December 10, 2022
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/robbie-bent/
[00:01:00] Podcast Sponsors
[00:05:49] Podcast and Guest Intro
[00:10:58] What made Robbie Bent decide to start Othership?
[00:14:02] How Robbie became interested in breath work in the first place
[00:20:22] Where Robbie finds his instructors
[00:25:50] How Othership is unique, compared to other breath apps
[00:31:58] Podcast Sponsors
[00:38:57] cont. How Othership is unique, compared to other breath apps
[00:42:07] What happens at Robbie's brick-and-mortar facilities
[00:45:08] What kind of hacks or supplements or other things are people combining Othership with
[00:52:24] How often does Othership upload new breath routines, and what are some of Robbie's favorites?
[00:58:07] The future of Othership
[01:05:26] Details about the Othership community
[01:08:55] End of Podcast
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
Robbie: I've seen thousands of people that come for one of these breathwork concerts and we start off blindfolded with movement. And, persons' first time, they're kind of moving a bit. In their mind it's, “I look silly,” even though they're blindfolded, “What are people going to think?” And then, comes time to scream and it's like, “Ah.” And then, five weeks later after five sessions, it's like, “Yeah, of course, when in my life do I scream? We're meant to let it out.” And, it's like, “When was the last time you just walked in your backyard and ripped a scream?” And so, I think guiding people to feel okay expressing themselves is so powerful.
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
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Well, well, well, folks, no surprises here. It seems everybody's talking about breathwork a lot. You probably know you should be doing it to, for example, stay alive. But, there's a lot of other benefits to the inspiratory and expiratory process that, again, I'm sure that you've heard a lot of people talking about all these new breathwork apps and breathwork systems and the different ways you're supposed to breathe before you get into, I don't know, cold water or go to sleep or meditate. And, it can be dizzying, I guess in this case literally and figuratively, to know how it is that you're actually supposed to piece together all this advice out there on breathwork.
And, especially when it comes to apps, there is a dizzying variety of breathwork apps out there. I've experimented with dozens and dozens of them just because I'm obsessed with ways to enhance my own physiology via my breath. And, you may have heard me talking before in the past about this one that's probably my creme de la crème, my top app that I use along with my sons and friends when they come visit my house for breathwork. As a matter of fact, a whole bunch of members of the Ben Greenfield Life team use this. And, we even did a morning session every day during our recent team retreat.
So, this is an app, it's called Othership and it's got basically 500 plus different breathwork sessions in it, anywhere from two minutes to over an hour in length. The super short pick-me-up stuff to 50 to 70-ish minute holotropic style trippy breathwork sessions. But, they've got instructors that walk you through everything. They've got really good music. They've got some special beats in there that help shift your brainwave state if you wear headphones. And, the thing just freaking works. So, I've been using it long enough to where I actually wanted to get an insider glimpse of not just breathwork in general, but also this app how it works and some of the other very, very interesting things when it comes to breathwork concerts and breathworks saunas and how to pair of sauna and ice bath with breathwork. And then, a lot of the things that you should know about when it comes to hacks for breathwork supplements, for breathwork, et cetera.
So, my friend Robbie Bent reached out to me. It was last year sometime when he was in the process of actually creating Othership along with some brick-and-mortar facilities that you consider to be almost breathwork gyms. And, we've been going back and forth for a while, especially once I started using the app. He even published an article in my website about ways to incorporate breathwork into your life. But today, I've got Robbie on the show. And, Robbie actually has a history that goes far beyond breathwork. He has been a GP at Vine Ventures, which is a Psychedelic Medicine venture fund committed to giving a whole bunch of money to research and charitable causes. He did a lot of work in crypto. He was an early employee at the Ethereum Foundation, just a super interesting guy.
So, Robbie, I've laid down the foundation. Now, you just got to live up to it.
Robbie: That's great, man. I'm super excited to be here. It's really a dream. I was mentioning earlier about three years ago, I was doing this practice where I would record a voice note in my own voice of stuff I want to happen. And then, I would listen to it after every meditation. And, in that meditation, in that note, it was, “Hey, I want to become friends with Ben Greenfield and get him to use my product and be a fan of what we're doing and be inspired by it.” And, I'll talk a bit about why we built this, but to do that every day and then come on your show, your show was where I actually learned about ice bath saunas.
Ben: Oh, no way.
Robbie: My wife, at the time, shared it with me and it actually became our first date was ice bath and sauna. And, she said, “Hey, you want to go try this thing?” And so, listening to you in those early days kind of led to my interest in a lot of this stuff. I just want to start off and say, “Hey, this is kind of a dream for me and really exciting to be on with you having listened to that voice note every day from people listening.” It's like, “Oh, maybe this manifestation stuff actually works.”
Robbie: We do, we just had a baby last month, so we're about five weeks in.
Robbie: That's a whole other story about nervous system regulation.
Ben: Yes, it is. And then, of course, that begs the question whether or not you're going to have a baby breathwork session or I suppose a baby breathwork session or as I learned when my wife and I did our home birth attempt when my sons were born 14 years ago, the whole breathwork routine for leading up to giving birth or during the process of birth. Do you remember what they call it? It's like Lamaze breathing or something like that.
Robbie: Lamaze breathing. Very similar to what you're trained to do in the ice bath, long slow exhales.
Robbie: Moving into the parasympathetic state.
Ben: Yeah, cool.
I'm just curious before we dive into Othership and everything you guys are doing over there, do you have a long history of having used breathwork with your own career in crypto or anywhere else?
Robbie: Yeah. I think, for me, it's personal. I really suffered with nervous system dysregulation. And so, the reality is in today's society, 90% plus of people, their nervous systems are [BLEEP]. We have chronic fatigue, overstimulation, fight or flight all the time. I could ask people a series of questions like, “When was the last time you were bored? How are you feeling today really? And, was there space to even know? And, do you always feel tired and overwhelmed?” And, for many people, the answer to all those is “Yeah, I'm always, I get up, I start my task list, I drink my coffee, I'm on my computer, my phone all day. I'm on social media. I'm sedentary.” And so, as a result, you talk about this all the time, but we're not meant to live like that. And, if we're in overstimulated fight or flight states all the time, we're not in the rest and digest nervous system state, which is where we find meaning; emotion, love, all these amazing feelings.
Ben: And, I don't mean to play devil's advocate, of course, you want to have some amount of cell danger syndrome turned on because if not, you'd be the person who'd get whatever bitten by a snake or eaten by a lion whenever danger popped up because you would just basically be bending down and smelling the roses and everything would be unicorns and butterflies. But, yeah, we tap into that sympathetic state so much now to the extent to where, I mean literally when I say cell danger syndrome, there's entire books written about how the cells are just spinning in this stress state that limits everything from metabolism to removal of metabolic waste to cellular turnover. So yeah, it's kind of like that mild hormetic edge that stress gives you is now all of a sudden blown out of control with the dial turned up all the time.
Robbie: Yeah. And, as a result, what are you missing out on? And, if you're not careful or pragmatic or planning, you're missing out on laughter and eye gazing and these amazing emotions and feelings of love that come from it's hard to be in both states at once. And so, if you're kind of a workaholic and you're listening, for me, I had a company that ended up failing. So, total fight or flight every day worried about survival, money, occupation, felt I was a failure. When the company failed, I lost pretty much everything I had. I had to move back in with my parents. And, to deal with that stress, I didn't know about any of these tools. And so, I went to drugs and alcohol. And so, it would be Thursday, Friday night after work like try to forget, try to escape, try to numb out from the stress and not feel it. And so, I really hit rock bottom a point of I feel a total failure. I don't know what I'm going to do in life. And, it was in that point I started to find new techniques to learn to master my nervous system state. And, breathwork was the number one most impactful.
Ben: Yeah. And so, when it comes to the idea of breathwork for you, were you just using apps? Were you watching Wim Hof in his underwear videos? What was it that you were relying on as your main source of education with breathwork at that point?
Robbie: Yeah. So, I started. There wasn't much and I started actually with ice bath and saunas. And so, I had mentioned we went on my first date with my wife and I was in the ice bath. And, as somebody who loved stimulation and struggled with drugs, it's an incredible boost, a healthy boost of norepinephrine and dopamine. So, you feel instantly alive.
Robbie: So, it's doing that every week like, what is happening? This is crazy. I'm driving 40 minutes to a Russian-style bathhouse outside of the city twice a week and doing this socially. And, why am I feeling so good? And so, I started listening to podcasts with Wim Hof. I did his training. And, when I was at the training, he prepped with the breathwork, and then I looked up some morning had a few podcasts on YouTube where he would guide these 30-minute breathworks and I'd listen to the same episode almost 300 days in a row every morning as a coffee enhancer. As part of my morning routine, I would start with this 10, 15, 20-minute Wim Hof style breathing with coffee to boost my state. And so, every time I did that, I would really turn on. And, I felt the first time these just feelings of inspiration, creativity, energy. And, that's that we said pushing the gas pedal on the nervous system in the morning.
Ben: Yeah. And so, the length of time that you were doing something like that, were you a short two, five-minute guy? Was it 15, 20 minutes? Or, for somebody who's just getting started like that, what worked for you?
Robbie: Yeah. I'd say the ideal, and if you're really interested in this as a beginner in the app, there's a section just titled Up. And, all we mean by Up is think of it as the rocket launch, the gas pedal, the energy booster, the focus enhancer. And so, for me in the morning, it was about 10 minutes. And, in that 10 minutes, it would be around three rounds of Tumm/Wim Hof/typical breathing. And, in the holds, we'd have some gratitude practice. And so, it's combining, kind of making. I was always doing these long morning routines. And so, it was like, “Well, how do we make the morning routine as fast and effective as possible in 10 minutes?” And so, the idea is you can pop in headphones, play this, do this every morning, and then have a coffee and you're sort of good to go.
Ben: Yeah. It's kind of shocking. I think a lot of people feel he got to take a big chunk of time and have that available for breathwork, but you can wake up and at some point during your morning stretch routine even do two minutes. And, that alone, you feel that physiological shift, that acid alkaline balancing, that slight breath hunger, that slight air hunger, and it really does not take long. And then, the problem is that it becomes addictive and you're like, “Man, two minutes felt good, I got to go four.” And then, eventually, four becomes eight. And, before long, you're spending 20 minutes every morning. But yeah, it really doesn't take that long and that's I think what surprises a lot of people who feel it's yet another thing they have to add in is it doesn't take that long. And, sometimes I chuckle when I look at your app, for example, and I see that there's two-minute sessions on there. But, at the same time, you actually can during a Pomodoro break from work or right in the morning as the coffee is boiling, squeeze it in. And so, you're right, it doesn't have to be super long.
And, I wanted to actually ask you some questions about Othership particularly though because there's some stuff that's going on when I'm using that app that just seems to be a little bit different than others that I've used. And so, my first question is, when it comes to headphones versus no headphones, is there anything going on with the actual science in the audio that would require headphones? And, if so, what would that be?
Robbie: There are a couple tracks in the down section that utilize binaural beats. And so, those binaural beats when using headphones can help. I mean, the science is questionable around binaural beats in general, but the idea is that these certain frequencies can help and train your brain into a parasympathetic state. So, when using headphones with those particular sessions, if there's one called Intercom and there's beats played at slightly different frequencies into each ear, and as a result, it's helping to entrain your brain waves into a theta or delta or alpha or beta state. So, for relaxation, the idea is you're combining slow breathing. So, when you're slowing your breath, you're reducing your heart rate. So, generally, the slower longer exhales and slow breath retentions in a period of two to three minutes can shift you into that rest and digest gas break. Nervous system stayed and then the binaural beats on top help as well move you into that state of gentle relaxation and focus.
Ben: But, the lion's share of the sessions, I don't need headphones for it, right?
Robbie: Yeah, exactly. It's more a matter of like, “Hey, where does this sound better for you?” And, if it's an amazing sound system, when we do group sessions, you mentioned breathwork concerts, they're on massive speakers and that's sort of my favorite. If I'm alone at home, I'll use headphones for down sessions. But, if you're not using headphones, it's not a big deal. I think I would just optimize for where it sounds best.
Ben: Okay, got it. Yeah, I actually like to play on the surround sound in the sauna. That's where my sons and I do most of our breathwork. When we first started using your app, we went through a gong where we did 30 days in a row and then we shifted to three times a week we were doing a 12 to 15-minute session. And then, twice a month, we did the big hour-long ones. And, I mean my sons were troopers. We would literally jack up the sauna to full intensity and then start those big long-hour sessions where you're pretty much tripping by the end. I mean, your body is just in a totally different planet. You're covered in sweat. And then, Mom would always chuckle because we'd come upstairs to dinner after we hit the cold tub. And, halfway through dinner, we'd all be basically ready to crawl into bed just totally exhausted from this really intensive breathwork session. But, the audio does work really well when you play a surround sound like that, which is cool.
Now, the next thing is that you have all of these voices, these different personalities, these people that guide you through the session, sometimes more than one voice. Who are these people, like all these folks who are actually submitting breathwork to the app?
Robbie: The majority, 40 to 50% are my co-founders, Harry and Amanda. Harry and Amanda are two my best friends. And, Othership actually started as a physical space. So, it started as an ice bath in the backyard. It was just open. It was an open backyard in the middle of Toronto where anyone could come and use this ice bath. It was a WhatsApp group where people would join and every night, people from the neighborhood would come in, some strangers, some new people, some return people, and there would be an ice bath class with a fire pit. And then, as that became super successful, winter hit, and so we built a garage space with a sauna, ice bath, and tea room. And, in that space, we started to teach people breathwork as part of the programming. And so, Harry and Amanda are world-leading a thing called a sauna master, which we actually don't have in North America. There's a technique in Europe called Aufguss and it involves towel waving, essential oils.
Ben: What do you call it?
Robbie: Yeah, A-U-F-G-U-S-S, Aufguss.
Robbie: And, there's actually championships in Europe where it's mastering the art of sauna performance. And so, imagine figure skating where you're in the sauna, the sauna fits 300 people, the sauna master is dancing, waving the towel, putting different essential oils on the stove, commanding the space. And so, Harry and Amanda lived in Europe and were trained sauna masters. And, as part of that route, they also learned about breathwork. And so, our idea, our goal was really to bring these techniques that help you master your nervous system in a way that's accessible and fun and community-driven.
So, it's breathwork, yes, but it's also these other techniques. And so, what's different about our breathwork is the amount of emotion that's included. So, as you know, there's couple sessions, there's anger releases, there's guilt releases, there's self-love and so woven into the breathwork sessions are NLP and hypnosis and different visualizations. And so, we actually work with five to ten therapists to script write each session. Most of the people who would do the voice work are just people who are interested in Toronto and our community and that have reached out and say, “Hey, I want to help you guys. I would love to come in the studio and help out and do some research.” And so, we'll just go to our customers and say, “Hey, what do you guys want?” Someone will say, “Oh, I'm struggling with anger, can you make one on anger?” And, we'll work with a therapist to write a script on releasing anger, and then we'll put it to breathwork. And, Harry and a sound engineer will actually work through the studio and try to make every single one like a piece of art. It'll produce the breath in the back and the heartbeats and the sound to make it exactly at that point of vocalizing or on the whole. So, it's synced perfectly.
Ben: That's what really, I think, is one of the game changers is the music pairs to the rhythm of the breath and long exhales and the long inhales in this really unique way. And again, even when you're doing the long exhale, sometimes the drum beat will disappear and it'll just feel you're shifted in this interstellar space and then the breathwork picks back up and the beats start again.
Robbie: Yeah. I think that's what's really cool is we're not a team of business people that had this idea where all hardcore breathwork users. And, we make the content ourselves. And so, it's not like we had an idea to make an app and went out and hired some people. We make it ourselves because that's what we do. And so, for me, when I was struggling in this low point, I didn't want to be around alcohol. And so, Harry, Amanda, my other partner, my wife who's a co-founder, another best friend, Miles, there's five of us. It's just a family company. And, we would have these breathwork parties where 10 people would come over. Instead of drinking alcohol, we would do a 60-minute, 90-minute roller coaster electronic music breath or where it felt like you're at a concert.
Robbie: You have a total state shift and then you would say share. And, I was like, “Well, that's amazing Friday night.”
Ben: It's actually a cool way to start. I have dinner parties at my house, especially during the winter, we kick them off. We'll have dinner at 7:00 and I'll tell folks, “Well, you show up at 6:00 and any of you who want to join for the sauna,” and usually it's just a bunch of the guys will go down to the sauna and the girls seem to want to sit upstairs and drink some wine and chat. Not to stereotype, but that just seems to be the way things tend to progress. And, we'll do one of these breathwork sessions literally as some people sit around the living room and whatever, smoke a cigar, have a beer, or whatever. We'll go down in the sauna and just do a 20 to 30-minute breathwork session and burn some incense and some essential oil and then traipse out to the cold pool and come in for dinner. And, oh my gosh, those are the best dinner parties ever.
Robbie: Yeah, just like you need if you're sober like everybody wants to connect. So, you're going out to this dinner and you want to share and you want to connect, but there's like a barrier sometimes of anxiety, discomfort, social anxiety. It just takes a little bit to get going, so people use one glass of wine, two glasses of wine. So, what if there was another way to make you feel comfortable and alive but it was healthy?
Robbie: And so, that's the ice bath, the sauna breathwork. These things make you a superpower in connecting socially getting over social anxiety but then you have an amazing sleep score the next day and you feel incredible. That is the future of socializing in my opinion is healthy ways to connect.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
And, I know you have all sorts of different breathing styles that you guys mix and match as you go through. There's elements of box breathing and diaphragmatic breathing and Wim Hof and alternate nostril and 478 and Kundalini, and a lot of times you'll be going through a session and realize by the time it's finished, you've done six different forms of breathwork but they're categorized. If you open up the app, they're categorized. There's Up, which you mentioned earlier, which is the big energizing ones, then there's Down, which are really great for sleep or lulling yourself up to sleep or getting to sleep when you've woken up in the night and need to get back to sleep. And then, there's these All Around ones that are just all over the place. And then, there's another one called Body, and that one is interesting because the first couple times I did it, I wasn't really ready but you're massaging different parts of your body and sometimes moving and dancing and doing self-inflicted somatic therapy. Tell me a little bit more about the Body section because I think that one's kind of interesting.
Robbie: Yeah. There's two sections that are really different from any other app. And so, one is All Around, which you mentioned, and that's meant to be therapy-like sessions in an affordable price point and they're all around emotions. And so, it might be anger release or guilt release, or self-love. And so, it's combining breathwork with NLP and different therapy techniques. So, when you're in that state, and why people use that is if you're struggling, even like you mentioned, we do a deep dive once a month or twice a month. You're getting rid of the emotional buildup that's related to life. So, you're switching jobs, moving houses, struggling with overwhelm, having a fight with your partner, all of those things, angry with a co-worker, you can just process those emotions and let them go instantly. So, that's really different.
And then, the other is Body, which there's tons of new research around somatic work and that's just simply the idea that we store emotions in our body. And so, an interesting example that people talk about, there's this Dr. Peter Levine and he references animals. And so, if you see a gazelle attacked in the wild, it'll escape and it'll lay on the ground and shake. Because their nervous system is turned on, animals will shake out and process the emotions and the energy from that nervous system explosions. The same thing happens to us, we turn on our nervous system, we're angry at work, how did that person say that to us? Angry with our partner. Boom, you feel that fight or flight turns on, but we don't have a good mechanism to process it. So, what is believed to happen in the science is that we store those emotions in our body. And so, there's these forms of somatic therapy shaking gentle movement and stretching, cold plunges, sauna, all these different things that turn off exercise is actually form of this as well. Yoga is another one. You're turning off the thinking mind, the part that's just like, “Oh, I've got these 10 tasks, this and that. I'm not a good person. I'm an imposter.” All these crazy thoughts you have and you're getting into your body. And so, teaching people to just gently stretch and shake out emotions. It's really powerful.
So, in that section, there's wild shaking, there's yelling. So, vocalizations which are great because we are told you're in high school and kids are like, “Oh, don't speak up, don't be different, we're going to make fun of you.” And, you're told not to be loud and not to share your emotions in our society.
Ben: Right. We develop almost these closed-off throat chakras. My wife had to struggle a lot with that just due to some educational and learning difficulties. And, she still does have to work on throat chakra, and chanting and singing and oming is something I've really focused on with my sons. And, we do some of those sessions. It's been interesting to see them progress over the past couple of years to be able to really if those long inhales just to a full-on from the heart like an om or anything else that the app is calling for. So yeah, I think a lot of people neglect that component, the vocal toning component.
Robbie: There's tons of science around it also for moving into the parasympathetic for releasing and just even think about it, we're just taught to fit in. And so, I've seen thousands of people that come for one of these breathwork concerts and we start off blindfolded with movement, and persons first time, they're kind of moving a bit. In their mind, it's, “I look silly” even though they're blindfolded, “What are people going to think?” And then, comes time to scream and it's like, “Ah.”
Ben: Yeah, exactly.
Robbie: Five weeks later after five sessions, it's like, “Yeah, of course. When do in my life do I scream? We're meant to let it out.” And, it's like, “When was the last time you just walked in your backyard and ripped a scream?” And so, I think guiding people to feel okay expressing themselves is so powerful. So, that's sort of what the Body section is about.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And then, the other one that's super interesting is the couples. And, this is a discussion that if you're listening at work, you might have to turn it down a little better if you're driving with the kids in the minivan. But, with the couple sessions, my wife and I have used those for lovemaking and for foreplay. They're not short. What's the shortest couple session? I think it's a half-hour long, right?
Robbie: Yeah. There's two. There's the couple's energy and there's a love bond that are quite strong. I'm so glad you brought this up. And, you're actually the one who suggested this and we finally got on it. So, this February, we're going to be releasing an intimacy challenge, 14 days. And, it will be from beginner to advance with beginner being breathwork and eye gazing, then it might be breathwork and loving-kindness meditation all the way to naked breathwork and self-pleasure breathwork and massage.
And so, we're kind of going to push the envelope here and again be a lot different than other apps and have guided sexual intimacy exercises together. I think that's something like, “Wow.” Okay. Well, instead of going on a date, if I can play this and just follow along the instructions with awesome music and have this amazing connection, that's really different to and somewhere where I'm glad you kind of pushed us to look at because we're working with three or four of the best sex and relationship counselors in the U.S. So, super excited to launch that in a couple months.
Ben: Hey, let's talk electrolytes. We've established the fact that I am super into salt. I salt a ton. And, one of the reasons for that is when I used to race Ironman Triathlon, we had a exercise physiologist from Gatorade come up and test our whole team. I raced for team Timex. And, it turns out that I had an enormous amount of sweat sodium loss, like three times the average amount. I began to use a lot of salt around 6 grams a day along with a host of other electrolytes like full spectrum electrolytes and immediately performance got better, recovery got better. I would go to sleep at night and not feel my blood pounding in my ears, which had grown so accustomed to and that I thought was normal. And, I am still super into electrolytes, but I want them to taste good, I want to be free of sugar and artificial ingredients and coloring, I don't want, well, let's cut straight to the chase, Gatorade or any of these other multi-colored basically sugar bottles that you can buy. They're just chock full of all sorts of crap.
So, I think one of the best electrolytes formulas out there is one that is low carb, paleo, keto, fits into whole food diets, good for fasting, good for athletes, good for a wide variety of health conditions designed by a trusted friend of mine whose name is Robb Wolf, designed with a host of science on the actual ratios behind things like the sodium, the magnesium, the potassium, the calcium, et cetera, and used by a wide variety of Special Forces, tech leaders, professional athletes, you name it. It's called LMNT. Whether your mom or an exercise enthusiast or a big sweater or a sauna lover or you want a dynamite no sugar margarita with their citrus salt flavor, yes, it's good, then you need LMNT. You'll get a free gift from LMNT if you go and order some with my link and your body is going to thank you big time because this stuff tastes good and is good for you and solves the electrolyte equation, stops it in its tracks when it comes to anything related to an electrolyte deficiency or imbalance. Go to DrinkLMNT.com/BenGreenfield, DrinkL-M-N-T.com/BenGreenfield. Get your free gifts with your purchase, DrinkLMNT.com/BenGreenfield.
I'm pretty stoked because this is now something I can do when I'm on the go and it's based on this idea that the human body being mostly water. But, what you probably don't know is everything else in your body is 50% amino acids. That means basically water and amino acids are two of the most important things that you can have in your body. And, some amino acids are essential. You have to get them from food, from breaking down steak and chicken and eggs and everything else. But, this stuff called Kion Aminos is a plant-based full essential amino acids profile backed by over 20 years of clinical research with the highest quality ingredients; no fillers, no junk, rigorous quality testing, taste amazing with all-natural flavors. I got on the amino acids bandwagon way back when I was racing Ironman triathlon. Started with branch chain amino acids, realized those were wasted time, switched over to essential amino acids and it has been a game changer ever since.
Now, what did I mean when I said travel? Well, these Kion Aminos, which are the essential amino acids that I take, they have for the watermelon flavor, the lemon-lime flavor, the berry flavor, and the mango flavor, they got stick packs now, so you can take them on the go. I honestly have a couple packs in my fanny pack now. I can dump them in water when I'm at a restaurant, have that instead of a bread basket that comes out or a cocktail. They satiate the appetite. They accelerate recovery. They're amazing pre-workout or during a workout. The list goes on and on. Fact is if you haven't tried essential amino acid, you're a miss now.
And, you can save 20% now on any monthly deliveries and 10% on any one-time purchases if you go to getKION.com/Ben. That's getK-I-O-N.com/Ben to get my fundamental supplement for fitness. Kion Aminos, getK-I-O-N.com/Ben.
This is it. This is a big announcement. I'm thinking you're going to really dig this. It's something I've been working on for the past three years, probably one of the biggest and most exhausting projects I've ever done in my life. I've been asked for a long time to write a book on family and parenting and legacy and raising healthy and resilient and free thinking and impactful children. I've never felt very qualified to be able to write that kind of book because my sons are just 14 and who's to say they're not going to wind up in prison? But, I know a lot of parents with incredibly impactful children; entrepreneurs, billionaires, single moms and dads, divorced parents, pastors, my parents, education experts, legacy builders, wealth management experts, just people who have really decoded life, legacy, discipline, education, everything that goes into the blueprint for raising a tiny little superhuman.
So, what I did was kind of in the style of “Tools of Titans” or “Tribe of Mentors” by Tim Ferriss, if you're familiar with that, I basically interviewed over 30 sets of amazing, amazing parents, and I gathered all their knowledge, all their wisdom, all their little tips and tricks and insider strategies and tools and resources and I put them all together in a book. I don't know if you read my book “Boundless,” but this is what “Boundless” was for biohacking. This is that for parenting. It's actually called “Boundless Parenting.” It is well over 650 pages long. It is a tome. It is everything a new parent or existing parent or teacher or grandparent or anyone else who interacts with children would ever need to know with interviews and tips from the best of the best parents on the face of the planet. It's called “Boundless Parenting: Tools, Tactics, and Habits of Great Parents.” “Boundless Parenting: Tools, Tactics, and Habits of Great Parents.”
It's available now for pre-orders. It's all at BoundlessParentingBook.com. I guess there's not a whole lot for me to say other than that. If you go to BoundlessParentingBook.com, you can sign up there, you can get in the pre-order list. We're giving away a bunch of bonuses to the first handful of people who get on that pre-order list. So, pre-orders are open, yeah, now if you're hearing this. BoundlessParentingBook.com.
I am so blessed and I'm so grateful and I'm so freaking excited about this project. You have no idea. I'm just beaming from ear to ear right now. So, if you can help me share the word about this book, gosh, I would be super grateful. If you want to pick one up for yourself or copies for friends, again, I'd be super grateful. I think that we can change a lot of people's lives, a lot of children's lives, develop legacies that will last for generations to come after we've left this planet with a book like this. So, BoundlessParentingBook.com. Check it out. And, thank you so much for being a part of this.
It's really interesting because at first, I thought when I put it on and suggest to my wife that we try one of the new couple sessions that it might feel weird with other voices in the bedroom and people you don't know talking to you on the app. And then, once we started it, I mean you get into this state of flow that not only by the time you actually do start making love, it makes it an entirely different experience but you almost get into this tantric state where I mean, we can literally just make love forever after doing those breathwork sessions but you keep on doing that same breathwork, which I think for a lot of people like men who have maybe read the “Multi-Orgasmic” male book and not actually implemented some of those power draws or known how to tie their breath to their physical movement or the emotional connection during sex or for people who just haven't really figured out a way to make breath kind of like unconsciously competent during sex, this makes that transition so much easier.
I had never really realized how much of a difference it would make in the lovemaking process to do a big dose of breathwork beforehand as a couple. And, a lot of times, we'll start clothes and then as the breathwork progresses, we'll remove items of clothing as we go. But, for any couples out there who have not tried couples breathwork, like you mentioned, instead of going on a date or whatever, yeah. I mean, spend the half hour you'd normally spend just eating food and drinking wine and do the breathwork together instead. And man, that's a total game-changer.
Robbie: It's so strange in our society because one, there's huge stigma to like, “Okay, I'm going to go to a couple's therapist.” Most people will just not do that and it's expensive and you have to share. And so, it's like, “Well, when do I really work on my relationship?” And, there's not a lot of ways. if I even wanted to, how do I do it? And so, most people listening are probably thinking, “Yeah, I have a good relationship,” but the same way probably all your listeners like, “Yeah, I go to the gym, I do some meditation, I have these weekly routines that make me healthy.” But, what about making relationship healthy?
And, there's not a cool easy accessible ways to do that. So, for small price like 1% of what a therapy session is, not to say it replaces therapy but you can do this at home, you don't have to admit to anybody or that you're talking to a doctor or say there's a problem, it can be something like super fun that you look forward to. And, we've had people say we actually do couples classes in the space also. And so, the couple's class is a date night in the space where in the sauna, you actually do a guided massage of each other. You then go on the ice bath, you do an eye gaze and you repeat these lines, this hot upon to each other. You hug each other to warm up and then you go back in the sauna and you share a time you felt supported.
And so, it's all guided, but it's done in a way where you feel like, yeah, this is a wicked Friday night, music sauce on the space is amazing. And so, think ways to make therapy-like techniques fun and accessible and cool is what's going to make it mainstream, that like, “Yeah, I should work on my emotions and feel good about it.”
Ben: Yeah. It's really interesting when you talk about the physical spaces that you have up there. I think the last time we talked you were expanding them into other places. But, tell me more about these brick-and-mortar facilities because I actually haven't been to one. I really want to go, but in my mind, it sounds like some kind of a breathwork gym.
Robbie: Sort of. So, there's definitely classes. But, really as I mentioned first date, hot and cold, [00:42:34] _____ drug and alcohol addict. And, when I was sober, I want to do something at night that's fun and I would go out and I didn't really want to be around alcohol, so all of a sudden like sporting events, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, very challenging environments for me. So, I'd go to these bathhouses. And, bathhouse is a giant sauna, cold plunge, steam room. And, I always had a really good time but they weren't really geared towards a nightlife spot. And so, we started with the ice bath. As I mentioned, we had the garage space. And then, during COVID, we got a really good deal on a lease and opened this first base in Toronto. There's a couple reasons people go.
So, one, if you're thinking about why you even go out and socialize, usually it's for community and connection, maybe to find a romantic partner, and then also to change your state, which is usually done with music and alcohol. So, what if I could offer you all of those things but in a healthy way where you go home in your Whoop or Oura score, your HRV is great, you've fallen asleep, you had real connection. And so, as we said, the ice bath and the sauna are the things that get you ready, prime you, make you feel great, so you're ready to connect with others. So yeah, the space, there is some breathwork but it's mostly about connection. And so, every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday night from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 in the morning, it's a party.
The music's turned up, there's guides. People are mingling. It's super fun. And then, also in the spaces, there's classes each day. And, the classes are on the app, there's Up classes. So, think of Wim Hof breathing, dunking your head in the ice bath, vocalizations, loud like hip-hop electronic music, there's Down classes. So, candlelit, sound bath, internal journeying, stuff like that. And then, there's All around classes. And, the All Arounds are sort of like the couples one I mentioned. There's an anger release where you bring up moments of anger and the sonic goes pitch black and everyone screams and they release. And so, it's very similar to what's on the app but modified for the physical space with the guide.
And so, the space is open morning to night for either classes or socials. I just think it's a new community space for, I mentioned our nervous systems, loneliness at all-time highs, stress at all-time highs. There's not healthy places to go and congregate at night. There's gyms, great. There's fitness classes, but what do you do at night? And, that's when unhealthy stuff happens. You go to a party. It's like, “I destroyed my body” but there's just not alternatives. And so, the whole goal is just helping you fix your nervous system in community.
Ben: The idea of having the sauna and the ice baths combined with the breathwork is, of course, something I think a lot of people are already familiar with and many people are experimenting with. But, have you found other modalities to fit in well with that type of experience whether it's certain hacks or supplements or anything else out of biohacking or beyond that you've thrown into the mix and found resonated with a lot of people?
Robbie: So, one thing we found is thinking you're exactly the test case. So, you have the sauna, you're probably in there at least two 15-minute sessions, two 20-minute sessions, maybe longer. So, in one day you're in there 40 minutes. It's like, “Okay, I have 40 minutes here. I'm not on my phone. I'm not doing work.” Like, “What am I doing?” And so, you could be listening to podcasts, but sometimes you can make that time more exciting. So, it's one of the only places where someone goes and you have a captive audience. So, it's incredible for what we've seen as some of the things that we like to draw from, the modalities is essential oils and scents.
And so, I also heard a podcast with Essential Oil Wizardry and Nick.
Ben: Yeah, Dr. Nick from Essential Oil Wizardry.
Robbie: Yeah. And, this stuff is awesome. And so, each round there'll be a snowball filled with a different concoction. It could be rosemary eucalyptus. It could be Chinese cedarwood and cinnamon. And so, depending on if the class is Up or Down, you can use Up or Down smells. We don't use our sense of smell too much, it's one of the most disregarded scents even though it's so powerful, bypasses the prefrontal cortex, goes right to the emotional brain triggers, those memories. And so, every class will have a palette of sense for different reactions. They'll have breathwork. And so, usually, in 20 minutes, there's about five songs, five rounds. So, there'll be some breathwork, Down or Up. There'll be some visualizations. There'll be some vocalizations, so like screams and different stuff to let go of the body. And then, there'll be some movement.
A couple that we've seen really interesting to stack in there is stretching because your body's hot, you can get into some deep movement, long yin yoga style stretching, nerve flossing. It's a combination of those five things around usually an emotion seems to be the holy grail that people enjoy.
Ben: What about things like niacin for increased blood flow or other things that come to mind would be like cordyceps mushroom extract for the adaptogenic effect that has on the lungs? Obviously, a lot of people will pair ketamine with breathwork as another example, what about nutrients or supplements, or even drugs like that?
Robbie: So, I would put this out. I'm not an expert here and I would put this out to anyone on the show, any listeners. We are in the process of creating a pre- and post-cold plunge drink that'll be served in this space. And, we're thinking something post-plunge to heat you up. So, potentially some jalapeno, different items that are going to help with that extreme cold and your body's ability to burn more sugar as thermogenesis turns on. And then, in the sauna, right now, we're using LMNT packages, which are a fantastic product for hydration, but we want to make an entire drink. So, what kind of nutrients, vitamins could we make that increase these feelings? And so, yeah, I'm not an expert and actually, probably you would know much better than me, but we're very interested in as part of that class when you're coming in. What is the optimal pre-plunge and post-plunge drink and post-sauna rehydration drink because I think that would be an awesome product.
Ben: Yeah. I think a couple of things to think about would be, first of all, things that would help to support for the ice component, the conversion of brown adipose tissue or the conversion of white tissue to brown adipose. So, some of the things that come to mind for that would be green tea extract is one, caffeine is another to just basic in any caffeine derivative, vitamin B5, and then also niacin. Those seem to also help with that effect.
I had a podcast a while back where I talked about all these things that could help to boost fat burning in cold conditions. Vitamin A is another big one. And so, considering the white fat to brown fat conversion would be one. Another one would be what increases body heat for the actual sauna components, so there's a lot of things that are used now as metabolic enhancers, things that increase metabolism, L. Baiba is one, B-A-I-B-A. Their green tea extract can also help with this black pepper extract or more specifically grains of paradise, which I actually use in my pepper grinder on our counter. You think you're grinding pepper onto your salad, but all of our pepper grinders, it's grains of paradise extract, which has the same flavor profile as black pepper but it actually increases metabolism and can also cause that shift of white fat to metabolically active brown fat bitter melon like the stuff we have in Kion Lean. That's another one that can help with that conversion. And then, there's also a herb called astragalus in there as well.
So, those would be a few examples of things to think about for the increase in the heat component or increasing the white fat to brown fat conversion component. And, of course, back to the actual breath itself, yeah, probably cordyceps would be one of my favorites for that but any of the vasodilatory substances as well, like a watermelon extract, beetroot extract, anything along those lines that you'd find a typical pre-workout, those so-called natural forms of Viagra, even L-Arginine, citrulline, yohimbe, a lot of those could also be thrown into the mix. So, there's no reason you couldn't develop a supplement that hits all three, that'd be kind of unique. It's totally built for breathwork, sauna, cold where you've got your lung openers, a cordyceps. You've got your fat burners like EGCG, the green tea extract, et cetera. And then, you have your body heat increasers like grains of paradise or the L. Baiba. And so, what would be cool is you could actually develop a powder that has honestly for most of those, the volume wouldn't have to be enormous for the powder. But yeah, like a stick pack that someone could pour into their water to just sip during the entire session or before that has a lot of those things in it. That would be kind of a cool concept. I don't think there's anything like that right now I could think of in the industry for specifically that breath-heat-cold components. Yeah, it could be pretty cool actually.
Robbie: Right, it's a great idea. If anybody wants to work on that, we have an audience and we're happy to start testing and just handing out packs. And, I think exactly what you said the nitric oxide boosters will really improve the breathwork experience. That's a fantastic idea.
Ben: Yeah. That'd be super interesting. And, do you guys have plans to go beyond Toronto for these locations? Selfishly enough, I'd love to be able to drop into something like this in the U.S.
Robbie: Yeah. So, we've actually submitted two offers in New York. One in Brooklyn and another in Manhattan. And so, by the end of next year, I'm 95% confident we'll have four studios in New York and Toronto. And then, we're looking at the West Coast also.
So, back to the app itself. When you guys are working with the app uploading routines, et cetera, how often do you actually add new tracks to the app? I see them pop up now and again, but I'm really not sure what the frequency is. Because it's obviously a paid app, so I'm sure people expect updates here and there as they go through it.
Robbie: Yeah. We had a few a week. And so, it just depends on the week. Sometimes we'll record I would say around 15 to 20 a month and then we'll drop in three here and there a week on average. And, it just depends on what users are asking for and if we come up with new ideas. So, the way the app works is every day, you're going to get a new Up and Down. And so, an Up is minimally guided, let's say on average, three rounds or so of Wim Hof style to most style breathing. That's like I know in six to seven minutes, I'm going to blast off. And, every day I know that I'm going to have a Down session that if I'm working super hard and I want to relax for a minute or if I'm struggling to sleep, it's there. And, I think there's a couple hundred of each of those that rotate. So, there's always going to be a new Up and Down.
And then, the All Around content, the Body content, those are harder to create, they take longer, they're longer sessions. The ideas need more refining and research the more maximally guided. And so, those every month we'll pick a focus. So, in January, we're actually launching and we're actually going to gift this out for free for anyone who asks a 30-day cold plunge challenge. And so, each day will be sort of a three to five-minute meditation for the cold plunge. Some will include breathwork pre-plunge, some will include breathwork in-plunge, some will include vocal toning and different visualizations in the ice.
And so, the idea is if I get through this challenge, I can make cold bathing a habit. And so, that was a big focus last month was getting that content ready. And then, as I mentioned, February is an intimacy month. So, there's always Up and Down content that we think is best in class. And then, All Around content coming out a bit less frequently.
Ben: Okay. So, in terms of the actual sessions themselves, there's obviously a ton in there. A couple of my favorites are the Feel Fantastic Now and Feel Good Now. I think those are 15 to 17-minute sessions that it's nearly impossible to do and not just feel on top of the world when you finish. But, do you have what you would consider to be some of the favorites, some of the must dos within the app that you think people should try if they get their hands on it.
Robbie: So, I think there's three ways to test. There's the Up, Down, and All Around. And, I think the All Around sessions are the ones where you're like, “Whoa, I didn't even know you could do that.” And, especially if you've never tried breathwork before, that's the ones where you're conquering your fears, you're crying, you're feeling love for the first time, you're seeing visions of your inner child. And, we really stay away from woo-woo language. It's all based on science and emotion. So, it's accessible for everybody. So, if you're in the app, the first thing to do is search by duration, find a long session and do it with a friend. Anything that's 30 minutes to 60 minutes in the All Around section, then we call them Other Trips.
Robbie: So, they're very psychedelic inspired.
Ben: They're trippy, yeah.
Robbie: And so, those are the bangers, the bazooka where if you're like, “Hey, I'm feeling stressed, I'm not feeling like myself or there's some feelings here I need to work through,” that's it. One hour on a Sunday morning, in the evening, maybe with some friends, maybe by yourself. That's exactly what I would definitely try because that's most unique. You can't get that on Calm or Headspace, anywhere else. It's very, very unique.
And then, in the Up section, I love the morning energy flow, morning hip-hop, ones that feel fantastic now, feel good now. There's an actual morning journey. It's a 30-day morning routine challenge in the journey section. And so, if you're just like, “Hey, I want to get started, can you commit to” what we found to build the habit is Monday to Friday, take the weekends off but say, “Hey, I'm going to do this for 30 days, Monday to Friday,” so it's six weeks. And, just in that challenge, you can do a different one each day and they're all five minutes to 10, 12 minutes of Ups. I think that's the best way to really build the habit that like, “Hey, this is as good as coffee for me in the morning.” I'm not as much the down person, I get the sense you're also more of a, I want to push it envelope and stimulate.
Ben: Yeah. And, for me, too, it's like in the evening by the time I get the family up to the bedroom and do our bedtime routine, everything is a breathwork session in the evening sometimes just isn't as doable as one earlier in the day or for that morning workout type of session.
Robbie: Yeah. Even just to get started, there's a perfect breath I think it's called. It's a minute long or two minutes long and it's one breath. So, it's a 30-second inhale, a 30-second hold, 30-second exhale. And so, it's like, “Oh, I've never done this before. What happens if I'm struggling?” Like you said, “Oh, two minutes,” and you can just show yourself. You can again search by duration and show yourself, “Hey, two minutes.” This is going to make a difference because you're changing your physiology. And so, I think for a lot of people meditation is very hard. “Calm, Headspace. I download it five times. I've meditated for 60 days, nothing's happening. I'm sitting down. I don't know. I've deleted it.”
The nice thing about breathwork is in a single session, you're not working on awareness, you're working on state change. And so, you can feel the change in your body in two minutes. And so, that's another good place to start is the short ones and just I'm struggling at work. I know there's this SOS single deep breath. So, those are ones I really like. Personal favorites also intercom on the downside. It's binaural beats mixed with slow breathing. That one for me will knock me out every single time. So, if you're Up, Down, All Around, try one of each.
Ben: Yeah. So, in terms of what you guys might be doing in the future, you're obviously going to expand these brick-and-mortar facilities, which I really want to drop into and visit. I encourage people to try it out if you're already in Toronto. You probably could. But, as far as within the app itself or elsewhere as far as the direction of Othership, you guys plan on adding anything else that's new or interesting to the app or to the brick-and-mortar experience?
Robbie: Yes, I think the vision is really based on personal experience. And so, what I found was it was very hard to be ready to change. And so, addiction and losing my company I was almost forced into change. So, it's really hard to take that first step. So, even if I said I know you talk about meditation retreats and psychedelics and all these things like therapy, people just aren't ready for those massive experiences to start. And then, even if they do those massive experiences and I know a lot of people probably have had plant medicine experiences or again meditation retreats, when you come back, the first thought is all my life has changed and it's really not. What happens is for three weeks, you feel changed and then same friends, same habits, same thought patterns. And so, it's very hard to get into the mindset that I want to change.
And then, even when you try these big transformations, it's hard to maintain it. So, we call that prep and integration. And so, what I see others are solving over the next 10 years is it's a really easy onboarding. So, there's no spirituality component, it's very much at least discussed, it's very much, “Hey, whatever you believe, you can bring that here. It's totally open.” It's just science-backed experiences that are fun and done in community. “Okay, great, I can go there for a birthday. I can have some fun. I can go to a concert.” And so, it gets you into the mode of, “Wow, this is important.”
And then, when you have those big experiences whether it'd be religious or meditation or whatever, when you come back to your city, there's a group of people that are also trying to change for the better, be in a positive community. And so, what does the Othership has is this Hub of physical spaces, this app that you can use daily to shift your estate when you need. And then, we're going to launch a product called Groups eventually. And, the idea of a Group is maybe you're lonely and you've come 25 times and you get the offer to join a group. And, the group is once a week a virtual meetup on the app where you share and you learn. And so, you might share how you're feeling really. And then, there's a challenge around service to others because I think that's really important also for happiness.
So, it's once a week, once bi-weekly on the recorded session together or a virtual session. Then, once a week, you go meet in the space and then you do that for two, three months and then it ends in a retreat. And, the retreat can be psychedelic medicines, it could be a landmark leadership form or Tony Robbins. It could be just a nature retreat. The whole thing is bringing a group together to meet and share their feelings virtually to meet in physical space and then to do a deep transformational experience together and then continue it when they come back.
So, I think with that methodology in all cities, you're starting to build this platform where people can make real sustainable behavioral change because what I've seen in my psychedelic use is that just the psychedelics alone or just the meditation alone when you don't have the community and the integration, it's harder to change. And so, I feel if you have this entire system together with people and there's a component of service to others, that'll be what makes people happy.
Ben: Yeah, that's really cool. And, that's obviously way more dynamic than anything that's going on right now as far as I know in the breathwork and the breathwork app. It's almost an integration component worked in. When I do the breathwork sessions with my sons, which is typically in the sauna, we finish and I actually walk them through a vagal nerve reawakening process where we open our eyes and I have them shift their gaze to the left, then the right, and up, and down with minimal movement of the head, and then shift their gaze at something far in the room, shifts their gaze at something close in the room, shift their gaze to something round, shift their gaze to something square. So, that's about two minutes for us when we finish and then I tell them, “Okay, we're all going to very quietly go through the yard out into the cold tub.” It's about a 50-yard walk. And, our only goal is to remain in that same state of mindfulness and intentionality that we developed during the actual breathwork session.
And then, we slip into the cold pool just very quietly and slowly and do a few head dips in the cold pool. And then, the understanding between all of us is none of us have to talk to each other, we can all be in our own space, and we're usually doing these sessions at sometime between 6 and 6:30 we'll start. Usually, we meet up for family dinner at 7:00. So, they know all they need to do is just be in the kitchen at family dinner at 7:00, but I give them this whole time. Usually, it's a good half hour to 45 minutes to just soak up everything that they've experienced during the breathwork session, do the cold afterwards. But, there's not a lot of chatter, there's not a lot of laughing, joking, anything, we're just all inside our own space.
After we do that vagal nerve reawakening, we go out, we do the cold. And then, eventually, everybody's showered up and dressed, and a lot of times, they're in their bathrobes at the dinner table. But, that's what we did all last winter. And, we're recording this right now in November, so we're starting up our breathwork gong again, this is kind of like perfect timing, in a few days in December. And, all through this winter, we'll be doing the same thing father-son about three times a week, the 15-minute sessions, and then one or two times a month, we do the full-on 60-minute session in the sauna. And, it's actually really amazing to see how it improves things like focus, mindfulness, awareness, and just overall calmness in a couple of, well, last year when we did, there they're 13, now they're 14, but I think it's just one of the best things for kids, especially to develop this intimate connection with their own breathwork to be able to turn the dial up and down on their own physiology, and then also to be given that space to integrate afterwards.
Robbie: Yeah. I mean, there's nothing like that in the world. And then, imagine on top of that, all the parents in your neighborhood were doing that and the kids met in a group and shared what kind of training is there for kids to master their emotions? Almost none. And, it's because that training in a room with a therapist is it's harder to focus, especially as you're younger. And so, now what you're creating is these physical sensations through breathing hot-cold that put them into a state that like, “Wow, okay.” Now, they're ready to integrate it. And so, it's brilliant, it's priming your state to make real sustainable change. And then, because they enjoy the hot cold and the breathing, like you mentioned, you're doing it every day that deep dives monthly, all of these things are not one and done. Their life habits, you need to implement to make real change, so it's so cool to hear you're doing that.
Ben: Yeah. It's been a huge boost for just our connection as fathers and sons or as father and sons. And also, I think just systematically using Othership, one of the better ways to actually have access to a whole bunch of sessions that we can choose from.
With Othership, it's obviously a paid app. Just to come right out and be transparent with people, I don't think it's the least expensive breathwork app out there. I think if you subscribe, what's the approximate cost?
Robbie: So, it's $128 a year. And, I think around $18 a month.
Robbie: And, we do have a scholarship program which people can email us about if affordability is an issue.
Ben: Oh, okay. What's the scholarship program?
Robbie: It's just generally if you email us and say like, “Hey, I can't afford this and I'd like to get access,” we'll gift the membership completely.
Ben: Okay, cool. And then, for all of our listeners, we're doing I think a 14-day free trial, people just want to kick the tires and try it out, right/
Ben: Okay, cool. I'll link to that. I think you just go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Othership. But, what I'll do is I made shownotes for this show if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/BentBreath. Robbie's last name is Bent. So, BenGreenfieldLife.com/BentBreath. And, I'll link to everything that Robbie and I talked about and link to the app. And also, Robbie sent me over some cool videos like an 1,800-person ice bath in Toronto. And then, yeah, also there are another thousand people in that other breathwork session that you sent over to me, I think. Was that through you guys or was that just a city event?
Robbie: Yeah, we did it with another group in the city. And so, the idea is to create these massive events for awareness that like, “Hey, you can connect without alcohol.” And, the videos are incredible. One is an 1,800-person. We didn't hire Guinness because it's expensive, but I think it's a world record. And, the breathwork was also 850 or 900 people candle lit on a Tuesday night in Toronto. And so, the goal is show people that there is demand for this stuff and people want to feel their emotions and do it in a way that's sober and healthy. And, I'm going to put it out there now but I want to do one 10,000 people in New York around the launch. It's just a groundswell of people looking to feel good.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, it's pretty much impossible to not feel good after you use this thing. So, for anybody listening, I highly recommend you try it out. Again, I try a ton of breathwork apps and this is my favorite bar none. I've done courses like I did that course with Niraj Naik, the Renegade Pharmacist guy, Josh Trent has a great course to do the more didactic sessions even though Othership also has a bunch of learnings as well within their app itself. But, if you just want in your pocket, boom, click, I want to feel up, I want to go down, I want to trip out, anything, you just pick a session and you go. And again, you're learning how to elegantly use that free built-in physiological adjuster that's inside each of us. So, BenGreenfieldLife.com/BentBreath is where I'll put the shownotes. And, the app is called Othership. You can check it out BenGreenfieldLife.com/Othership.
Robbie, thanks so much for not only creating this but also coming on the show and sharing some of the background behind it.
Robbie: Thanks, man. What a big moment and fun moment for me. I don't usually get nervous doing these, but the heart was pounding when we started. So yeah, it was a pretty meaningful moment for me. So, I appreciate it.
Ben: Well, fortunately, you know what to do about a pounding heart, just go grab one of those Down sessions. It should be good to go. Cool. Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with my friend, Robbie Bent, signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com. Try the Othership app. And, until next time. Have an amazing week.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
Right now, it seems everyone is talking about breathwork.
And at this point, you probably know you should be doing it. You’ve heard about the seemingly endless amounts of neuroscience behind it, you’ve read articles about the countless benefits, and maybe you’ve even dabbled in a few courses or guided sessions.
But even though it's clear that breathwork is powerfully good for us, you may still struggle to find the time and motivation to practice it regularly. Trust me, I'm guilty of this too. Sometimes I just have so much going on that it’s hard to allow myself to relax and give in to 20-30 minutes of not doing, and simply breathing.
That’s where Othership comes in.
Othership is my favorite new breathwork app. Yes, I know, there's a dizzying variety of breathwork apps out there…but this one is just really darn good. It helps me look forward to doing my daily breathwork, which means I'm less likely to skip it for other “more important things.”
The app comes with over 500 extremely well-produced guided breathwork sessions for just about everything from “pick-me-up” energy boosts to “othertrip” sessions for “orbiting time and space.” I've personally been doing a 6-15 minute “upper” session each day, a “downer” session before naps or sleep, and on the weekends I've been incorporating the longer 50-70 minute holotropic-style trippy sessions. (It's better to listen with headphones, by the way, because many of the tracks also include binaural beats to shift you into different brainwave states.)
Other benefits of using Othership include:
- Incorporating certain breathwork practices to help build up lung capacity and breath retention
- Harnessing the power within to kickstart your day and breathe life into your focus and productivity
- Reaching altered states through esoteric experiences to help regulate your emotions and engage in affirmations and manifestations
- Building a routine for good sleep, and unwinding with practices to destress and linger in the present instead of thinking into the future unnecessarily
- Stretching to new areas of movement through embodiment practices, such as mixing conscious breathing simultaneously with walking or ice bathing
If you want to learn more about how to incorporate breathwork into your life, check out my article, 7 Easy Ways to Incorporate Breathwork Into Your Life, Plus My Top Recommendation for Making It a Daily Habit, in which I discuss even more about Othership, but in the meantime, my guest on this show is the founder of Othership himself: my friend Robbie Bent.
Through Othership, Robbie Bent is building a platform to reduce loneliness. He's built the first emotional training classes in North America using saunas and ice baths paired with the Othership app. They also run live breathwork concerts in NYC, LA, Miami, and Austin. Robbie is a GP at Vine Ventures, a Psychedelic Medicine venture fund committed to giving 50% of profits to research and charitable causes. Prior to Othership, Robbie was an early employee at the Ethereum Foundation.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-What made Robbie Bent decide to start Othership?…10:58
- Robbie suffered from nervous system dysregulation
- Chronic fatigue, overstimulation, fight-or-flight mode all the time
- We are not meant to constantly live in fight-or-flight
- Robbie’s failed company and dealing with the stress
- Discovering techniques for mastering the nervous system
-How Robbie became interested in breath work in the first place…13:02
- Started with ice baths and sauna
- Listening to Wim Hof podcast
- Headphones vs. no headphones
- Podcast with Dr. Jeffrey Thompson:
- Ben’s breathing practices with his sons:
–Where Robbie finds his instructors…20:00
- Co-founders Harry and Amanda – trained sauna masters
- Othership started as a physical space – with an ice bath in the backyard; space for sauna, ice bath and tea room
- Breathwork session for different problems with different people
- Game changer was pairing music with breathing exercises
- Group sessions to overcome social anxiety and connect in a healthy way
-How Othership is unique, compared to other breath apps…25:10
- 2 sections different from any other app
- Sessions categories
- All around
- All Around – affordable therapy-like session all around emotions
- Body – based on the idea that we store emotions in our body
- Dr. Peter Levine
- Form of a somatic therapy to process and shake out emotions
- Sessions for couples – Couples Energy and Love Bond
- Launching a 14-day intimacy challenge in February
- Guided sexual intimacy exercises
- Ben’s experience with sessions for couples
- A way to make therapy-like techniques fun and accessible
-What happens at Robbie's brick-and-mortar facilities…42:08
- A new healthy type of community space
- Offering community and connection in a healthy way without alcohol
- Cold bath, sauna, breathwork
- From 8 pm to 2 am – party, music, people mingling
- During the day – Up and Down classes, All Around classes
–What kind of hacks or supplements or other things are people combining Othership with…45:03
- Essential oils and scents
- Dr. Nick from Essential Oil Wizardry podcast:
- Visualizations and vocalizations
- In the process of creating a pre- and post-cold plunge drink
- In the sauna – LMNT packages for hydration
- Ben’s suggestions
-How often does Othership upload new breath routines, and what are some of Robbie's favorites?…52:24
- On average, additions are added weekly (15-20 a month)
- Launching in January a 30-day cold plunge challenge
- Intimacy content to be launched in February
- Robbie’s favorites
- Long, All Around sessions, other trips, very psychedelic inspired
- Morning energy flow, morning Hip Hop, morning journey challenge
- Perfect breath – 1-2 minutes long
- Inner Calm
- Breathwork – not working on awareness, but on state change
-The future of Othership…58:12
- Problem for all to solve over the next 10 years – easy onboarding
- Othership offers:
- Physical spaces
- An app that you can use daily or to shift your state when you need
- Also launching groups for virtual meetups, meetings in physical space, retreats
- The goal is to build a platform where people can make real, sustainable behavioral change
- Ben’s experience with his sons
-Details about the Othership community…1:05:41
- The cost is $128 a year (14-day free trial when you subscribe for a year)
- Scholarship program for free
- Massive event in Toronto
-And much more…
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- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
– Robbie Bent:
- Othership (14 day free trial when you subscribe for a year)
– Podcasts And Articles:
- How You Can Use Sound And Music To Change Your Brain Waves With Laser Accuracy And Achieve Huge Focus And Performance Gains.
- How To Blast You (And Your Child’s!) Physical, Mental, & Spiritual Resilience Through The Roof With Breathwork.
- The Wizard Of Essential Oils Strikes Again: The Hidden & Magical World Of Little-Known Plant Extracts For Digestion, Relaxation, Libido, Immunity & Much More!
- 7 Easy Ways to Incorporate Breathwork Into Your Life, Plus My Top Recommendation for Making It a Daily Habit
- My Daily Gratitude Practice: A Prized And Protected Part Of My Day (And Why It Should Be Yours too)
- How To Blast You (And Your Child’s!) Physical, Mental, & Spiritual Resilience Through The Roof With Breathwork.
– Other Resources:
- Morozko Forge Cold Bath
- Essential Oil Wizardry
- Green Tea Extract
- Vitamin B5
- L. Baiba
- Kion Lean
- Vitamin A
- Black pepper extract
- Grains of paradise extract
- Watermelon Extract
- Beetroot Extract
- L. Arginine
- Dr. Peter Levine
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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Robbie Bent or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!