Women Rocking Business Podcast With Sage Lavine

Episode #14: The Secret to Rock as a Speaker is the BREATH

The foundation of your business is your message.
Your message is delivered when you speak.
& The heart of speaking is…your BREATH.

That’s why your BREATHING is so important. I’m joined by James Nestor, bestselling author of Breath, to teach you how to rock your speaking events by optimizing your breath.

Buy James Nestor’s Book Breath here.

Join the Women Rocking Business Sisterhood Facebook Group Here. 

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WOMEN ROCKING BUSINESS

is here to show you how to make money with your message
and grow your heart-based business. Join Sage + amazing guest speakers in
this special podcast designed for women who are changing lives.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Episode #14: The Secret to Rock as a Speaker is the BREATH

Welcome to the Women Rocking Business Podcast, because there’s never been a better time to be a woman entrepreneur. I’m Sage Lavine, and I’m here to call you forth to rock your business, sister. Let’s dive in.

Hello James Nestor, and hello to all of you who are on a path of high-performance of bringing your message to the world of speaking in your career. At the heart of the skill of speaking, bringing your message on video online, onstage…at the heart of that is the power of the breath. And that is why I had to beg James Nestor for an interview.

Sage Lavine

00:00:44

He’s the best selling author of the book Breath. For those of you that aren’t as familiar with James, he’s written for Outside Magazine scientific American at the Atlantic, the New York times, and Nestor has appeared in dozens of national television shows, including ABC’s Nightline, CBS morning news and on NPR. James lives and breathes in San Francisco. I am so excited to be here with you, James.

 James, how did you get to be so curious about the breath?

James Nestor

00:01:17

I think it wasn’t one thing in particular, but a bunch of things that happened over consecutive years. I had been suffering from various respiratory issues for a long time. I was eating right. I was exercising all the time. I was surfing. I was boxing, martial arts and all that stuff, sleeping eight hours. Still, I was getting sick all the time. A lot of the sicknesses were in the respiratory tract. So I was wondering why this was, and I heard from some people it’s like, “Oh, you’re just getting old. This is what happens.” I didn’t really like that answer. So I dug a little deeper and found that so many of us are breathing improperly. Because we’re breathing improperly. We’re making ourselves much more susceptible to not only respiratory problems, but to anxiety, to high blood pressure, to so many other issues.

Sage Lavine

00:02:02

It’s so true. My audience knows, and many of my friends know that for a long time, I’ve been taping my mouth shut at night and people ask me, “Why are you taping your mouth shut at night?” You know, you’re going to be able to answer that question a lot better than I am. All I know is the breathing coach told me to try it because I was mouth breathing. I started to snore. I started to have sleep apnea. Just some gentle little bit of tape over the mouth, it comes right off, has completely solved my issues. I don’t snore. I don’t have sleep apnea and I wake up feeling more refreshed and a hundred times more energized to go and rock my life and rock my business. The women who are watching this episode are curious about living their best life and their highest performance so they can go out and change the world and have an epic life too. So, you know, can you give us a little bit of the science behind why that matters? Why breathing through your nose at night matters?

James Nestor

00:03:00

Well, this sounded completely sketchy to me when I first heard about it a few years ago. Then I went on YouTube, which is a bad idea for any reason, don’t go on YouTube. I found like all of these terrible instructional videos of people using like nine pieces of tape, making a little tape goatee. I thought this is totally idiotic, but I was working with the chief of rhinology research at Stanford for months and months,. I was watching his research. I was investigating it. We were working on a few studies and I walked down the hall and talked to the doctor of speech language pathology at Stanford. She had this big roll of blue tape on her desk. I was like, “What? What’s that?” And she’s like, “Oh, I prescribed this to all of my patients that they tape their mouth.

James Nestor

00:03:45

I said, “I’ve heard about this and it sounds insane.” She’s like, “No, no, no.” Like using a piece of duct tape, that’s really stupid unless you’re into some like bondage thing and then good for you. That’s amazing. It’s consensual. Totally fine. But the tape that she recommended was this micropore tape for sensitive skin. It just comes right off. If ever you want it off, you just open your mouth. It comes right off.

Sage Lavine

00:04:10

That’s exactly what I use. 

James Nestor

00:04:12

So this is not about creating the hermetic seal. Even if you can breathe through the sides of your mouth or cough, like that’s all good stuff. This is just to train your mouth to be closed at night. Then the next natural question is, “Well, why do you want to do this?” It turns out that one estimate is that 70% of the population sleeps with an open mouth. When you sleep with an open mouth, you get less oxygen. You can stress your body out. You release 42% more moisture, which is why you’re likely waking up throughout the night, drinking water. You are more apt to snore and have sleep apnea. That sounds crazy. But I’ve heard this from, at this time, hundreds and hundreds of people who had mild snoring or a mild sleep apnea, and some who even had moderate levels of these problems and just closing their mouth at night, made an incredible difference.

James Nestor

00:05:02

I want to be clear. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a breathing therapist. This isn’t going to work for everyone, but it’s free. It worked miracles for me. It worked for you.

Sage Lavine

00:05:14

Gosh, my life is so different, James. I can’t even believe how different my life is. You know, you guys, even if you just try the micropore tape, it comes right off. Even if you just try it a few times to see… It took me a few nights to get used to it, but now I can’t live without it. I’ve got like 10 rolls in my medicine cabinet. So I get an extra role in my suitcase, you know, so that I don’t forget it. I’ve got some on your desk. So I just want to say, I mean, there’s so many things that we could be doing to change the course of our health and how we feel that costs zillions of dollars. Like you said, James, this is something we can take into our own hands and it’s free. And I can’t believe how much more clear my mind is, James.

Sage Lavine

00:05:56

Like, there’s something, can you talk about the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide and the body? Because somebody was explaining to me that when you breathe through your nose, you’ve got a more balanced chemistry. So your energy is just more clear.

 

James Nestor 

You know all about this stuff. I’m going to pass the mic over to you.

Sage Lavine

Wow, this is so cool. I love this discussion. I want to just take a pause and share something I know you guys might want to know about and that’s that we just launched a rock, your business bonus training package for anyone who buys my book, Women Rocking Business. The book hit number one when it was recently published with Hay House and the book is a 12-step system for any woman to go from having just an idea to building a six- or seven-figure business with a simple and elegant business plan that’s based in women’s values. You know, women are starting businesses one and a half times faster than men right now, but we’re also failing faster than men. But what I’ve seen is that when we learn to build businesses that align with our innate values of collaboration, rather than competition empowerment, rather than power over.

When we build businesses based in generosity, rather than using scarcity and manipulative selling tactics, I see women thrive as successful CEOs, and in our community, we see 80% of businesses succeed rather than 80% of women’s businesses failing. So that’s why we have this special promo happening right now. When you buy the book, you’ll get immediate access to our fall training course. That’s four video modules on how to make money with your message. You’ll get our entire system to really get going. You’ll get my freedom formula training on how to grow a business and make great money and a huge impact in just 12 days a month or less. So go grab the book over at www.womenrockingbusiness.com/book and get all those bonuses so that we can get you going because your clients are waiting. Once again, that URL to buy the book www.womenrockingbusiness.com/book.

James Nestor

00:07:55

No, that’s a hundred, that’s a hundred percent, right? This is why you want to be breathing through your nose. So you’re going to notice here, when you breathe through your nose, you are forcing air through all of these different structures and these structures, heat air, they humidify it, they moisten it. They pressurize it. They help remove pathogens. I could go on and on. There’s about 30 different functions that the nose has. So it purifies that air before it reaches the lungs. This allows the lungs to extract oxygen so much more efficiently. There’s a reason it’s harder to breathe through your nose in and out. It takes a while, right? That’s good. That allows for more time to extract more oxygen and for that carbon dioxide to rise to its proper level

James Nestor

00:08:38

If you look at the mouth here, you get none of those benefits. You know, that’s what it takes to breathe. A lot of people think by breathing more, breathing through your mouth, you’re getting more oxygen. No! You’re doing the opposite. This is so counterintuitive, took me months to get my head around… But we have this incredible ornate organ at the front of our faces for a reason. Every other mammal breeds through its nose, I guess, except for like marine mammals, right? They breathe through a blowhole, but the rest of us are breathing through our noses and, and 25 to 50% of the population right now are habitual mouth breathers.

Sage Lavine

00:09:24

Oh my God, it’s too bad we can’t breathe through a blowhole.

James Nestor

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Sage Lavine

For those of you who are on the podcast, we’ll stick a screenshot of James’s diagram in the show notes. But essentially James is just showing us that, you know, there’s all of these benefits to the air moving through the nasal passage. You know, one of the things that your book says, James, is that no matter what you eat, no matter how much you exercise, how skinny or young or strong you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly. You know, it’s more than just remembering to breathe. It’s breathing properly. Can you, so can you give us some tips about that?

Because the women I work with are oftentimes ambitious, maybe a little high strung, right? We’re good at getting short of breath throughout the day and then crashing by two or three in the afternoon and then reaching for a cup of coffee. So can you say a little bit, can you give us some tips and then I’m just going to encourage you guys to go by the book cause it’s amazing, but you know, can you get us started?

James Nestor

00:10:26

Yes. So the anatomical problems in the human face are one issue. So through evolution over the past few hundred years, that’s all it’s taken. Our minds have grown so small that our teeth growing crooked now. This is not normal. Our ancestors all had straight teeth and now the vast majority of us have crooked teeth, smaller mouth, smaller airway, breathing problems. So this is not something that is just mental. However, having said that you can suffer from poor breathing even if you have a big, thick, beautiful jaw and straight teeth. If you’re constantly stressed out, if your posture is not correct, if you are cruising around with your mouth, slightly open, all of these things are bad for you and they contribute to bad habits and breathing.

James Nestor

00:11:13

I guess when you talk about bad habits, you first have to talk about what, what is a good habit? A good habit is to breathe in line with your metabolic needs. A good habit is to engage your diaphragmatic movement, okay? To breathe softly, to breathe lightly and to breathe deeply. Throughout the day, if you’re in front of your computer, if four people are calling you, if you’ve got 20 emails and this is just seems to be the modern condition for so many of us, we start to get stressed out. And so what do we do? *takes short, rapid mouth breaths* We start breathing like this. One researcher claim that 80% of office workers suffer from something called email apnea, where they hold their breath and then the breath too much. They hold their breath and they breathe too much. 

James Nestor

00:11:55

All of these signals, what you’re doing when you breathe this way is you’re sending your brain signals that you’re stressed, that you’re anxious and it’s this vicious feedback loop. It turns out that 80% of the messages between the brain and body come from the body, not from the brain. So by breathing in a slow fluid way, you can actually create changes in your brain to allow yourself to think more clearly about stuff. Everyone needs that now more than ever.

Sage Lavine

00:12:27

Especially with high performers, especially when you’re, you know, wanting to be the best at what you do in life. Especially when you’re a speaker, when you’re out there as a leader. For those of us again, that are going at mach speed, it’s so important to remember that the answer really lies with a breath. One of the stories that you’ve shared, that’s like made an impression on me. The most is a story about a young woman with scoliosis who, you know, actually healed herself with breath, despite all, you know, sort of Western medicine advice and things like that. Can you tell that story?

James Nestor

00:13:07

Sure. So your posture dictates how you’re going to breathe and how you breathe, dictates your posture. You can see this for yourself right now. If you’re hunched over a computer, a laptop, it’s really hard to take a long fluid, deep, sweet breath, right? It’s really hard to engage that diaphragm. So you learn how to just breathe into your chest, which is extremely inefficient, which will actually stress you out more. If you really want to be working at your top level with peak energy, peak efficiency, you have to get control of your breathing. You have to. 

James Nestor

00:13:47

So in regards to your posture…This story was so incredible to me. I did not believe it because it sounded impossible. But this lady about a hundred years ago by the name of Katarina Schroth she was a teenager living in Dresden, Germany, and she had scoliosis, which is pretty common. You know, she was given her brace, given a bed and said, “Good luck. Here’s the rest of your life.” They didn’t know how to treat people with scoliosis. So she had other thoughts about the human body’s potential. She understood that we had these two huge balloons in our chest, right? To take a big, deep inhale. You can do that right now. You notice your posture completely changes. She thought, “What if I could breathe in certain ways to influence my skelecature, to straighten my spine over a few years, she learned how to stretch in certain ways, breathe into one long stretch and another way breathe into the other lung.

James Nestor

00:14:41

She straightened her spine and then went out and taught literally thousands of other women for whom hospitals had given up on because they had such extreme scoliosis. The pictures are just devastating. These people could not look up. Okay. They could hardly breathe and hospitals didn’t know what to do with them, but she took them. She had a farm and she would put them through this very rigorous training. Within a few weeks, these people were gaining inches in height. They were able to breathe better. And so many of them recovered. So for 40 years, she was derided. The medical institutions tried to ban her from doing this. She kept doing what she was doing at the end of her life.

James Nestor

00:15:21

She lived to be 91, by the way, bless her heart. She was given a medal by the German government for her contributions to medicine. [Wow] So sometimes this stuff takes a while. I know this sounds outrageous. You can see on my website, there’s videos, there’s pictures, there’s x-rays, and they teach this at Johns Hopkins University. So this is not some sort of crazy quackery.

Sage Lavine

00:15:45

How brave of her, you know, to go up against Western medicine and to say, “No, I know better.” That’s the thing. I feel like we’ve been robbed by this innate intelligence of our bodies and the breath is that beginning to unlock certain pieces. So I had scoliosis as a kid and my posture was horrible in college. My yoga teacher was the one that told me to start breathing all the way up and down my spine. She’d lead me through visualizations, breathing all the way up and down my spine. I now live with no pain. My posture is super solid. I mean, some people might tell you that it could be a little better, but you know, I just want to give you each back the keys to the kingdom and the queendom of your life, your body, your health, and to use the breath as an exploration.

Sage Lavine

00:16:36

One of the things that I’m consistently doing, James, for my own personal self care, and one of the things I guide my clients through is to bring the breath into your emotional body, bringing the breath into your throat area, your heart area. Especially as speakers, we’re constantly ending up with, you know, some constrictions in our throats and you know, to do breathing exercises before we get on stage and to do emotional releases, you know, so that we can clear that energy and be the channels that we’re meant to be for our business. Can you talk a little bit about, you know, from your own experience, how the breath transforms our ability to open up our mouth and speak up and speak out and bring our gifts to the world?

James Nestor

00:17:21

Well, it’s the anchor to so many functions in our body, the vast majority of functions in our body. We can go for weeks without eating. We can only go a couple minutes without breathing. A lot of people confuse compensation for health. So the body will find a way of staying alive. It’s so smart and good at doing that, but that doesn’t mean you’re healthy. So you can get by being totally stressed out using a whole bunch of the coffee throughout the day, using pills at night, and that will get you by, but eventually you’re going to break down. That’s what we’re seeing in our society. Look at the amount of people who have auto-immune diseases right now. I mean, this is just outrageous and look at the amount of people who have sleep apnea and snoring and asthma and anxiety and panic.

James Nestor

00:18:07

I mean, we’ve never seen anything like this. So what I find that’s so inspiring about breathing is this is something that’s free. We carry our breath around with us all day long, all night long. Okay. This isn’t asking you to change your diet and go keto for 60 days. Even at that, that might help you, or go paleo or go vegan or go. This is something to just change something that you’re doing already. So, if can take advantage of this when you’re answering emails, when you’re on the phone, when you’re watching Netflix at night, when you’re exercising and you can see this change occurring in your body.

James Nestor

00:18:47

So many of us have all these wearables, heart rate variability, a pulse, even a pulse oximeters right now on the Apple watch. So you can breathe in different ways and watch what happens after just a few minutes. Watch this coherence that your body enters into. If you can hit that after a couple minutes, imagine what’s going to happen to you after a couple of weeks, a couple of months. So this is the way to stay in the game. This isn’t about breathing and getting a bunch of crystals and moving to Sedona, even though Sedona is amazing. But this is a basic biological function that you can harness and use to its fullest potential. What I’ve seen is it has been completely under acknowledged and underused for so long.

Sage Lavine

00:19:42

A hundred percent. One of my girlfriends hooked me up to this, you know, a different heart monitor and like wires up on my temples, and you can tell I’m totally naive about the science of this, right? ButI had just gotten back in from a run and she asked me to breathe the way that I used to breathe and then to breathe, how I’ve been taught to breathe. The difference was night and day, like spiky and sharp, the way I used to breathe, and the way I’ve been trained to breathe through my nose, using my diaphragm was able to smooth it out considerably and then save me energy throughout the day.

Sage Lavine

00:20:22

Right? And it’s like, we’re always up against time. We’re always up against our schedules. We’re always up against our calendars and we think there’s never enough. You know, what I tell my clients to do is to remember that time is not linear and that you’re in charge of your own capacity, your own efficiency, and you know, who wants to work eight hours when you could actually get five hours of work done by using proper breath. So is there any other guidance you can give us aside from just you use the diaphragm up and down. Nice, deep, long breaths. You know, the guidance that you’ve given your book is really the best guidance.

Definitely go and buy the book. You guys it’s for sale on Amazon. It’s also for sale on James as website. James I’ll have to give your website but is there any other guidance that you can give us?

James Nestor

00:21:15

Sure. So when I was first starting out, you know, I was reading all these yoga books and pranayama books and there’s 400 different breathing methods and they all have these crazy names. You’re just like, “Where do I start?” But what I learned is so many of these are just variations on the same thing. Here’s the theme. This is all you really need, and the book. Anyway, of course, but this is all, all you need to know is you need to become aware of your breath, okay? Just the same way that you need to become aware of what you’re eating. Okay? You need to breathe through your nose. You need to do this all the time. If you can’t, you need to find a way of opening it. So it’s going to be really hard for you to remain healthy while mouth breathing.

James Nestor

00:21:55

That’s the one that’s just the reality, okay? The science is very clear on that. You need to read slowly and you need to read the rest. So I know you’re thinking, “Less? What are you talking about less? I’m not going to have enough oxygen.” No, by breathing slowly, by breathing lightly and deeply, you get more oxygen. Here’s the great thing. You get more for doing less, which is why when you breathe slowly, you notice your heart rate going down. You can check your blood pressure before and after your blood pressure goes down. Your body is saying, “Oh my God, thank you. I can now rest and restore myself,” because otherwise we just run our bodies until they reach a breaking point.

Then we completely collapse. And that, that is the way it’s done in the West here, which you know is not a very good, good philosophy. It’s not a good thing.

Sage Lavine

00:22:45

What? You don’t think it’s good to just go until we completely crash and fall apart?

James Nestor

00:22:49

You know, maybe that’s good, but I’ve seen a lot of people who had wished they had done it another way. You know, if you really want to stay in the game and if you want to stay in the game for a long amount of time…Yeah, you can drink coffee, a ton of coffee every day, take drugs, whatever it is, but you’re going to have to pay that back at some time. So if you want to stay in the game for a long time and be operating at peak performance, you have to take control of your breathing. It’s such a simple thing and yet it’s so under used.

Sage Lavine

00:23:25

Oh my gosh, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I agree with you and just how glad I am that you came on to share this with my community. Because when we have a big message for the world, we’ve got to get this stuff under control. It’s the simplest, it’s the most affordable hack. It’s like a no-brainer in my mind. I had to teach myself to stop and slow down in the middle of being onstage, in the middle of being on a conference call, and close my mouth and swallow because I wasn’t wired that way. I wasn’t physiologically wired that way, but I can continue to lead and take those breaks.

Sage Lavine

00:24:07

You know, a few months ago I did a five hour livestream where I was taking little breaks all the way through. I had guest experts on. I breathed properly. At the end of the live stream, we had made about half a million dollars because we had built that kind of a relationship with our audience. And I was, you know, filled up and renewed and rejuvenated all the way through. At the end of it, I took a walk with a friend and she was teasing me for the fact that after a five-hour livestream, I wanted to take a walk and not take a nap. I think it has everything to do with learning how to breathe and slow down. So for somebody who talks a lot and for somebody who hasn’t ever learned this, James, what sort of last piece of advice would you give to really be able to remember throughout the day?

James Nestor

00:24:56

I think to just think about how your body works. So we can’t take conscious control by just thinking about it. Our nervous system or our heart rate or our liver function or digestion, right? But when we take control of our breathing, we’re able to tap into all of those things. So we can influence how our body functions down to the cell level, right? Even smaller than that, the subatomic level of electrons by breathing in different ways, you can change how circulation works in your body. So this is a really ground up way of viewing your body and viewing its capacities and using this and focusing it on your potential.

James Nestor

00:25:42

The last thing I’ll just repeat again, is, you know, people can sell different breathing, plastic doodads, or whatever, some of those work great. But I found that the really the best technology we have is what’s here. It’s our lungs. It’s our lips. It’s our throats, it’s our brains. And we can use our bodies to do some incredible things. Breathing is definitely a part of that.

Sage Lavine

00:26:07

Thank you so much. Let everybody know what your website is?

James Nestor

00:26:11

I know these claims seem completely wacko. So my publisher allowed me to put the entire bibliography for free on my website. So there’s something like 400, 500 scientific references there with videos and all that stuff. It is at mrjamesnestor.com. You can put a backslash breath there to find [mrjamesnestor.com/breath]. Also there’s a breathing techniques by the experts in the field from Johns Hopkins and Q&As with professors at Harvard. So this stuff is real and it’s been real for a long time. It’s great to see the public starting to acknowledge it and, and to learn this science that exists within all of us.

Sage Lavine

00:26:52

James, thank you so much for being brave enough and courageous enough and bold enough to step out and to bring this essential knowledge, you know, to people that need it to those of us that have just not been taught how to breathe. Thank you so much to all of you. Every single one of you, who’s out there sharing your message and your gifts with the world. We will put links to James. Website. His website, by the way, is full of amazing resources to his book and to the mouse tape. that I use here in the show notes. James, I can’t wait to come up to San Francisco and to hang out with you sometime. Thank you for being a solid and wise and incredible soul on the planet.

James Nestor

00:27:36

Well, thanks a lot for having me. Maybe we’ll do a little lip tape walk sometime. We’ll see what happens.

Sage Lavine

00:27:42

I look forward to it. Bye bye.

You’ve been listening to Women Rocking Business. I’m Sage Lavine. The next step is to join our private Facebook group. The Women Rocking Business Sisterhood and introduce yourself over there for the real and vulnerable conversation of what it really takes to launch and scale a business you love in that Sisterhood group. We have each other’s backs, each other’s sides and each other’s fronts. This is true collaboration. So go grab a seat in the Sisterhood because we can go so much further when we go together, you’ll find a link to the private Sisterhood group and do our upcoming events in the show notes.

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