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Using Breathwork to Strengthen Mental Health

Featuring Guest -

Robbie Bent

Headshot of podcast host.
hosted by: Brandon Stover
EP
76
May 2, 2022

Robbie Bent is Co-founder of Othership,  a physical location and an on-demand Breathwork platform featuring the world's best facilitators in the space. Years ago, breathwork, plant medicine, and hot/cold therapy helped Robbie turn away from a lifetime of alienation and addiction. Now, his mission is to create a community and safe space for people to feel belonging, connection, and emotional resilience without the social crutch of alcohol or drugs. His brand, Othership, includes physical and online opportunities to dial into the breath, self-regulate our emotions, and connect with one another. Prior to Othership, he led ecosystem development at Ethereum and was multiple time founder. Today, Robbie is going share how backyard ice baths sparked a community that’s redefining well-being and how we can tap into the power of the human nervous system to shift our state for better mental health.

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what you'll learn in this episode

  • Why Robbie lived 8 days in a cave
  • How our modern life is effecting our mental health
  • How breathwork can foster emotional fitness, mental health, and friendship
  • How Othership went from a backyard to growing startup
  • How Robbie went from a failed startup and drug addiction to helping hundreds of people with mental health
  • and much more...

How Robbie Believes We Can Push The World To Evolve

Know that you can control your own nervous system state, and you can do it in a few minutes. That's really powerful. Really, really powerful because it's going to help with depression, fear, anxiety, nervousness, and health.

Selected Links & Resources From This Episode

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People Mentioned

Timestamps

  • (00:00) - Introduction
  • (02:16) - Why Robbie lived 8 days in a cave
  • (04:28) - How the cave experience changed his perception
  • (12:39) - How our modern life is effecting our mental health
  • (16:49) - How breath is connected to wellbeing
  • (20:18) - How breathwork can foster emotional fitness, mental health, and friendship
  • (27:37) - Using music to make wellness practices fun
  • (30:19) - How Othership went from a backyard to growing startup
  • (37:49) - How Robbie went from a failed startup and drug addiction to helping hundreds of people with mental health
  • (43:36) - The first steps to getting out of depression
  • (47:39) - What success and enough means for Robbie
  • (51:44) - How Robbie is using a retreat to prepare for fatherhood
  • (53:17) - The difficulties of keeping a wellness routine
  • (55:42) - How to get started with breathwork and hot/cold therapy for wellbeing
  • (58:59) - How we can push the world to Evolve

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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Robbie Bent Inteview

[00:00:00] Brandon Stover: Hey, you welcome to evolve the show to help you become a hero and solve the world's greatest challenges. I'm your host, Brandon Stover, founder of Plato university. And I interview social innovators, entrepreneurs, and thinkers about the global problems we face and the solutions they have created to solve.

Today's challenge mental health and wellbeing. Our guest is Robbie Ben co-founder of other ship, which is a physical location and an on-demand breathwork platform featuring the world's best facilitators in the space years ago, breath work, plant medicine and hot and cold therapy helped Robbie turn away from a lifetime of alienation and address.

Now his mission is to create a community and safe space for people to feel belonging, connection, and emotional resilience without the social crutch of alcohol or drugs.

His brand other ship includes physical and online opportunities to dial into the breath, self regulate our emotions and connect with one the.

Prior to other ship. He led ecosystem development at Ethereum, and wasn't a multiple time founder, but today Robbie is going to share how a backyard ice bath sparked a community that's redefining wellbeing and how we can tap into the power of the human nervous system to shift our state for better mental.

But before we jump into the interview, I just want to give a quick update. As you've seen, we've had a little bit of a break with the evolve podcast with.

And now we're going to start picking up and publishing again. although the podcast episodes may be done a little. As many of you are founders, you know, that you have to balance your time with all the tasks that are required of you. And as I start to pick up with Play-Doh university need to be able to publish episodes without taking up too much time.

So in the coming episodes over this year, you might see a few experiments of trying out maybe shorter episodes. Or a different format seeing what works best and will allow me to continue to consistently put out great content for you.

However, the focus will still be the same. These grand challenges that we're facing and the different solutions that we can create to solve them.

But now let's get to Robbie and how he solving the epidemic of mental health and wellbeing.

Well, before we dive into other ship and the work that you're doing there tell me why last year you went eight days living in a cave in complete isolation and dark.

[00:02:16] Robbie Bent: That's a great place to start. I have been doing these practices for a long time. Meditation retreats, psychedelic medicines. And what I've found is they kind of provide a pattern interrupt. We'll call it a dopamine fast. For me specifically you know, ADHD, really intense person, hyper energetic I'll work forever.

I'll do extreme sports. I'm just like a crazy person. And what happens over time? You know, I start drinking coffee and then I get so pumped about what I'm doing at work. And then I'm having multiple coffees and then I'm like checking my phone all the time. And in the pandemic, it got even worse because you know, my, my workout habits, it's kind of the way I had.

And I started using Twitter, all this pandemic, like what's going on, you know, always looking for info. We have a physical business and was worried. So I'm like, you know, what's happening in Asia, what's happening in the UK. They're ahead of us. And so I started checking Twitter all the time, just like dopamine, dopamine, dopamine.

And so anybody listening, you know, if you're on your phones, chronic fight or flight chronic stimulation, You know, what happens to drug. Drug addict and no this from cocaine use is it crowds out everything else in your life. So you get less pleasure. It's more difficult to be in the parasympathetic rest and digest nervous system.

And so I was so jacked up my nervous system state, like working super hard, checking my phone stressed. And I just knew, like I'm not feeling right even to the point where on the way to the dark retreat, I missed my flight at the gate because I was like looking at Twitter and responding to emails and just, And this is from somebody like I have all these practices, I do them. And it just got to a point where I was super overwhelmed. And so the darkness was something that I had heard about from our customers, or that sounds insane. Crazy. And the more I thought about it, I listened to an Opry Marcus. Passed on.

And that was pretty good. And there was this line and they sat in the podcast. It's where it's like, your brain imagine has like a hundred tabs open. It's like a Chrome browser with just all the tabs. And it's like so slow and you're clicking in and, and, you know, you go into these like pattern insurances, whether it's a nature retreat, just not using your phone annotation retreat and you just close all the tabs. And like, it's like, you're rebooting your brain.

[00:04:28] Brandon Stover: Yeah, I would just like to hear a little bit about what the difference was for you, like, as you went through it, and then as you came out compared to what you were going in, being overstimulated and filling jacked up.

[00:04:39] Robbie Bent: in the last six years I've done a lot of retreats and this is the most you know, we're launching two businesses at the same time and it's just the. The busiest I've been. So it was like, whoa, like this feels intense, you know? And sorry. So when it COVID usually I'm like good with being busy because I also have the practices, but in COVID the practices started to fall off a bit.

So it's kind of like, you know, I'm now eating unhealthy. I'm not sleeping properly. I need to, I need to change and sorry. So I went in, you know, messed the flight full on, and I'm like now in this cave and I'll post in the show notes. So I wrote a blog post about exactly about this. People are interested, but such a wild experience.

Like you, you, you know, they shut the lights off and you can't even see your hand in front of your face. Like it's full on darkness and what we can link the retreat. It's amazing. The guy who owns it's amazing, it was like out in complete wilderness, on a commune. And you know, the first thing you sleep for, like two days, your body's not used to, to no light.

And so it just thinks it's resting. And so for, for almost. The whole time. And there's a lot of fear that comes up. So you're kind of sitting there and you're, you know, just like, okay, I'm going to do it. But like, what if something jumps out and grabs me and you know, that's not going to happen, but subconsciously we actually rely on our eyesight for safety.

So you wake up, you open your eyes. Okay. Nothing's around me, I'm safe. And so when you're in complete darkness, you can never feel safe at the beginning. So there's just this underlying element of fear, which is really interesting. And so once a day, they come in like, Food in the evening and just ask if you're okay.

I said, Hey, like I'm feeling a lot of fear. And he taught me this exercise too. You know, when you're feeling that fear really feel into it, feeling to it in your body and then see if you can sort of judo some positive feelings into it. So do you remember a time when you felt brave or strong? And so honestly for, for days, I would just feel fear a hundred times and kind of like insert strength, insert strength, using my breath, starting to teach myself, it felt a lot like an ice bath where the nervous system's ramping up the fight or flight is there.

And then you kind of let it go and surrender. And so in a lot of ways, the practice was about surrender, overcoming fear, which was, was really interesting. And so, you know, around four to five days in you become more comfortable and you start to befriend the darkness, So about five days, then it becomes really difficult to sleep.

And so now it's, you know, if you go to a meditation retreat, 10 hours of the day, that's pretty taxing. So even if you meditate 10 hours a day here, you're still up another 14 just sitting and it it's, it's so long. And so what you kind of realize is that these thought patterns you have, right? Like I get up, I've got a, I got an email, this guy, I got to like, you know, push forward the business.

I need to have this meeting. We have to grow. It's all kind of bullshit at the end of the day, but it's busy work that your mind does. Maybe it's for validation, maybe it's to feel good, maybe it's to survive, whatever it is it's always there. And so it becomes really hard to go. Into the depth to go into awareness and insight, because you're just like responding.

You're checking your phone. You're texting people, you're watching TV. So five days in the darkness, all of that stuff, your, your mental conditioning, it fades like you've thought about everything you can think about. There's nothing left. And so insights start to come up. You know, I'm like, I'm halfway through my perceived life.

Have I lived a good life? Do I have integrity? My, my parents are gonna die. What happens when they die? You know, I'm in this darkness, I'm not a person anymore. And then when. The dreams would be so vivid. So like day three, four, before it got to that point of no sleep, insanely vivid dreams. That almost felt when I woke up like a, like a DMT experience, some ways not hallucinogenic, but just, you know, one where I was looking at my dad in the eyes telling him, like, I love you and then woke up just feeling like such a full heart.

So there's really strange stuff happening from a fear level, really strange stuff happening. I think it feels like your brain is like re fragmenting because the neurotransmitter responses, like, you know, the melatonin levels, everything is changing. And then you have these crazy dreams, the sense of self declines, and then your, your thoughts changed.

And so it's a very emotional experience coming out was like probably the single best moment in my life. Like, like I remember I was okay at first they wanted to make it 10 days and I got really sick. This huge cough inside that three days. And I really, I like man, I'm coughing. Like I must get on the plane.

I'm here. You know, I'd heard this story about someone, my age, who got it and was in one day had to go to the hospital and I was like, fuck, I'm here alone. They check on me once a day. I'm going to, I'm going to die here. And then, but I was also like the Eagle and he was like, I can't fucking leave in three days, I put it on my email signature, like no way that leaving this thing, like now it's coughing.

And then I realized there was like a mold in the cave. And every time I sat on this meditation cushion there, it would like blow into my face and it was allergic. And so I stopped doing that. And so that was, it was hard, you know? And so by the time I was ready to leave, I was like, okay, like, I'm ready. And as soon as I decided like day, eight morning, I'm outta here.

It's like a mad rush to the door. They're trying to get it open and trying to get open, pull it open. And it's before sunrise it's to come out and you can, you can see every particle. It was like the Adam's like. Like I could see into the universe basically. So that, and that lasted for only a couple minutes, but it was just looking around like every breath, because the cave was kind of like damp inside the same, like spec, it felt like you're so cramped.

And like, there's a pressure on your head because you just can't see, you can't like escape, you feel so trapped. And so coming out into the world to this fresh mountain air, like breathing in the air, felt like I was breathing in place your water. I was just like, Okay. He needs breaths. You know, I lay down on the ground, smelling the earth, like holding it, just like, oh my God, this is like breathing.

It's amazing. And then, you know, slowly, the sun starts coming up and you can first, only everything's black and white. And then you start to see like the Browns, the greens, the first time you've seen colors. And like, just as the sun starts coming over, you do the sky, turn blue and was like, holy fuck. This is crazy.

And then like, as the sun went over the Ridge to actually see the sun, like the first glance, like coming into my eyes, it transported me back to a moment with my dad. I was skiing as a child, like on a sunny day, like fully into that moment. And it was just like, man, Amazing. And so it went from, I can't even not look at my phone to like the simplest things, like a breath of air looking at the sun.

I went and I went for a swim in this cold Creek and they had a sign on the property and in like two hours of, you know, sauna, sunrise, fresh air, I ate food that I could actually see. It was just so full of life as an enjoy, just because I reset the dopamine patterns in the brain. So I was finding joy and like these little things. Yeah.

Just end it here is like life we're so rewarded. I've heard this like five times in the last month. So my head for, for doing and not rewarded for being in our cultural rights. So it's like, I accomplished this, I achieved that. And so I'm working. So knowing about all these underlying patterns and knowing it's not healthy and still like throwing everything away to do and achieve.

And that experience just brought me right back into like the simplest being. And there's like no amount of happiness. I, you know, again, teach their own, but there's just no amount of like pure joy in the present moment you're going to get then like a sunrise and breath and nature. And it was just such a reminder.

So even if you are stuck in the doing, which is probably every parent, everyone who's struggling with financials, like most 99.9% of people, you can do these, you know, you can, you can go through these experiences and have like a quick.

[00:12:39] Brandon Stover: Yeah, I think the story is a excellent example of just how much we are overstimulated in our modern lives. But some of the other problems that you were addressing, we have high rates of depression. We have feelings of social isolation, especially after just going through COVID. Paint us a picture of how these problems are affecting our modern lives right now.

[00:12:59] Robbie Bent: let's paint, a picture of what like an ancient life was. And so living outside in nature, fasting, because you didn't have access to food all the time exposure to different temperatures, hot cold, because you weren't inside Mo a lot of movement, right? We'd be like hunting, gathering, no sedentary lifestyles, living in small groups slash tribes.

So very community driven because actually to survive, you needed to be in the social group. And so everything there that humans evolve over millions of years is gone average day, like my day, okay. I wake up, I'm at a computer for 12 hours, like pushing forward our business. Cause it's important to me, you know that.

So I'm sedentary. I'm like, over-breathing because I'm stressed. I'm looking at my phone. My fight or flight response is great. It's fantastic for like, you know, productivity being alert. But again, when. Ancestors, like, you know, the, most of the day as I'm sitting around being bored, there's not much to do.

You're kind of just around, you know, and now if I asked your listeners, like, when's the last time you were bored and the answer is fucking never because you're going to like, you know, if you're sitting, waiting at a restaurant, how many times are you going to check your phone? Probably 15 times, you know, like you're just not sitting around.

And so our life is now I'm always stimulated. I'm always looking at my phone. I'm likely more sedentary than I should have been. I'm likely spending a lot of time inside because I'm in front of a screen or a computer that temperature mat is perfect. So our bodies are facing like almost zero resilience.

And so what is that? Well, we have two nervous system states, one is called the sympathetic, the fight or flight. So sending blood flow to the brain, activating awareness, becoming vigilant. This is, you know, imagine you're walking in an alley outside and someone jumps out, boom screams, okay, I'm activated, I'm ready. Same thing. Like you get a notification you're late for a meeting, like, fuck you're into overdrive. You know, it's fight or flight.

Other one is, is called the rest and digest the parasympathetic system, sending blood flow to the organs. We're in that state when we're having sex eye gazing, laughing, hugging, you know eating a meal is in the nervous system state where we find meaning.

And and that state is just completely lacking because of all this overstimulation and like today's lifestyle. we're not in that state of meaning, you know, and, and to think about it now, like how much time during your day are you like allowing yourself to be in emotion, to laugh, to be happy, to just be right.

So called the parasympathetic state being, and we'll call it the fight or flight state doing right. If 99% is in this doing state, it becomes harder and harder to connect to our emotions. We feel isolated, we feel depressed and it's, it's rampant like 70% of gen Z people that use their phone more than three hours a day report depression.

It's the highest ever. The number of close friends, people report less than one four on average for American citizens 0.8 average close friends that you have something to share with it in 20 years ago, it was three. So just think a lot of this, like overstimulated lifestyles are leading to not being in.

The rest and digest, nervous state, not connecting to our emotions and as a result, way more depression, loneliness. And I actually think it's one of the greatest problems facing society. Like one of the biggest unspoken epidemics, worst ever mental health, like insane growth and like addiction all time, highs, depression, all time highs, mental health issues, all time highs.

And so, you know, if I had to guess, there's not like scientific studies that show numbers, but if I had to guess, I think it all stems from chronic overstimulation. And a lot of it coming from changes to society in event of the cell phone, like in 20 2006 is when a lot of these patterns have started changing.

[00:16:49] Brandon Stover: Yeah, well, I think another important aspect to your solution with other shifts is the problem that we have of disconnection with our body and lack of awareness of like our own health, specifically, our breathing, you were mentioning over-breathing before. Tell us a little bit about this disconnect and how it's affected.

[00:17:06] Robbie Bent: So it kind of stems back to these examples I gave around ancient practices. So what do you need to be healthy? Right. So, so let's think about it. Let's just say diet is one exercises and other so movement.

Dana, you know, we used to do, and as part of diet, you might have fascinating or time restricted eating. And then, you know, so exercises and next to everybody knows exercise is important. Some type of movement. Third is sleep. So pillar of our health in the last five years have become clear how important sleep is for like willpower, cognitive ability.

It's in recovery, HRV fourth, which people don't really know about is breadth, which we'll get into. And so with James nester, his work on breath, Patrick Keanu's work with oxygen advantage is starting to become a very clear breath is like the fourth pillar of health. There was this study called the Framingham study and it showed that lung capacity was actually the best predictor of longevity, way more so than diets.

Sleep exercise is actually lung capacity that predicted how long you would live and has to do with absorption of oxygen in the body. And then the fifth is social connection. And so if you look across diet disaster, exercise, disaster you know, sleep, it's tough because of all these other things. We mentioned breath, absolute disaster, which we'll get into, and then social connection because of phones really difficult as well.

So those are like the five things you need to be healthy, happy, find, find meaning. And our lifestyles have changed a lot of those. So suppressed specifically. Interesting things have happened. So, you know, in ancient cultures, everyone actually had straight teeth, much more pronounced draws in everyone.

And due to a couple choices and diets. So processed foods actually the amount of CO2 in the body that changed the body's alkalinity. Don't need to remember any of that. All you need to know is it's causing us to mouth breathe. And when we mouth breathe, it makes it really difficult to absorb in the brain and body.

So it can lead to like fatigue, poor sleep, lack of willpower. So what is mouth breathing? Right? Like we're actually meant to be breathing through our nose. Our nose increases nitric oxide in the blood. It improves blood pressure. It's it's like a humidifier that filters out toxins from the air. It's just, we're meant to breathe slowly through the nose mammals that breathe the slowest and to have the slowest heart rate rates live the longest.

So you can think of like the tortoise turtle. And so now we're breathing through the mouth. It's like. You know, massive snowblower in the driveway versus a shovel that, that we should rarely be doing. And it's creating a fight or flight response. It happens from overstimulation. So, you know, you check your phone, bam, start breathing in the chest through your mouth because you're nervous like on misdemeaning you're, you know, looking at your computer, you're on email.

You're, you're going through your mouth. So change in diet and overstimulation has led to mouth breathing and what happens over time through mouth breathing, our brain adjusts. And we're not able to absorb as much oxygen in the cells, the tissue, the organs, the brain, something called CO2 tolerance. Again, you don't need to remember it.

You need to remember that changes to diet are increasing mouth breathing, which is leading to less absorption. So there's this, you can do two and you breathe in and breathe out, hold your breath. And if it's under 20 seconds right in the morning, it's a sign that your breathing patterns could use some work.

[00:20:18] Brandon Stover: Solutions that you've created with other ship has helping to really get these last two pillars of the breadth and the social and connection. Explain to us the model of other ship of how it's fostering emotional fitness, mental health, and friendship.

[00:20:34] Robbie Bent: Absolutely. So there there's a, it's a, it's a really long story, so I'll try to be as concise as possible. And so we have, we have two pieces, so one is a breath work app. And I just found that people really struggled to meditate. I was an addict for 12 years. I used meditation and psychedelic medicines to get sober.

I'm happy to talk about that later or share some links, but tried to teach those practices to people for a number of years. And like out of 200 friends, maybe like three. Patient to your listening, you know, downloaded, calm, try to try and Headspace, you sit down. It's like, my mind is going crazy. Nothing's happening.

I've been sitting for 10 minutes and like doing this, right. Just not working for me. You know, I've had friends who will do it for a month and be like, and these are like discipline people. And just be like, I don't know if anything's happening. And so the feedback cycle is quite long, you know, it's almost like you have to do a 10 day retreat to really feel the benefits.

And so a 10 day retreat is two years of free day. Right. And so you can just kind of like, it's like, it's a skill that you need to learn, like play a guitar and you pick it up. You're not going to play a song on. And so people are like, well, fuck this. I'm going to, I'm going to quit. Patient being difficult.

And I saw psychedelics are illegal. There's a lot of fear around them, how to use those. Also, there's not like very clear guidance of how to integrate, which is problematic. So I had a lot of friends be like, oh, I'm going to retreat. You were an addict. I come back and you know, I'm going to quit drugs too.

And then they would come back and be back into drugs in three weeks. And so saw those kind of problems and was like, fuck. I wonder if there's something like this stuff worked for me. How can we get maybe people who don't have mental health habits to become, to find more meaning, to be more in that person, pathetic state.

And so we've stumbled upon, breathwork starting with Wim Hoff and really notice that the breath is like a triangle. There's like three things you can do with it.

So one is sometimes you want to turn on that fight or flight state. You want to boost energy. You want to increase awareness as you might be in the morning instead of a coffee.

And so there's styles of breathing where you breathe quite quickly. And like Wim Hoff is an example. You're pushing the gas pedal on the nervous system. So, you know, you want energy, you're procrastinating. You want to like get into the flow. You want to skip that afternoon cup of coffee, bang, breath work.

And I did that style of breathwork Wim Hoff, like every day for years. And it would be in my morning routine. And it like really changed a lot for me in terms of boosting my energy in the day. And then, you know, I kind of saw you can also use the break. So that's the parasympathetic. So you've been working for 12 hours and you're not even a human being.

You're totally focused on your computer. And you know, it's time to go hang out with your wife and kids while long, slow exhales and breath retention, breath holds. We'll move you into the static state. They'll reduce the heart rate. They'll help you relax. The help prepare you to eat. So, you know, after work before bed, you have these ruminating thoughts and under seven minutes you can shift your nervous system state.

So I kind of saw the stuff happening, did a ton of research around, you know, the books I had mentioned before, took a bunch of courses. The person realized there was no platform that like made it really easy to do this.

So for meditation, it's about awareness and it can be like, you know, I'm, I'm not feeling it, but for breath work, you know, you just put it on. You're listening to music that you really like, and you just follow the patterns and you change your nervous system state. So we thought that was really powerful and something we could teach to people to start really getting this idea across that, like, Hey, I'm actually the master of my nervous system.

And then the third and the triangle is explore. And so if you push sympathetic breathing far enough, you'll slow down the oxygen flow to the brain to think you mind the part of your brain. That's like I have all these tasks. I'm not good enough. What does she think about me? What about my kids? What about my parents?

This monkey mind? On forever a million, you know, that's just nonstop, relentless. And we found that breathing in these patterns for 20 to 30 to 40 to 60 minutes can shut down that part of the brain. And in that shutdown, your body actually has to process emotion. And we saw that style of breath work and it's been used forever.

Like Stanislav, Grof came up with something called holotropic breathing, which is amazing. And there's a million variations, but all of them mean you're breathing out so much carbon dioxide, you're stalling, the blood flow to the brain. You're changing your perception of self. Your perception of time.

You are sending signals to the emotional system of the brain, the limbic system, you start to process things. And so, you know, if you're afraid of COVID of your financial situation, if you're carrying guilt for something you did, if you went through a breakup, if you're feeling grief, you've lost somebody, you know, all of those emotions are challenging.

And for most people we bury them. And so what breath work allows you to do is shut down the part of your mind. That's saying like, Hey. I don't want to face those and afraid or, you know, I want to bury those things. It shuts down that part of the mind and allows you to process and release. And so just so powerful for processing emotions, which many of us like we're just in the fight or flight all the time, never processing.

And we're like, well, let's build a, something like calm or Headspace. And my partners are DJs and musicians. And so we made like all this amazing, like little work of art, hundreds of sessions. And we started just offering them for free on zoom. People liked it. So we made a course, people like that. So we made an app and it's been out for like four or five months.

And it's like, amazing for, you know, if you're struggling to meditate, you want to go up, do you want to go down like this morning? I did one, I did a five minute little booster instead of a coffee. And then I did a down while I took a walk. So I walked outside, got sunshine in my eyes at a perfect breathing pattern.

It was just like 10 minute, little morning routine. Awesome. Came in and started work. So I'm like obsessed as this, as the tool. Even if you have a meditation practice, you can use it to prepare for meditation. And so it's kind of this tool to teach people to regulate their nervous systems. And I'm, I'm convinced that this is going to help the 300 million people in the U S without a practice, find a practice and improve their breathing habits.

[00:26:41] Brandon Stover: Yeah. I personally, when I wake up in the morning do breath work before I do my meditation. And then I do that before I do my journaling. So it helps me like get to the place that I could actually process whatever emotions are going on. And like the breath work helps me calm down that mind, as you said, so I can focus a little more in meditation and then work through that internally.

[00:27:02] Robbie Bent: There's a session we have on the app called morning kick, and it's about 14 minutes and it combines breathwork with meditation in the hold and then morning gratitude. And so you're kind of, the idea was it's like, okay, you know, a 20 minute meditation, I'm doing 15 minutes of breath work and doing my five minute journal.

I'm like an hour now. And my morning routine. And I was like, I wonder if we can condense this into like 15 minutes. So you just listen and instead of journaling, you actually just think it'll be like, okay, what are you grateful for today? You know, what's what are you grateful for? That's nearby. And so during the breath work, it's like layering in these prompts.

So it's a, it's a really good one to check out as part of your morning routine and see if uh,

[00:27:37] Brandon Stover: Yeah, I'll have to give that one a try in your guys's app. Like you mentioned, all of your breath work sessions, they're overlaid with music. How does the music work to affect the nervous.

[00:27:49] Robbie Bent: So we thought it was really interesting is it's like, how do you make this accessible? it's gotta be fun. And this came from, you know, personally massive Headspace user, huge fan. I've done four of the pasta meditation retreats at darkness retreat. I've had times where, you know, an hour, every day for a year, I've had times where I didn't meditate for a few months.

During COVID we were doing these zooms and people. I'm isolated, but I want to have a party. Okay. That's cool. Maybe we can put on music, you'd have during a party. And we took there's this DJ love from Birdman and flying colors, and we're like, dude, let's use your sets and we'll make breathwork to them.

And so my parents, his favorite DJ made this amazing set called roller coaster, which is also on the app. And it's like his favorite, you know, breath like music set. And then he overlaid the breathwork to the music. What we found was like, whoa, this is cool. Like, you know, so none of us drink and I'll get into other ship physical and what that is, but none of us drink.

So what we would do is Friday night, come over. Well, it's like, you know, you kind of still have that social anxiety. You want to get rid of, you kind of want something. And so we started just having these breathwork parties and it would be, you know, 10 friends and we would just throw on like a set and someone would guide an awesome breathwork to music.

And then we got into the style of like, oh, well maybe, you know, meditation, doesn't have to be like waterfalls and wind chimes and down. Maybe you can. Like fun. And so there was a lot of born of just testing, different DJs. We liked their music with our breath work. And so the music doesn't necessarily do anything for the nervous system.

It just makes it fun. So some of our sessions are very minimally guided. It'll be like acid jazz for cooking, but a perfect breath work pattern layered in. So, you know, in, in six out six, so people are busy, right? Like how do you, you know, some telling you to do the two thing or like, fuck my whole day is full man.

It's like, well, guess what, you're going to go for a walk to get coffee. Why don't you breathe perfectly for 10 minutes during that walk and listen to music you like? And so the whole sense was okay, instead of going to traditional meditation, deep teaching, you know spiritual route, let's just something that, you know, the music is really good.

People like listening to it and layering breath patterns on top and people seem to love it. I've been able to like really get it into their, their day, which is kind of the goal.

[00:30:00] Brandon Stover: Yeah. I think it's important to meet people where they are and like making it fun because you know, every time I sit down to do your meditation in the morning, you know, there's some mornings like you don't want to sit down and do it. But it's a habit that you have to build, but if you can make it fun in the beginning in order to start building that habit later, it won't be as hard to do that.

[00:30:18] Robbie Bent: Exactly.

[00:30:19] Brandon Stover: explain the combination with a sauna and cold plunge that you guys have started doing in your physical space with the breath.

[00:30:28] Robbie Bent: Yeah.

So prior to the breath work app, which we created in COVID via the zooms, we were. Me and five best friends. My wife, you know, three of my best friends, we would just what we're obsessed with bathhouse culture and did that because I like when I'm sober, my partners had trained as sauna, masters in Europe and we would always go to bath houses.

So I was going in, you know, San Francisco and Berlin and for people who don't know bath houses, a sauna, some type of cold, uplines usually a tea room or restaurant, maybe multiple saunas, steam room. And I would do these on Friday and Saturday nights. And it was like obsessed. And when I came back to Toronto and did the Wim Hoff course, and, you know, went to one of his seminars and I started that breathing and I built an ice bath in my backyard, and we just had, you know, a community of neighbors over and it grew to a couple hundred people in WhatsApp.

And as it got colder, I live in Canada's winter time. You know, we just converted a garage into a sauna and ice bath and a tea room. And it grew to like thousands of customers just undergrounds, like word of mouth. And at first, you know, the stuff is amazing for longevity. So the hot cold, you know, we mentioned before putting your body through stress, it's like the number two thing you can do after fasting for living a long and healthy life, increasing your health span.

And, you know, there's studies on reduction in inflammation boosting the immune system, all kinds of stuff. And Rhonda, Patrick and Andrew Huberman, talk about this a ton if you're, if you're interested, but so let's, you know, we know this is good for you. I know it's a health thing. You see athletes do it for recovery.

We started to find those people and it would be like the gateway into Metro. Like, you know, you go in the cold boosting up and effort in the brain. All of a sudden you're, you're alive, you're attentive, you're vigilant. You're not thinking about your phone or work. And we saw that led to really connecting people.

So they would do the ice bath together to conquer their fear because most people are afraid. It's common. And then they'd be like feeling super alert and alive with no phone start talking. And so all of a sudden we have this like social space that was really cool. And it was getting full into the pertinent.

And then we started just kind of, you know, screwing around with different modalities. And so, you know, sambal breathwork NLP and hypnosis movement and shaking sound with a drum or a flutes, you know, kind of all the stuff from all the good I like meditation work and retreats, just kind of mixing and matching and people love these classes.

And so we'd be okay, let's do an anger release today. And you know, we'd go in the sauna, turn out the light, like a traditional sweat lodge and scream at the top of our lungs. And like, you know, share a moment of someone that made you angry and let it go. And then things just exploded. Like people were like, fuck, this is incredible.

So we're doing like couples classes and fear releases and, you know, and COVID hit. And so we, we moved to the breathwork gap. And then as COVID ended, we built this, you know, flagship space in Toronto, it's a 50 person sauna and there's a, there's a guide kind of the same way you'd have at a, at a boutique fitness.

There's four ice baths in a tea room. And so each day there's a number of classes and a class might be on releasing anger. It might be on increasing gratitude. It might be on releasing shame. It might be like a Friday night fever dance party. So, you know, you imagine the facilitator has these like essential oils with different smells.

It can control the temperature. They're moving the heat with a towel and dancing. So it's half performance, half kind of like emotional classes. And so it's, it's weird to go to. You know, all gratitude class in person, you feel uncomfortable, but the hot, the cold removes that anxiety and allows you to kind of sink and plus it's really good for your health.

So, you know, we've sort of created the first class, emotional wellness classes in north America. And then at night it's a, it's a social space. And so there's no alcohol people use the ice bath to break free of social barriers and hang out. And every night, nine to two in the morning, it's like bumping with people, interested in meditation and psychedelic medicines and health and wellness and diet and entrepreneurs that like, I think for a lot of people listen to your podcasts.

It's like, okay, do I want to go out and have five beers? Is that a thing anymore? Like, people are, there's a huge growth and all these other things we mentioned, and there's no real community space for it. So the idea was let's build the community space for these people to come and connect like no phone, no makeup, no clothes.

Everybody's the same, you know? And then in that space, teach people about like mastering their emotions and it's. Going insane. Like it's just full. Every day, people are dating. People are getting married. People are becoming friends. It's like, it's, you know, some classes like 50% of people will break into tears.

It gets honestly, I was there the other night and we did this class called the heart balloon where you move 50 different moments through your life of like feeling love and giving love. And every moment you feel your heart growing, you visualize it growing. And then as your heart rate increases in the sauna, you check your pulse and you feel your heartbeat increasing.

And it's all to the music while you're doing breath work. And I was like in tears, crying at my own space, like, just like, this is better than any therapy session. Like it's, it's nuts. And for like a $35 price point in a group you're making like kind of mental health. Cool. So I just, I can't, I'm honestly so excited about it.

It's like my favorite thing in the world to do I'm there. Like every night, it's just, it's the best.

[00:35:42] Brandon Stover: Yeah, I think as somebody like myself and many of my listeners who don't drink and aren't a part of that social lifestyle, having something that, yes, I'm very interested in meditation and being healthy and watching all of that for myself. But a lot of times those are solo practices. So having a space that you can go to and be social with other people and start to break through those social barriers in a different way that doesn't require, you know, alcohol or something like that.

I was very alert.

[00:36:08] Robbie Bent: Yeah. So we'll have to get you up. If you, if you come up to Toronto, we'll happy to give to you some passes, have you through, we did one on Friday night hearing Amanda, my co-founders created it. It was called the Friday night fever and they're all throughout the. Sizes to get people to connect.

So when they like have an ice ball, everyone's throwing it around and you need to look at who you're going to throw to, to like eye to eye as a connection point, you're throwing it around. If it drops, the person who drops, it gets a big bucket of ice over the head with just kind of a prize and not really a punishment.

And then it moves into, then it moves into like drumming. And so like, you know, Harry is like drumming on a drum and everyone repeats the pattern. So you have 50 people like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then they're like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so everyone's like, the energy is rising. And then at the end they turn off the lights, put a black light on and they're like, we've lost, you know, dancing and connection during COVID.

And they played a song by Fred. Again, it like one of my favorite DJs and it's like, we've lost dancing. And everyone just starts dancing, like gets invited to come down. And so you're in the sauna. It's super hot, you know, wearing nothing but a bathing suit towel wrapped around you and just completely free, not thinking of anything and dancing, moving your body.

And we're like, this is the funnest. Thing like this is so much just pure joy, fun, sober, like feels like you're a kid again. And it was just cuddling around like, wow, I can't believe this. So that people resonate. Like we definitely are trying to open and, you know, New York and LA and all around the U S and the idea is just, you know, a whole new way to connect

[00:37:33] Brandon Stover: Yeah, well, I'm in Austin, Texas, so I'd definitely

[00:37:36] Robbie Bent: Austin's on the list. A is on the list also. And we'll be, we'll be heading down a lot of our you know, community from the breathwork app is in Austin. And I'm pretty good friends with a lot of people out there and like, just, just love Austin. So we'll Definitely. get a chance to meet in person.

[00:37:49] Brandon Stover: Definitely. Well, I'd like to shift to talking a little bit about your story and other ship before doing this, like this, wasn't your first startup, you had personally experienced many of the problems that we mentioned earlier in your first venture doing a venture backed startup at 24. what kind of personal issues and journey did you go through going from that startup to this startup?

[00:38:11] Robbie Bent: I mean, probably a lot of people listening. Like I didn't think a lot about what I wanted to do. You know, when I was in high school and university was like, my dad's in business, I'm going to go into business. What's the best business school I can go to. Okay. I'm gonna work super hard and do that.

Then it was like, well, what do these kids do? Who's the smartest one? Like what makes the most money? And it was just, okay, I'm going to compete. I'm going to become an investment banker. And then I did that for two years and I was like, what the fuck am I doing here? This is. Job ever, like I'm working a hundred hour weeks.

People are like, you know, throwing staplers at me and like doing all night or like, it's just was insane. And I was just like, okay, this sucks. But like, I still want to be rich and I want to be successful. And I want to prove to my parents that, you know, I'm worthy and I want to be good and I want girls to like me.

So I want nice things. And it's a very like insecure mindset of, I'm not good enough get validation from others. And so, you know, as a startup, that's what people do to become rich. And that's all, you know, very naive viewpoint for how hard it is for what you get forward. And so found a technical co-founder in Toronto and we built this company and we raised like 20, $25 million and grew to a hundred and plays.

And I felt like, you know, it was a company in telecom, which I don't care about at all. It was just kind of like, okay, this seems like a good opportunity made every mistake in the book company ended up failing. During this time I'm also like heavily using drugs and alcohol to deal with this. And, you know, goes as bad as possible.

My parents lose their money. You know, friends who are invested, I lose my money. I have no job. I'm like firing all these people. It's just so stressful at that age. And not really knowing how to deal with failure. Like this impending doom of like K, it's going to fail for like two years just in the pit of my stomach.

Like, you're going to be a failure. You're going to be a failure. And also, you know, now I'm 28. My friends are starting to do super well. So I'm like looking at my friend group and like, man, I'm like, I have no skills. What am I doing? I'm like, you know, kind of at the end of that was like close to suicidal and just pretty much like, I can't see a life and where things are good for me.

And and obviously like drug use doesn't help with that because you feel even like way worse, you know, these moments of just like, what am I, what am I doing with my life? And like, absolute like despair is like, how do I get out of. And at that point, I was like, okay, well this decisions to just, you know, try to make money and be successful and impress people have clearly not worked out.

And so, you know, listening to podcasts was a huge part of my transformation. I learned about meditation. I moved to Israel, I did a Vipassana retreat in that retreat. I started to uncover like, okay, why do you need validation from others? You know, why is it important? What, where what's this ego piece?

You know, why do you, why do you need to be successful? And all these feelings starting because they were kind of, for most people you're on autopilot. You know, I sat in high school. I didn't really think about what I wanted to do or how I wanted to show up. It was just like, you look at your group, you look at your parents and family and you kind of your life.

If you don't take time to step back and like use meditation and breath work and these different modalities, it's very difficult to even understand yourself or like your emotions or what you want. And then you don't have any control. I mean, you don't have control of your life anyways, but then you really don't have control.

Cause you just kinda float down this path for everyone happy. And so it was meditation introduced me to psychedelic medicines. It was Iowasca that ended up getting me sober. And so, you know, after I lost her and, you know, by sober like alcohol and cocaine, I'll still use psychedelics. But yeah, after that I asked to retreat in the jungle in Peru, I met my wife, ended up joining the Ethereum foundation and you know, started to make decisions a lot differently.

So it wasn't like, oh, I need money anymore. It was. Like good people I can surround myself with. And that's how I got into crypto was like a lot of the smartest people I knew were working in it. I was like, wow, this is really cool. And these people are also nice and they're trying to change the world. This seems awesome.

And so I sort of followed my heart. And so that went super well within two years, you know, I was working at theorem foundation and getting paid in Eve and like my whole financial situation changed like really rapidly, just kind of by pure luck and all of a sudden I'm like, you know, wow. Like I feel good about myself.

I feel like I know what I'm doing and I'm competent. And I'm around all these good people. And like life, my wife is so supportive, she's getting me into all this awesome stuff. And she really changed my life. And so just kind of thought like, this is fucking amazing. What is going on here? You know? And then that kind of led to wanting to teach people these things.

And then, you know, I was in my like peak of my career in crypto and I just kind of started doing this outdoor. Ice bath stuff and this garage. And then I saw like, you know, 10 people who are addicted to drugs and they were sober and they're like, yo, it's this community it's having this space to go to.

It's like, I want to do Coke. And I coming to use the ice bath and you know, something I can do on a Friday night. And it's like, it's changed my life. And I just was like, holy shit. And so then I moved from like being around good people to helping people. And that to me is kind of, there's still some ego involved, which I'm working on of like wanting validation from others and wanting to build something big.

Like that's a struggle for me and probably always will be. But now there's like, you know, this, this creation of something that I'm passionate about and like helping others and building community it just feels like really so right and authentic and like in my zone of genius and, you know, it's just, it's, it's been such a beautiful journey of like complete insecurity to now, you know, taking the gifts I've had in like trying to help other people become a part of them.

[00:43:36] Brandon Stover: In the part, when you were very depressed and like even maybe reaching the point of suicide you mentioned all of these things that were a turning point for you. What was that first one that really helped to help you get over the failure and give you hope again so that you can start layering on these other things that pointed you in a better drug.

[00:43:55] Robbie Bent: So this, at that point in time, I didn't know about breathwork and I didn't know about ice pass and Stunna. And so I just, you know, had heard about morning routines. And so I was listening to a lot of Tim Ferriss and like reading his book,

and I was just like, oh man, like, okay, if I can do a morning gratitude journal on when my day, like that's a good starting point, you know? But it it's, it's tough cause those, those practices on their own, like they're not enough. And it was like a very long road to get to where I am now, which took, you know, the 10 day meditation retreat and the psychedelic medicines.

And then also the rock bottom, you know, if that company had never failed. Maybe I would have been like you know, what, it's kind of okay to do drugs once a week and I'm around and like, you know financially I'm okay, but it's like, what's the rock bottom state. So I think there's always like, if you want to change, there's like a catalyst and you'll never, you could do all the breathwork and psychedelics and hot coals you want.

But at the end of the day, it's just your decision to like, I want to change. And so to make that decision, I want to change. You need to have inspiration in your life. Who you want to be something that you want to be more than, than what you are. And so nothing really helped with that outside of like, Hey, I'm not showing up as a good person.

Like I'm disappearing for days. I'm not like, you know, I was just engaging and like risky behavior and doing really weird stuff. And just not showing up as like, Hey, I feel like a high integrity person. So I think there was like this deep seated of like guilt and shame that like, okay, it's time to change at like, to the point where I wanted to make the commitment to do some of these deeper things required.

So I would say that's probably the first step is like a commitment to yourself that like, this is important because what happens is you start down the path and you fail. You know, I tried to quit drugs for like three years. I tried cocaine anonymous. I tried like alcoholics anonymous, tried a bunch of this stuff and it all, I failed every time we'd be like, oh, you know, I could have a drink.

And, and then it took. Okay. Like, this is it. I'm committing, I'm going to the jungle. I'm going ham. I'm getting a therapist. I'm like going as hard as I can at quitting. And then when it came back, you know, I would write in my journal every day, like this many days though, smoking this main days without drinking.

And it really, I mean, we even talked about this before on podcasts, which hasn't been brought up, but you know, it was then after a year, like I found my partner and I was like, okay, I'm I'm in it. So it was a really strong commitment. And then on top of that strong commitment to start, there's tons of like tools and tactics.

When I would say is like a transformational experience yearly. So that's something to like change the dopamine patterns in the brain. So, you know, whether it's a meditation retreat, a nature retreat, a psychedelic retreat it's important to like create space on an annual basis. I think some type of like healthy community, you know?

So if you're like out drinking, like you have to change your friends. If you want to make a change, you have to go to something like an other ship where at night, you know, you're either doing like some kind of exercise or you're going to like a sauna ice bath or something like that. That was a big sticking point for me, was having the space to go.

That was healthy because before it would have been like, oh, we'll go to restaurant. Yeah.

sure. To bus a wine and then like K three bottles of wine later and then maybe some drugs. And so you know, it was the, the transformational experiences. Working with a coach to like really understand what I wanted, making a commitment and then the daily habits.

So, you know, meditation for me, breath work, I think is an amazing place to start just like seven minutes. Each day is like enough. And then some of these deep dives to help process emotions. So again, I'm, I'm available. I'm around. If people want to ask, like what worked, I could like write a poster or share, but so that's, I think commitment to change healthy communities and transformational experiences in a daily practice is, is sort of NYC, healthy community.

That's friends who can keep accountable. If you have all of those, there's a much higher likelihood of success than, than if not.

[00:47:39] Brandon Stover: Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that. How are you approaching this startup versus the failed one? You're you mentioned like approaching it from a different mindset of not being so ego driven, like the first one. Are there some other major differences that you think is helping more towards the success of this one?

[00:47:56] Robbie Bent: I mean, this one?

is just like a part of me. It's like a part of my identity in a way that the others weren't. And so it started as an ice bath in the backyard because I love ice best, you know? And then like the breath work we're doing, like we'd love breath work. I do it every day. Like, it's just a part of, of who I am.

And so I really understand this product deeply. Like I've been to a hundred plus bath houses worldwide, so I have my partner. So there's just, you know, I'm personally an addict that wanted a space like this, my whole life. I know this works. I want this to be as good as possible. Like I just love it. Like, you know, we would go into a space and think about like the tiles on the floor and look at like 40 different. Doesn't feel them on her feet. So like, what is that going to feel like on someone's foot?

Cause we didn't want people to wear sandals, you know, the smell designed like, so a bit of a hundred essential oils, custom smell. Understanding the product that deeply passionately using it, watching it change people's lives, starting at, not as a business, but as something for fun to help people. It also is like hugely different, right? So it's just, it just, everything has happened organically. And we just keep layering into like, Hey, what's going to help our customers.

Let's build that. And it's always product versus like money focused. And I'm a bit lucky in that did really want crypto. So financials aren't the goal like scarcity mindset is kind of been removed versus what I was like struggling with before. So I just have this runway to like fully focus on making like the best product and experience possible to help the most people.

And it just feels, feels really nourishing.

[00:49:26] Brandon Stover: What does success look like for you now compared to, you know, your first start-up what's enough for you? With this one?

[00:49:33] Robbie Bent: That's a question I'm really like struggling with, because like, realistically, this is enough, you know, we made this app, it's amazing. There's like thousands of users and they use it every day. People have used it like 300 times. I'm getting messages. Like this changed my life and the space has had, you know, I don't know, 5,000 visitors and it's, everyone's talking about it.

People come, I have made so many friends. Judging by the standards of enough it's it's hit, right? Like we created it, we did it birth it from nothing. We made this thing that is new in the world that didn't exist. And on the same time that the challenge I have is like, okay, well, I'm a small town kid from Canada.

Okay. Bronto. Now we're crushing it. Like, can we bring it to New York, you know, to Austin, to LA the biggest stages in the U S and like, Hey, we made this thing and it's like the best in north America, you know? And there's a huge drive to want to do. But also I know it's probably empty at the end of that road and it's, it's so, so interesting.

Like, you know, a lot of, some of the biggest influencers in health, I was like, oh, I can't wait. I would love to meet these people. And I've met them and like going on their podcasts and it's like my dream and it's happy, but I'm not any different of a person. So I have such a desire and craving to build these and like K want to open, you know, we're looking in New York now and looking in LA and I'm like, could I get five locations in each and working so hard to make that happen?

One it's like gonna definitely have some impact. Like no question is going to help a ton of people. It's amazing model and people need it, but there's also this like ego of like, I want to be the one, you know, to build it and to like make this thing in it. And so there's something there that's like related to lack of.

So it's driving this like. I'm not enough. So I'm very cognizant of it. I'm having a baby in October with my wife, her first baby. So I'm trying to like slow down a bit on that and be more focused as a dad and like have the right team in place. And cause I know I don't want to get into the space of like, we need to build five.

We need to build 10. We need to every empty, but I'm also struggling cause I, I want it as well. So it's really, that's kind of the work I'm doing right now.

[00:51:44] Brandon Stover: Yeah. What do you plan on teaching your child and about some of these practices are what success looks like.

[00:51:50] Robbie Bent: I think the first thing I'm actually going down and to Costa Rica to do a, like a one-on-one me and my sister my sister, my brother-in-law and my best friend. We're going down to call in the baby to transition to fatherhood. And I've I've, you know, one of the leading psychedelic psychotherapy personal world is like working with me specifically.

Five day program in nature, no phone, a number of ceremony all to, to shift from this like selfish person that like wants to build and like, you know, the validation and all these, like things that I've struggled with to like this strong giving dad figure and to kind of like fade into the background of my own life.

So that's kind of the first step is like coming into the pregnancy without tweaked out nervous system, especially like around the first year of the baby. touching a baby. Their heart rate will sink. So the heart rate variability, like it's done through touch, especially in developing.

And so if you're like, you know, tweaked out drinking fees all day working, is that. And the goal is like, and it's going to be really hard for me. Cause I'm so excited what we're building and like want to build more and I'm like super energetic person. So it's just, how do I bring the right nervous system?

So that's one thing that's on my mind. The other thing is supporting my, my wife. Like just what does she need? How do I help her be the best mom? And so those two things are kind of like my intentions for the ceremony.

[00:53:17] Brandon Stover: What are your daily practices look right now as you're regulating yourself, you know, going through a startup, anybody that's tried to launch a startup, knows how stressful it can be.

[00:53:25] Robbie Bent: de SAC and man, I'm like, you know, I just, I could come on and say like, Hey, I got this hour morning routine that I've had in the past. And like just being fully honest. Yeah, man. There's times when it sucks and you know, you get too busy, I'm drinking too much coffee and it's just really hard to manage all this stuff.

So people are listening. And entire life dedicated to the stuff I've done, like a year of Quito. And like,

it's like a chicken breast in a bag in my pocket, so I could eat properly and I just wild stuff and you know, not any of that. And it happens, you fall off the wagon. And so, you know, I'm, I'm going to the gym a couple of times a week, which is like non-negotiable, which is great. I don't drink, I don't smoke.

As I mentioned, I have breathwork practice in the morning non-negotiable and so it's usually a quick up at six minutes to get my energy going. And then I like to walk to get coffee and I listened to a down session while I'm walking. And so that's a really nice, like under 15 minute habit where I get sunshine in the eyes and get my coffee.

I'm doing some breath work so by, by normal stretch, you know, of, of person, like, I would say still healthy, but I'm eating, you know, a lot of Uber eats, I get stressed and then I don't eat all day because I'm drinking coffee.

And then like, you know, it's like massive cheeseburger pizza, and that's been a problem for me for the last like year and a half and something I've been having trouble kicking while my nervous system is tweaked. And I kind of just not really judging myself at this point.

So, you know, feeling pretty good overall with those practices, but, but overwhelmed and that's okay too.

[00:54:48] Brandon Stover: Yeah, I think that's a good example. Even like somebody who has access to all this, there's building a company around this to show that like all of us fall off the wagon on sometimes, and these practices are hard to keep up with and it'll take a lifetime to be able to, you know, fully integrate them.

[00:55:02] Robbie Bent: Um, You know, had like one time, three hour morning routine and it would be like, oh, it's in between companies. Wasn't doing much, like I needed to be healthy. So it's, you know, 40 minutes meditation, 30 minutes breath work, like 30 minutes of stretching. Like do you know daily journal, like the whole thing.

And then I have times now, or, you know, I don't have any morning routine or it's just this little breathwork fun and that's, I feel the same happiness. So it's, it's interesting to like set the tone for your day and to help with your willpower, for sure. Like this stuff helps. But I think the main thing is just be kind to yourself.

You know, when you, if you, if you miss something like fine, that's okay.

[00:55:42] Brandon Stover: for our listeners who aren't able to make it to the real life space, how could they maybe get started with breath work combined with a protocol of like cold shower or a sauna at the gym? Kind of, you know, hacking their way through this.

[00:55:54] Robbie Bent: Most easy. We have a, we have a two week free trial on the app and we can put a link in, so you can just download it and like test it out. What I'd recommend is that the up section, testing it in the morning to, to boost your energy, maybe in conjunction with your meditation or coffee, I'd recommend trying the down sessions after work or before sleep.

And I would recommend once a week, one of these long, like 30 to 60 minute explorers, I usually those are like the first five to 10 to 20 are like ma impactful as your nervous. System's getting used to shutting down and processing emotion. And over time, you know, you start to do those kinds of like once a month or if you have a group over in a community and it can be quite fun.

So that's how I would recommend using the app. And you can get started. Now, if accessibility is an issue, you can just DM me on Twitter and let me know. And we have a scholarship program. You can apply for it. Super simple. You can just DM me and we'll give to X. For cold, you know, cold shower, right? Like simplest thing you can do is if your shower goes cold, just at the end of the shower, after you're done washing your hair or whatever, 30 seconds just, you know, fully crank to cold.

And we have some articles about how to do this, but fully cranked to cold and just catch your breath. So practice, you're gonna, your body's gonna hyperventilate. It's going to be triggering her up and our friend that neuro-transmitter for mood, attention, vigilance. And you're just going to catch your breath through long slow exhales, try and do like three deep breaths, not deep in deep out.

So like nice, long, slow. It should be about 10 seconds in total. And if you do that three times, that's 30 seconds. So the magic is just in three breasts and it's not like, Hey, I did this cold shower this one time for five minutes and I never did it again. It's about building a habit. So every shower you're comfortable.

And then after, you know, you've done 7, 10, 20, 1 30, okay. this.

is part of my habit. Now you can start going longer. It can be one minute. It can be two minutes, but anyone can do that at home. And you'll feel when you come out alive, you know, you'll feel like you've had that cough. You'll just feel amazing.

So cold shower is just like, boom, I'm in the zone, ready to go. I'm like ready for the day. So that that's easy to do. And the recommended, you know, if you have access to an ice bath, you can do it yourself with a chest freezer at home for a couple hundred. About eight minutes of a week is optimal. So, you know, four days of two minutes is like, fantastic.

And then for a sauna, you know, sort of like three to four, let's call it 80 minutes. So four 20 minute sessions and they can be done. You could do two 20 minute sessions twice a week. That's, that's sort of like pretty good. I personally like five sessions, but you know, for a sauna trying to get in as much as possible as well.

And so that can be an infrared sauna at your house. If you have the space and it's affordable, if not, it can be local gym, local bathhouse helping, like our leadership is everywhere. So you can go and do three or four sessions a week post-workout or in your social time,

[00:58:41] Brandon Stover: yeah. Okay. Well, is there anything else you would like to leave our listeners with today before I get to my last question?

[00:58:47] Robbie Bent: No, that was great. I think I feel it was really nice to kind of share a lot of my personal stories. What I'm struggling with, be a little vulnerable for an audience. You know, try to just share, Hey, this worked for me, this didn't and that's okay.

[00:58:59] Brandon Stover: Yeah. Well, I appreciate you sharing those even the vulnerable ones. My last question is how can we push the world to evolve?

[00:59:05] Robbie Bent: The one that's coming to mind. I mean, there's many answers for this, but the one that's coming to mind is just that, you know, you can control your own nervous system state, and you can do it. And you know, a few minutes you can create space, right? So you can create space to shift your state or it's out.

And as soon as you understand that, you know, these negative thoughts, this overstimulation, it's like feelings of depression. It's like, Hey, I actually have a tool that can hijack my physiological nervous system. And I think of everyone knew that, you know, three minutes I can push the gas pedal or push the brake on my nervous system and change my state.

That's really powerful. Really, really powerful because it's going to help with like depression, fear, anxiety, nervousness health. So I think that's kind of the main, it's just creating space to, to shift your state.

[00:59:54] Brandon Stover: Awesome. Well, thank you Ravi, for coming on the show, we'll put links to all the resources that we talked about today, including the app and the physical space. But I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your expertise and your stories.

[01:00:07] Robbie Bent: Amazing. Thanks for having me. Brandon loved it.

[01:00:10] Brandon Stover: Thank you for listening to the evolve. Podcasts links to everything we discussed today are available in the show. Notes. Transcripts are also available in the show notes and everything can be viewed on our website at evolve. The doc world that's evolve the.world.

My one ask for you is to share this episode with others. If you know someone who is interested in social impact, social entrepreneurship, or just making a difference in the world, please share this episode. The challenges in our world need all of those who can contribute to existing solutions or create entirely new ones. so please share the show with those kind intelligent people who are just like you until next time my friend keep evolving.

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