Activating Your Internal Pharmacy, Accessing Non-Ordinary States, & Sustaining Peak Performance via Breath

  |   EP135   |   77 mins.

Adam Lewis

On this episode of Mind Body Peak Performance, Nick has a conversation with Adam Lewis of Othership. They dive deep into the world of breathwork.

Tune in as they share insights on breathwork for emotional balance, the science behind various breathwork techniques, and its impact on physical performance and mental well-being. Discover the power of observation, the interplay between breathwork and meditation, and the mastery of non-ordinary states.

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Episode Highlights

If we are fully in our sense of self-worth, then we'll just naturally do the things that we know are good for us because we feel just deserving to be in that higher state. Share on XBreathwork's amazing but there are definitely some things you want to be cautious of like muscle spasms, vision, and ringing in your ears. Share on XWe are sensory-dominant beings. And just because we can't see, taste, smell, feel, or hear something doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. Share on XEverything that triggers you or elicits some kind of emotional bond is going to reflect some part of you. Share on X

About Adam Lewis

Adam has spent years performing and working in the health and wellness space as a founder, facilitator, and athlete. His passion for wellbeing was greatly amplified by his time as an internationally competitive sprinter, obsessing over uncovering new modalities to increase physical performance which naturally evolved into seeking optimization of total well-being across mind, body, and spirit. In embarking on this path he inevitably set himself on the trajectory of exploring the realms of the esoteric, psychedelic, breath, and beyond.

Adam’s curiosity to continually learn, evolve, and help others is what motivates him to expand my presence to make an impact on his own life and those around him. These days it is spent applying his learnings and embodying practices to support and strengthen others through hot, cold, breath with his work at Othership. All as part of his dedicated mission to be in service to the community and collective.

Top Things You’ll Learn From Adam Lewis

  • Breathwork techniques: variety and purpose
    • Explore breathwork styles and benefits.
    • The different forms of breathwork: down-regulating, fire breath, Wim Hof method
    • Effects and side effects of various forms of breathwork
  • Conscious breathing for emotional regulation
    • Understand the role of breath in emotional balance
    • The importance of self-observation and building healthy habits
    • Emotional and mental health through releasing stuck energy
    • Using breathwork to release emotions and connect with the body
    • The importance of self-observation and building healthy habits
  • Safety and considerations for breathwork
    • Understand the importance of safe breathwork practices.
    • Practical applications of breathwork: sleep, before events, & stress regulation
    • The challenge of integrating breathwork into daily routines
  • Science and physiology of breathwork
    • The influence of breathwork on blood flow and lactic acid levels during exercise
    • The Bohr effect and conscious breathing practices
    • Understanding the mind-body connection
    • Creating a feeling of calm and pleasurable highs through specific breathing techniques
  • Nasal breathing benefits for health
    • Discover the advantages of nasal breathing
    • Define holotropic breathwork
    • Nasal breathing, nitric oxide production, and muscle oxygenation
  • Changing beliefs and personal growth
    • Shifting beliefs about nutrition and dietary approaches
    • The importance of listening, stillness, and emotional balance
    • Triggers and opportunities for personal growth

Resources Mentioned

  • Gear: Othership App
  • Resource: Brian MacKenzie
  • Resource: Stanislav Grof
  • Book: Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
  • Teacher: Carl Jung
  • Teacher: Chögyam Trungpa
  • Teacher: Nikola Tesla

Episode Transcript

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Nick Urban [00:00:05]:

What is the fastest, safest, and arguably best way to shift your mind and body into a more desirable state? Hi. I’m Nick Urban, host of the Mindbody Peak Performance podcast. And in this episode, we’re doing a deep dive on all things breath work. We discuss how to use breathwork to accomplish and enhance any of your goals, the science, theory and different forms of breathwork, some of the myths and misconceptions. And then towards the end, we take a bit of a detour, And we go beyond the scientific materialist paradigm to chat about some of the things that are a bit harder to quantify yet are very real, and how you can harness these to improve the quality of your life? Our guest this week is Adam Lewis. Adam is a founder in the health and wellness space, a facilitator, and an athlete. Adam was an internationally competitive sprinter, and like me, he developed an obsession for uncovering new modalities to increase and push the bounds of His physical performance. Over time, that obsession morphed and evolved into a desire to optimize the full human experience, The mind, the body, and the spirit.

Nick Urban [00:01:32]:

That journey has taken him across the realms of the esoteric, into psychedelics and most notably to this conversation, breath work, which actually merges multiple of these realms into 1? You can find the show notes to everything we discuss at And if you wanna check out the Othership breathwork app, Adam has arranged a special 1 month free trial for all Mindbody P Performance listeners. Just click the link in the show notes, and you’ll immediately unlock that discount. And, yes, you don’t need any app to harness the power and the full capabilities of your breath? But I find that the app makes it much easier to stay consistent. It gamifies it and makes the whole experience a lot more fun. And if you’re like me, breath work isn’t exactly the most fun? It’s called breath work for a reason. So it’s a very easy habit to let slip. I call the app the Spotify of breathwork simply because it works, and it’s quite easy to navigate, actually more so than Spotify, in my opinion.

Nick Urban [00:02:48]:

So if you find this conversation interesting, check it out, and they do have some free breath work sessions as well. We had a good time recording this episode. So, ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax, and enjoy this conversation with Adam Lewis. Adam Lewis, welcome to MINDBODY Peak Performance.

Adam Lewis [00:03:09]:

Thanks so much, Nick. Happy to be here.

Nick Urban [00:03:11]:

I’m glad to have you. And today, we are gonna be covering something that’s in your wheelhouse, and that is all things breathwork. And to kick us off today, will you tell us and interesting fact or stat or something to foreshadow our conversation about breathwork?

Adam Lewis [00:03:28]:

Yeah. I guess the one thing that comes to mind is, know, Breathwork is really having its moment right now. It’s getting popular, and, really, a lot of people are adopting it, but it’s not new. People seem to think it’s, like, this new trendy thing, but it’s actually been used in so many traditions, so many practices from millennia back, and the yogic traditions of India, the Taoist practices in China, indigenous cultures, in Judaism, concept of ruach, like breath is life. Breath is this ancient part of Something that’s already been inherently part of who we are as humans and what’s quite literally the life force behind our existence.

Nick Urban [00:04:06]:

Well, Adam, your answer to this Can include breath work. But so far today, what unusual nonnegotiables have you done for your health, your performance, and your bioharmony?

Adam Lewis [00:04:17]:

This is a great question. And when you mentioned it at first, I was like, oh my god. Like, there’s so many the breath was actually one of the later things that I discovered to, really add to my vitality. And I was just thinking back on all these different things that I do and practices that have gone into my health performance and bio harmony that kind of drop into 3 buckets of like mind, body, and spirit. And it’s cool because your show is called mind body peak, and perhaps that peak is that spirit or whatever that, you know, unnamed category can be category can be. So I started to think back of, you know, where this all really began. And it really did start in the physical realm when I was a professional sprinter, and I was, you know, Really in this world of measuring everything quantifiably. So sprinting in a sport that comes down to 100 of seconds, I was, like, super competitive.

Adam Lewis [00:05:09]:

So I was, like, Had to figure out what can I do to optimize my training and recovery? And this got me really early into a lot of the quantified cell stuff. So I started all trying all the different diets, you know, paleo, keto, you know, Whole30, all of those ones. The ketone one was interesting because, you know, I was pricking my blood, measuring my blood ketones, taking MCT oils, exogenous ketones. That was definitely less than unusual, but one little modality. The more esoteric stuff was starting to get into meditation, mindfulness, Measuring my HRV and actually using breath just for that intent, for conscious breathing to modulate my heart rate variability. And then, you know, moved into stuff like, I guess this is where it gets funny is, I guess, in the world of unusual, like, Really being conscious of EMF exposure and understanding that EMS can have a profound impact on our physiology, our neurology, and our the entirety of our system. And then I guess if we wanna get into, like, the weirder stuff, like, you know, light exposure as well. So light also has a frequency.

Adam Lewis [00:06:16]:

Not just red lights, but, You know, sunlight on my balls for, you know, activating the late cells, which stimulate the luteinizing hormone in the pituitary gland, which triggers the release of testosterone, which As we know, it’s significantly, effective for repairing muscles and contributing to our vitality. On that note too, like, Semen retention is another form of a health practice that has profoundly affected overall vitality, energy, focus, concentration. And, yeah, there’s I mean, that’s a little bit to bite off right now, but in terms of the world of weird, that’s there’s just scratched the surface of, What’d I get into?

Nick Urban [00:06:55]:

Yeah. So I had no idea that our journeys were so closely aligned. And then let’s dig more into your experience with the breath?

Adam Lewis [00:07:06]:

Yeah. So breath was really interesting. Because as I mentioned, it was something that came like, this is over a decade ago, came into my life it’s just a way of using one of those old HeartMath, devices that plugged into my iPad, and I could modulate my HRV, at the end of a training day to move into parasympathetic to enhance recovery. So that was just basic, steady inhale, exhale. And that was the limit of, you know, my use of breath as a tool. And it was only, later in my life, like, Probably, like, during the pandemic when, I heard about Wim Hof and what he was doing, obviously, the ice man jumping in cold water and Using Bretha is this tool. And I think like many of us during the pandemic, we were stuck at home looking for ways to look after ourselves or entertain ourselves even. And, no.

Adam Lewis [00:07:55]:

Even after my sprinting career ended, optimizing biohacking, like, health and wellness has just, like, always been this common thread, like, uncovering human potential. So what I found myself doing was just a lot of sitting at home, throwing on, like, a Wim Hof breathing activity, Doing it, having these, like, really cool somatic experiences, and then even some, like, you know, pretty cool, like, changes that I could feel my, emotional mental states. And then that led me to jumping into Lake Ontario in the middle of the winter just with this. Okay. Like, this crazy guy’s doing it. Must be safe. And then the breath being this portal into the colds and then cold exposure becoming huge part of my life. But then just realizing how much of a powerful agent that the breath can be for doing things that I previously thought I could not do? That just opened up this whole realm of curiosity into what else is out there.

Adam Lewis [00:08:46]:

And that’s where I first came across inward breath work. Now other ship, where they I got hit with an ad on Facebook. Hey. We’re doing a live Zoom breath work, you know, this Sunday at 10 AM and logged on to that, went through the breath work experience and Finish it off in tears, big emotional release, and new, like, there’s something here. There’s a lot here actually in terms of using this tool as something that we can actually, use to shift our state for powerful emotional release?

Nick Urban [00:09:20]:

Can you, like, classify the different types of breathwork? Because I know in other ship, it’s divided into a certain way. And I think it’ll be useful to understand how this can be, like, Increasing your tolerance to cold and then also at the same time can lead to, like, an emotional release, and those might seem like they’re on opposite end of the spectrum.

Adam Lewis [00:09:37]:

Yeah. Absolutely. So at other ship, we classify the breathwork into mainly 3 different styles. So up, an up style, which is up regulated breathing, a down style, which is down regulated in an all around, which is a bit of both. And the main difference between these is gonna be an up regulated breath is when we’re doing long inhales and short exhales? So in 2, 3. And really oxygening the system upregulating, and this is a sympathetically activating? So the autonomic nervous system moving us into that more aware, present, active fight or flight type of state, Which does have a lot of benefit for, like, in when you’re a sprinter or any athlete and you wanna have that nervous system ready to fire, having that sympathetic activation to be ready to go What is the fastest? It’s actually incredibly powerful for peak performance. The other style on the other side of the spectrum is that parasympathetic activation. So the other branch of the autonomic nervous system that we want to have to down regulate, to shut off and move out of that fight or flight state, which I would say is even more important to know how to Engage.

Adam Lewis [00:10:44]:

Because in modern day, most of us are stressed out, anxious in a society that does really put people more often than not in an unnecessarily, activated state in that fight or flight? So a superpower is that ability to consciously use your breath to do? A slow inhale and it’s even slower exhale. So, like, into, out for 4, into, out for 8, to take us out of that sympathetic state into that rest and digest that parasympathetic state, which is where we recover, where we can be more present, Which is where we can actually move into a restful state to recover and get back after it the next day. So those are the 2, I guess, main branches that people should know about and that are just so easily accessible to us? Even in the context of training, you know, I wish I When I was an athlete, I knew this because when we’re training, right, you’re at the gym, you’re in the weight room, you’re sprinting, we’re sympathetically activated, like Ramping up the cortisol, like, really going for it. And then as soon as we’re done training, we wanna enter into that recovery state. So we wanna, like, cut off that sympathetic, state? Move into that parasympathetic as soon as possible to start the release of testosterone, the recovery mechanisms to happen, We can do a few rounds of that or a few rounds of those slow breaths or physiological size, all of these tools to move us into that parasympathetic state?

Nick Urban [00:12:24]:

Why box breathing if the each of the counts are 4? It’s not longer exhalation than inhalation per se. So why would you wanna do that instead of something like a 4, 7, 8 where the exhale is gonna be longer than the inhale?

Adam Lewis [00:12:39]:

It’s about that steadying state. So by doing the box breathing, it’s just creating its very consistent, predictable, steady state that allows us to not have this uncertainty ahead of us, but allows us to bring us into this level of just safety, predictability, controlled state? So not concerned about the things around us, but just right in the present of we know what’s happening, and we’re taking control of our physiology. Yeah.

Nick Urban [00:13:03]:

Yeah. It’s interesting. Our brains are prediction machines, and the ability to actually predict what’s gonna happen next has, like, so many downstream beneficial consequences. We’re able to Properly. And if we aren’t sure that we’re gonna we’re gonna do it properly, then that, like, nervousness, that fear, that worry, that anxiety, that can creep up and Impact us for the worse.

Adam Lewis [00:13:24]:

Totally. And that’s, you know, where I think there’s also a lot of power in doing the more, the holotropic styles of breathing or the areas that are, borderline psychedelic where we can even achieve, with the upregulated breath, where We can do this upregulated breathing that can start to actually reduce some of the blood flow to their prefrontal cortex. And this is where You know, the ego, the rational mind, the monkey mind, the chatter lives. And then as that starts to quiet down, we can move into the and that’s, like, you know, the executive function that Tries to be in control of that prediction machine. And once that’s just to quiet down, that’s when we can start to enter the unconscious landscape of the mind where It is inherently unpredictable, but that’s also where you know what? I believe most of our world is actually operating, and that’s the ego. That’s you know, the puppet to what’s actually happening back there?

Nick Urban [00:14:16]:

I certainly wanna discuss holotropic breathing and that whole style. That feels like it’s a whole different category to me. Well, before we go on from the physical and mental performance side, have you heard of someone named Brian McKenzie, I wanna say?

Adam Lewis [00:14:29]:

The name rings a bell, but I’m not gonna BS soon. How did I do?

Nick Urban [00:14:32]:

So he was, like, a physical performance researcher, and he worked with a lot of he worked with a lot of high level athletes. And, specifically, his focus was on endurance or is on endurance. And his approach to breath work around this is actually to trained athletes to stay in parasympathetic as long as possible and then only towards the end to actually Go into, like, the sympathetic overdrive kind of state where you’re able to really expend all your resources because there’s research out there showing that after, like, 45 minutes of intense exercise, whether it’s on the field or in the gym or whatever, on a run? Your levels of stress hormones, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine, all that stuff, It’s it goes so high and stays elevated for so long that the recovery is significantly impaired, and The amount you’re able to recover in a reasonable amount of time just goes way down so that for most people, it doesn’t make sense to work out longer than that if You’re working out in a sympathetic state the entire time. So that’s why, like, the general recommendation is trending towards to keep workouts under 45 minutes unless you really know what you’re doing. So it’s interesting to see, like, how the breath can play such an important role in modulating our stress hormones.

Adam Lewis [00:15:48]:

Totally, man. And, like, That makes a ton of sense. And I’m sure as you’ve realized too, like, you don’t need more than 45 minutes to get a good workout in. And that’s also what I’ve loved about sprinting is, you know, the high intensity That you can bang out, like, exhaustive, powerful workout even 20 minutes. It doesn’t need to be as marathon of, like, slow movement and Unnecessary, like drawn out. It’s like, hit it hard, hit it fast, like explosive powerful, and the body is going to respond really well to that. Especially I mean, that’s where you can also dissect things into, like, are you type 2 or type 1 dominant? If you’re a sprinter, you’re likely to have type 2 dominance, but, you know, that type of person is going to respond better to that high intensity, that fast, workout? But there’s still a lot of merit too, I think too. Like, like a slow run.

Adam Lewis [00:16:39]:

Like, is, like, being a long state of zone 2 cardio, and we did some really cool research with doctor Greg Wells. We actually produced on the other ship breathwork track, like, a running and breathing, breath work track that I would definitely recommend people try out? There’s a lot of cool research behind it, but one of the important things about breathing properly when you’re running too Is that you’re ensuring that there’s proper blood flow to your legs that, isn’t always, like, being brought to awareness, at least for the general public. Because if we’re not breathing properly at a regular cadence when we’re running, there’s gonna be decreased blood flow to the legs, then they’re gonna get heavier faster. And then your whole, workout or race even can be compromised. And there’s even, you know, the use of proper blood for Modulating our lactic acid levels, right, for that acid pH buffering. So, as a sprinter, like, I ran the 200 meter, 300, 400 meter, in the 300, like, that lactic acid sets in, and you’re crying for the last bit of the race? And if there’s a way to actually what I wish I knew was that there was a way that I could have buffered the onset of that lactic acid through pre alkylizing my body With the breath. I was taking baking soda instead, which worked pretty well, but there’s always there’s always more to this world.

Nick Urban [00:17:55]:

Yeah. That’s a classic ergogenic aid, baking soda. And, also, it’s really interesting to see how breathing affects so much of our, like, neurophysiology and, like, our endocrine system and blood flow in general? Like, I guess most people when they run or exercise, they’re not thinking that much about their breathing. They focus more on, like, the actual workout? But I know that when I switched over from, mouth breathing to nose breathing, my performance went way up across the board. And for, like, the occasional, like, really difficult sprint, I will mouth breathe still. But for the most part, even when I’m sprinting, I’ll I’ll nose breathe until I get to a certain threshold, then I’ll I’ll switch over and mouth breathe? But that was, like, a a little tweak that looked ridiculous when I was the one who, like, initially taped my mouth over while I was running so I wouldn’t be tempted to. And I gradually I gradually ramped up, but, like, there’s so many little tweaks like that you can make. And it’s I don’t even know all the different ways that you can apply strategic breathing throughout your day and life? But I’m sure there’s a lot of them.

Adam Lewis [00:18:54]:

Tons. And, like, dude, the, I need the mouth tape. Like, I do that My sleep, like, the we have chronic mouth breathing syndrome, like, societally. And why mouth breathing is my nasal breathing is so important because Forged you to breathe into your diaphragm, which actually takes in far more oxygen than mouth breathing, which is what keeps it shallow in in our lungs. And that short, shallow breathing Increases that proclivity for that, like, fight or flight, that overly anxious and stressed out state. And what’s really cool about what you did too is, like, maybe you knew this or not, but Nasal breathing also increases our endogenous nitric oxide production, which is gonna be that vasodilator. It’s why people take preworkouts, like, argin with arginine or citrulline to dial out those blood vessels, to get more oxygen to the muscles, to get that sick pump, or just have better, performance? So Like you said, there’s just so many applications from, like, the DeskJockey to the Sprinter. It’s, again, it’s just, like, one of these incredible tools that I’m really cool like, Really stoked to see everybody starting to become aware of.

Nick Urban [00:19:52]:

Yeah. And the nose does. I think it’s, like, 30 or so different functions that the mouth doesn’t when you breathe through it. So, like, there’s so much

Adam Lewis [00:19:59]:

the air. It’s Yeah. Like, it there’s so much.

Nick Urban [00:20:02]:

Yeah. Do you know have you heard of the Bohr effect?

Adam Lewis [00:20:05]:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Nick Urban [00:20:05]:

Can you describe that? Like, summarize what it is because I think that’s an important concept for people to understand about breathing and oxygenation and CO 2 and how CO 2 isn’t necessarily A villain.

Adam Lewis [00:20:16]:

Yeah. It’s it’s funny that you say that because CO 2 is perceived as this villain. It’s like, oh, if it’s not oxygen, it’s gotta be bad, but It’s actually it’s important to have healthy regulation of c o two and oxygen. So with the Bohr effect, it is that affinity for or that balancing of oxygen in our blood? So when we do something like an upregulated breath, then we big hold on full, then we exhale and hold on empty? What that hold on empty is going to do is produce a lot of Carbon dioxide. This buildup of CO 2 in our blood, which we think is gonna be bad for us. But then what the Bohr effect is going to do is now we’ve what we’ve primed the cells, The receptors so that when we get oxygen, they’re calling it in. We’re increasing this affinity for oxygen. So when we were met with that next breath of life, There’s like, oh, we were starving.

Adam Lewis [00:21:06]:

Bring give bring us the oxygen. And now we’re actually pulling more oxygen into those red blood cells, which is gonna in turn have all these cascading effects on just All the reasons, like more energy, more cellular respiration, you know, the a to z of the benefits of having more oxygen. So in life? You know, it’s like the yin yang. There’s, like, the good, the bad, and everything. So balancing out the CO 2 and the, O 2 is super important. And, Again, that’s where, like, these conscious breathing practices can be super, super effective.

Nick Urban [00:21:35]:

Yeah. The way I understand, like, in summary, The effect of the Bohr effect is basically that in the short term, if you increase carbon dioxide levels, then when you breathe next, your body’s able to better utilize, oxygen itself? So you’re actually having, like, a net oxygenation effect by increasing CO 2 temporarily.

Adam Lewis [00:21:56]:

Exactly. It’s super cool. It’s yeah. Just, again, one of the little things that and once you learn, it’s like, okay. Like, A bit of oxygen starvation is actually gonna be good for me.

Nick Urban [00:22:07]:

Yeah. And you also said something a second ago I wanna double click into, and that is the difference between holding after an exhale versus an inhale? How do you choose those? And this is something that I didn’t think much about until semi recently.

Adam Lewis [00:22:21]:

So what we usually do with our styles of breathing is we’ll do like a hyper, like a holotropic style, like a hyperventilation almost that Bringing a lot of oxygen in. We can do a big hole on full and then sort of saturate and then push it all out. So then we have this we’ve kind of presaturated our system with Oxygen to then be able to hold on empty for a prolonged duration. Whether it it could be a I’ve done it up to 3 minutes with a hold on empty because of that preoxygenation. But then we’re still in that starved state, so then that’s engaging that Bohr effect of we don’t have oxygen in us? We’re going to start to have that, affinity produced, that calling in for oxygen So that we come back to that next hold, that big hold on full after creating the affinity and just, like, dumping a bunch of fuel back into the tank And then it getting really well absorbed in. And it feels I mean, to me, it’s, like, one of the coolest feelings. It honestly produces highs that, you know, would Replicate anything that, you chase from a substance.

Nick Urban [00:23:24]:

It’s true. It really does. And I’ve struggled to understand why hyperventilating like that and then holding after an exhale would really, like, settle the nerves and calm the way it does? Because it seems to me like it should have the opposite effect, but it certainly is calming to me.

Adam Lewis [00:23:39]:

It’s interesting that I’ve also had the same thought, and I don’t have the answer. But I think part of it can tie into what we were just mentioning around that safety and uncertainty where there’s been this uncertainty produced of, you know, the unconscious, the nervous system, when am I getting my next breath? But, oh, shit. I’m fine. So something about this inner confidence being produced that we don’t have a regular faculty with us, but we’re still here.

Nick Urban [00:24:03]:

Would you wanna hold on an inhale? So, say, like, that is holding after an exhale, then when would I inhale my lungs full of air, my diaphragm full of air, and then I would just hold right there?

Adam Lewis [00:24:13]:

That would be for that further oxygen saturation. So once we’ve exhaled, we’ve inhaled, and now we’ve got that air in our lungs, in our diaphragm, that before we could just push it right out, there’s still that absorption that’s happening until eventually just sort of we’ve taken as much as we can, and then we’re ready to push it out.

Nick Urban [00:24:30]:

Oh, okay. But there aren’t breathwork practices where you hold, say, for 2 or 3 minutes after inhaling. It seems like it’s usually after the exhale. You you let the air back out, and then you hold it there.

Adam Lewis [00:24:40]:

I’m sure there are. Like, I can’t speak to how other, you know, methods are developed, and I’m sure there is benefit to doing both. Just in my experience, it’s like those holds on empty that I find a lot of value, but we still do, like, big hold on full and have similar effects. Sometimes I actually just forget where, like, am I full or empty right now? Because I’ve just been found still in this state of stillness.

Nick Urban [00:25:03]:

So let’s walk through some of the, like, different use cases and benefits. We’ve already touched on the physical for sure and a little bit about the mental. Also, there’s clearly a spiritual component here or, like, something that’s beyond the mental and physical.

Adam Lewis [00:25:16]:

Absolutely. And that’s Definitely where I see myself going personally and more of my interest in terms of, you know, optimization of mind, body, emotional body and then spirit? I think there’s a through line for all of them, which is this natural curiosity for uncovering human potential. And for me, some of the most profound breathwork experiences I have had haven’t been through, like, up regulating myself before a workout or down regulating myself into an epic sleep, but through, like, a holotropic breath work session I’ve done that has induced, like, a psychedelic state. And in these, Call it not gonna call them psychedelic, but I guess in a non ordinary state of consciousness where emotions start to come up. And I think it gets Somewhat spiritual when it’s not necessarily things coming out of me, but what feels like, you know, transmissions coming through to me, in these non or non ordinary states where we are to be like the antenna, and there’s a universal frequency that’s trying to find the right radio? And that’s, I think, through again these That ability to shift our brainwaves or our conscious states into something that isn’t as distracted by the chattering mind or the ego.

Nick Urban [00:26:33]:

Yeah. I’ve always been curious, like, what the mechanism or mechanisms are at play because you’re not the only one who talks about holotropic breathing and other forms of breathing and we’re downloads and connecting something larger and all this, and it doesn’t seem like there’s any one clear mechanism that would explain all of this. And, like, down regulation of the nervous system, sure. Modulated brainwaves, sure. Modulated endocrine system, sure. But there’s gotta be, like, something else out there that’s explaining how this works so powerfully.

Adam Lewis [00:27:00]:

Yeah. And I I wish I had the answers. You know, some people have said it’s there’s DMT that’s endogenously released in your lungs, Dimethyltryptamine, which is a tremendously powerful compound that the molecule that we can produce in our own, pineal gland, but also apparently in the lungs? I don’t think that’s been verified. So, you can fact check it, listeners, but I haven’t seen anything conclusive. But All I can speak to are the experiences that I’ve had through these really profound, breath work experiences that do mimic, psychedelic experiences that I’ve had with different Plant medicines.

Nick Urban [00:27:38]:

Yeah. Adam, so for people who have only heard of Wim Hof and maybe a couple of the different forms of breathing we’ve now mentioned on this episode, will you explain what holotropic breathing and these different forms of breathing are? Like, how do they differ from your other sessions?

Adam Lewis [00:27:52]:

So Holotropic breath work was developed by, Stanislav Groff. He was a psychiatrist, like, researcher, just like a real, like, breath work OG. And it’s actually very simple. So it’s rather than doing this, like, in 4 0 2, it’s actually just developing this very circular rhythmic breathing, with music? So the session I did was 5 hours straight of nonstop. Like, I actually can’t believe I still did that. So we were in we separated. It was a full day. We had a guy come in, get his own speakers, playlist, And we were trip sitting for, one another where 1 person was just there breathing nonstop in its circular rhythm to this, like, Wicked tribal music that I do think is a huge compliment and catalyst to inducing these non ordinary states because we know things like drumming, can also induce these non ordinary states.

Adam Lewis [00:28:47]:

So it’s in this rhythmic breathing that we’re obviously shifting out of our default What is the fastest state of consciousness just through, like, I’m not here in this, you know, normal operating stand, sitting here with my body awareness, with my breath, moving through this rhythmic breathing that doesn’t actually just induce this really fascinating yeah. Like, portal is how I describe it where things are shut of some visualization start coming up, emotions, things that, like, I haven’t thought of in months or years just start to surface. And I think it’s just due to that sort of muting of what my monkey mind is trying to think of and then what else is trying to come through me or come through me or through me?

Nick Urban [00:29:28]:

I’ve tried a lot of different forms of breath work over the years. I have not done holotropic breathing simply because It’s daunting. The 5 hours that you just explained is a lot a big chunk to bite off. Are there ways of inducing similar states via breathing in less time?

Adam Lewis [00:29:45]:

Absolutely. You just definitely don’t need the 5 hours. That was extreme, and that’s where I’ve I mean, honestly, in the short of, like, 10 minutes I’ve had full blown, like, pass out DMT like experiences? And that’s through a hyperventilated In, out, in, out, hold on full, push all the air out, holding on empty, and then having like, yeah, just like, I’ve, like, Literally just find myself like this, waking up and having to recalibrate, like, where am I? And the imagery is very similar to some DMT experiences I’ve had to some other plant medicines where it just like it feels like I’m just seeing symbols and Some other, like if you ever, like, remember, like, an old TV where you can, like, flip through the channels, and it’s just, like, static and then, like, always weird. That’s kinda what it what it feels like.

Nick Urban [00:30:36]:

Will you explain the safety? You mentioned that you kinda passed out, and I’m sure that’s gonna concern some people listening in. Like, of course, there’s certain considerations, like, you don’t wanna do these of breathing? A lot of different forms of breathing while you’re in a body of water, while you’re driving, or something like that. But, like, if you’re at home, sitting on a cushion, Maybe laying down are there any, like, considerations you wanna have before either doing holotropic breathing or other forms?

Adam Lewis [00:31:02]:

Yeah. I mean, there’s definitely a lot. I do things with a lot of intensity. So, like, this doesn’t necessarily happen to everyone, but in the name of, yeah, of, like, Practicing safety and just, like, having safety considerations before doing breath work. One is always to just think of, like, do you have any respiratory issues? While breath work has been proven to help strengthen the lungs and even improved breathing, you know, with those with COPD or asthma. If you have lung damage that could be irritated, there’s obviously like The huge cardiovascular impact of breath work usually for the positive, but cardiac arrhythmia, slowing of heart rate, high blood pressure, like, Stuff like that can be thrown out of whack with Breathworks. So having, like, your heart rate, blood pressure checked before doing any of these, like, intense holotropic experiences Certainly, like, definitely needs actually attention. If you’re like, any recent injuries or surgeries, even again, like, also when you’re just, like, playing with blood flow, and vision issues have come up for some people where people that might have some, like, retinal detachment need to be really concerned, unlike the mental wellness side of things too.

Adam Lewis [00:32:07]:

So while it’s been helpful for managing anxiety, depression, PTSD, that there’s still an element of, we’re playing with some brain chemistry here. So for that procedure disorders, even aneurysms. So the dizziness Does come with that playing of the chemistry that we were talking about with that oxygen and that c o two. So breath work and properly can limit that amount of oxygen entering the body resulting in some of that dizziness and light headedness? And I think that’s what actually happens to me. So I’m a bit of a cowboy, so I’m not like I trust if I go, I’m gonna come back. But, you know, for for me to be more susceptible to that dizziness might Something that you guys should get looked at. There’s other, like, cool things that happen, like the tingling of extremities or the, I can’t remember. But, like, if you do a lot of breath work and then your hands start to claw up And, it’s like this normal thing that happens, but can freak some people out.

Adam Lewis [00:32:59]:

And there’s gonna also just do that chemical changing. Also say is, like, is amazing, but there’s definitely some things you wanna be cautious of and, like, muscle spasms, the vision, those ringing in your ears. So it is safe, but, like, taking vitamins or working out? Like, just proceed with caution.

Nick Urban [00:33:16]:

Yeah. And I’m gonna assume that these depend on the different forms of breath work that you do because I’ve done bunch such as the down regulating breathing and never experienced any of this, yet when I do something that’s, like, the fire breath or the Wim Hof, that kind of stuff, After the session, I feel great. My senses certainly feel like the perception is different. Like, my hearing is, like, It’s hard to describe exactly how it changes, but it, like, becomes clear. I tune out more stuff at the same time. Like, I noticed the smallest little noise is going on in my environment, but at the same time, it was, like, The baseline is is definitely changed, and it doesn’t last forever. It lasts, like, maybe 10 minutes or so, sometimes 15. But, like, I think the different side effects and things you could feel as a result would certainly depend on the form of breathing.

Adam Lewis [00:34:01]:

Again, that’s just that shifting of consciousness of out of our ordinary stage, which doesn’t sound unhealthy, but, you know, I’m not gonna try and pretend like I’m a doctor or, like, know all the answers here. It’s I think with any, like, with any biohack or any performance optimization thing, like, check-in with yourself if you’re unsure. Definitely, like, if you’re gonna do these things New 2. Like, do it with a partner. Okay. It’s more fun and beats, like, PPO. Like, nice to have someone there to, Yeah. Just kinda splash some water on your face.

Nick Urban [00:34:30]:

Yeah. Absolutely. So let’s discuss some of the different ways of using breath work? We mentioned it before sleep or before, like, a major event. You can use, like, a down regulating form of breathing to calm yourself, to steady yourself, to make everything easier, and to flow better? And then you could also use an up regulating breath before a workout, before an intense project or something to be able to focus and increase your energy and everything. And then, like, say you were you had, like, a scathing email that you had to respond to or you got into a fight or something, How would you go about, like, down regulating yourself super quickly so that you’re showing up to the best of your ability?

Adam Lewis [00:35:07]:

Why don’t we do a quick sample of that right now? So, Andrew Huberman talks about this practice a lot. It’s the basic the physiological sigh, the double inhale, and then exhale through the nose. So it’s You do a few of those or, again, the prolonged exhale, and that immediately can pull us out of that, like, You know, seeing red into that parasympathetic state that overactivated. So a very basic double inhale, dramatic exhale, Even I love to do do just like a dramatic side just to and it feels great too. So that’s probably if there’s 1 takeaway for the listeners, it’s, like, try that now. You mean try that, like, next time you feel a bit activated, put a sticky note your desk. You’re someone that, like, needs that reminder and just know that the physiological size is built into us to bring us Like, true. We all done that even unintentionally where it’s just like, I’m looking for my keys.

Adam Lewis [00:36:05]:

I can’t find them. It’s like, oh, believe.

Nick Urban [00:36:09]:

Are there any, like, more discrete forms of breath work? Like, say you’re in an argument. You wouldn’t necessarily wanna do the physiological sighs.

Adam Lewis [00:36:15]:

I think just bringing awareness to if you feel like you’re short into breath and then just to start to slow it down and use it as this it’s like a lever. Right? It’s like we can, like, push on the gas or pull back on the gas? And we can just, we notice we’re overactivated. We can reverse the momentum by slowing it down and The mind will follow the, what the body’s doing. And that’s kind of why breath work is so cool. Cause unlike meditation, which is super powerful. I have a Really deep meditation practice that I love, but sometimes you can’t always drop into that meditative state. Whereas with breath work, So long as we consciously use our physiology to modulate our breath, the mind and the nervous system seems to follow. So you You only have to do anything but follow the instructions of a breath work track or do those breathings, and things will naturally bring themselves to that state that you’re looking to get to.

Adam Lewis [00:37:07]:

It’s so

Nick Urban [00:37:07]:

simple, and it’s what I like about it is it’s reliable. You’re right. When I meditate, I certainly notice some days I’m just not feeling it, and I feel almost, like, frustrated. Like, the harder I grasp for that silence, that stillness that, like to enter that state, sometimes the harder it becomes, the more frustrated, like, the more resistance I have, and it becomes like a vicious cycle. You’re right. When I think about my experience with breathing, it’s much more resistant to that kind of thing. It seems to work more reliably.

Adam Lewis [00:37:33]:

So do you have, like, a do you still have a meditation practice as well?

Nick Urban [00:37:37]:

Yeah. I do both.

Adam Lewis [00:37:38]:

Nice. Do you, like, do you spend, like, different times a day, like, work in the morning to get you going, meditation, or other way around? Yeah.

Nick Urban [00:37:44]:

I do meditation first thing in the morning, and then I’ll do breath work ad hoc as needed throughout the day. Like, sometimes it’s just, like, Minute or two. Sometimes it’ll be, like, a 5, 10 minute practice. A lot of times, I’ll use the other ship app, and I’ll just follow along with one of your sessions there.

Adam Lewis [00:37:58]:

Cool. Can I ask what your meditation practice looks like?

Nick Urban [00:38:01]:

Oh, it changes. It depends on the day and week. I’ve done all kinds of different ones over the years. I’m currently doing, like, neurofeedback? And then I just clear my mind and focus on the audio, I guess. And so right now, it’s it’s mainly that, but then it’ll change. And that’s a new addition as of the last, like, 3 or 4 months.

Adam Lewis [00:38:19]:

Wow. That’s, the neurofeedback stuff is really interesting to me in general. Just the I think there’s a unrecognized appreciation for the power of observation. So, you know, there’s the Hawthorne effect or the panopticon effect, which they posit that we behave differently when we know we’re being watched. You know, even if you like if you like the double slit experiment, so we know that our observation influences outcomes. So that’s what’s, you know, always interesting to me about things like neurofeedback is, Would we still be able to achieve these same brain states? Have we not been hooked up to these like, how is observation impacting The outcome in these instances is normally positive, but I think just general awareness and observation as something to be aware of that can influence us to optimize, you know, our mind or body or spiritual existence is super important. The people we can surround ourselves with. Different people remind us or even environments remind us of a certain type of person that we are.

Adam Lewis [00:39:21]:

It’s never, like, Go to a friend’s house and see them with their mom and dad, and instantly, it’s like they become a child. Or you get together with your old buddies from high school and instantly because there’s something about the those people observing us that reminds us of a certain person that we ought to be to Fit that story. Sorry. A bit of a tangent there, but all I have to say is, like and I could go on, actually, when your coach is watching you, you know, you’re going to run harder or lift with better technique? So just being mindful of the power of awareness. And I guess to try and bring this into a loop is, you know, in meditation even, That can be a form of prayer. It’s like, that’s, you know, how my practice has evolved of, like, connecting to my higher self, connecting to source, God, whatever you wanna call it. If that’s who’s watching me, that’s who you wanna kind of make proud. Yeah.

Adam Lewis [00:40:06]:

And keeping that in mind, I think, invokes a better person.

Nick Urban [00:40:09]:

So do you combine your breath work and your meditation?

Adam Lewis [00:40:11]:

I do. Like you, though, I do, like, meditation more consistently in the morning and breath work for me often be, like, my post lunch pick me up. Like, an up regulated 5 minute practice just to, You know, be that endogenous cup of coffee. Right? Then what I’ll still do sometimes is, combining that ability to induce these non ordinary states with the breath and then doing the same things I do in meditation, which is connecting to a higher power and just establishing that channel of recognition of Gratitude of asking for something. And again, because of sometimes that inability to get into that still stay with meditation, Breathwork provides that architecture that allows me to access what seems like a bit of a clearer channel.

Nick Urban [00:40:54]:

So do you do the Breathwork before the meditation or after or during?

Adam Lewis [00:40:58]:


Nick Urban [00:40:58]:

Before. Okay.

Adam Lewis [00:40:59]:

Yeah. And then it’s like well, then it will just turn into, like, do the breath work and then on a final hold on empty where I’m, like, Cooking out a bit, and I have that channel. And then I can create that stillness that just I’ll hold in that empty for maybe a minute, 2 minutes, Which is then essentially just in meditation, and then I’ll let the breath resume itself naturally. And that’s what’s cool too about, like, some of the other ship breath work tracks that we have is with these intentional holds on full run empty and creating that stillness, layering in some, you know, NLP style, like science backed, psychological techniques for, you know, invoking gratitude, forgiveness, self love, like all these different ways that we can use this more suggestible state to our advantage using the wrath as the vehicle?

Nick Urban [00:41:45]:

I don’t I’m gonna be completely honest with you. When I 1st came across OtherShip a couple years back. I’m like, why would anyone need an app to do breath work? You can just it’s you can do it anywhere, anytime. You don’t need any technology. You need nothing. You just, Sit down anytime, anywhere. And then I eventually reluctantly tried a session with a friend, and I was like, okay. This makes sense.

Nick Urban [00:42:07]:

I see why people use this app, why they like it. It really is like Spotify for breath work, but It’s easier to use and more elegant. Like, that it’s so simple to use, and, like, the tracks actually provide valuable guidance? I didn’t think I would need it because I’ve done this so many times over the years. But even then, I’m like, it’s cool to have a plethora of different options at my disposal? And it’s a lot more fun. And for me, the my big hesitation around breath work in general, I used to do it Every single day, I used to follow Patrick McEwen’s oxygen advantage exercises, and I go on my morning walk. I read my Kindle while I was walking, and I do the oxygen advantage exercises, such as like

Adam Lewis [00:42:55]:

That’s some serious multitasking, man.

Nick Urban [00:42:57]:

Yeah. Yeah. So just trying to, like, hold the breath while I’m getting my 80 steps in so I I get a good BOLT score, whatever it was. But then, like, that was great for a couple months or however long I did it, but then I ultimately fell off. And so, like, breathwork is one of those things that’s really powerful and really beneficial if you’re doing it? And I think that’s, like, the big hesitation for a the stumbling point for a lot of people. It’s, like, the actual commitment and follow through on making it a regular practice.

Adam Lewis [00:43:24]:

Totally, man. And, you know, that’s sort of cracks open the window of, like, self sabotage. Right? Like, why don’t we do the things we know we should be doing that that are good for us? And that’s a whole other dimension of wellness, of, cracking into self worth theory of you know, Everybody I think everybody knows there’s something we can always be doing more for our health or we’ll do something that’s not good for our health, even though there’s, you know, all the reasons not to. And Again, where breath work can crack into this is starting to assess where is this self sabotage coming from? Where is this sense of self worth not fully integrated? Because if we are fully in our sense of self worth, then we’ll just naturally do the things that we know are good for us because we feel just deserving to be in that higher state, Not having to, like, force it, but sometimes you’re going against the current. So there is that level of where, again, observation or accountability can help us overriding momentum to turn the counternarrative, towards that establishing a habit that is gonna be good for us, then can can continue doing, Like breath work, like meditation, like eating well, exercising.

Nick Urban [00:44:30]:

I think for me, it’s just a matter of time in the day and prioritizing. I have like A 100 different habits and biohacks and tools and techniques that I can be doing. And it’s like, okay. How do I stack rank each of them? And because A breath work takes a little more time. It’s not as ingrained of a habit as meditation is for me, and I do meditation first thing in the morning before I Start my day. It’s, like, a nonnegotiable. And since the the breath work is in the afternoon and I don’t touch caffeine or anything in the afternoon anyway, It’s just like it’s so easy. Like, okay.

Nick Urban [00:45:00]:

Well, I’ll do this instead, and then I just don’t get to the breath work.

Adam Lewis [00:45:03]:

Like, guilty too, man. It’s, and that’s why mornings are such a sacred time because, You know, before the day is bombarding us with all the things we feel like we ought to be doing, we can create this space for ourselves to practice our nonnegotiables. And then I would just, You know, when you ask myself, it’s like, what deserves to be in that nonnegotiable sacred time? If breath work is as effective as meditation, Like, does it have a earnest a seat at the table? It’s like meditation, caffeine, poo. Well, a

Nick Urban [00:45:35]:

lot of people will, like, stack rank? The different, like, pillars of health will say, like, you need your sleep. That’s the most important. Other people will say, oh, exercise is the universal, like, resolver you have? Like, any issues you exercise, and it makes up for a lack of sleep, lack of diet, whatever? And then, like, a couple that are pretty agreed upon. I guess, like sleep, movement of some form, like stress reduction. There’s a couple that I’m forgetting, obviously, right at 2nd. Hydration. Yeah. Hydration.

Nick Urban [00:46:03]:

I guess that goes into, like, nutrition, diet kinda thing. But then also, like, people will put breath work up on that list as, like, the top, like, most important things, like, alongside light and all that.

Adam Lewis [00:46:12]:

Totally, man. And I think, you know, we’re both in this world of health and wellness where there’s A lot of gurus, a lot of new protocols, diets, like, flavors of the month. And having tried so many of these, and I’m sure you’ve spoken to and tried so many, What I really subscribe to now is, like, be your own guru, find your own practice, develop that listening of what feels good for you and what doesn’t And keep what resonates because we’re all very much the same, but we’re all very much different. And I think part of the fun of it is, like, create your own avatar, like, Be your own self and find your own power ups that work for you.

Nick Urban [00:46:48]:

Exactly. It’s like, sure, the clinical research can all say one thing, but if you try it and it does not work for you, What is the fastest?

Adam Lewis [00:46:54]:

It doesn’t matter how

Nick Urban [00:46:54]:

great the papers are. Try other things. Figure out what does work for you because there’s gonna be outliers on both sides of the extreme for every single thing, So you could be one of the outliers where it just doesn’t work.

Adam Lewis [00:47:06]:

Exactly. And there’s I mean, came in, like, into the rabbit hole, but there’s so many blind spots too in, like, research and clinical papers. And that’s where, again, like, this realm of, like, spirituality and, like, spiritual health and the metaphysical is so interesting to me is just because we don’t have the tools to measure something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And, you know, think of where we were like 10, 15, 20 years ago, where we just didn’t have like the neurofeedback tools to quantify the benefits of meditation. Now we do. Clearly, it’s awesome. So what’s yet to be invented to measure these things that we can maybe even intuitively feel that we just aren’t quantifying? And it’s sort of stepping out of that. Like, it’s it’s a box.

Adam Lewis [00:47:43]:

Like, we’re actually limiting ourselves by saying, well, if I can’t prove it, then it’s What is the fastest? It’s not worth trying. And that’s where, like, that’s what excites me about the future of, again, like that continuous uncovering and excavating of human potential that maybe we used to have, That we’ve lost not reacquainting with it, because I do believe humans are infinitely more powerful and capable than than what we sort of presently have as the default.

Nick Urban [00:48:07]:

Yes. There’s so much that humans have known over the years and then completely lost track of. And like you said, we are sensory dominant beings? And just because we can’t see, taste, smell, or hear something or feel doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. It just means that we don’t perceive it in those realms? Like, for example, 40 years ago, if you had said that there’s this thing called Wi Fi, and you can download a movie on your phone in a couple seconds with with a phone, but That would have been unheard of. People wouldn’t believe you. Like, I I can’t see it. It doesn’t exist. Well, it clearly does exist.

Nick Urban [00:48:37]:

We just hadn’t Implement it yet and figured out how to actually harness that technology. But there’s, like, so many thing things like that that we can’t measure, but they’re still very real and valid.

Adam Lewis [00:48:46]:

Exactly. Like, you can sometimes, like, someone walks in a room and just feel their energy. Right? You don’t even see them, but you could feel that. Like and now we’re starting to Here too with, like, heart math. And we know that our hearts produce these fields that have a resonance that, okay, is there, like, something in our heart that can actually sense Which, you know, even sounds hand wavy now, but the science is catching up. So, like, who’s gonna be laughing now kind of thing? I’m curious. What, like are there any things you know, you’ve interviewed so many cool people, I’m sure, and, like, have just, you know, like, the the full gamut of what’s going on. Are there any things in that realm of the esoteric that’s sort of peaking your curiosity more than others?

Nick Urban [00:49:24]:

Well, I think the one of the big ones is the distinction and delineation between the brain and the mind? Because, for example, if you cut open a head, a brain, You would see a lot of things in there, but you wouldn’t find any thoughts per se. And there’s, like, so many things that don’t exist locally in the brain but are certainly part of the mind? And I think that as science starts to or stops being so reductionalist and trying to isolate 1 variable, one outcome, That’s just not the way life and biology work. So once we abandon that for a better model, I don’t know I don’t know what that model is yet, but I think that’s gonna be, like, a really cool rediscovered forefront, and there will be a lot of breakthroughs there because I think that will open the door. It’ll bridge the worlds between the individualist and the the collective, the one, whatever you wanna call it.

Adam Lewis [00:50:16]:

Totally, man. Like, I think I’m I share in the same fascination that there is this I mean, this is, like, a lot of what young Carl Jung’s work was. Like, there’s this collective unconscious, and then we have the individual unconscious. And then, like, the different parts of that, like, the shadow, the anima, the animus, then the self that gets developed. But that even Nikola Tesla, he had that I’m butcher this quote, but it’s like, I am but an antenna. The universe produced a, like, universal frequency that seeks to speak through me. So that idea of, like, you’re not gonna, like, dissect to the brain and pull it up. Here is, this thought that I also like to think about, you know, if the voice in the head is you, who’s the one listening? Yeah.

Adam Lewis [00:50:58]:

So are we but these receivers to some ethereal energies that just get transmute transmuted like us through a radio that, yeah, we’re still so, you know, elementary in understanding that I’d be willing to bet if we’re getting closer and closer to understanding?

Nick Urban [00:51:16]:

Exactly. We’re currently limited by our toolset. Like, once we have a bigger toolset, we can measure and quantify and qualify all these things. And there’s so many people. Like, it’s sad that I I look around, and I I watch them Admately defending or attacking certain things that aren’t validated currently. And then down the line when new side effects of certain drugs come out or whatever? They’re up in arms. It’s like, well, that data was there the whole time. Like, it wasn’t released, but, like, There’s a lot more to the story than you currently know.

Nick Urban [00:51:45]:

So, like, knowing that this has happened so many times throughout history and so much of, like, proven science, the settled science, has been overturned? It’s strange to me as people are so cling so hard to ideas that very likely will be overturned by future science?

Adam Lewis [00:52:04]:

Yeah, man. That’s, Ronj, that Jungian quote is, People don’t have ideas, ideas of people. And I think it’s more than ideas, but stories. So people latch onto stories and onto narratives, And then we’ll die on those hill because their sense of identity as it plays into that. I guess the ego that refuses to surrender and pull, You know, people have a fascinating way to rationalize and, like, find confirmation biases and things. And just like this defending of the ego, it’s like, This is who I am, so, like, I’ll reject anything that threatens my sense of self.

Nick Urban [00:52:37]:

And the ego is essential. We wouldn’t exist without the ego? And we wouldn’t be able to go to the store and know what we want to eat for dinner, all kinds of stuff. But at the same time, there’s time and place for everything and, like, the humility to know that these are my current beliefs, this is my current belief of who I am and everything, and that is possible that it’ll change in the future?

Adam Lewis [00:52:57]:

Question. What, is there something that, like, previously held belief that you have changed recently?

Nick Urban [00:53:04]:

One of the recent ones was about doctor Ray Peete, his work, and metabolism, and he takes, like, a pro metabolic approach to health where he’s all about, like, the thyroid and making sure that we’re generating enough energy, and we’re minimizing things that can inhibit energy production? And he takes a contrarian stance and actually thinks that sugar is okay to quell a stress response? Because in in his perspective, inhibiting the thyroid and energy production is, like, the worst thing for human health, and it’s like It only happens when humans are in, like, dire straits when things are going really wrong. And if you’re living in that kind of state where your stress is Constantly high because you’re not eating enough carbohydrates and things like that. You’re actually doing yourself a massive disservice and, like, you’re creating all kinds of, like, negative epigenetic changes. So I’ve softened my stance a little bit on carbohydrates, and I consume more now than I used to, which sounds silly. But

Adam Lewis [00:54:01]:

Dude, that’s so funny. Almost exact same answer, but it was from listening to that Huberman Lab podcast, on ADHD and focus on on how glucose deprivation could lead to more, ADHD proclivity? So I think we’re both on the back on the carb train from the sounds of it.

Nick Urban [00:54:18]:

Yeah. And it’s interesting. Like, a lot of the different bodily systems like the brain, I think I’m not sure if it’s the heart, but the liver, certain things are running on glucose primarily. And, like, The glucose reserves are, like, hundreds of grams throughout the body. So it’s like, if I consume 50 an extra 50 grams of carbohydrates, Especially if they’re not super high glycemic and my blood sugar stays semistable, I’m probably not gonna be doing any harm. And there’s even, like, research that I was looking into recently about the, quote, cleanest burning fuel in the body? And it was long believed to be fats and ketones. And when I started looking into this more, there’s actually plenty of research showing that glucose has a smaller impact on, like, reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress and all these things? And it’s actually, like, one of the body’s preferred fuel sources because if we think evolutionarily, like, when you’re consuming a lot of glucose, it means that Times are good. Like, everything food is plentiful.

Nick Urban [00:55:14]:

You’re doing well. You’re not in scarcity. It makes sense.

Adam Lewis [00:55:18]:

Dude, like, yeah, I’m I’m still on the same wavelength there, man. And, Again, that was, like, not too long ago. Like, keto, best fuel. I actually did that. I’ve got a bit of a cool story on it. So when I was doing the keto diet, I was, like, hardcore about it? Just like breaking my blood every fucking hour, the exogenous ketones, the MCT oils, and just, like, killing it. But then after, like, my 1st 5 days, I would wake up at 2:30 in the morning, predictably 2:30, heart racing, just this, like, like, fully heart racing sweats? And this happened, like, 3 nights in a row and ended up doing a bit of research and then finding out what was happening is At that time of night, I’m switching into that deep sleep state where the brain is actually getting quite active. So in order to fuel that activity, it’s going down to the liver asking for some glucose to fuel that brain state, but it going down and being like, where’s the glucose? Fight or flight gets activated, And then I’m up.

Adam Lewis [00:56:20]:

And then the solution was a tablespoon of honey before bed, which was cool. But just to, like, bring up full circle on, We actually do need glucose.

Nick Urban [00:56:29]:

Well, I had that same realization that you did. I had that same experience too, and there’s a lot of people online who say, yeah, there’s such thing as essential fatty acids, essential amino acids. You need to get those from diet or you will die, and there’s no such thing as essential carbohydrates. And that’s true, and the body can manufacture Its own, glucose via gluconeogenesis, and that process is terribly inefficient. And it results in elevated levels of Stress hormones. And, usually, that happens to people in the middle of the night when they’re sleeping at 2, 3, 4 in the morning, and you wake up like this, And then you feel wide awake. You can’t go back to sleep, and you wonder what it is. And there’s so many things like that.

Nick Urban [00:57:05]:

It’s like, yeah, technically, all of that’s true, But then actually apply it. And especially if you’re exercising, if you’re a sprinter, or you’re just more active throughout the day, like, It’s not necessarily gonna be in your best interest.

Adam Lewis [00:57:17]:

Stress optimization is something I’m and even like what Ray p talks about. Like, I think metabolism, like, as a concept of our bodies are like, we are metabolic machines, but we’re not just meta metabolizing nutrients. I kind of look at through this lens of, like, we’re metabolizing the world. Like, stress comes through. Our us metabolizing that is transmuting it into something that deenergizes the stress into, like, play or laughter or, like, something that’s in take a negative energy, like, a a negative vibration, Metabolize it and spit it out as, like, a fart.

Nick Urban [00:57:53]:

Even just, like, releasing your anger, like hitting a pillow or yelling where where it’s, like, safe and appropriate to do so. But, like, I used to hold all that stuff in, and as soon as I started letting it out, letting that energy pass through me in some way, I felt a lot lighter, and I got I get sick less now and, like, all kinds of things that you wouldn’t necessarily attribute to, like, holding in these different energies that are coming our way. And I guess, yeah, I like the idea that metabolism isn’t just nutrients. It’s not just water and micros and macros and everything.

Adam Lewis [00:58:23]:

It’s energy. And that, like, it’s funny you mentioned the pillow and the screaming I have you heard of the Hopin process? Mm-mm. It’s kinda like landmark, but it’s, like, way more intense. It’s this weeklong intensive retreat where, like, Blake Mycoskie talks a lot about it on the on Tim Ferris podcast. Look. A lot of people have done it, but it is this, like, process of going through pattern tracing of, like, where your emotions come from? Like, there’s, like, this concept of, like, tracing your patterns And then expressing them, which is, like, releasing them, which you actually beat the out of a pillow with a baseball bat for 20 minutes? Fascinating. Screaming, crying. It’s beautiful.

Adam Lewis [00:59:04]:

Then you move into forgiveness and then new ways of being, and that’s, like, the sort of 4 step process that they get you through. But it reminded me that was the pillow bashing because, like you said, it’s Energy needs to be moved so that metabolizing it’s you know, when we move out of, like, the material to the immaterial, that is energy, which can be our emotions, energy in motion, things get stuck and then congested, and then it’s like this inner frustration. And then if there’s stagnant, you know, like water in a swamp, bacteria disease breeds, and then we need to then we get sick. So moving energy, like, being a clean channel, like, why looking after your physical health, I think, translates so well into our emotional and mental health? It’s because there’s not this stuck energy that is we feel it like, that’s all vandal, Coke’s broken. Like, the body keeps a score. It’s like we we it stores and it festers. So we need to transmute it. We need to let that go and just become these metabolizing, flowing machines.

Nick Urban [01:00:07]:

And I’ve heard that animals instinctively shake for that very reason, to, like, let out that experience.

Adam Lewis [01:00:12]:

Why zebras don’t get ulcers.

Nick Urban [01:00:14]:

And, also, to take us full circle here, I think that the breath work in general is one of the best ways to get back in touch with What we are feeling because it’s hard to do any of this work to connect to something larger if we’re not even sure what it is that we’re feeling in any moment. And when you start Becoming aware of your breath. You control your breath. Then all of a sudden, you’re taking some control. You’re autonomous at that point. And from there, you become more aware of your body’s smaller cues and signals it’s giving you. Then as you do it more and more, The small cues seem to be getting bigger and bigger until all of a sudden it’s obvious how your body is trying to communicate with you throughout the day.

Adam Lewis [01:00:56]:

It’s that listening component, right, that moving out of this, like, dopaminergic, like, exteroceptive way being to that interoceptive, serotonergic system of stillness to listen, the yin, the feminine, That part of us that has so much intelligence.

Nick Urban [01:01:15]:

Yeah. It’s it’s from flipping it’s not from maintaining an even keel right in between What is the fastest?

Adam Lewis [01:01:23]:

Between the 2 your whole life, it’s about going

Nick Urban [01:01:23]:

from 1 energy to the other energy and back and being able to switch between the 2.

Adam Lewis [01:01:26]:

Totally. And that’s one of the things we learned at the pop in process. It’s even, like, not in just masculine and feminine, but even in, like, the positive and the light side, like shadow integration. Right? Like, we have everybody has a shadow, And we can’t deny it. We have to actually, you know, if you deny your shadow, it’s gonna come up in some other way and you’re not gonna like, what’s gonna happen. Like, what’s the quote? I keep it’s probably gonna third line, but it’s if you don’t make the unconscious conscious, it’s gonna, continue to dictate your life and you call it fate. So that’s why, like again, breath work that can help you access your unconscious is really powerful because what’s it trying to tell me or ask of me that if I don’t surrender to? It will come out and pull the carpet from under. But where I was going with that was this idea of Appreciating if we all have a dark side, if we all have a shadow and it’s very powerful, we also have this, like, huge capacity for light.

Adam Lewis [01:02:17]:

And our power, our force within is generated not from over identifying with 1 and denying the other, but in appreciating the 2 of them. And that’s what creates the magnetism, And that’s where the power is. Not in the one or the other, but same with our masculine and our feminine side. It’s the polarity that creates the magnetism that is what generates that vital life force within all of us.

Nick Urban [01:02:38]:

Yeah. And having having a shadow isn’t a bad thing. It’s like everyone has a shadow, And it’s, like, paying attention to it, being aware of it, and, like, integrating and working on it. Like, that’s where the the true power lies. And if you just ignore it, like, that’s the The young the young quote that you were just mentioning.

Adam Lewis [01:02:55]:

I think more and more people, like, it’s starting to come into like, just more people becoming again, like, this Start just connecting with our emotions. Like, oh, I didn’t know I felt this way. And we can start to actually process that because the first thing it starts with is just Acknowledging that we feel a certain way. So many people have a hard time just identifying and labeling emotions.

Nick Urban [01:03:14]:

Yeah. I’ve talked about this a couple times in the podcast already, but several months back, I did a process where every 20 minutes for a week or two, I set an alarm, and when it would go off, then I would stop for a second. I would check-in, figure out how I was feeling, what I was thinking, what I was wanting in that moment? And the 1st day or so was really difficult. I Could not figure it out, and it would take me a long time. And then after I started checking in more often, all of a sudden, it became a little more obvious. Now a little more obvious until by the time at the end of the week when I was actually checking in at the as soon as alarm went off, it was obvious. Like, okay. This is what I’m thinking.

Nick Urban [01:03:53]:

This is what I’m feeling. This is what I’m wanting. And that process was a complete pain, but it was so worth it because now I have that with me indefinitely.

Adam Lewis [01:04:03]:

Dude, that’s so cool. It’s like a Pomodoro for your feelings.

Nick Urban [01:04:07]:

Yeah. Exactly. I like that.

Adam Lewis [01:04:09]:

Did you learn that from somewhere? Did you just come up with a

Nick Urban [01:04:12]:

My partner told me about it.

Adam Lewis [01:04:14]:

Oh, man. That’s really cool. That’d be, like, a super fun challenge for you to do with your listeners is, like, let’s do this Pomodoro emotion challenge and just see because now that’s in training, emotional awareness.

Nick Urban [01:04:24]:

Yeah. That’s exactly why she showed me it. She’s like, I did this, and it was really helpful to me. I’m like, oh, that sounds such a pain. I don’t wanna do that. Then I mentioned, like, you know what? After I went to a training of, ultimate communication skills, I realized that the basis of being able to communicate is, first, knowing what it is that you’re feeling and what you’re wanting. Without that, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to communicate effectively and make the unknown, your unknown known, which is the basis of communication? So I’m like, okay. Well, in order to communicate well, I need to do this.

Nick Urban [01:04:54]:

So I did that challenge, and life changing. In anything that’s as universal practiced around the world by most, if not all, cultures? That is something you wanna really think about and make sure that, like, do your own research and figure out the validity of it, but, like, that’s a good place to a good sign dig deeper.

Adam Lewis [01:05:12]:

Totally, man. That’s actually a really cool prompt even, like, Exploring what other practices have been shared across culture across millennia that, you know, we either have or haven’t fully embedded. That’s where, like, sauna and cold exposure. You know, one of the other things we do at other ship is is, you know, the weather was the Turkish hammam, the Russian banya, the Finnish sauna, the Japanese onsen? These were all, like, heat exposure practices, the Temescal, the Native SwiateLogic. So many were using these, for both physiological and mental health, but also then for that spiritual cleansing? And we’re just seeing, you know, bathhouse culture Tarasana is everywhere becoming so popular, and I love to see it. And that’s part of what gives me this, I think, idea that spiritual health is going to be a thing. And if you look at, like, sauna is part of the zeitgeist right now, what’s in many of these historical cultures, these, like, sweat practices were or, like, annexes to mosques or ways to cleanse the vessel before communicating with the divine?

Nick Urban [01:06:17]:

Well, even just biochemically, we’re more in touch with what’s going on inside us if we’re a cleaner vessel, if we’re eating well, we’re sleeping We’re doing all the things we need to do. We’re taking care of ourselves versus we’re eating very unhealthy. We’re not sleeping. We’re not moving. It’s like, those signals are gonna be much weaker and Harder to discern over the veil of fatigue and brain fog and all kinds of other stuff.

Adam Lewis [01:06:38]:

Totally. Like, that signal to noise that gets clearer and clearer when we start to align with What’s coming through, and perhaps some of it too is realizing that we aren’t separate from the divine. Like, we are expressions of it. So by treating ourselves as such is also acknowledging that we are not separate. So we’re, again, like, paving this highway of Looking after that which we are also looking to connect to because we are not separate. We are 1 and the same, creating that familiarity, creating that honoring.

Nick Urban [01:07:10]:

I we could certainly talk for hours, and we’ll probably do another round if you’re open to it down the line. But if people I have a couple more questions for you, and then we’ll start to wind this one down. People wanna connect with you to try Othership and all that, how do they go about that?

Adam Lewis [01:07:24]:

So what we can do is send something out for all of your listeners to get 30 days free to the ship breathing app. So, I guess subscribe to your newsletter and we’ll make sure that gift comes flying through. You can also email, You can follow me on Instagram, Adam Lewis 5, and I can also point you to the right places there? Yeah. You can also, like, try some of our bathroom tracks on YouTube. That’s also a cool starting point.

Nick Urban [01:07:51]:

Perfect. I will put all the links to these in the show notes for this episode and any other specials that you send my way after we record? And now if there was a worldwide burning of the books, imagine all knowledge is lost, but you get to save the works of 3 teachers. Who would you choose and why?

Adam Lewis [01:08:11]:

Again, this is where I think, like, the collective unconscious that holds all of the historical records of, our mythological past? So Carl Jung obviously has quoted many times in this episode, but to teach people that we can, access a lot of our collective memories and sense of, like, the mythology that we’re participating in? So he would be great to bring us all on the same page there. And if it was, like, me sort of, like, projecting my values out into, like, helping rewrite history, Chang’e Chang’e, who is like, so he wrote, he was a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, wrote, like, Shambhala, the sacred path of the warrior. And, Like, what comes through there, it’s I just resonate with a lot of his teachings and what he would help teach is and help people rediscover is the basic goodness of humanity. So if we’re starting from scratch, I think everybody would know that there’s a basic dignity and a basic goodness that we all carry as our default as humans. And if we’re gonna rebuild the world, I think that’s A pretty good place to start. To him, warriorship isn’t, you know, like a battalion warrior of aggression, but warriorship represents bravery, And it’s a bravery to open your heart to the world and be vulnerable. And then that’s where actual power comes from. That’s where actual strength is is Being vulnerable to the world to see who you truly are, letting the world tickle your heart, and the basic goodness with that coming through from yourself and others.

Adam Lewis [01:09:33]:

I guess we gotta mix in some, like, cool invention? Like, Nikola Tesla probably would be the guy. He’s done some pretty, I feel like Definitely, like, a fascinating thinker, someone that we still know probably too little about, but has profoundly changed the world and Guy that I just, yeah, would like to see, I think have good intent.

Nick Urban [01:09:56]:

Okay, Adam. A quick rapid fire round before we call it a day. Are there any breathwork myths that you wanna dispel quickly?

Adam Lewis [01:10:04]:

I mean, the one that I opened with, which is, like, breathwork isn’t new. Again, it’s, like, ancient. It’s effective. There’s no, like this is just a trend. This is real. So Whether or not that is a myth, just I hope the listeners can appreciate that. In terms of its, like, efficacy, it’s there’s no silver bullets. So people have reported like, oh, I did this breath work and, like, released all this trauma, and that can happen.

Adam Lewis [01:10:26]:

But there’s always, like, integration work. I just don’t believe in the silver bullet I’ve done through, like, therapy, through psychedelic experiences. You can have these peak experiences, but the real world happens afterwards and what you do with these change states? So, any myth around the silver bullet effect. That is for everyone. Like, honestly, like But I

Nick Urban [01:10:50]:

think even if you don’t vibe with it, being aware of your breathing. And, For example, if you’re writing an email and you notice you hold your breath, that’s a good pattern to recognize and ideally change because holding your breath like that in, Quote email apnea isn’t good.

Adam Lewis [01:11:05]:

Email apnea. That’s so good. You’re totally right. And I guess the other, I’d call this a method not, but it’s it’s breath work, not breath leisure. So when you’re doing it, it’s like you are doing some work. So it’s not just like you know, sit back and do it. It’s like you gotta put out what you you get out what you put in.

Nick Urban [01:11:26]:

What area of your own health are you currently working on?

Adam Lewis [01:11:30]:

All of them all at once. But if I was to try and zero in, it’s definitely these, like, areas around the spiritual health, of, like, continued enrichment and truthfulness, connection to the divine, to god, to source, to, like, higher self, These metaphysical, connections to higher power. I’d say, like, masculinity, sexual energy, vitality. So, like, That life force in chi, really fascinating me right now and working on those.

Nick Urban [01:12:05]:

Yeah. Well, I was gonna ask What’s one thing that you’re most interested in and researching these days, but it sounds like it’s the life force as it goes by a hundred different names across the different cultures and time. Or is there something else?

Adam Lewis [01:12:18]:

Life Force puts a good blanket on it because it it is this, like, It’s energy that runs through me that I can feel that I’m trying to put my finger on. Like, what is it that I’m feeling? Because it’s not just feeling Energetically, but it’s also moving me in certain ways. So it’s not just feeling it in my plums. I’m feeling it, like, top to bottom, Multidimensionally, and that curiosity is leading me to research and practice and, hopefully finding something cool.

Nick Urban [01:12:49]:

Okay. And now what is one thing that the othership tribe does not know about you?

Adam Lewis [01:12:54]:

It probably is. Just like a lot of what we spoke about on that, like, Like the magnitude of my reverence to the metaphysical realms and to, like, the energies that I really don’t showcase much to the world’s, a, because it’s like, it’s my own stuff, but I’m not one to, like, put on showcase. Like, hey guys, here’s all the things I’m doing. But, like, these are so like, these are the the fundamental pillars of who I am, what guides me, and I’m open to magic and reality bending and just appreciating that we are super limited in our understanding of the nature of reality. So My open curiosity to the ethereal nature is, a huge part of me that probably most people don’t know.

Nick Urban [01:13:40]:

Yeah. I was asked the other day to write down my definition of who I am, the classic question, and I started, like, writing things down, then I erased things, like, Oh, this is difficult. It’s way harder than I thought it would be, and I had, like, 1 sentence, and I thought about it for a long time. Like, I don’t really know how to define this because I’m so much, and I’m also not so much. And It’s like duality and nonduality at the same time, and I I don’t even even know what to write.

Adam Lewis [01:14:03]:

I’m everybody, and I’m nobody.

Nick Urban [01:14:07]:

Well, Adam, how would you like to wrap up our show together today?

Adam Lewis [01:14:10]:

Dude, this was such a fun conversation, so a ton of gratitude for the opportunity to come on and Hopefully, you share some cool stuff with listeners, and I hope that people listening found some value or entertainment out of the conversation. You know, if there’s any actionables, it’s definitely, like, connect to your breath, connect to yourself and, to these emotions and Remain curious, remain open to what’s existing beyond our 5¢ reality. And, you know, the world is a mirror. Like, even with so cool just seeing the parallels you and I drew on, like, each other. But then even with the strangers out there that, you know, everything that triggers you or elicits some kind of emotional bonds is going to reflect some, a part of you. So if you’re triggered, try and getting into the habit of asking Why or what part of me is being triggered? Is this rational? Can this teach me? Because when we look at the world as teachers, it all gets a lot cooler and we can try and remove any adversarial narrative or an over identification of self from situations And then start to invite this notion that the world is just a big drama that we’re actors in. And the reason I say this is because in doing so, we can soften the importance of What we think is happening to us begin to zoom out to the bigger picture to realize maybe what role we’re here to play, that dharma that we’re looking for. And Then when it’s all said and done, you know, all the toys go back in the box and you can laugh at it.

Adam Lewis [01:15:39]:

And I just think this can help invite in some participate, Some permission to, like, just participate in more play, in life, which we could all use more of because I think it’s meant to be fun.

Nick Urban [01:15:50]:

Well, Adam, that is the perfect way to wrap this one up, and I think that’s my favorite conclusion in all a 132 episodes so far. I completely echo your sentiment, and to me, you’re right. Like, whenever I find someone that’s triggering me in some way, instead of saying, oh, what I’m like, oh, well, there’s something in me that really feels strongly about what they’re saying, and I really don’t like that. Why is that So in, like, going inward and exploring that, when I feel like a visceral reaction, I wanna, like, fight them or I wanna, like, get aggressive in some form. It’s like, well, there’s something in me that’s causing this reaction, And so thank you for bringing that up. It’s been a pleasure hosting you on the podcast today, and we’ll have to do this again at some point in the future.

Adam Lewis [01:16:33]:

I would love that, man. Thank you so much.

Nick Urban [01:16:35]:

I’m Nick Urban here with Adam Lewis signing out from Have a great week, and be an outlier? I hope that this has been helpful for you. If you enjoyed it, subscribe and hit the thumbs up. I love knowing who’s in the 1% Committed to reaching their full potential. Comment 1% below so that I know who you are. For all the resources and links, Meet me on my website at I appreciate you and look forward to connecting with

Connect with Adam Lewis @ Othership

This Podcast Is Brought to You By

Nick Urban is a Biohacker, Data Scientist, Athlete, Founder of Outliyr, and the Host of the Mind Body Peak Performance Podcast. He is a Certified CHEK Practitioner, a Personal Trainer, and a Performance Health Coach. Nick is driven by curiosity which has led him to study ancient medical systems (Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hermetic Principles, German New Medicine, etc), and modern science.

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Music by Luke Hall

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