Dr. Belisa Vranich: Breathing For Warriors

Breathing. We all do it, but are we doing it right?
“We experience so much tension every day and we make it worse by pushing it down but if we set aside just 5 minutes for a breathwork or meditation practice, we would all feel so much better. We would all be so much more tolerant, more flexible, and more loving.” – Dr. Belisa Vranich

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 358

Renowned clinical psychologist, public speaker, Founder of The Breathing Class, Director of Breathing Science at The Ash Center for Comprehensive Medicine and the author of both Breathe and Breathing for Warriors, Dr. Belisa Vranich, explains what it means to be a modern Wellness Warrior, how to tell if you're a horizontal or vertical breather for specific stress reduction plus several specific stretching and breathing practices that you can add to your wellness toolbox today.

Are you breathing right?

How does the breath impact not only our mood but also physical and mental health?

Discover the power in breathwork awareness as we explore its strong connection to our emotions, stress, and everyday wellbeing.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘We experience so much tension every day and we keep pushing it down but we'd all feel so much better if we took 5 minutes for breathwork or meditation. We'd all be more tolerant, flexible, and loving.' – @DrBelisa” quote=”‘We experience so much tension every day and we keep pushing it down but we'd all feel so much better if we took 5 minutes for breathwork or meditation. We'd all be more tolerant, flexible, and loving.' – @DrBelisa”]

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Listen To Episode 358 As Dr. Belisa Vranich Uncovers:

[1:30] What Is A Modern Warrior?

[16:00] Are You A Vertical Or Horizontal Breather?

  • 290 Dan Brulé
  • 249 Niraj Naik
  • 292 Pavel Stuchlik
  • How we've gotten to this point of breathing incorrectly and how she's providing practical information to help people execute better breathing patterns.
  • Why fixing our breathing is a lot like fixing the bad posture that we have developed over time.
  • Breaking down what physical movements we shouldn’t be doing when we take a deep breath including moving the shoulders up and down.
  • Our body’s incredible anatomy when it comes to the lungs and especially the diaphragm.
  • The importance of breathing through our belly and using our diaphragm rather than from the pecks with forwarding flexion and rounded backs.
  • How rolling forward including our head’s posture will greatly affect our ability to inhale and expand then exhale and squeeze.
  • Unpacking the root causes for our inability to inhale and expand which from either muscular corsets or emotional corsets.

[26:00] The Power In Breathwork Awareness

  • The emotional connection to bracing and guarding our abs all day long as we suck in our stomachs.
  • How bracing your middle all day also negatively impacts your digestion and lower back as you can’t take a deep breath.
  • Breaking down Fight, Flight, or Freeze and why so many of us are in the freeze position all too often that we think it’s normal when it’s really not.
  • Bruce Lipton
  • The biology of emotions as they get trapped inside of our tissues causing us to brace and panic when there’s no actual threat.
  • How people can get clear on why they no longer have to be in a Fight, Flight, or Freeze zone when there’s no actual threat that will harm them.
  • The trance breath-led meditation that she teaches people that was developed decades ago by breathwork pioneers.
  • Stan Grof
  • The proper way to go about breath-led meditation with outside intention, help, and support that is often used in therapy.

[36:00] Letting Go Of Stress With Breath & Motion

  • What happens on both a biological and psychosomatic level during cathartic breathwork sessions.
  • The emotional release and wave of calmness, gratitude, and relief that people often feel after a breathwork session; very similar to a massage.
  • Why it’s not only okay but also important to take the time for yourself to do some self-care practices like breathwork to let go of everything that is happening around you.
  • Wim Hof
  • 086 Mark Divine 
  • Why it’s okay but also 100% necessary for everyone to get in touch with their emotions including crying along their wellness journey of life.
  • How breathwork can specifically benefit people who have extremely stressful jobs.
  • What positive impact repetitive motion like jumping on a trampoline can do to help us release stress.

[45:30] ‘If I Can Breathe, I Can Choose’

  • The severe anxiety that Josh has been through even during the launch of the Wellness Force podcast.
  • What breathwork has done for Dr. Belisa emotionally, physically, and even spiritually.
  • How the breath gives us the ability to choose and take control of our lives.
  • The transformational wellness journey people go on when they realize that they cannot breathe.
  • Unpacking the incredible health transformations she has witnessed in people from healing digestion problems to lower back pain once they began to breathe properly again. 
  • Dr. Belisa on Cesar 911
  • Exploring cognitive fatigue and how it happens if we’re not breathing well and have poor posture.
  • Vince Lombardi inspirational quotes
  • Breaking down how we can become so fatigued and brain tired even just sitting throughout the day at our desks because we don’t have strong breathing muscles.
  • The Fighter's Mind: Inside the Mental Game by Sam Sheridan
  • Fully understanding the incredible anatomy of our strong breathing muscles and how to help strengthen them even further.

[58:00] Movements To Strengthen Your Breathing Muscles

  • Robert Yang
  • Breaking down why the diaphragm is so important for not just the mind but our digestion as well.
  • How your diaphragm impacts your stomach positively or negatively if you are a horizontal or vertical breather.
  • Specific stretches you can do to work your breathing muscles from the inside out after an inhale.
  • Jill Miller
  • Exploring how the breath can allow us to love more during our lifetime.
  • How the breath helps the entire body connect and in sync from the head to the heart to the gut.

Power Quotes From The Show

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘Letting yourself focus on deep inhales, really expand, and exhale well with each breath means you're going to be able to connect better, let go, and forgive.' – @DrBelisa ” quote=”‘Letting yourself focus on deep inhales, really expand, and exhale well with each breath means you're going to be able to connect better, let go, and forgive.' – @DrBelisa “]

How Poor Breathing Impacts Digestion, The Lower Back And Stress

“Our inability to inhale and expand comes from either muscular corsets or emotional corsets. If you're bracing your mid-area because you're stressed or think it's good for your body or you're guarding because you're ashamed of your physical appearance, that's actually going to negatively impact your digestion, lower back, plus you can't even take a deep breath. I understand that inhaling and letting yourself expand can feel weird and vulnerable; however, once you exhale you'll realize just how much muscle is there and how much stronger your core is and much better you feel when you actually inhale, expand, and exhale to contract and narrow your body.” – Dr. Belisa Vranich

Combating Physical and Mental Fatigue With Breathwork

“If you've been sitting at a computer and find yourself so exhausted at the end of the day but you don't know why, that's being brain tired because you haven't been moving. You've been sitting for hours and probably not in a good posture and most likely not breathing well. You get energy from your breath because oxygen is self fuel and if you're not breathing well while sitting, you're going to get tired. Another kind of tired comes from your breathing muscles not being strong enough. You might have good cardio and be active but if your breathing muscles aren't strong, just like any muscle in the body, you're going to get fatigued faster.” – Dr. Belisa Vranich

Connecting, Letting Go, And Forgiving With The Breath

“Letting yourself focus on deep inhales and expand with each breath means you're going to be able to connect better. Being able to exhale and really do it well means you're going to be able to let go of things and forgive. We all need to be more intuitive, more creative, more flexible, and more forgiving and the breath can give you that.” – Dr. Belisa Vranich

Links From Today's Show 

About Dr. Belisa Vranich

Dr. Belisa Vranich: Breathing For WarriorsA clinical psychologist and a leading expert in mental health and fitness, Dr. Belisa Vranich is the author of Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve your Mental and Physical Health (St. Martin’s Press/Hay House). She is the founder of www.thebreathingclass.com.

Dr. Belisa is a regular guest on national television; e.g., CNN, Fox News, the Today Show, Good Morning America, and Inside Edition, and has been interviewed by Anderson Cooper, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Bill O’Reilly, and Nancy Grace. Dr. Oz has recognized her as one of the top US doctors in her field. She has appeared as a guest on Cesar Millan’s show, Cesar 911, and has been a guest on podcasts with hosts Robb Wolfe, Ben Greenfield, Joey Diaz, and Dr. Mercola. In addition, Dr. Belisa has been interviewed as an expert in numerous publications, including Crain’s magazine, GQ, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Time Magazine, and Cosmopolitan.

Dr. Belisa has extensive experience working with first responders: firefighters, military and law enforcement for topics related to endurance, stress reduction, precision, pain reduction, and PTSD. A firm believer in the importance of giving back, she volunteers and supports numerous organizations related to veterans and animal rescue organizations in New York City and Los Angeles. Dr. Belisa is an outspoken advocate of organ donation and dedicated her first book to Liamslife.org

Dr. Belisa's Career

Dr. Belisa was the former Director of Breathing Science at The Ash Center for Comprehensive Medicine in New York City, and has served as an advisor for the Fitness Institute for Gold’s Gym. She was previously the Health and Sex Editor at Men’s Fitness Magazine, an expert for Men’s Health, and Shape magazine, an advice columnist for the New York Daily News, and Foxnews.com. She was the Director of Public Education at the Mental Health Association of NYC; taught at New York University, was a consultant at the National Mental Health Association in Washington, DC; director of an outpatient clinic at Jacobi Hospital Center, Bronx, NY; a school psychologist in the South Bronx; and part of the Brooklyn Aids Task Force supporting parolees and their families.

How to breathe | Belisa Vranich | TEDxManhattanBeach


About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, daughter Nayah + a cat named Cleo. He is the host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath + Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 20+ years as a trainer, researcher + facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. Helping humans LIBERATE their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual + financial self through podcasts, programs + global community that believe in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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