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Stig Severinsen – Optimise Your Health Using Conscious Breathing

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week we welcome Stig Severinsen to the show. Stig is a Danish freediver, a four-time world freediving champion and holder of multiple Guinness World Records. In this interview Stig explains simple ways to strengthen our health, optimise our sports results or simply improve our stress resilience by using the power of our breath.

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • How can we improve performance with just our breath?
  • Why do most of us panic to breathe after 15 seconds underwater?
  • Can our breathing patterns improve the way we sleep?
  • I’ve heard you talk about being ‘relaxed in an instance’, how can we achieve this?

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Full Transcript

Stu

00:00:03 Hey. This is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve long lasting health. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of super foods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you’re curious or want to find out more, just jump over to 180nutrition.com.au and take a look.

Stu

00:00:35 Okay. Back to the show. This week I’m excited to welcome an old friend, Stig Severinsen. Stig is a world free diving champion. He holds multiple Guinness World Records for his aquatic exploits and he’s an expert, no surprise, on the art of conscious breathing. In this episode we discuss how he’s mastered the art of breathing into a practice that allows us to perform better every single day both physically and mentally and how we can become relaxed in an instant, so great technique. I tried it. It works surprisingly well. He’s a great guy. His world record attempt will astound you, so please dial, have a listen. Enough rambling from me. Let’s get into the show.

Hey guys. This is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Stig Severinsen to the show. Good morning, Stig.

Stig

00:01:32 Good morning, sir, and thank you very much.

Stu

00:01:34 Thank you so much for joining us. I think first up before we get into the juicy questions, I would love it if you could just tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Stig

00:01:46 Well, I’m a very curious person by nature, so to speak. I always loved animals, biology. So even before you got into books and all that, I loved to study nature and catch animals and observe them. So I was kind of born to become a biologist, which I then did 20, 25 odd years later. And then I went into … Did a PhD study in medicine and so forth, went into more scientific work. But I’ve always been very curious, and I loved to understand more about the connection between animals, between organs. Now of course with human beings, the organs, the brain, our inner organs, so how can we optimize our health and our performance, sports basically? And how can we use then, what is my big mission in life, breathing techniques to alter to the state of mind? For example, go into the state of flow, into the zone as it’s also called. How can we be in a work flow and in a more happy place in life in general? And doing most of that from breathing connected with, of course, positive psychology and the theory of flow.

Stu

00:02:55 Brilliant.

Stig

00:02:56 Yeah, just on a mission to help people, actually, gaining access to all this wonderful stuff we have in our beautiful body, and a little bit complex mind sometimes, and how we can manage all that.

Stu

00:03:08 That is fantastic.

Stig

00:03:10 That’s the [inaudible 00:03:11].

Stu

00:03:11 Now I do actually think that you have underplayed yourself a little bit and we will elaborate on your exploits as the show progresses. But before we do that, I wanted to zone in a little bit on your fascination with breath. Where did that come from?

Stig

00:03:33 Well, actually to be very honest, I grew up with a swimming pool in my backyard. I did diving for little plastic animals. Of course, I had all these different animals, of course, since I was crazy about dinosaurs and sharks and whatnot. So I think at a very, very … And I did baby swimming as well when I was born. We have a boat in our family, so I was always near the water. So I think when you’re not breathing, when you’re holding your breath, I think you get a deeper relationship to the whole breathing process. And then I went into martial arts. I did competitive swimming all my childhood and youth. And then I went into judo, martial arts. So those were sports that exposed me to the importance of breathing. And then also, at a young age, I would say around eight years old, my brother and I got some guinea pigs. And I actually developed severe asthma, and that was a turning point in my life because I was always very active, very positive, smiling, very healthy. I never had any health issues, so I never went to a hospital in my life.

Stig

00:04:37 And that completely changed when I got hit with this horrible asthmatic attacks and I couldn’t breathe. And remember grinding my teeth and kind of in the bed, wheezing and not feeling that I could get enough air. And it was just a horrible feeling. So I think from a very early age, I got more connected with breathing, so to speak.

Stu

00:05:02 Got it. Okay. So we’ll fast forward a little bit then from your early days. I met you in Sydney a couple of years ago and was wowed by some of the things that you’d done. So I just want to touch on a few of those, specifically Guinness World Records, because I think this is going to really surprise our audience when they discover what you have done and what the human body is capable of as well. So tell us a little bit about your Guinness World Records.

Stig

00:05:37 Well, I can talk about them a little bit, but basically it’s all back to what I said before. I really love showing people how amazing they are, this unleashed potential we all have, these primal energies and sources and resources. So when I do the Guinness World Records, just before I start talking about them, it’s more a metaphor for something that is possible. And I like to challenge science.

00:06:03 So I had this dream. I’ve done several world records and I’m a four time free diving world champion. And then the Guinness World Records, I think I’ve done, I don’t know, six, or eight, or something like that. But they’ve always been challenging the norm and following in the footsteps of our fathers in free diving that also challenged the belief system and limited belief system in science with pressure, water, lungs, blood, squeeze, all this and that, what was not possible. So I set out on a mission in 2010. I already started in 2003 and set my first [inaudible 00:06:46] world record in about half a year that had this big mission to become a world champion and set some world records. But to talk about the Guinness World Records, I got this great idea. Actually, a friend has spurred me onto this idea of becoming first person in the world to hold my breath for more than 20 minutes.

Stu

00:07:06 So holding your breath for more than 20 minutes is-
Stig

00:07:10 Yeah. Under the water.

Stu

00:07:12 I’ve told a lot of people this and I said, “I had lunch.” And this was a couple years ago. I had lunch with a guy today, and he held his breath. And I said, “How long do you think he held his breath for?” “Oh, I don’t know. Six minutes.” And I’m doing this. I’m putting my thumb up. No, higher, higher. Eight minutes, nine minutes. And they just say, “No. Not possible.” And I said, “Look, Guinness World Records is all documented. You can see it on YouTube.” Unbelievable. Tell us a little bit about that.
Stig

00:07:43 You get this crazy idea. You know? You kind of can’t get it out of your head and you’re like, “Oh, okay. I’ve got myself into some … ” I wouldn’t say trouble, but you know that becomes your mission in life at that point. Right? So you do everything that you’re capable of, of connecting with the best people in the world, changing your diet, changing your mental capacity, reaching out to smart people. I got more and more into yoga breathing techniques. I was already at that time, doing my … I finished my PhD studies in medicine in 2007. So I did have great connections with doctors and leading scientists around the world. And I’d been a little guinea pig for about 15 years, putting things in and up in every crevice in my body more or less, mastering heart rate, brain activity, or the lack of same, I don’t know. And the heart rate, you can both measure with ultrasound and you can take the electrical impulses. And you can look at the spleen and the way the spleen shrinks when you have a diving response called the mammalian dive response, which we could get back to, which is very, very fascinating. We all possess this ability. I call it the inner dolphin.

Stu

00:08:52 Right. Okay.

Stig

00:08:53 Layman’s term. But anyways, I got into all this at depth because I really wanted to push the barrier and pass those 20 minutes. And then I also thought, “Why not do it in a more interesting setting than a swimming pool?” So I did it actually in a big shark tank with, I think, 17 different species of sharks. But really, going back to my fascination with animals and sharks and so forth, because I’m very childish, I think, inside. So I understood immediately that any child would be extremely bored watching me for 20 minutes floating in the surface. You know?

Stu

00:09:34 Yeah.
Stig

00:09:35 So I thought if there was something else, and you can tell the story that sharks are beautiful creatures. They’re not out to harm you, or kill you, or bite you, then you have more layers you can peel on the onion, so to speak. And for the PR purpose, one image … Actually, it was on April 1st, 2010. And it’s pretty funny because I often get interviewed for this Good Morning Denmark or whatnot when I [inaudible 00:09:58], you know these different shows when you’ve done a world record or something. And then I did it on April 1st because I thought if you do it on April 1st and hold your breath for more than 20 minutes and do it in a shark tank, they’ll probably go like, “Yeah. That’s a great April Fools prank.” They did. They [inaudible 00:10:14] the studio that one time, and that was great.

Stig

00:10:17 But then one of the photos got selected for Reuters Agency world photo of the day, so it went out in all the newspapers and front page South Africa and whatnot. So the next day they found out that it was actually true. And so I was invited then for a national television and stuff. So it’s fun to mess a little bit with people’s mind and their heads. And basically, that dive, I have to tell people listening here that it’s a pre oxygenated dive. And again, I could also say, “Never dive alone.”

Stu

00:10:46 Yeah. Serious.

Stig

00:10:48 Never dive alone. Scuba diving, free diving, whatever it is, you always need to have someone, hopefully someone skilled and trained in free diving person or a lifeguard, but somebody who could just pick you up and help you if you get into trouble, so never dive alone. We all know we have lost too many dear and beloved friends that went out diving alone.

Stu

00:11:10 When you say pre oxygenated, explain that.

Stig

00:11:12 Yeah. The Guinness World Record is a little bit different than some of the other world records I’ve done. I’ve done the deepest dive in the world unassisted. I was the first to reach 200 feet in my Speedos. That was [inaudible 00:11:23]. In depth in the Caribbean, I was the first to reach more than … What was it? 600 feet in distance. You can swim without fins. That was my first world record just in a pool. Breast stroke, you can swim with mono fin like a dolphin tail. So that was my last world record, actually, 225 meters, so that’s nine laps in a pool, if people have … If they go to the swimming pool.

Stu

00:11:46 Unbelievable.

Stig

00:11:46 And I did various records, but this one is called static breath hold. So you’re just kind of sleeping. I go into a state of meditation. Of course, I call it meditation under water, just to give it a name. So I’ve named it that many, many years ago because you’re in this meditative state and flow, obviously, in a different world. And there are many, many interesting techniques you can use, which I’m sure the listener is familiar with if they’re doing yoga, meditation, or just any performance sport. Right?

Stig

00:12:16 So the way you can alter your brain wave and you can kind of slow it down, and that connects with your heart and you slow down your heart rate. So basically, what you’re doing is, you’re slowing down your whole metabolism because you want to burn as little oxygen as possible. And you want at the same time to produce as little CO2, carbon dioxide, because our breathing is actually triggered by high levels of carbon dioxide, not what people think, and doctors in general, that we are triggering the breathing response by low oxygen levels. That’s not true. That’s also why you can black out way before. You’re pushing and pushing it, but then when you get the training and the stamina and the tolerance for CO2, you can [inaudible 00:12:59] that and black out. You know?

Stu

00:13:01 Yes.

Stig

00:13:02 When you don’t listen to that breathing signal, which is dangerous. So just to wrap up this dive, I did it in a shark tank. And you oxygenate before. You have up to 30 minutes and you can take oxygen and get it into your bloodstream and into your lungs, so that’s what I mean by pre oxygenated. Pre, just before the dive, you’re allowed to take oxygen, pure oxygen.

Stu

00:13:22 Okay. I see.

Stig

00:13:23 It’s different from the dive that you would do or go snorkeling with your friends in [inaudible 00:13:27] Bay or whatnot, just so people understand the difference. Okay?

Stu

00:13:31 Got it.

Stig

00:13:33 Nonetheless, it’s a long time to not have breath in your body.

Stu

00:13:38 What was the exact time?

Stig

00:13:40 20 minutes and 10 seconds.

Stu

00:13:42 Right.
Stig

00:13:44 Of course, I did it in 2010, so I wanted to be right on the money and show that little bit of artistic freedom there as well, to show that you could be dedicated and very laser sharp.

Stu

00:13:44 Fantastic.

Stig

00:13:55 And then I went on to further the 21 minutes on History Channel. I did another show. And then I, the year after, did another show. I was crowned the ultimate superhuman by Discovery Channel when I, on live TV in London, did 22 minutes on a show called Ultimate Superhuman, a superhuman showdown. But they crowned me the ultimate superhuman. It was a bit of a strange thing because there were many different people with incredible skills, like very flexible people and people throwing knives and climbing. They had great skills, but this panel selected me as the ultimate superhuman. I don’t even know why, maybe because of the combination of [inaudible 00:14:30] mental training and physiology. And I did the 22 minutes. So that was the last Guinness World Record I did there, and just a round number.

Stu

00:14:39 22 minutes, that is absolute craziness. Do you think then, those particular feats with those numbers that most of us would look at and think that is ludicrous, this guy must just be so unique, do you think that is unique to your physiology? Or can we train ourselves, do you think, to be anywhere near that?

Stig

00:15:00 Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m just trying to inspire people. And we all have these great capabilities. We’re just unaware of it. So what I love about coaching and helping and teaching people is that when they, first of all, mentally unlock different things in the brain and get out of that limiting belief system and get into more an abundant and opened state, then a lot of other things unlock in your body and your nervous system, the connection to your muscles. And when you then start to look more at flow and what incredible things you can do with your mind when you set your mind to it, then a whole new world can open. That’s regardless if you want to dive, or swim, or run, or be a better parent, or a better boss. When you get more conscious on the incredible gift of the body and the mind and how it works together, then adding a little sprinkle of spirituality. We have something else called love and spirit and things we can really measure. Right?

Stu

00:16:06 Yes.

Stig

00:16:07 So also dwelling, dwelling a bit more and cultivating those sides of us, that’s fascinating. So my point with Breatheology, this concept that I’ve been teaching the world and spreading out for the last 10 years or so, is that it’s mission statement is making the world breathe better one breath at a time. So we can actually improve our breathing. We can optimize it. We can increase our lung volume, also called vital capacity. We can increase our hematocrit value, so we can get more red blood cells to the blood stream, natural doping I call it. You can do that by breath holding on dry land. You don’t even have to run in the mountains and do altitude training.

Stig

00:16:54 So there’s so many things we can do. That’s also for people in rehabilitation, for the senior citizens, for athletes. I work a lot with PTSD traumatized veterans, but also people that are not in the military. And obviously, I’ve worked with a lot of great athletes as well. I’ve had that privilege and honor. And I work with also very stressed people, so CEOs and guys and women in big companies that have way too much to do, too much money and too little time.

Stig

00:17:26 And then tell them about breathing and how it can connect to the mind and they can learn to slow down the mind as I was mentioning earlier in the 20 minute dive. You have to go into a different state. And when you learn to activate those different levels in your brain and you kind of resonate with that and you feel that you’re in a good spot and you can stay there, then you can do amazing things. And that’s basically the theory of flow. You become what you do. Right? It’s perfection. It’s purpose driven. You’re challenged, but at the same time, you’re also developing your skills so they have to match. And then time can dissolve and that’s a good thing when you’re holding your breath for a long time. Right? But we all know this notion of getting rid of beyond the slavery of time, the shackles of time. When you’re engaged in sport, or art, or a wonderful conversation, it’s like time disappears. And that is a wonderful place to be. So we can tap into all that.

Stu

00:18:23 It’s interesting as well, because we’re going to touch on your Breatheology in a second. But I’m very intrigued about, for one, holding my breath under water because I live on the coast and I swim and I surf. And I love to try and stay under the water and look at all the beautiful coral and fish. And when we go away on holiday, I like to do the same thing. But most of us, and I put myself in this category as well, tend to panic after about 15 seconds under water. When I know that on land, I’m an average guy and I can hold my breath for two and a half minutes, around that time. Why do I go into this sense of panic when I’m under the water for 15 seconds and I just have to breathe when I know intuitively that I’ve probably got heaps of oxygen in my blood? So what’s happening?

Stig

00:19:17 Yes, of course. Well, what’s happening is your brain is puzzling you. And the body also, depending on the temperature of the water, water’s very cold. This mammalian dive response actually turns on what I like to call the inner dolphin or your inner dolphin. We all have this beautiful reflex or response. And when you submerge yourself, and especially the face, the nerves around your nose and your lips, then you start to lower your heart rate, so bradycardia it’s called. The heart rate drops down to save oxygen because the heart is a big muscle that pumps and it consumes a lot of oxygen. And if you’re not familiar with this feeling and if you’re not used to this feeling, it can lead to panic.
Stig

00:20:02 But of course, also the fact, the mere fact that you’re under water and you are not able to breathe, that is what triggers the state of panic or anxiety. And that is why you have to take baby steps and train and get used to it. And again, because we are brought up with the idea that if you get under water, oh my gosh, you’ll drown. And you can hold your breath for 20 seconds and that’s it. But if you tiptoe, dive into it, or dip into it, then you do 20 seconds. Then you do 30 seconds. And my point is, when you become comfortable with that, that is actually one of the main things I do in rehabilitation when I work with people from post polio, to Lyme’s disease, to PTSD, so more mental trauma, is to take baby steps of course, and get people familiar with an unpleasant situation, which is breath holding, because when you hold your breath, obviously you’ll go against the strongest reflex in life, which is breathing. Right?

00:20:58 So it’s very provocative. You’re triggering the nervous system and all the bells and whistles are going off because there’s a life threatening alarm going off. So it’s absolutely normal what you’re saying, and I appreciate your question because I think everybody can relate to this. But I’m just saying, you also, when you talk with me, you’re like, “Yeah. I probably enough oxygen in my bloodstream.” We have five liters of blood. Of course, you have plenty of oxygen to last for at least two minutes.

00:21:29 So anybody watching this or listening to this interview, they should know that they have at least two minutes of breath hold them in them no matter how good of shape they’re in, or if they’re athletes or not, or overweight, or whatever the age. Every human can hold their breath for about a minute and a half or two minutes. Smokers’ lungs, lung cancer, whatever state you’re in or if you have asthma, or whatnot, we have blood that contains red blood cells and they bind the oxygen on the hemoglobin protein molecule. It doesn’t really matter. But we have plenty of reserve, that’s the point, to last for a minute and a half or two.

00:22:07 That’s also when I’m teaching some of the best surfers in the world. That’s why I go to [inaudible 00:22:11] Rock and to [inaudible 00:22:13] and these things with the World Surf League. I coach a few of those women and guys. They are incredible athletes, but they still don’t know how to tap into the mammalian dive response, so they can also, after a minute maybe, go into a bit of a panic. But once you then know that, wow, after a minute you still have another 30 seconds to not breathe, then you completely reverse everything. You become more relaxed, which is the most important thing in life. I think we’ll get back to that, but relaxation is overlooked because it takes you away from fear and away from anxiety, away from stress. So when you can relax, you also optimize the situation because you get time to reflect on what you’re doing rolling around in the water. And you’re not burning oxygen trying to swim up against the current and being pulled down and all this and that. So just the mere fact that you know you can hold your breath longer is a life saver.

Stu

00:23:05 I see.

Stig

00:23:06 And then you need to understand that when you build up carbon dioxide, which can happen in 20, 30 seconds, especially if you panic, because your brain is burning oxygen. Your brain is going nuts and your body is working. Maybe you’re swimming under water. Then you build up CO2. And as I mentioned before, CO2 is the strongest driver for the breathing reflex and that is what leads you to panic. But when you know that you can still have what is called contractions. Little Courtney, I trained Courtney Conlougue, who’s just a wonderful, delightful lady in the world surf league and phenomenal athlete. And I’ve been coaching her and helping her for years. And I’ve learned a lot from her. But she called them little bombs. That’s so funny. She’s very funny, Courtney. I have these little bombs going off. It was rocking. Woo. My cat just jumped from all this excitement. This is Perth, by the way, so if people are watching this video and see the cat in the podcast, they think, “What the hell is that cat doing on this guy’s shoulder?” That’s Perth, my sidekick and my little mascot and my lucky charm.

Stu

00:24:05 I love it.

Stig

00:24:05 So Courtney called them bombs. So when the diaphragm starts to contract, that’s the body’s way of telling you, you need to breathe. But that is because the level of CO2 is rising. You really do not have to breathe, so if that’s a lesson you can pass onto the listeners here and they can be more safe in the water, that’s a good thing. They have another 30 seconds or so when those contraction hit.

Stu

00:24:26 Fantastic.

Stig

00:24:28 When the stomach starts to cramp, another term, starts to jump, the diaphragm jumps up and down to expel the old air and get in a breath of fresh air, you still have another 30 seconds to go. And you could stay calm in that situation then because you know you have time to get up. You know?

Stu

00:24:44 Yes. Brilliant. For our audience, who might be thinking this is all great, but I don’t go swimming and I don’t really need to hold my breath. I just want to sort of elaborate that this is so much more than holding your breath under water. Right?

Stig

00:25:00 Absolutely, yeah.

Stu

00:25:01 It’s about optimizing our performance both physically and mentally. And you’ve encapsulated all of your learnings into your online platform and your company called Breatheology. But you’ve also then taught a whole number of very high profile people how to enhance and optimize their lives through the tools and techniques that you share. So if you could just, first up, drop a few names. Who have you been teaching, high profile? Just so I can tell our audience that you really got to check this stuff out because it is life changing.

Stig

00:25:43 Yeah. Well, some of the names I can give you. Some of them I can’t. But one of the world’s best, and that one being an Australian, and maybe a lot of people close to the water. So Greg Long is one of the most remarkable athletes, I think, on the face of the planet. He has won so many of those big competitions. And the reason I bring up Greg Long, apart from being very in tune with nature and on conservation and doing wonderful things, actually it was his dad. I don’t think Greg minds me telling this, but his dad actually reached out to me because Greg had a huge wipe out about five years ago. And he actually drowned and basically died. He was unconscious and they revived him on the boat and so forth. So he was traumatized. He had a huge shock and the whole body, brain, mind, everything, the soul, everything shut down. So he was not sure if he could actually get back to surfing.

00:26:34 So long story short, I got to work with him and it was kind of a rehabilitative process. Baby steps again, getting him in the water, talking about it. And I think on our first or second session, he was five minutes breath holding again. And he had this block he couldn’t hold his breath like you were saying, going into a panic from 15, 30 seconds, one minutes. So we had to kind of readapt him to the water and he’s doing incredible things. He’s back in the water. Courtney I mentioned. I trained when I was in the Olympics, Viktor Bromer, one of the best butterfly swimmers in the world. He was in the final with Michael Phelps, in Michael Phelps last race. Ricky Miller Peterson, the world champion, world record holder, breast stroke. All the tennis players, I can’t name, but they’re in the top five in the world.

Stu

00:27:19 Right.

Stig

00:27:20 They don’t want their names mentioned for some reason. I’ve trained Mathias Boe, the Olympic medalist in badminton. Martial artists, runners. Yeah, you know, a lot of different athletes. And then I worked with the Navy SEALs. I can’t mention names, but I’m working with the Danish military. I’m rewriting their program for all the … All the aspirants are on the Breatheology platform now, so all Danish and Navy SEALs that are becoming Navy SEALs, they’re on four different phases and they’re all going through our underwater … We have another program on Breatheology called ultimate water survival and they’re going through that. Swim better to optimize your movement under water to know about life saving first aid, how to hold your breath, relax, breath exercises, yoga, all this and that merged together in a practical format.

Stig

00:28:14 And then I’m also actually working with [en-ter-ter-a-col 00:28:17]. I’m meeting. I’m flying out to Malaysia next month to meet with the police force and with the military. And then I’m also going to Singapore to meet with the head of military to work more on PTSD for veterans. So I’m working very different fields. I’m working with big bank CEOs and people that don’t want their names mentioned. But people from Microsoft people and just different people that have too much on their plate, and they want simplistic, functional methods. And the Breatheology method is very simple. It’s take the best from yoga, timeless wisdom. It’s taking the best from peak performance sports. And then it’s taking the best from cutting edge science. So we’re actually validating, measuring, showing, because people like to see results of what they’re doing. Can that breathing exercise actually lower the heart rate? Yes. Can you perform better? Is your recovery time, are you recovering faster? Yeah.

00:29:18 People want tangible results. And the beautiful thing about breathing is that you get immediate feedback. Right? When you breathe in with your nose, the nose is for breathing. The mouth is for eating. When you breathe in with your nose, you’re filtering out bacteria, flies, all things you don’t want into your lungs. And you’re actually also adding a little bit of nitrogen oxide, so now we get into the scientific part. It’s only been 12 years ago that three scientists got the Nobel Prize for the discovery that nitrogen oxide, or NO, in our sciences, it’s actually released and flooded with the nose breathing into the lungs and open up the alveoli. It’s a vasodilator. It opens up the bloodstream so you get more oxygen into your bloodstream just from doing nose breathing. And when you then do slow exhale through the mouth, or dry breathing, or resistance breathing, whatever you want to call it, then you actually increase the lung pressure slightly. So shh, when you do this exhale, you increase the oxygen tension in your lungs and you push a little bit more of oxygen into your bloodstream.

00:30:19 So for preparation in sports, before a meeting, before an exam, and when you do this breathing you also trigger the vagus nerve, this one two breathing, for example, when you breathe in on one to a count of four, hold your breath for a second, and then ah.

Stu

00:30:34 Right.

Stig

00:30:35 So you relax more.

Stu

00:30:38 It’s going to be very useful then if … I’m not an athlete and I’m not a Navy SEAL. I’m not in the forces and I’m not suffering trauma. But I do understand that being able to control stress levels and calm my body down is going to be good for me in the long run. We’ve had the good fortune of interviewing lots of experts on mindfulness and meditation and the control of all these stress responses. So Breatheology is not just for the elite athletes at all. Is it?

Stig

00:31:21 Absolutely not. Now you just asked me for a few names. We’ve had thousands and thousands of people going through our online platform. It’s called Breatheology Academy. That’s our core program. It’s a three months program because people listening here probably know that any transformational change, on average, is we all, scientific community and athletes and so on, agree that it will take about 12 weeks, three months to change from bad to good habits. So in Breatheology, we’re all into good habits. So little things in everyday life, from the moment you wake up. It’s not about being super religious or strict.

Stig

00:32:02 It’s just about making little tweaks and that’s where I think a lot of people find Breatheology appealing or easy to use, because it’s not about what kind of yoga branch you’re into, if it’s Haifa Yoga, or Ashtanga Yoga, or Hot Yoga, or whatever meditation, Zen, Buddhist. It’s not about that. It’s about making Pranayama, the breathing exercises, very accessible, very simple, and then giving a framework. You can find all information in this day and age online. If you want to build a car, you can find the … I’m not into cars, but if you wanted to, you can find it on YouTube. If you want to fix your car, my brother looked at a lot of videos on YouTube. Right?

Stu

00:32:39 Yes.

Stig

00:32:39 But the challenge is, you don’t know how valid the information actually is if you learn about yoga, free diving, or breathing, or even nutrition online. And you have to spend years and years of going through all this material because there is endless material. You can never finish. So you need to find some people that you trust or at least you think are kind of with it, and have something to offer of quality, and that has been tested by thousands of people as well. So whether that’s a training method, or it’s a mental approach, or my case, Breatheology, you have to follow a framework. If you don’t follow a framework and have a goal, you’re never going to succeed because you don’t know what direction you’re doing in.

Stig

00:33:21 So from the moment people start with the Breatheology training, I have a book called Breatheology. It’s out in 10 languages and it’s been a bestseller on Amazon and blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda. But it’s been out for about eight, 10 years now. And that gives you that framework. That takes your baby steps because it’s important to tell people that things take time. Breathing has an immediate response and it has a long-term positive effect on your health, your wellbeing, your mental state, your level of happiness. All this we know from positive psychology and from a healthy body, functioning anatomy, physiology, neurophysiology, but you should not just tell people that they can fix things overnight.
Stig: 00:34:02 If you want to improve in your sport, or if you have health issues, or you know you want to reach a goal, of course it takes time and dedication and a lot of work. But you need to start with baby steps. And then with the breathing and with developing your body, you’re working with the finest thing that we know of in the universe. You’re working with your nervous system. You’re working with the brain, a very, very, very complex organ. There is no way we can ever comprehend this scope of the brain and what it can do. And then running from the brain into our central nervous system, the wires and all the connectors to our amazing body, the muscles, the hormones.

Stig

00:34:45 So when you start to realize, oh my gosh, through breathing I can lower my heart rate, I can decide if I go into fight or flight, the stress system producing cortisol, adrenaline, being aggressive, negative. Or you can breathe slowly, trigger the vagus nerve, which is the tenth cranial nerve. It’s the largest part of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is rest and digest system we call it. We can just call it the relax system for good old sake. And that is where you produce serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, the cuddle, feel good, happy, happy hormones. And when people realize, oh my gosh, I have the opportunity, I have the possibility to decide if I want to be in the stress state or in the relaxed state, the happy state, it’s like an eye opener to many people. And that’s through breathing. Right?

Stu

00:35:33 I picked up on the phrase on your website, relaxed in an instant. You’ve used that a few times as well. And I know that everybody would like to be relaxed in an instant. So is that something that you can share with us right now that we could do?

Stig

00:35:47 Absolutely. Absolutely. It would be a great honour and pleasure. I always tell people the key to relaxation is in their exhalation.

Stu

00:35:55 Right. Okay.

Stig

00:35:56 And it’s not just because it sounds good and it’s a rhyme. It’s true. When you breathe in, by the way, breathing is a process of four steps. So many people think it’s just in and out. So in and out is just the recipe for disaster. A stressful breathing, the bloop and the hallmark of stress breathing is no pause. So whether physical stress, running, or anxiety, or fear, and panic or aggression. I told you not to do that. I’m never going to say it again. There is no pause. There is no pause because we lose our mental reflection. We lose our altruistic perspective of helping others and being kind and reaching out.
Stig: 00:36:44 But when we stop and look at the four phases of breathing, inhale, which is actually a bit stressful. It takes a toll. You need to work for it. The chest expands. The diaphragm goes down. The shoulders go up a little bit. The blood pressure rises. The heart rate raises up. And then you hold your breath for a few seconds. Just let your body leave it there for a second or two. You have to change the direction. And then you exhale slowly. And in doing that, that’s what I’m saying the key to relaxation is in the exhalation. That’s where you let go of fear, trauma, stress, muscle tension, neck tension, mental tension. When you let go, truly let go, not just the breath letting to, but letting it go out, leaving it, releasing it. And the more you breathe in this way, every time you do this breath, you go deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper into this relaxed state.
Stig: 00:37:38 I think it’s one of the most overlooked health benefits, especially of the medical society community. Also, in general health and sports, but of course in rehabilitation because when you’re stressed and you’re ill and you’re hospitalized, it’s all quite a horrible scenario. But you are there, and people in general, you have breathing 24/7. You have access to it. Yet most people are not conscious about how they breathe, that’s why I call … Not to name drop my book. It doesn’t matter. People can find it or not. But my book is called Breatheology, the Art of Conscious Breathing. It is an art form to be conscious, be aware of how you breathe. Are you breathing 60% of your optimal value, 70%? Or do you want to reach up to those 100%? Because the oxygen that you take in with the air is translated directly into energy. So why not get the most energy out of your life? Sleep better, deeper. Fall asleep faster. Have more energy with your kids and be smarter at work and in sports.

Stig

00:38:34 So yes, the relaxation is overlooked because we’re living in this stressful day and age. But relaxation is right here. It’s right under the nose and we can grasp it and grab hold of it. And everyone can stress. We are all good at stressing, myself including. When we have too many things on our plate, and social media, and all these, we’re bombarded with millions of things every day. The brain and the human body was not built to live in a society that we live in today for many reasons. Too much information, basically information overload, too much input and too little time to reflect and digest.
Stig: 00:39:11 You’re in the stressed adrenaline rushed system, and we all know that we can go into stress and fear and panic and complete insane insanity. But little is talked about relaxation and the different layers. We just talk about relaxation. But there are many, many layers of relaxation. And people should realize that they can learn to go into deep, deep states of relaxation. That is when the brain is changing. And that is where yoga and mindfulness comes in, letting go, accepting what you cannot change, acceptance commitment therapy is part of positive psychology as well. But also linked with flow and wellbeing, happiness, positive state of mind and linked with the old wisdom of mindfulness, basically.

00:39:58 So all that is known. But the thing is with breathing you can accelerate that. You can trigger that in a good way. And for people to relax, they can go into different states of mind, so alpha, beta, delta, gamma, the different ways that the brain frequency can work. And it’s been known for thousands of years in yoga and meditation, but it’s not really until now that the scientific community is studying brainwave activity and doing different breathing exercises, visualization, imagery, trying to tap into our full potential. But everyone listening to this should know that relaxation has many, many layers. And the more you train it, duh, the better you become. And when you say relaxed in an instant, I mean that you flick the switch of the vagus nerve to tap into that mammalian dive response. You immediately lower the heart rate and you create what is called a conditioned response.

00:40:51 Anybody’s listening, they probably know many years ago there was a Russian physiologist Pavlov, and he was ringing some bells, and he presented food to the dogs. And he was measuring the amount of saliva. And after a while, he did not give them food, but he still rang the bell and the amount of saliva was the same. The dogs’ conditioned response when the bell was ringing, food was presented, saliva was drooling. Now with breathing, that’s the main thing I hopefully can teach the world. And the mission of Breatheology is not just making people breathe better, it’s also to make them more healthy and more happy.

00:41:23 When you tap into breathing and become more conscious of how you breathe, how you link that to a positive state of mind, how that then again unleashes this avalanche of wonderful hormones that keep you strong and keep your immune system up, keep you in a positive state of mind. It’s what we’re built to do from nature. So when you activate the vagus nerve that controls our heart rate and our breath cycle, it sits up here in the lower part of your brain stem, and you exhale slowly you actually can feel this relaxation. And if you have a pulse watch, most people have this in this day and age.

Stu

00:42:03 You can track it. Right?

Stig

00:42:05 On their smart phone, they can put their finger on something. You can see when you exhale and your lung is expelling all the toxins and the waste products, the vagus nerve is triggered. And you don’t need vagal nerve stimulation, VNS, they have that in the US where they implant a little electrode and give little electrical shocks to the vagus nerve. That works for bulimia, for anorexic disorders. But they also found that it was incredibly useful for non treatable depression where people had taken medication or had psychotherapy. When they implanted this vagal nerve stimulation, it actually helped people to get out of depression. People can study more on that online. See, this cat is getting too excited or bored.

Stig

00:42:48 But you can [inaudible 00:42:50] this vagus nerve. And people should study the vagus nerve. Go online. Just type in vagus. V-A-G-U-S. It means the vagabond nerve, the wandering nerve. It’s the longest nerve that we have, three feet long. It goes from the brain stem to all our inner organs, the lungs, our heart, our internal organs for digestion, even down to the base root of our vertebrae, into our primal organs and our reproductive organs. We have all this power just sitting there.

Stu

00:43:19 We absolutely do. I was just going to say exactly that, that we really do have access to the most fantastic system that allows us to live life in a very different state, I think, to which we feel we are conditioned to every day. So we’re very stressed and we’re very busy. I’m so busy. And I need to have alcohol to relax. I’m constantly tapping on my mobile phone to get a fix, which makes me feel better. But you take all that away, we can tap into this physiology, which leads me onto my next question. And that is, I’m particularly interested in using breathing patterns to support quality sleep. What are your thoughts on that?

Stig

00:44:05 Yeah. Well, great question because so many people are having trouble falling asleep, or sleeping throughout the night, or getting into the REM sleep, so the deeper states of sleep. And it goes to what I mentioned just a minute ago. When you start to create good habits, conditioned responses, that’s also why in Breatheology that the main program we have also [inaudible 00:44:29] and breath holding and all these other programs. But the main program is the academy, the 12 week fundamentals core program. It’s a 12 week program for the reason that you need to take baby steps and train your nervous system. It’s very delicate, so if you go in too hard, you shock the system.

00:44:48 If you don’t know what you’re doing or you’re even doing breath holding because it’s also, breath holding on land is very healthy, giving a lot of satisfaction, and it’s very healthy for many reasons that we probably can’t get into today. But if you do that too much and shock your system, it’s also counterproductive. So if you want to have a better sleep pattern and want to be able to relax faster at night, of course you should start to condition your nervous system to not breathe in the stressed way, in this no pause kind of way. And many people do check breathing, the chest breathers, the high breathers. And there are also many people that are mouth breathers. And they might be 40, 50, 60 years old listening to this podcast and watching this video, in whatever format it’s coming out and what people are finding it, for 50 or 60 odd years, they’ve never been told that mouth breathing is wrong and it creates tension. And it increases … It leads to hypertension and all those things, and getting [inaudible 00:45:47] and viruses and stuff right into your lungs. It also leads to different ailments and lung disease.

00:45:52 So just from going into a reconditioned nervous system and training it will also make you able to sleep faster. I’ve never had trouble sleeping apart from twice when I was really stressed and the illness of stress. Not just had a lot of things on my plate, I was like, sleepless nights, and lost my appetite and couldn’t focus. The real science, the dangerous science of stress. But in general, I can sleep in an instant, which means within seconds. And that is because I can tap into that deep relaxation quickly. And people can do that. So I would advise people that are having trouble falling asleep to use, you mentioned patterns.

Stu

00:46:32 Yeah.

Stig

00:46:33 So you’re absolutely right. Different patterns do different things. Obviously, this pattern, what am I now? I’m an athlete getting ready or something.

Stu

00:46:43 Yes. Preparing.

Stig

00:46:46 All right. Yeah. Yeah. All right. You’re woo, you’re pumping yourself up. So you can do breathing and you can get oxygen out and do all this and get the blood pumping so your muscles are warm. But you can also do the opposite, you can do a ratio of one, two, or even do a much slower exhale. Or you can actually do a little pause that is longer for the breath hold because when you’re not breathing … Now the incredibly fascinating thing about breathing is that when you breathe, how you breathe is how you feel. Right?

Stu

00:47:16 Yeah.

Stig

00:47:16 It is. If you’re stressed or angry, the breathing is reflected immediately. If you’re calm and composed, when you’re talking to a child, oh it’s so sweet, look at that, your breathing becomes slower. It becomes longer. And your heart rate drops and the way that you’re breathing is affecting your whole people around you and the community and everything, your peers, your colleagues, your family, your children. That shifts from your breathing because the breath is a reflection of how you’re doing and how you’re feeling mentally, physically, spiritually.

00:47:52 So if you then slow down the breathing and actually hold your breath, then the brain also stops, this hardworking machine we have up here. Because every time you breathe in and out, the brain is moving because it floats in this aqueous aquarium, the liquid. So when you breathe in, the brain moves. When you breathe out, it moves again. So when you’re breathing in an uneasy pattern, the brain is getting knocked all the time around, so it’s hard to have good, creative, happy thoughts. So when you hold breath, and I’m just talking about five seconds now, so I’m not trying to freak you out. So if you’re having trouble falling asleep, breathe in slowly. Maybe at a count of four, hold your breath on a count of four, a little bit more. To have that stillness. To have that stillness in your mind and your body. And the heart just pumps softly and connect with your heart through the vagus nerve back to the communicated [inaudible 00:48:47]. Make it happy and make it pump in a slow, soft way. And then exhale slowly through the mouth is fine, or the nose. And it will put you in a completely different state of mind and you will fall asleep much faster.

Stu

00:49:05 What about for the other side of the coin, where perhaps I can get to sleep very quickly and that’s not a problem. But I’m waking up in the middle of the night and my mind is active. So I’ve got monkey mind, all these thoughts, work, commitment, all of these other things. What type of breath work would be the most beneficial for that scenario?

Stig

00:49:28 Well, I would say again the same, where you focus on the slow exhale and a little bit of a pause in between. But then again, it’s also about the mindfulness, the training of the mind. And you mentioned the monkey mind, which is a brilliant thing. It’s come from yoga. Like little naughty monkey running up and down the tree, pulling the tail, thinking about the future, the past, exactly what you’re describing. Or the brain is firing up about all these things and scenarios and things that did go wrong and things that can go wrong. [inaudible 00:49:56] Good things, it might be positive things.

00:50:01 But with breathing, the beautiful thing is that you cannot breathe for tomorrow. You cannot breathe for yesterday. Breathing brings you into a present moment. If you should say the ancient secret of breathing, apart from getting the energy from oxygen and from controlling your mind. In stressful situations it’s also just a general ability to be present in this very moment, so in your body, in your mind. And when you then start to focus on breathing, you could call it a breathing meditation. You don’t need to know about meditation or anything. When we say meditation, people should not be put off or think it’s some holy with smokes and stuff coming out of your ears. It’s just a different way of thinking with your brain and using your brain and your body. So a meditation, a mindfulness, can also just be complete awareness.

Stu

00:50:53 Of course. Yeah. Just perhaps thinking about breathing. Right?

Stig

00:50:57 Yeah. So when you think about your breathing and actually start focusing on your breathing, if you wake up at night, thousands of people are asking me this and students as well. Then when you focus on your breathing, bring your attention back. You’re not slamming yourself or spanking yourself, oh, I’m having these bad thoughts and this or that. It’s okay for a while to have this rambling mind. But then again, you want to go back to sleep. That’s the point. So again, to bring your attention back to your body. Be thankful for this wonderful temple that you have, this incredible gift that we were given from some divine, natural, whatever power. And then actually work on it, listening, feeling the breath going in. That’s where we go into the mindfulness. Right?

Stu

00:50:57 Right.

Stig

00:51:40 Feeling the cool air hitting the nostrils, seeing how it goes up high up into your nose and actually touching up on the brain. Then the brain knows that the breath is coming in slowly and quietly, so it settles down. The brain feels that the oxygen and the air is coming in. Then the diaphragm opens slowly. The heart rate goes down. And you go away from the adrenaline again that you’re kind of fired up and all these thoughts, ooh, my God. So then again, you bring yourself back to your natural state.

00:52:08 And then when you do a bit of yawning, exhale slowly. You go into this sleepy state again. And you can go back to sleep. And of course, again it takes training. I’m not just saying this happens the first night. It might do for some people. But then again, conditioning this response.

Stu

00:52:08 Fantastic.

Stig

00:52:24 Training yourself to in an instant go back to sleep. And an instant could be five, 10 seconds or one minute. You know?

Stu

00:52:31 Yeah. I think there’ll be a lot of people that were going to try exactly that as soon as they hear it, me included. I wake up every now and again, and very keen to try these strategies.

Stig

00:52:44 Yeah. The important thing is to be kind to yourself. Don’t bash yourself. Oh, I’m awake now. I can’t fall asleep. Don’t start the negative pattern. Just smile at it. You know? And laugh a little bit. My biggest medicine is you put a smile on your face. Also, when I do the ice diving, people don’t know about that, but the other Guinness World Record, I’ve done diving under ice in Speedos and all this. It was actually on 60 Minutes. I did a great presentation down in Australia. So people can just find that 60 Minutes segment.
Stig: 00:53:14 But when I dive under ice and have this excruciating pain because I’m just naked, basically, I smile. And you know, what else can you do in this horrible situation? What the hell? It’s horrible. Why not smile through it and be a little bit of a psycho? And it’s the same in the evening. If you wake up, don’t bash yourself and don’t do self harm. It’s okay to have bad thoughts or be stressed about something about your relationship, or your work situation, or whatnot, your company. But at least try to think about it for a while and then try to leave it. And then be kind to yourself and then focus on the breathing and all the things you have in life. Appreciate what you have, basically. And then use the breathing to lull you back into that wonderful state of rest and digest, going back to sleep.

Stu

00:54:01 That is great advice. We are running into time now, so I’m just aware of that as well. I don’t want to spoil what beautiful day you’ve got, clearly looking behind you. It looks like a stunning day in Spain.

Stig

00:54:16 Yeah. Mediterranean here, my second home. This is actually where I train. I don’t know if you can see a bit of water or pool over there somewhere, but anyways.

Stu

00:54:25 Yes, I can.

Stig

00:54:25 This is where I’ve been training for the last many, many years. All this positive energy from the ocean. But I mean, I’m not competing with you guys in down in Australia. I love Australia and California for that matter. All places where you have the ocean and the sun, I’m a little happy camper.

Stu

00:54:36 Totally. Couple of questions before we wrap up. The first being: What are your daily non negotiables to stay in the best shape? The things that you do that are part of your routine that are so ingrained into you every single day, whether it be getting up, having a glass of water, doing a bit of yoga. How do you start your day the right way?

Stig

00:55:03 It’s a bit of everything, actually. I do take that glass of water. I have water next to bed as well, when I wake up, just to start. Here I was drinking from our orange tree and from our lime trees down here. So you get something vitamin C, some antioxidants, and some water. Basic, cleansing your system and getting hydrated from a long night’s sleep. I’ve been sweating a lot, even though it’s maybe not too warm. But you’re still having seven or eight hours of restoration and expelling a lot of moisture from your exhalation.

00:55:35 And then I like to do some sort of activity, whether it’s stretching, or a little workout, or swimming, or jumping into the ocean as I plan to do later today. Just some kind of physical activity, can be running. I like running as well, so running up here in the mountains. I’m not religious about it. It was more, I would say, in the olden days when I was really competitive and doing all the world records and the Guinness World Records because I needed to be in a very different shape. I’m not in that great shape now. I’m okay being 45, I guess. But soon hitting 50 before I know it, I go to sleep and tomorrow I wake up, I’m 50.

00:56:14 I like to do some physical activity, but before I would do breathing at least twice a day, so for sure in the morning. And when I talk about breathing and yoga and stretching, it’s just about 20, 30 minutes, or even 10 minutes. Also in Breatheology, the main thing for people joining Breatheology is they get a personalized program because we are all different individuals. And I understood that a long time ago. So training needs to be personalized. It needs to be fun so you have motivation and you write down your progress and all your wins, your challenges.

00:56:42 But in the Breatheology program, the minimum is five minutes, just to give you an indicator of what I think. And the maximum is about 30, because if you want to train for one hour or one and a half hours, I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m just saying most people don’t have that luxury. So I’d rather train 20, 30 minutes and be good about it.

Stu

00:57:01 Absolutely.

Stig

00:57:01 And whether you do Crossfit, or running, or swimming, just to get you started. And then you can do another session in the later day or in the evening if you have time for that, depending on your kids and family and business and that. But just the fact that many people want to train too much. They exaggerate. Reality doesn’t meet their expectations, so they want to train for one and a half hours and get in good shape. But who has one and a half hours in the morning? Right?

Stu

00:57:26 Yeah.

Stig

00:57:27 If you’re not a professional athlete getting paid for it. So I like people to scale down a bit and just do something. And do breathing, stretching, whatever you do, maybe a walk. Walk the dog in the morning is great as well, just to get the body active and to get the blood circulating, get the lymphatic system working and other [inaudible 00:57:48] system, that cleanses and helps the body. So just some physical activity. I’m not religious about what it has to be. Of course, the breathing and the fact that you’re actually breathing and you’re a living human being. So just doing a bit of breath exercises and stretching at the same time. So if people don’t know anything about Breatheology, or what I am, or what I do, it doesn’t really matter. They should just understand that breathing is king, so they should always lead with breathing.

Stig

00:58:14 So whether they’re walking, or biking, or lifting weights, or surfing, or swimming, the rhythm should … Breathing should lead, and then your steps should follow. If you talk about running, which is simple. Right? Find a rhythm and use the breathing to direct the rhythm, not the other way around. Most people are doing that, [inaudible 00:58:37] something, lifting something, and then the breathing is coming after. That’s why they build lactic acid and burn out and get tired faster than they usually would if they did it in the most optimal way.

Stu

00:58:47 So for everybody online that wants to know a whole heap more about what we’ve just spoken about right now, especially Breatheology, where’s the best place to send them?
Stig: 00:59:02 Well, the best place is just the main site, Breatheology.com. We have lots of free classes if you want to hold your breath longer, or know about snorkeling, or free diving, that part of breathing, because that’s one of the things that I think is missing in the world of breathing and yoga, with all due respect to all other path and yoga traditions and schools. If you don’t understand the entire breathing process, you cannot optimize your breathing system. Right?

Stu

00:59:02 Right. Of course.

Stig

00:59:29 So if you don’t understand the power of breath holding and what it can do to you, and give you incredible mental powers and increase your red blood cell load and oxygen tension, what I called natural doping in the beginning of the interview. If you start to tap into all this incredible stuff you can do with breath holding and provoking yourself, but becoming pleasant with an unpleasant situation, you know that goes for everything in life. And then there’s the old secret of Pranayama, of breath holding, which is the part of yoga that is very focused on the breath exercises. And I’ve tried to bring that into Breatheology. That’s why people can be some kind of a T-shirt here. But, I don’t know.
Stu: 01:00:08 Yeah. I do. That is such an eye catching T-shirt. I love it.
Stig: 01:00:13 Yeah. But then on the back here, if I can do it without crashing my Mac. I don’t know, but that should be …

Stu

01:00:19 Yes. Got it.

Stig

01:00:23 There should be some sort of knot there on the other side because we also need to hold our breath.

Stu

01:00:23 There is.

Stig

01:00:28 So it’s the yin and the yang. It’s the day and the night, the sun and the moon. Right?

Stu

01:00:28 Yes.

Stig

01:00:31 So we need to understand the entire breathing process in order to optimize the breathing. So yeah, we actually have a master class that’s completely free. We have a lot of articles on the vagus nerve and all these things we’ve been touching upon, because I love to spread this to the world. Obviously we have programs you can join as well. We have a student community where people join and we help each other. We have instructors, tutors. I pop in every now and then on our group on Facebook, and we have other groups as well. We have high end master classes. We’ve just been to Fiji on a private island. We rent yachts in the Maldives.

Stu

01:01:02 My word.

Stig

01:01:03 We do a lot of things. But we have a lot of free materials, so Breatheology.com.

Stu

01:01:07 Fantastic.

Stig

01:01:08 It’s easy to find. And I would probably [inaudible 01:01:11] people to join the master class because it’s a three part video series that takes you through the steps you need to do in order to improve your breathing and that’s for all health and performance perspectives.

Stu

01:01:21 Brilliant. I will put that particular link in the show notes, and any other links that we’ve referenced today in the show. So just before we wrap up, Stig, what’s next for you? What have you got coming up?

Stig

01:01:36 What have I got coming up? That’s a good question. A lot of things. Well, tomorrow I’m leaving to … I’m in Southern Spain in my second home here, down near Malaga. But I’m leaving up to another place three, four hours north of here called Alicante.

Stu

01:01:50 Yes.

Stig

01:01:50 And we’re having a big three day live event up there, and this is the third year. We have people from all around the world joining. It’s called ETTG, the European Transformational Teacher Gathering, so that’s people teaching from the heart that have … They’re very passionate about a topic or something they want to share with the world, so we give them the tools. We learn about social media, affiliate marketing, about ways of using the internet, and also becoming better teachers, breathing, using the mind, working from the heart. So it’s a very heart centered way of teaching. It’s very different from the normal money focused, affiliate marketing and such. It’s more heart driven. It’s a wonderful friend of mine called Steiner, who runs it. And I’m a co-founder of the ETTG movement. So we’re trying to connect people, especially in Europe, but people from all around the world are joining and are welcome.

Stig

01:02:40 And after that I’m going to Malaysia to work on a big sports event with Olympian athletes and they’re getting ready for the Commonwealth Games and all this, and the Asian games, [inaudible 01:02:53] Games. And I’m also going to have meetings down there, as I mentioned, with the military, with the police. And I’m also going to Singapore because this year we’re very dedicated in Breatheology to work with PTSD victims, not only veterans, but also just people in general that have suffered trauma. It can be from childhood abuse, can be from having a divorce, or losing a loved one, or going bankrupt with your company. A lot of things can put trauma in our body and that sits there.

01:03:23 And with breathing and especially breath holding, I just found … I’ve donated workshops to veterans. I’ve done a lot of work with the PTSD community. And I want to get more involved because honestly, I think they aren’t getting the help and the support they deserve, and especially soldiers that have gone out. I don’t like war. I’m not a fan of anything of that. But you know, they have gone out at least to protect our liberty and our freedom and in horrible parts of the world. And they’re coming back and not getting much help, so that’s the main focus. But then also, PTSD in general.

01:03:55 And when I talk about PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, I talk about heavy stress in general. And there’s way too much stress in this world. If we can on an online platform help people, giving them tools, simplistic, useful tools, to battle that stress, become better fathers, husbands, wives, in the family, that’s a great thing to do. And so we’re looking into that. And then we’re also looking more into getting children to breathe better and to not have stress before an exam, having tools that they can also relax in an instant. So we’re moving into more working with schools around the world and then also finally, hospitals because I work a lot in the medical community because of my background in medicine, doctor’s degree in medicine. So we are also working with rehabilitation patients, Lyme’s disease, post polio. Lyme’s disease is another big thing that is coming up now that a lot of people have been ill, but they didn’t know that it was because of Lyme’s disease. And that affects the nervous system. It affects people’s ability to … You know, their coordination, their movement, so some heavy effects there.

01:04:59 That’s next. And then we are working on a new TV program that’s probably coming out at some point about some superhuman abilities. But actually, that program is about what we have talked about this whole interview. It’s about how we can help the world heal and use what we have, these incredible gifts of breathing and the mind, and combining that in the best positive, happy way, that we get the most out of life. That’s what everybody’s looking for, I think.

Stu

01:05:29 Unbelievable.

Stig

01:05:30 The thing you mentioned before is right on the money. It’s so spot on when people are on [inaudible 01:05:35] or taking alcohol, or drugs, or whatnot. It’s because people confuse pleasure with happiness. So the distraction, the, I’ll do this today. I’ll get drunk and I’ll have a fun night. It’s completely running away from seeking true happiness, which is fulfillment and being in tune with your body, with your breathing, with your mind, with your loved ones. So I think we need to get back to nature, basically. That’s what I’m saying.

Stu

01:06:04 Fantastic. Well, Stig, it’s been an absolute pleasure and an honor to talk to you today. I really appreciate it. Cannot wait to share what we’ve spoken about today with our audience as well. So from Australia to Spain-

Stig

01:06:16 I appreciate your interview. It’s been a pleasant hour, and anybody’s welcome to join the Breatheology. We have Facebook pages as well. People can ask question in there if they’re curious. We really want to connect with people all around the world. And we do actually have a great following in Australia because I’ve been there a lot. And I do, I’m not trying to be racist here, but I do love Australians in particular. You have a great sense of humor and I love nature down there and all the funny animals jumping around up and down.

Stu

01:06:16 That’s right.

Stig

01:06:43 Yeah. I’m a big fan of Australia. That’s for sure.

Stu

01:06:45 Fantastic. Well look, we will share this across our audience and hope to see you on our shores soon as well. So thanks again, Stig. Really great to talk to you.

Stig

01:06:53 Thank you. My pleasure.

Stu

01:06:54 Okay. We’ll speak to you soon. Bye.

Stig

01:06:57 Bye.

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    2 Replies to “Stig Severinsen – Optimise Your Health Using Conscious Breathing”
    Mani says:

    Thanks for sharing the interview you have described all in detail about the breath control benefits very helpful post.

    Bob Lee says:

    Amazing post about the benefits of breath control. Thanks for sharing.

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