don’t even pay attention to that and that right there is the biggest missing piece, you know you can lay down and do breathwork practices all day long but if you’re not actually bringing it into your day to day nine to five while you’re actually working or driving or eating or whatever you’re doing, then, that’s it.
Laura Dawn: We have access to this simple yet profound. An incredibly powerful tool that’s quite literally right under our noses. It’s so easily missed and so often overlooked. Yet, the breath. This lifeforce that moves through us is so easy to access at any given moment. And when we choose to bring our awareness to it. The simple act of paying attention to the breath can radically transform our lives. And although breathwork has been around for 1000s of years you know which is really just exploring specific breathing techniques, bringing conscious awareness to how we breathe. It’s now making quite the comeback, especially in the psychedelic space, which can largely be attributed to Stan Groff’s work and the development of Holotropic breathwork, although that being said, there are a lot of different breathwork styles And a lot of different practices that are definitely worth exploring.
So I invited Amanda and Harry onto the show to talk about some of these various styles, and they are the co-founders of Inward Breathwork the world’s leading on-demand breathwork platform combining the most experienced facilitators in the world, across, ancient and New Age techniques, including pranayama, Wim Hof and Wu taiko methods, just to name a few. And so they came on to talk about the science of breathwork and how understanding these underlying mechanisms can help support us in accessing our breath as well as understanding how we can manage our stress more effectively. And really, I learned a lot from them. During this conversation. So there was really a lot of great information that they shared, as well as some practical breathing tips for when you need a more immediate tool for reducing stress. Like when you might find your heart racing in those critical moments when you’re speaking in front of a crowd or on a podcast or leading an online workshop or whatever the case may be.
And whether you’re a leader or not we all navigate stressful situations in our lives, you know, we don’t have to go very far until a trigger strikes, and those are great opportunities as Harry speaks to you know to become conscious of our physiology and become conscious of our breath, you know that those moments of the trigger are actually powerful portals to our own awakening to our own liberation. And so I also interviewed one of the other co-founders of Inward, Robbie bent, a few weeks ago, although we only spoke about the eight days he spent in darkness, which was also such a great conversation that I really enjoyed. And so I co-moderate some really fun clubhouse rooms on Monday nights with Robbie and a few other awesome people called the Psychedelic Deep Dive. So if you want to tune into that or some of the other weekly rooms that I host. You can find me on Clubhouse at live free Laura D.
Okay, so if you are new to breathwork and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the options or you’re just unsure of where to start Inward is a really great starting point. I mean even if you’ve been doing breathwork for many years Inward is still an awesome resource, and you can access a link to their free month-long trial in the show notes as well as the episode page so every time I release an episode, it actually gets a full page on my website that also includes the transcript, and all the resources that were mentioned throughout this episode and in this particular episode there were quite a few. So, what I love about Inward is that they really did such an excellent job of creating these breathwork sessions that are just so beautiful and inspiring, you know, they’ve really added this creative flair and I really just appreciate and commend people when they want to bring a level of artistic expression to their craft, you know, thinking in new ways about what it means to put out an offering that really deeply inspires people and creates community and offers a blueprint for the way that we want to be showing up and inhabiting planet Earth.
And they also have a new course that’s all about transforming your life with breathwork and this course is going to be there, level one for their facilitator training. And so if you’re in the psychedelic space or not, and you want to add breathwork as a tool to your tool belt when supporting other people. I highly recommend checking out this online program created by the Inward team, and all also include those links in the show notes. And so before we dive in, just a quick note that I’m going to be speaking on Sunday, June 27 Can we believe that it’s already June, I can’t believe it. For his online festival called Create founded by Adam Rolla, that’s focusing on self-love and transformation. And some of the leading coaches on the topics of relationships and sexuality, business, and creative expression will be gathering for this online event, and I will be offering a talk exploring the intersection between creativity, flow states, and psychedelics. On Sunday, the 27th As I mentioned, so you can go to the Create festival.com That’s with the THG create festival, .com, and use my name Laura as a coupon code to get 10% off the ticket price, and honestly, the event is super affordable, to begin with.
And again I’ll include those links in the show notes. And a friend of mine who’s in my micro-dosing mastermind Arielle, sent me the song that I’ll be featuring at the end of this episode called Rise up, buttercup by Tiana. And I just like this fit for this episode because what the team at Inward is doing, is they’re taking action to consciously contribute to building a world they want to be living in. And they’re also building these amazing venues that are creating this new imprint for what it means to gather, socially. You know gorgeous places that have cold plunges and ice baths and 40 person saunas with sound systems, and breathwork classes, I mean, these are my kind of people. And in Rise Up Tiana says this line, you know, we are the ones we have been waiting for and we’ve heard this line before, and it’s a good reminder, you know, we need to take action towards creating and contributing to a better future for all of us.
Okay friends, so the other cool thing that I love about this episode is that I weave in some of the Inward Breathwork tracks that they feature on the website.
Amanda Laine: Holding on empty we’re halfway there. You’re doing so well everyone. When we come back into it, we’re going to come back in for out for breath, just like we started.
Laura Dawn: Just to drop in a little taste of what they’re offering feels like, you know, dropping in that resonant frequency here imprinting this episode with what they’re creating. So without any further ado, here is my conversation with Amanda and Harry from Inward Breathwork. Alright then, let’s just dive right on in.
Hey, welcome. Harry and Amanda. What a joy to have you guys on the show here with me today.
Harry Taylor: Thank you. It’s great to be here.
Amanda Laine: Thank you so much.
Laura Dawn: Well, you’re both the founders’, co-founders of Inward Breathwork I love what you guys are up to. Really supporting your mission and in such a big way right now. I’d love to start by asking each of you. What was your aha moment breakthrough moment where you’re like wow this is really powerful breathwork is powerful, and you knew that you wanted to dedicate a big chunk of your life to supporting other people in breathwork.
Amanda Laine: That’s a great question. I’ll start first and thanks my story relates to Harry’s, but it was about five years ago at Burning Man, it was my second burn, and I didn’t even know what breathwork was, I was just kind of my first burn was interesting, it was really coming into myself and I was just exploring more who I was from a spiritual side and meditation and then someone in our camp in second-year said I’m hosting a breathwork class today and, you know, at Burning Man You’re just like a YES, YES MAN like I’ll do anything, anyone, saying like, let’s try this. So Harry and I joined their class and he decided to just lie down on his mat, it’s going to be an hour, you’re going to be breathing, I’m going to guiding you the entire time as we are really great music, all you need to do is just surrender and let go, and I was like okay, I got no idea.
After about half an hour. I completely lost touch with myself being in this room, I have entered a whole new state of consciousness, and I went on this ride of my past experiences in my life, and I was holding hands and seeing people that had made an impact in my life. I remember doing this, I remember grabbing my hands and rubbing them, and my eyes were closed, everything was dark, and it was at this moment that I then felt these chains, it sounds insane, but I felt these chains off my wrist just break free, and then everything went red. At that moment, fully hallucinating colors, and then I came out the other side, it felt like ejected into this new, Amanda, this new person, and I felt this huge weight off my chest just released, and it was about an hour and a half total of breathwork, and it was a really fast of regulated beat. He was instructing us to yell to cry to scream, kind of just going through emotion.
In the end, we came back, and he had a circle, and I was shaking I was a full shell of my former self, and I couldn’t even get words and Harry was watching me and I was so raw, and I was like I don’t know what just happened. But my breath did that to me like this is the power of just this rhythmic fast style of breath, and it was at the moment we came back from Burning Man we were other business partners, and we’re just like, we need to do something and that’s like this is a whole new area that hasn’t been touched yet we had so deep in the heart Cold Therapy at that point that it was just a new avenue. And for me, I personally have not been the same since it has lifted this stress weight that I always carry with me, and life just felt a little bit hard. And that is gone. So it’s a really dramatic story I know but, it was a big shift for me.
Laura Dawn: Wow. And did you have to integrate that experience?
Amanda Laine: Yeah, that happened at the beginning of Burning Man so the whole rest of the week it was an amazing container to be held in because everywhere I went, anyone who listened to me and I was just talking about it and it was a lot of just talk therapy with people and everyone was asking me you know who, who you’re holding hands with like who are these people in your life, what did you let go of and it was a lot of play for days after of being able to talk through it with people that just really held space for me at that moment so that by the time I came back to Toronto I felt integrated into it and I felt just like embracing this new Amanda.
Laura Dawn: Wow, that’s pretty wild. Wow, go ahead, Harry.
Harry Taylor: And then for me. Yeah, thanks, as powerful as the experience was for me on a personal level, I can attest to Amanda’s experience that that was really the most profound moment for me was just watching Amanda and we had an integration circle and we’re like, about an hour after we’d actually done the breathwork and Amanda, so in love, I love her so much. We’ve been together for five years before that moment, and you know I had come to known Amanda as someone who was very composed, someone who’s very organized and responsible and accountable, and that’s why we are such a good balance. Because I was sort of on the other side of the spectrum. And so to see her just in such raw form, as you said like absolutely shaking and trembling and crying, the emotion it was so raw, I could see it in you that there was a shift in you from that moment on. So, as profound as the experience was for me on a personal level. What really stuck for me and what really allowed me to see the absolute transformational power of breathwork was through that integration process that one hour that we had after the breathwork and just seeing the rawness of yourself.
Laura Dawn: Wow, okay, well there is so much to dive into so from that point that was like five years ago, you did you start training and exploring different modalities was Wim Hof a big influence for you? At that time, and how did this lead you to start Inward?
Amanda Laine: Yes, so it led to a lot of science back research so rob your business partner is so good at diving into all the papers and talking to the people who are the people in the topic. So it wasn’t so much going and signing up for a breathwork training course it was more let’s read and learn about everything we possibly can. And interviews with people we can and practice. Yeah, and finessing it and tweaking it and working with, actually we work with a lot of psychedelic therapists as well to develop this whole protocol with breathwork in Toronto, and it was. Yeah, it was an evolution, I want to say of how it has come to be now
Harry Taylor: And just drawing in on inspirations from all different styles of Breathworks just from having done the research like this is certainly something that’s not new, there’s definitely a revival and renaissance of breathwork we’ve come to realize that it is the missing pillar of health. But this has been around for 1000s of years and the credit has to be given due to the Indians pranayama, and a Chinese CI has been known for a very long time so drawing in on that research, and just that physical practice. And then also, you know, tapping into the scientific community we’re starting to understand it from a Western philosophy as well. Wim Hof has been really big Stan Groff developed a breathwork practice that sort of was a replacement for psychedelic therapy when that became illegal. So just touching on all these different facets of breathwork throughout 1000s of years and drawing on inspiration from all sources.
Amanda Laine: Yeah.
Laura Dawn: So as you guys know I’m leading over 30 people in my three-month-long micro-dosing mastermind program, and the whole first month is really about the importance of establishing a daily practice. So yes, even though it is a micro-dosing program, micro-dosing isn’t really the thing that we’re talking about not in and of itself, you know, micro-dosing is just a powerful catalyst that can inspire us to show up at our altars and cultivate presence, and so can our other practices, you know like breathwork and meditation and movement practices, you know, and this is more the framework for which I teach micro-dosing like how can we weave more ceremony into the fabric of our everyday lives. And I consider the cultivation of daily practices to be akin to really embodying what it means to walk the path of mastery, and it takes dedication and commitment to show up for our daily practices. You know it takes a deep wellspring of motivation to, you know, show up, day in and day out to sit on the meditation cushion or to do the breathwork practices.
And so a big part of this first month is really inspiring people to tap into their why you know what is motivating them and can they use their why as that wellspring of intrinsic motivation to keep showing up. Even when we don’t feel like showing up, you know, and holding space for ourselves in these ways that help support our growth and transformation. So I’m so curious to ask both of you, you know what is your why, like if you were to give listeners an inspirational pep talk right now for why breathwork like why get excited about waking up in the morning and being like, I can’t wait to start my breathwork practice. What is your why, for breathwork?
Amanda Laine: That’s a good question.
Harry Taylor: Yeah, well, you want me to take that? We are just we’ve come to realize breath is the absolute foundation to everything else that arises in our life, it is that most basic unit of life for us, which allows for everything else to flourish, or physiologies, which controls our state of consciousness, how we feel about ourselves right now at this moment, compared to everything else do we feel good and grounded and centered. So when we made that realization that it was really the breath, that was at the root of all of our experiences that it made sense for us to really focus on the breath and really integrated it as part of our daily routines as part of our day to day, even when we’re not practicing. It is so important like you said to have a daily practice, but the breath is with us at all times, even when we’re not practicing even when we’re not conscious of it, it is always with us. So, the practice is for us to allow for us to tap into our breath at all times.
Amanda Laine: Now you’re 25,000 breaths a day and that’s 25,000 chances to just come back to come back from stress to come back from a state of anxiety to bring yourself there, you have 25,000 chances and it’s just by using your breath. So for me the big why was just like, why aren’t we already like this is the missing pillar of health. And for me personally, too I struggle with meditation. I’ve tried to have meditation practice every single day to sit down and be like okay, I know is this going to be good for me, I’m not going to feel better after but it’s hard because I didn’t feel I was looking for almost that immediate feeling of like, oh I’m okay I did it now I feel great. I like a workout you know you exercise that you feel great after for me meditation just wasn’t hitting that, you know, maybe in a week of practicing every single day I’d be like wow I’m handling stress better like I have to tune into that but for me breathwork after one session, you feel the tingles. You get a little bit of tetany, you’re building up co2 tolerance, you are physically changing your body’s biochemistry that I knew something was happening in me. I knew I was showing my prefrontal cortex, I knew I was entering a deep, deep state of meditation by using my breath as the anchor so for me, that’s a practice I can stick to and that’s why I’m so passionate about it. Because so many people struggle with meditation so many people have been in my shoes that I look at them, I’m like just try this like try it and you’re going to notice it. I promise.
Harry Taylor: Yeah, the breath is one of the few and by far the most powerful autonomic responses that we can take control of consciously. And so when we do, we can tap into what we thought were these autonomic functions. We can take control of the lives of our physiology, our circulatory system, our digestive system, our endocrine system the release of neurons and transmitters responsible for our state of consciousness. So everything, it’s really just the base, it’s the base with which everything else flourishes that give me all the why in the world.
Laura Dawn: That’s a great inspiration. And so I’d love to actually dive into some of the science behind breathwork, and do we need to distinguish styles. Before talking about science like does the science differs for pranayama, for example, then for a different style like Wim Hof style, or can we make generalizations about the science of breathwork?
Harry Taylor: We can definitely make generalizations, as to the one that I just kind of described, but it would be nice to distinguish two main styles of breathwork. And that speaks to the two main branches of the nervous system of our autonomic nervous system so there is the parasympathetic state of our nervous system. When that state is activated, we feel restful, we can digest we feel good about ourselves, our heart rate is slow, and we are relaxed and calm. And then there is the sympathetic style ever nervous system, which unfortunately is activated, it’s on. Too often, for most of us just in the way that we live our modern-day stressors, pollution, our diet, screens, social media. Our work’s just constantly active and while it does serve a purpose. It’s just on for too much and but we can activate the sympathetic style of our nervous system with a certain style of breath, it’s more upregulated through the mouth, heavy breath, and by activating the stress response consciously, it serves as a great tool for us to flex our physiology like we flex a muscle. So we’re taking control of our physiology. So there are two main branches parasympathetic and sympathetic.
Amanda Laine: I would say more of the proteomic styles are more parasympathetic inducing they’re meant to bring you into a place of calm, reduce stress like at the moment, and then there’s Wim Hof there’s polytropic what we developed it’s as well kind of falls in between those transformational a lot of that is then sympathetic inducing. So we can talk about it in that way if you want.
Laura Dawn: Oh, that’s interesting. I’m surprised to hear that pranayama would be parasympathetic when it feels like such an intense breath pattern, you know, that’s,
Amanda Laine: Yeah, I mean, I guess. I guess I’m thinking, I guess within craniotomy you can then categorize as well as Kalavati breath I would say probably is sympathetic inducing Breath of Fire you’re building out that inner fire getting your system ramped up, but then I would say like an oceans breath is really calming, so I think in. Yeah, in Sorry, that was a miss, misspoke there in pranayama, there’s definitely it’s touching on both sides as well.
Laura Dawn: Okay cool, and then so what would you call the name of your style?
Amanda Laine: Oh man,
Harry Taylor: This specially curated style, again just like credit has to be given out to all these styles, we’re just like drawing on inspiration from all the other sources Wim Hof was definitely big press was huge into the hot and cold. Yeah, but sort of creating something that is its own unique expression, we definitely do both parasympathetic and sympathetic breath words, there’s really a style of breathwork to induce any emotion we want, and we like to really just access the wide range of emotions and states that breathwork is capable of,
Amanda Laine: But I would say like a distinguishing factor-like Holotropic, for instance, is two to three hours of breathing right translation is hours, you are in that for a long time, and we’ve done by so much testing we sit down with stopwatches as a team and we’re going and we’re trying to get you to that state that heightened state of tingling of receptivity that you feel with, for instance, an hour-long session. We have curated and crafted it in 20 minutes, and we can get you there in 20 minutes. 10 To 20 so that when you feel like supercharged you’ve got it you feel that again you feel that sensations, you’re ramped up for your day it’s like that morning cup of coffee, but you didn’t need to go for hours of breathwork.
Harry Taylor: And this sort of speaks to the idea of discipline and practice that you were talking about earlier, we want to make these breathwork sessions very accessible and thorough accessibility, we’re seeing, we’re experimenting with, you know. Yeah. How quickly can we get people into that state of receptivity of bliss of oneness, and there’s also an artistic performance curation, that we approach with our breathwork sessions, just for the same reason. Like how can we, Yes breathwork is definitely this tool that allows for people to go deep to have these transformational experiences of growth and healing, but at the same time, how can we make it accessible so as, for it to be fun and engaging and dynamic and participatory.
Amanda Laine: So Harry’s old life as an artist has really come into play, because he’s so curated when the beat drops the breath drops when this happens like it’s very, it’s really, it evokes emotion through music
Harry Taylor: Music, through meditation, through visualization very particular guidance, what sort of words are we using the sort of meditations and visualizations here with the breathwork.
Amanda Laine: Because you’re so primed after a session of 20 minutes of breathing, you’re so ready to receive something that a breathwork session shouldn’t just end there. Like your heart is open your prefrontal cortex is quieted you’re ready to make a change, almost like the way psychedelics work in a way like you’re primed to make. Yeah, state shift. So at that moment lay in something about self-love land something about, you know, releasing shame, releasing like the negativity that we hold on to and that’s what differentiates us.
Laura Dawn: Oh, that’s beautiful. Yeah, I love your online classes and what you guys are doing and how you’re curating it, I’m all about that, you know, combining it in an artistic way like this is the path of the beauty way how do we embody that and how do we speak that language through what we’re putting out into the world and yeah, I feel like homing in on the craft and doing it at such a high level of mastery really put that frequency out that imprint out into society is really amazing. Gosh, okay, there are some multiple directions I do want to get into this more into the science, but can we just touch on this notion of like doing a 20-minute session versus like a three-hour session, and is it kind of like, can we, parallel that with psychedelics? Oh yeah, we might micro-dose more regularly, and do the deeper dives maybe once a month or once or twice a year. So Would you, could you compare it in that way?
Harry Taylor: Definitely, 100 percent. Yeah, you know you can do the deep dives and that’s sort of like for once a quarter or however you feel, but it’s more of like work, it’s the deep work, and it’s like a statement moment in your life when you go very deep, so we do have like hour-long sessions on our site and those are kind of like for once a month, once a quarter is what we recommend. And then we have like these 20 10-to-25-minute upregulated sessions where you’re definitely feeling it, you’re charging up your lifeforce your prana, you’re feeling the energy and the vitality. That’s more for like once a week, this is at least what we recommend it’s different for every person. And then we have these parasympathetic inducing if you want to relax or at the end of a stressful day or if you want to induce sleep, and that’s kind of like a daily practice. Absolutely.
Laura Dawn: Okay, so in terms of the sympathetic nervous system and stress. It was interesting to hear so many of the categories fall into sympathetic when we’re already so over-activated in the sympathetic nervous system. So, how do I make sense of that, in my mind in terms of breathwork is toning the sympathetic nervous system, you know, how does that help us actually reduce stress if we’re activating it?
Amanda Laine: Yeah, it’s so funny, it seems like a counterintuitive thing to do because you’re like oh I’m so stressed at work I had a really stressful day I’m going to lay down now and activate my stress response. And it is like going to a gym. So, okay, on a day to day, we are like Harry said we are living in a stress state but we’re doing so unconsciously. Many of us don’t even realize that our breath is short, that we’re holding our breath that we’re breathing our mouth too much activating the sympathetic response. You don’t even, most people don’t even realize that’s happening, but then they are developing illnesses, they’re getting really tired, they don’t know how to deal with stress. So, then by activating the stress response path consciously, that’s like the biggest thing is that you’re going to do so consciously, so you know when your body’s slipping in that state. So, you are in that state through heavy breathing, and then there hits this moment in time that you are depleting your body of co2, and you’re changing beside the chemistry levels in your body of those elements. And when you don’t have enough co2 In your bodies when you’re exhaling a lot through these active breath sessions. Your co2 level drops and when your co2 level drops that limits the ability of your blood to release oxygen to your organs.
So, blood now is not being released as much to your brain. And that is a state of the prefrontal cortex, which is that thinking analytical egoic mind that chatter, chatter, chatter mind is able to quiet. So through this really up-regulated breathing, you’re able to then enter a state of bliss of real quietness, and that is a state that we usually end on when we do these sessions because then people can lay there, and they are then whoa this is relaxation, this is full meditation, and your body then is able to come out after stronger and more resilient to stress and also flipped rate into the parasympathetic. So you’ve activated so heavily that when you come out, you’re able to be. Wow, this is calm. So that’s kind of an exaggerated way of explaining it.
Harry Taylor: But yeah, maybe just to back out of it and explain like how sympathetic activation will actually help for you to deal with your stress response we’re big advocates of this, even beyond breathwork We’re hot and cold experts as well, and that falls under the same scientific phenomenon it is known as hormesis, that’s an exposure to a short term stressor that in a large dose or an unconscious heavy dose would be harmful, even fatal, but in that controlled short state of stress, it is powerfully beneficial because it activates all these stress response pathways that we have encoded within our physiologies and encoded within our genes and that can only be activated when we have these stressors stimulated. You can think of the way that we evolved, we didn’t evolve in comfortable climates, we weren’t always sedentary as we were. There were times in which we had to run to catch our meal and so people think, physical exercise that’s the easiest thing to think of like you work out, you’re stressing your body, but that makes you stronger for the next time that you work out, intermittent fasting is the same thing, hot and cold exposure and the same thing, and this type of breathing ingesting this plant but the chemicals, all these things, stress our body slightly, but in turn activate the pathways that help deal with stress for the rest of the day for the rest of the week, well into the month.
Amanda Laine: And you can think about it that you’re almost increasing your stress baseline so a lot of us right now have really low baselines of stress because as Harry said of air conditioning of heat of always having your fridge full, so our level ability to handle stress is so bad so through sitting in an ice bath through Sonning through really exaggerated breathwork styles, you are slowly leveling up your ability to handle stress. So therefore when stress comes at you through traffic through brutal email through your social media. Your body isn’t going to get fired up and react because you know how to handle stress,
Harry Taylor: And the main way that that is manifested in our breathing patterns, is that our co2 Tolerance is too low. So we have seen where trying to expel carbon dioxide, we’re not able to that causes for us to over breath unconsciously and over-breathing through our mouth over-breathing in the chest type in the chest and through a diaphragm, sending signals really as it signals to our physiology to our nervous system that something is not okay. So when we breathe really heavily, we are up-leveling, our tolerance to carbon dioxide and that’s the most important thing that we do when we’re upgraded to breathing.
Laura Dawn: Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. I’m a big fan of Kelly McGonigal’s work and she just came out with a new book. I just got it on my Kindle I haven’t read it yet, but the title is Why Stress Is Good For You. And I love how it’s just actually putting the narrative on its head around stress, and I think we have to educate ourselves a lot more about healthy stress versus unhealthy stress. And how to strengthen our capacity to navigate through stressful moments. So there was that resource I wanted to mention and also, I listened to a fantastic interview with Brittany Brown. She interviewed Emily and Amelia and who are twins. And they wrote a book on how to complete the stress cycle, and so they talked to Brittany about burnout and how to complete that cycle and there are only a few things you know exercise is one of them, and breathwork is another tool, there are a few tools social connection is another one.
I think we live in this culture especially in like the peak, optimal performance space where it’s like, Everyone’s searching for all of like these things, you know, but actually it’s so simple, it’s actually like we just need to come back to square one, you know, healthy body, healthy mind, exercise, social connection, breath, you know it’s just like, really, really simple. So, yeah, I like that distinction because you’re really speaking to, you know, and I learned a lot from Wim Hof as well that actually inducing stress, it can be really helpful. It strengthens our capacity and that’s essentially what you’re saying here.
Amanda Laine: Exactly, yeah. And we have a hot-cold studio-like Harry said saunas and ice bath, we guide people through the ice bath, all the time and it’s zero-degree water, much like you’re saying Wim Hof, and if their breath isn’t correct, then they can’t handle the cold, they can’t handle the stress. So that’s good That’s it right there if you aren’t breathing correctly. Doesn’t matter if it’s an ice bath or any sort of stress, then your body’s going to react and you’re going to freak out, but everyone is able to sit in ice water for two minutes if you can focus on an elongated exhale. The exhale is the key to stress. So if you’re in a state of stress. Then there’s a breathwork style that will get you right out of it.
So, earlier when you were saying like, it feels weird if you’re, you know, to combat stress do stressful Breathworks, I would say if you were really in a state of stress right now, don’t sit down and do a sympathetic inducing breathwork style that’s not for you at this moment. It is actually parasympathetic is to get you there to calm you down right now, and then when you’re in a calm place in your life, build up that muscle for the sympathetic. The build-up that stress response through the more active Breathworks, but when you’re in a stressful state there are so many little quick exercises that can bring you out. And like I said it’s just an elongated exhale.
Laura Dawn: Okay great, so let’s talk about that actually. I would love to cover some practical tips for people who are in moments where they are stepping out to lead. So this is now, we’re leading this conversation, to the leaders of our time. And again leading can mean a lot of different things. We’re not always stepping out in front. When we lead, maybe we’re leading by holding space for someone else and there’s a situation that’s happening that’s causing some stress, or maybe we are stepping out and we have this fear of being seen, that’s actually been coming up quite a bit in my mastermind program. This conversation of fear of stepping out, fear of failure. I know I also have this experience where sometimes when I’m either interviewing a really big guest for the podcast or I’m speaking in a big psychedelic Clubhouse or at a seminar or a conference or on someone else’s podcast and I noticed my heart rate starting to go. So let’s get a few concrete tips on the table here so that people can walk away with something tangible, they’ll know what they need to do when feeling that arousal in their sympathetic nervous system, and really calm themselves down in those very, very crucial moments where it feels like a lot is on the line.
Harry Taylor: Yeah, that’s great. It’s always nice to actually make it practical, what can we actually do at this moment right now. So, for all you listeners out there, why don’t we just actually try it at the moment as we’re describing some of these processes. Sure. So again like Amanda said we’ll summarize, generally speaking in the inhale, has a sympathetic inducing response to it is naturally charging your breathing in is giving life energy so it will fire up your arousal. And generally speaking, the exhale is calm, think about it like you’re exhaling you’re letting out your sighing you’re mounting to the ground your muscles are releasing tension. So if there’s ever a state that you want to pick up your arousal, focus on the intensity and length, of the inhale if you want to become more alert and active. You want to breathe in for a longer and more powerful state, maybe make it three seconds for a count of three, and then make the exhale, shorter, maybe a count of one.
Amanda Laine: So this is for activating.
Harry Taylor: Activation of your nervous system, your sympathetic nervous system. And then if you want to come down, you can reverse that so the inhale, is quick, and then the exhale is slow and just make it as long as possible.
Amanda Laine: Do the classic breath style called SOS breath or 478. A lot of breath styles are done a number of patterns so 478 is an amazing tool again you’ll notice four is the inhale, hold at the top three seven, exhale for eight, so The exhale is doubled the inhale, that’s like that’s the key right there so if you’re ever in a state you state of stress, inhale, for, let’s just do it together inhale for 4.
Harry Taylor: It’s as simple as that. There’s another beautiful one called bucks breath, inhaling for a count of four, you’re holding for a count of four, you’re exhaling for a count of four and you’re holding for a count of four. So this is like the perfect balance. This is a great way to just balance your physiologies to be granted, give you a little bit of a state of alertness you’re focusing on your breath but then it’s just completely balanced off with the exhale.
Navy seals use this one a lot. Again, it’s a great way to just like focus, you’re kind of coming into your body, but it’s also giving you a bit of arousal for it’s great for, as you said, if you’re entering into a stressful moment, a meeting or a podcast or you just feel you’re the butterflies going your heart rate picks up oh my gosh I’m entering into a sympathetic state without my conscious self, how can I bring myself back. How can I take control of my nervous system that’s a great one?
Amanda Laine: And you also want to be breathing in and out through your nose always for these stress-reducing reference styles. Because the nose really was meant for breathing the nose signals to your body, it produces nitric oxide which helps to calm you down.
Harry Taylor: So just a natural five times more resistance so you’re going to naturally just breathe slower.
Amanda Laine: Yeah. And, yeah, and it also filters the air it acts as a humidifier the nose is everything. So if you’re bringing yourself into a calm state nose breathing, and then think about if you’re trying to activate yourself and get your sympathetic system roused up then mouth because the nose was always the fight or flight, you’re running for your life you’re going to breathe through your mouth you can take in more air, it’s really activating. So that’s a nice little trick to always remember as well.
Harry Taylor: And I think the final thing I’d like to mention is just whether where you’re breeding in your body, is it from your diaphragm. So we have our lungs, our lungs have 3 million alveoli, each of which has three receptors that with every breath, each one of these receptors is sending signals to our brain as to what state we’re in which side of the nervous system is activated. And generally, the higher area of our lobes have connections that connect to the sympathetic system, whereas areas, lower in the lobe activates have connections to the parasympathetic nervous system.
So when we’re breathing high up inner chest using these secondary muscles that’s just sending signals constantly to turn on the fight or flight, but if you’re using your diaphragm if you’re breathing from your belly, and you’ll know we can just try that one out too, taking a nice slow breath through your nose and feeling your belly expand first, and then your chest fills up, and then on the exhale it sort of falls in reverse or chest falls and then belly falls, that’s how you know if you’re using your diaphragm if your belly inflates first, and then your chest and their diaphragmatic breath is a sure way to activate the ventral vagal complex which is that main nerve that connects our body to our brain and activates the parasympathetic.
Laura Dawn: That’s wonderful. Are you guys familiar with Andrew Huberman, and his podcast the Huberman Lab?
Amanda Laine: I’m familiar with him but not so much the podcast. Heard the name but haven’t listened to the podcast, no.
Laura Dawn: Gosh, he’s got some interesting things to say. He also has one of the primary tools that he put out where he goes through these really in-depth episodes and then he’ll teach the mechanism and then he’ll offer tools, and one of his tools for stress reduction was breathing, all the way in and then when you’re all the way full, you actually take another deep breath in, of air as much as you can like another sip, and then slowly exhale length all the way out, I don’t know if you’ve heard of that one?
Amanda Laine: I heard of it. Yes, and I’m trying to understand why that would be and I think it’s to be able to fill up your lungs to your full capacity. Because so many of us take these short shallow breaths so just like Harry said if you think you’ve taken in enough air, there’s probably more air in that those lower lungs, you can grab and that’s going to activate, again, that parasympathetic response through these receptors. So it makes it totally makes sense. Yeah. It completely makes sense it’s just teaching people how to take a deep belly breath.
Harry Taylor: Also inherent to all these practices there’s like a common underlying theme, and that’s just that we have to bring our conscious awareness and attention into it. And so no matter what style we’re really doing to bring ourselves into our body to bring our focus to our breath so that the stressors, the anxiety, the running egoic mind can dissipate a little. No matter what breast out is, we’re bringing our conscious attention to a breath bringing ourselves into our body that will naturally bring us into a state of calm and ease. So I can imagine that taking that full breath, it’s definitely physiological you feel it physically you’re filling up your lungs fully, and that has this natural inherent capacity to bring you into the now and ease anything else that was activating your mind.
Amanda Laine: Yeah, and it’s just so cool like we have had 1000s of people do breathwork and on the platform practicing with us and we’ve been practicing now for so long just the stories of people like it makes a difference you know it’s not just a practice you’re doing that, you know, I hope I see the results like you, people are combating addiction people are combating mental health, and they’re getting, helping with their loneliness are helping with a feeling of connection with themselves they’re you breathwork can do so many things for the body. And I think the other biggest one obviously is handling stress and it’s like, it’s been so evident in my life, I guess also I do heart cold therapy, but my stress response is just completely changed like, this thing happened in our house, we moved into a new house about a few months ago and last week I came downstairs, and the entire kitchen ceiling was like hanging like a bubble. I thought I was hallucinating I’m like what is happening is this weird illusion and Harry was outside.
I was like Harry come here I think our ceilings about to explode and I’m saying it almost laughing and I don’t think my heart rate actually increased at all. Here, Harry, he’s like, Whoa, what is happening, we’re looking at it he pokes it and probably six liters of water poured out of our ceiling into a garbage bin, and we’re both just mind-blowing, and I was laughing I have an old video is videoing the whole thing and the old me. No one here knows me obviously, but Harry can attest for being with me for so many years, I, the old me would have actually just seen red reacted does nothing useful at the moment and just been an absolute stress case. And the way I handled it I said after to Harry I’m so impressed with myself like this is a new person, and it’s just translated into, you know, a ceiling collapsing but also the way I handle work and show up every day.
Harry Taylor: Yeah, so it makes these profound differences in our lives. And the other really cool thing is that you feel it at the moment like it only takes a few breaths to actually start to make a physiological neurochemical change within your body and brain, so you feel it’s instant, it’s quite balanced.
Laura Dawn: Yeah, I’m curious about tools, like, you know the breath app on the Apple Watch or something like that do you recommend anything like that to help people breathe in or time themselves, are there any cool devices technology?
Amanda Laine: I mean we have one it’s definitely not techie, you don’t wear it, it doesn’t ding or vibrate but it’s called the relaxator, and we’re actually in the process of developing our own device that you can carry. It essentially looks like an adult suitor that you have and you put it in and you can control the resistance of your exhale, and it also makes you breathe in and out through see the breath in through your nose, it kind of goes in your mouth, and then it, like you said it controls the resistance of your exhale, so the more you have it turned on so like, level five, for instance, would be a really slow, long long long long exhale that would last, I don’t know, almost two minutes, it’s really wild. And that is just fully signaling to your body. Wow you are really relaxed you are taking the most massive exhale, so you must be in a really good state.
So we actually love to wear them we all wear them when we’re working on our computer, and it also something in your mouth teaching you to breathe, so no matter what like Harry said, You are fundamentally learning and changing your breathing pattern which is just everything. So I love the relaxator, that’s a really fun one. Robbie has another one called the Arrow Fit too and that links to his phone same similar idea, but it’s just more techie.
Harry Taylor: More techie it tells you how much carbon dioxide you have in your system how much oxygen that you have in your system. So it really is becoming more informative as to how your breath is progressing over time.
Amanda Laine: And the reason that why people will struggle with level five for instance, and taking the super long exhale is because most of us have really low co2 tolerance, and having a low co2 Tolerance means that if you’re exhaling, that means your co2 Tolerance is building, you haven’t been able to inhale so your body starts breaking out and signaling like, oh my gosh I need oxygen, I need oxygen, but most of the time, our bodies are so oxygen-rich, we’re just really lazy breathers and we love oxygen, and it’s not as good for us, so having a really high co2 tolerance being able to take super long exhales. It’s going to facilitate so much better, like a lot better performance in your body for athletic performance. What else? Yeah, mostly athletic performance yes, and stress response.
Laura Dawn: What do you guys recommend form suggestions for people to anchor their awareness throughout the day into the breath. Do you think the breathwork practice just naturally allows people to become more aware of their breath or do you really encourage people, you know, to set a timer on your watch every hour and take a conscious breath or something that to like an anchor?
Harry Taylor: Yeah, so one of my favorite techniques is any time that you feel yourself become triggered, and that can become the cue to ground yourself in your breath so you’re cut off in traffic and you feel yourself, tighten, you feel that activation, that can be the perfect trigger right there what better time to come into your breath, so that’s kind of my favorite hack is like anytime that you feel anger or impatience or jealousy or whatever that bad emotional state is. That triggers it, and then you bring yourself right back out of that state. Love the state of parasympathetic so that’s my favorite.
Amanda Laine: And then I think also just practicing breathwork like making it instead of meditation, maybe if you struggle with meditation, like I said, making this your morning practice just 15 minutes every day in the morning, you’re going to all of a sudden realize first the powerful potential that you can feel it in your body, you’re going to notice the shift after you’re going to have this boost of energy. So then you just, it just becomes something, you know, if you meditate every day you’re going to think about all meditation is great, you do yoga every day you’re going to be integrating yoga if you do breath practice every day you’re going to be thinking about the breath, and that’s like I said our clients, that’s the number one thing they’re saying to us now is like wow, it’s not even the practice anymore it’s every second I take a breath, I’m thinking about it and whoa like I didn’t realize when I was cooking or cleaning my house I was holding my breath. And Harry actually created this new record, it’s called background breathwork, and it’s just teaching you a coherent breathwork pattern so it’s essentially inhaling for five seconds, exhaling for five seconds, set to really fun music you want to have it on just as if you’re listening to Spotify in your house, but it has a breath track built into it so it’s again just a tool that teaches you to bring it into your daily practice.
Laura Dawn: I love that idea so we’re talking breath work first thing in the morning, empty stomach, ideal?
Amanda Laine: Yes. Yeah, before you eat for sure before you have coffee no stimulants. This is the stimulant you’re really only me.
Laura Dawn: So neither of you drink coffee?
Amanda Laine: I mean I drink coffee every day, but I will do breathwork before I drink coffee.
Laura Dawn: Okay, gotcha, I was like, Wow, that’s impressive. And so what about breathwork as a very powerful tool for integrating deeper dive psychedelic experiences, that’s one chunk I’d love to talk about as well as combining breathwork with micro-dosing.
Amanda Laine: Yeah, for sure. Breathwork for integration is so amazing. We’re actually working with clinic mind blue, which is a ketamine clinic and we’re supplying a lot of breath works to their people after they have come out of these experiences. And the big thing that I can attest to personally is just that it helps to know you have these moments, using psychedelics, that seem otherworldly and you can’t really explain or you might want to go back there and visit it, but you have a hard time even putting into words and through a longer breathwork session like an hour-long, we have one that I called the third activation, it’s really intense The music’s amazing the breath is long, you will tap back into that state, if you just had the sexual experience like two days before, you’re going to be able to go back there and revisit and keep working, which is I think a really important part of it all, it also then helps too, you know to reduce stress and anxiety so obviously as well these sessions can be intense for a lot of people who bring up a lot of emotions. So, using this as a tool to be able to ground you is also really great there are the elevated states of consciousness through effort, there are also really grounding states. Let’s say that’s also a really important tool.
Harry Taylor: Yeah, I mean psychedelics are so powerful to expand our state of consciousness and to take us to states that we’re not really able to join normal waking states but it’s often great to use breathwork as a tool to integrate one back into the body to relate the experience that we just had. So ethereally and so it’s such an abstract way to route it back into such a physical experience as just feeling your breath in your body so it’s like you said, it can be used to revisit it can also be used to ground yourself back down,
Amanda Laine: And it can also use us to help keep releasing I would say like trauma or stuck emotion because a lot of the time with psychedelics you will go somewhere and then you’ll come back, and you might feel like tightness or anger or sadness and not know why or where that’s coming from. So through breathwork, you’re able to like I said earlier, you’re able to shut down this prefrontal cortex that thinking mind that psychedelics also helped to shut down, so you can revisit that state and then usually pull up the emotion that we buried, you know, as humans, we don’t process. We don’t process trauma, we don’t process emotion. We just love to bury things down so through again like a deep dive session you’re going to be able to pull up and keep working on something that you didn’t even realize a psychedelic triggered.
Laura Dawn: So I don’t think there’s a lot of science around breathwork for healing trauma but I’m curious if you have any personal thoughts or philosophies around why does breathwork act as this bridge into the release of trauma.
Harry Taylor: Yeah, so just, I know you’ve said a couple of times but there’s a decreased amount of oxygen flow to the prefrontal cortex which houses the default mode network that is I think getting analytical egoic mind that keeps us in this frequency in this state of consciousness for most all of our lives and psychedelics, really helps to quiet down that default mode network, as does that limited oxygen to our brain when we are up-regulated breathing. And so through that is when that quiets down, we’re able to access these states that we’re not able to drink regular states of consciousness and that is more intimate contact with these emotions that we suppress with traumas that we suppress and with memories that can only be accessed through unconscious or subconscious processing so. And when we do, we’re able to, again, create new neural pathways and clear out so many of these energies that we’ve just buried down without access to them through assisted methods like psychedelics and breathwork.
Amanda Laine: Yeah, so I mean I love to think of it like if you go to a therapist, a talk therapist and talk through trauma, the therapist doesn’t know you, you know yourself way better, you know, what you went through, and this is just my opinion. But you are your obviously best therapist and you’ve gone to someone a total stranger who’s going to try to talk you through and process it, and you might not even understand the feelings you’re feeling, or why this happened or not even maybe remember something because you’ve blocked it out. But, again, in my opinion, through breathwork through psychedelics, you are able to access them you’re able to go and dig deep, so maybe a breathwork session is the first catalyst and then go see the therapist who’s trained to help you process and talk through because you’re wide open at that point. And I think those two should be combined and actually, we have therapists who are some of our top users on our platform that uses, they use it in that exact way they get their clients to do Breathworks we suggest we have like a library of five or six that are really opening, they give it to their client in the room with them, and then they’ll talk through therapy, and it just, he said it they said it’s an amazing tool to help people up.
Laura Dawn: I’m curious what the in-your-mind connection between the autonomic nervous system is and the subconscious mind.
Amanda Laine: Do you want to answer?
Harry Taylor: That’s a deep one.
Laura Dawn: Are you guys familiar with Joe Dispenza his work? Joe Dispenza or, you know, Joe talks about this quite a bit you know that the autonomic nervous system is the subconscious mind and that most of our programming is living in you know, subconscious reality says like 95% of all of our behaviors, actions, thoughts are sort of running on autopilot in the subconscious? And so to me, what I kind of see the breath as like that bridge and I think Wim talks about this a little bit too. And, and that’s part of the reason I also really like Wim Hof approaches. Because he’s so about mindset, like he is like, you know. Yeah, just like the power of belief in this as well, and like using that time of breathwork also for reimprinting limiting beliefs. Do you guys have anything to say about that using that time to really help reprogram some of those, you know, core limitations that we’ve self-imposed, our whole lives?
Amanda Laine: 100% That’s why we said like a lot of our Breathworks have themes so we have ones around self-love which are just full of trigger words that will help you fully feel when you’re in that state reprogramming. What is love and why you are amazing why just love yourself releasing fear, releasing shame that we have, and digging deep?
Harry Taylor: A lot of inner child work as well where I believe that a lot of these limiting, beliefs stem from is from these childhood memories that really just make these imprints lasting imprints for the rest of our lives. So, And oftentimes they’re phrasing questions so it’s you know you’re doing the breathwork you fall into this expansive state, and it could be just a simple question that helps for you to unlock a key or to release some of these stuck energies that were very deep down inside.
Amanda Laine: I think, 90% of our illnesses are curable with our mindset and we make ourselves sick through, you know through negative self-talk through not breathing correctly. There are so many things that we can do on this fundamental level so yeah, I totally think there’s a huge connection.
Laura Dawn: Yeah. Bruce Lipton author of Biology of Belief. Came out of the psychedelic closet for the first time on this podcast.
Amanda Laine: No way
Laura Dawn: Yeah, he attributed his life path and career and the discovery of epigenetics to psilocybin, and he did that for the first time ever on episode number seven y’all if you haven’t listened to it. If you haven’t listened to it. Yeah, it kind of blew my mind I was not expecting it. I mean, I’ve been such a huge fan of his work and Joe’s work I’ve gone to Joe’s like advanced retreats and
Amanda Laine: Have you? I so want to go one day, was it amazing?
Laura Dawn: Yeah, it was. It was amazing and also there’s, I mean it’s like anything you know my mom always said take the best and leave the rest take what works for you and leave what doesn’t, you know, and that’s how we can approach things with an open mind, and I like that. And so, yeah, there’s a lot of things that I really like about Joe’s work and some things that don’t totally land and that’s fine and same with everyone’s work you know and there’s really everyone’s kind of pointing to the same thing. Ultimately, you know, everyone’s pointing to the same thing so yeah, and then so do you have personal experience combining breathwork with micro-dosing?
Amanda Laine: You want to speak to this?
Harry Taylor: Yeah, we definitely have a lot of experience with combining breathwork and micro- dosing. Breathwork Academy practices that we’ve homed in on and just created this business grants of preparation integration. And great deep experiences and our first experience at Burning Man In fact, we were on LSD. So yeah, I can definitely attest to it, micro-dosing, not a regular practice, but you can definitely see the value in it, for sure, in helping to create a practice like there’s the simple habit of taking the micro-dose, and that can be the catalyst to enter into or continue the practice in whatever way that looks whether it’s meditation, whether it’s a little bit of yoga, or whether it’s breathwork you can allow for the actual ingestion the ceremony behind the taking the micro-dose to be the catalyst for the rest of the practice. Which I think is really powerful, but it just helps for it to imprint that discipline, As you were speaking to. Yeah,
Amanda Laine: Yeah. And I think as well, just like with breathwork as well no matter how you go like you are. You can create new neural pathways you can change your thought patterns and if that’s combined with a micro-dose or macro dose, I think that’s just so powerful because you are able to go in and do some really serious work that otherwise is not done.
Laura Dawn: I just found it so amazing, you know, it’s so wonderful to have these experiences with psychedelics where it’s like, just the simplicity of an essence of a message comes through so strong, and it’s just like three words and you’re like wow that’s true, you know, in those moments and it’s like so simple like water is life, you know I’ve had those moments where it was so focused on breathwork and like really hard Iowaska ceremonies where the whole thing was just like, noticing how much my mind went off and then back to the breath of like, oh, just breathe. Just breathe. Just breathe, and that was the whole and it was multiple journeys really just like wow just breath, just breath.
Amanda Laine: It so was my first Sampedro experience. I, it was really challenging at first the feeling of just full nausea and dealing with that and it was the breath like I’m following like my former breakfast brother practice came into play there to keep me grounded root me in a moment and I had this breath that was slow and deep and rhythmic, and it became my anchor for the entire time. And then obviously the feeling of knowledge of passes and then the breath was ingrained in my subconscious because everything I was just having so many moments with the trees and I remember looking at this one tree and it was so unlike psilocybin trees. It was a totally different experience for me, and I saw and really notice like this tree is living it is breathing is with me. And everything had a breath, everything had a rhythm, and everything was just connected, and it made me just realize again like your breath like Harry says your breath is everything. The breath is why we’re alive and if you can’t see the tree breathing it is breathing, and it just so stuck with me, that was one of the most powerful psychedelic experiences is that San Pedro, and it just grounded me to nature and earth so much.
Harry Taylor: So powerful and yeah just along those lines, I just like to speak to one of my little anecdotes, it was like the third or fourth time with experiencing five Meo DMT and similar to what he described just like three words you know I understood I intuited on more of like a knowledge informative level that breath is life force. You know the prana breath is the same thing as your life force. But this is the first time that I was taking these breaths. Oh my goodness, like breath is lifelike it’s so incredible, and I’m experiencing it as I take in these breaths. Wow, my breath is my life like every breath I take it I’m charging it’s as well just, yeah, it makes it very, you actually feel it. Yeah, and just like intuitive, processing it informative basis that breath is life.
Amanda Laine: Because so many people like so much of the population just breathe every day and are breathing and they’re walking in and doing their thing their breathing and they don’t even realize that this is them is keeping them alive. Like it’s not until you’re fully covered or someone suffocating you or your stuff up with a cold, do you realize, whoa I can’t breathe well, So it’s I think everyone needs to have these moments of just eye-opening.
Laura Dawn: I kind of feel like that about childbirth, you know I’m not going to be a mother in this lifetime. I don’t think. But I think about that and like wow women give birth every day that is fucking mind-blowing. What?
Amanda Laine: Isn’t it so crazy,
Laura Dawn: Like, wow, you’re like a human popping out of you, like, like totally mind-blowing. Like it’s so easy and that’s why I love psychedelics to like, allow us to see the simplicity and the beauty of life, you know, when you look at a tree and you’re like wow, or a mountain I had this one experience in Thailand where I was like looking at this mountain range and I could see it breathing, it was like. Wow, this everything is so alive, which is very, you know the shamanic perspective of reality, you know animism is like a core foundation and it’s like for a reason, you know, hallucinogenic plants have been influencing their perception and their cultural narrative for 1000s of years.
So, wow guys I feel like I could talk to you for another five hours, but we’re going to have to start wrapping it up here and I’m just curious to know a little bit more about the programs that you’re creating, especially your facilitator training, you know, for people who listen to this podcast also people in my micro-dosing mastermind many people are already in the psychedelic space and they’re really curious about, no adding more tools to their tool belt. So how essential is training, you know, when we look at other training some of them are very, very long and also very expensive, so you know how necessary is it to train can we just learn the science and practice, or does it really help to go through a program like yours, for example?
Harry Taylor: I think that some type of training is definitely important for this type of practice and like whether you want to go out and just like, you know, the training is kind of twofold actual experience doing breathwork and feeling how it feels for yourself so that you can impart some of the intuitive knowledge that you’re getting from the practice, as well as the, definitely like the information, knowledge aspect like going out there and doing the research and we sort of did it the hard way by just like hundreds of hours explaining. So that was really our primary motivation for creating this course, our facilitation course or the course was to just really condense all the information that we had gathered from all this, and just package it up into like this, saying, like, how many hours you think it was like 15 hours of theoretical and maybe 15 hours of practical work.
Amanda Laine: Because even like we notice with the hot-cold therapy like people that you’re leading them through if you can talk to the science behind it and get them to understand why it’s happening to them, what’s happening and make them feel safe through a scientific perspective because that is, I think I can relate to that and feel good there, then that I think is really important so we focused our entire course around for part one at least is all around the science, it’s just breaking down what’s happening, how to explain the nervous system how to explain you can take control that how it’s like a superpower in your life, and just teaching people that in part one, along with all the practice so people can get a taste of all the different styles. And then, yeah, so that’s available now, which is really exciting.
And then part two is going to be like Harry says it’s more of the practical teaching people okay let’s put together playlists, how do you hold space? Is their integration that’s important. And that’s to come, but obviously, if someone takes part one and they have questions about you know I really want I feel ready, I want to host a session like, how do I do this, we’re going to be also offering zooms for people to really jump on with the group meet other facilitators and we can answer questions on the fly because it is also about trial and error, you’re supposed to get out there and, you know, hold space for your friends first maybe, and then when you feel comfortable obviously to start bringing in people that have signed up for your preferred class. But yeah, part one’s available and we’re really excited about it.
Laura Dawn: Cool, because I mean it’s not like we’re talking about ingesting hallucinogens like breathwork is pretty safe.
Amanda Laine: It is pretty safe, yes but you also have people that go through the breathwork if it’s a 30-minute session and then they’ve come out and they’re like why am I still tingling? Why do I have tightness? Like I now feel anxious the rest of the day like what happened so there are definitely questions that people need to be able to answer and understand. Like we get them all the time so that I think is really important to have that knowledge and to be able to be there competently and get people to the state of getting there, too because then that’s when the real work happens. So, being comfortable to push people with their breath because you know how to hold space is really great. But, yeah, I mean, it turned out there was so much research it could go on YouTube and go through it all and understand and try to pull it all together but like Harry said we’ve created a really succinct, easy to learn four modules for part one, that’s available.
Laura Dawn: Okay, I need to also reframe the way I just stated that I was like breathwork is safe compared to, you know, hallucinogens. Hallucinogens from my perspective are also very safe, you know, especially physiologically like LSD and psilocybin they’re very safe substances, you know cultures have been working with hallucinogens for 1000s of years safely just like women have been, you know going into the forest and having babies and Woods for 1000s of years like, you know, I think it’s just like the cultural narrative and the perspective around safety and of course you know if you’re sitting with a shaman who pours medicine and he’s not holding clear space, there is more that can go awry. So, yes, I guess I just wanted to kind of put that balanced perspective in there, psychedelics from my perspective are actually very safe. I think we sort of over, I think there’s like this, a little over-emphasis of like the fear of, you know all the things that could go wrong, but, you know, the good thing we don’t think about all the things that we can go wrong like the moment we step out of our homes in the morning, you know.
Amanda Laine: Exactly, right. I know that’s like external things you can’t control this is your own mind, it’s totally different. Yeah, like that.
Laura Dawn: Yeah, yeah, that’s amazing. Well I’m really excited to check out that level one course as well and I’m just so I love all the things that you guys are up to, that’s really exciting. I feel like we’re going to have to do a whole second part because there’s so much more that we could dive into here.
Amanda Laine: I know we could talk about how cold therapy our space is opening in October. So you could come for that.
Harry Taylor: So the invite is absolutely open to you we like Amanda said we move into the new little home we have a spare bedroom. Well toasty and love to have you so. We’re planning on opening in October and
Amanda Laine: It has like the 40-person sauna of Harry’s dreams that he designed so it’s going to be a space of like full ceremony container that will, whatever you want it to host along with really fun sauna experiences and essential oils and towel-waving and music it’s going to be a new way to socialize and to bring people into their body instead of out of their mind at a bar, this is the new way of healthy. The healthy community we’re trying to build.
Laura Dawn: Wow, and so that’s going to be one location in Toronto.
Amanda Laine: Yeah, it’s the first of, I mean hopefully like 30 to 40 We’re going for it’s going to be it’s the vision of everything for us. So,
Laura Dawn: Awesome, awesome, and I love what you guys got going on within Inward Breathwork .com. The website is awesome, and are you? Do you also have an app in the works?
Amanda Laine: It’s in the works which are so exciting. We’re in the whole process of Figma board and dev shop stuff right now it’s a whole new world to me but Robbie’s very familiar with it all. And, yeah, we’re hoping to have that launched at the same time as a physical space so both kinds of coming up at the same time as the big crazy end of the year will be really, really exciting.
Laura Dawn: Well, we’ll have to do an update after the launch, and kind of get an update on how everything’s going. Blessings thank you guys so much.
Hi friends. Thank you so much for tuning in to another episode of the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast. If you’ve been enjoying the show, I would still appreciate it if you could share it with a friend or subscribe, wherever you listen to podcasts, or if you feel, please leave me a review on iTunes. I just heard that my podcast is trending under the entrepreneurship category on iTunes. So every review that I receive really helps right now. And if you’d like to be in touch with me, please feel free to reach out through my website live free Laura d.com, or through Instagram at live free Laura D. And if you’d like to join me for any of my weekly Clubhouse rooms, please feel free to join me and you can find me on Clubhouse at live free Laura d. Alright, I’m going to leave you with this super sweet song called Rise up, buttercup by Tiana. Once again, my name is Laura Dawn and you’re listening to the Psychedelic Leadership Podcast. Until next time.
Amanda Laine & Harry Taylor
Harry lets his heart guide him through life, saying “yes” as much as possible, and surrendering to the flow of the universe. He is a trained artist, musician, sound healing instructor, Aufguss Sauna and Essential Oil Master, Elemental Rhythms Breathwork Facilitator, and has led several holistic wellness retreats in Guatemala and NYC.
Harry’s true creative passion is revitalizing ancient health practices such as breathwork, sauna, and cold exposure, with modern science and artistic flair. He has found that through the act of conscious breathing, we can tune ourselves to new ways of being and tap into our body’s inherent healing wisdom.
Amanda has dedicated her life to helping others achieve personal growth and elevated states of wellbeing. She began her journey as a facilitator in Europe, where she trained to become a Sauna Master, Scrub Ritual Guide, and Cold Exposure Therapist. It was through these elements that she recognized the power of placing attention on the breath to ground our awareness in the present moment.
She continued her training in sound healing, Elemental Rhythms Breathwork, and Inferno Hot Pilates to learn more about facilitating deep, transformative experiences.
She has led numerous wellness retreats in Guatemala, New York City and Toronto, and facilitated for hundreds of people.
Amanda believes that breathwork is the missing pillar of health and has made it her mission to bring awareness back to this fundamental unit of life.
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Laura Dawn rocks her Psychedelic Leadership Podcast with so much style and grace! Her guests are innovative thought leaders and she asks them the most illuminating questions. She shares a wealth of knowledge and inquiry as well as her passion for the arts and music. I always appreciate how LD conducts herself.
Each time I tune into an episode I get chills all over my body! This podcast is my personal new favourite, I’ve expanded my awareness around these topics so much just tuning into these conversations, from each episode I walk away with a new teaching! Im also deeply appreciative of the way Laura Dawn structures her episodes and interviews.
The psychedelic leadership podcast is blowing my default mode network!!! Episodes include revolutionary science, as well as practical steps we can all take to creatively make change to help heal the planet and ourselves. Laura Dawn is an amazing speaker, and most definitely a thought leader.
I am absolutely hooked on this Podcast. Laura Dawn presents her topics and guests in a stunningly beautiful, heart centered format while weaving in the most relevant topics in psychedelics today.
Laura Dawn’s experience and service to the healing journey is a recipe for humanity, through modern science, plant medicine and ancient wisdom is amazing. She attracts the best of the best leaders in the space of science, psychedelics and spirituality, I love every one of her podcasts. Thank you LD!
Wow what a powerful lineup of speakers and guests sharing profound experiences and wisdom. So relevant to our times and not just with plant medicines and psychedelics but with just being a human being in these changing, evolving times. May we all grow together. Thank you Laura!
I’m obsessed with this podcast and I’ve listened to every episode. This is the kind of podcast that has the potential to change humanity if we all listen to these interviews and Laura’s wisdom.
About Laura Dawn
Through her signature Mastermind Programs and Plant Medicine Retreats, Laura Dawn weaves together science with ancient wisdom. She teaches business and thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals how to mindfully explore psychedelics and sacred plant medicines as powerful visionary tools for inner transformation, fostering emotional resiliency and unlocking new depths to our creative potential.