CAUTION ADVISED: this podcast contains swearing
It is the first thing we do when we arrive in the world and the last thing we do before we leave. It happens automatically 26,000 times a day without us even having to pay any attention to it, yet breathing is one of the only autonomic systems in our body that we can control, if we choose to. But because we can do it without consciously thinking about it, we often forget about it. The reality is though, that we react to every single situation in life with our breath and we have the power to choose how we respond to any situation by controlling our breath. Amazingly, this can also affect how others will respond back to us.
No one demonstrates this better than my guest on today’s conversation, Brian MacKenzie. Brian is co-founder and President of the Health and Human Performance Foundation and Creative Director at Power Speed Endurance, a company focused on optimising physical, emotional and cognitive performance.
In today’s podcast, Brian shares some of his incredible experiences. Firstly, he describes how he nearly became paralysed in an accident and he also shares his unbelievable experience of voluntarily swimming with great white sharks. In both of these intense situations, Brian was able to control his response by harnessing the power of his breath. Breath is at the centre of everything Brian does and he believes that through our breath, we can all discover who we really are and rid ourselves of the mental and societal constructs that prevent us from being free.
We cover so many different themes today. We discuss the concept of carbon dioxide intolerance and what it means for our biology and our emotions. But we also talk about optimising oxygen efficiency in our bodies – doing so can help every single aspect of our lives – whether we want to improve our mental health, our focus, reduce stress or even increase our sporting performance.
I understand that starting a breathing practice can feel confusing – where should you begin, what method should you use, are you doing it right? Brian’s advice on this is reassuring. For him, breathwork is about giving it all a try, experimenting, learning and finding out what works for you. I think that is wonderfully freeing and exciting. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did!
Show notes available at drchatterjee.com/113
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