001: Breathing Into a Better Life Pt 1 with Ryan Tyler Bean

BioThrive Podcast with Dr. Tami

It all starts with the breath. However, modern lifestyles often ignore this foundational aspect of health. It’s no wonder anxiety is so common when our breathing tells our nervous systems to be on high alert. This often leads to a cascade of issues that could be remedied if we just refocused on how we breathe. With that in mind, I have brought on today’s guest, who has devoted himself to understanding what our unconscious minds are trying to tell us with every breath we take.

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About Ryan Tyler Bean

Ryan is a hard man to define. Perhaps it’s best to call him an observer of the universe. He’s a certified yoga instructor, Wim Hof Method instructor, and an expert in mindfulness, meditation, and breathwork. He received his yoga training in the Himalayan foothills of India and teaches many styles of yoga, meditation, and breathwork. 

Ryan is passionate about being in nature and using natural and psychedelic integration to heal the mind, body, and spirit.

Health Begins With the Breath

Ryan understands that so much of wellbeing begins with the breath. It’s something we all do, but often we don’t do it properly. Ryan explains how the breath is a bottom-up signal to the mind that drives just about everything. How you breathe signals your nervous system to affect your heart rate, digestion, vision, and hormones.

By going back to basics and learning how the nervous system responds to breathing, we can begin to take control over nearly every other aspect of health. Ryan understands that this will be an uncomfortable process, but real change seldom happens without some discomfort.

Isn’t it amazing that you can control your state of well-being with breath? Ryan goes into how you can lower anxiety, improve digestion, and so much more just by mindfully breathing. Slowly and deeply breathing in through your nose brings optimum cellular respiration that will improve multiple systems of your body.

Ryan provides some advice on how to breathe before you go to sleep and when you wake up. He also explains the benefits of taking an ice bath which, despite how uncomfortable I find the idea, can do wonders for your body and immune system.

Try slowing down and taking big breaths right before a meal. Did you notice a difference in your appetite and digestion? Let me know in the comments!

Key Takeaways

Better breathing is centered on slower and more intentional breaths. Inhalation should happen through the nose and go deep into the lungs. It can help you sleep more soundly, wake up with more energy, reduce anxiety, and better digest food.

Quotes

“I’ve been breathing my whole life. Why do I need to take a course about how to breathe again? But the problem is, we’ve forgotten how to breathe properly.” [5:25]

“Transformation is really in discomfort. We have to experience a little bit of discomfort to find transformation.” [8:21]

“You’re trying to go to a very slow breath because your adrenals are pumping adrenaline, your cortisol is going crazy, and here you are in the mix of all your alchemy breathing slowly and you’re grounded.” [39:03]

In This Episode

  • Why breathing like a baby is the key to transforming your health [4:00]
  • Understanding how breathing methods can reduce anxiety [9:40]
  • The best way to relax using breathing [18:30]
  • Breathing routines to help you sleep and wake up better [26:10]
  • The benefits of beginning your day with an ice bath and how to do it easefully [37:30]

Links & Resources

Follow Ryan on Facebook | Instagram

Life As An Observer Podcast

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

Full Episode Transcript

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Welcome to Biothrive. What does it mean to thrive? I believe that in order to thrive, we need to optimize our biology, our chemistry and the electrical frequency that courses through every cell and organ of our body. Thriving also means more than just a healthy body, it means abundant energy, deep connections and happiness. Biothrive podcast is about all of this. You’re invited to hear from leaders and innovators who share cutting edge science tools and techniques to help you become the CEO of your own health. Don’t settle for just getting by or surviving. It is your turn to thrive.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Today, we are going to talk with Ryan who is a, I don’t know what to call you, yoga expert, breath expert, mindfulness expert. You’re certified as a yoga instructor, you’re a certified Wim Hof method instructor, breath work facilitator, meditation trainer, retreat leader, all these things. You also have a podcast called Life as an Observer. Ryan received his yoga training at the foothills of the Himalayas in India and teaches many styles of yoga and meditation and pranayama, which is breath work. And we’re going to dive deep into that. He is passionate about being in nature and using holistic and psychedelic integration towards healing the mind, body and spirit. Thank you for being here and welcome.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Hey thanks. You did really good on my intro. Thanks, Tami.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
That’s a lot. You’re kind of this beautiful cornucopia of all things, scrumptiously holistic.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Oh, I like that word scrumptious. I’m going to have to use that. When I introduce myself, I tend to really mix it up a lot and I don’t always use the terms that we all know, yoga instructor and breath work coach and facilitator. I usually say things like I facilitate movement and breath and holistic practices that enhance the mind, body, soul connection or I’ll mix it up too or I’ll just be like, I’m an observer of the universe.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
I love it. I love it. Well and if you don’t observe, you can’t respond, you can only react.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Exactly. And that’s kind of what I teach specifically in my podcast is really how we are really trained in this, well, I’ll say Westerners just in general but we were trained to react to things. Because our automatic nervous system is already designed to say, “Hey, what’s going on in the world around me?” And we tend to react to it rather than saying, “Hey, what’s actually happening in the world inside of me on the unconscious mind?” Our unconscious is always trying to keep it safe but our bodies are the one that reacts.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Well and bless our unconscious for doing that.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Yes, thank you.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
That’s a good thing, but and I think that our 24/7 lifestyle and our phones and our computers and this lifestyle that we live, makes us even more connected externally, compared to internally. I got introduced to you because of your breath work with regard to ketamine. I became a ketamine certified physician and wanted to offer that to my patients just because of the unbelievable healing capacities of that. There’s early research, the FDA and all of the government officials haven’t yet quite said that it’s reliably scientific evidence based yet but there is one ketamine that has actually shown, it’s like suicide prevention. It is for treatment resistant depression and it’s FDA approved for that. But I want to dive into the breath before that and then the breath with that because ever since I knew that I was going to have you on as a guest on my podcast, I’ve been trying to be more mindful of my breathing and oh my gosh, I hold my breath a lot.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, it’s not just about holding your breath because that’s sometimes it’s a good thing. Let’s rewind a little bit. Our CO2 is going to stimulate the sympathetic reaction of the vagus nerve. CO2 tolerance is what we really need to learn. Even holding the breath is not a bad thing. It’s about slowing down the breath. There’s lots of books and everyone has their opinions. James Nester, who wrote his book Breath and really that beautiful composition. The summary of it is, breathe slower but breathe with intention. Breath work itself stemmed for me, starting with pranayama when I lived in India and that was great and wonderful. And I had no idea that it was going to lead me to being something I would call a pulmonade or a breath worker. Something that is teaching this practice.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And just like psychedelics, breath work is having a renaissance where it’s becoming kind of fun and kind of popular and it’s becoming a little bit more accepted, where it’s like I’ve been breathing my whole life and why do I need to take a course about how to breathe again? But the problem is, is we have forgotten how to breathe properly. When you look at a baby, a newborn, they breathe in a way that’s very belly breath. They breathe into their diaphragm. They take holds at the end of their exhale, which keeps them for the most part, unless they’re upset, in a parasympathetic state. And whereas humans, we as adult humans, we have built these walls over our lifetimes that are preventing us from that initial primary practice of breath work and even movement.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
When I teach yoga, I talk about getting into what’s called the malasana squat, where you really get low in that squat. And a lot of people have a hard time with that but that is really a primary function of our human body and our incarnation because if you watch kids in the sandbox, they can be there all day. And so I always tell my students, you need to do this just like you need to do your breath work every day, maybe doing some of these movements that are really part of our physiology from being homo sapiens. We just need to kind of get back to that. And instead of our chairs and looking at our phones and how our necks are shaped and how our shoulders are shaped and all this stuff is affected by how we breathe, eat and how we move.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Well, and you may or may not know this but I spent over a decade dancing professionally in a ballet company and breath in a tutu is very difficult so it’s all up here.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Which is a sympathetic driver, which causes you to, that is a bottom up signal to the mind. As your nervous system says, “I’m breathing up here,” it’s going to respond by first creating a heart rate that’s going to increase. It will also slow down or even stop your digestion. It will do a lot of things with your eyesight, going from a nice dilated space to maybe really and then you’ll also have some other things, even with your reproductive organs, you’ll have some other things happening within your body and you’ll wonder, why am I so anxious? Oh, because I’m breathing out of my mouth and I’m breathing way up into my chest. And this has become a normal thing. We have all these tools now to help us with sleep apnea. We have all these drugs and we have strips and we have all this stuff to help us breathe a little bit better but really it’s a lot more simple than that.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I hate to bust anybody’s bubble who’s selling Breathe Right Strips but really, you can tape your mouth shut if you really wanted to and retrain. And it’s something with my clients, I teach. We have a lot of things that we’ve built up really because we’re just so accustomed to it. It’s easy and I was told by my guru, that transformation is really in discomfort. It’s really we have to experience a little bit of discomfort to find transformation. And in the breath worker world, we would sometimes refer to that as a hormetic stress. Something that is, it’s got a nice curve to it, that makes us stronger, not an acute really long, even a longterm stress. We just want to have this nice little curve that says, “Ooh, that was tough.” And then here, we’re coming down the back end, just kind of like lifting weights.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
If you don’t lift weights, you don’t want to sit there and lift and lift and lift and lift and lift. You’ll never repair. But if we do little things that cause us a little bit of discomfort, like CO2 holding it and allowing it to kind of build up, which we need that. We need that extra oxygen for hypoxia. We need the CO2 to build up so it can deliver the oxygen. Otherwise, all we’re doing is we’re in this alkaline state and the red blood cells don’t let go of the oxygen molecules. We’re just really breathing for nothing. It’s really good to have the CO2 build up and allow that acidity to release that so we can use it in our muscles and build that hormetic curve. We just got to learn to breathe again. We have to go back to some basics and not get caught up necessarily in techniques but learn a few things about how our nervous system responds to how we’re breathing.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
There’s a bunch of different philosophies, there’s the alternate nasal breathing, there’s box breathing. There’s so much, how do you pick which breath work is the best for you? And I think that breath work can be used as a tool, especially in anxiety or nervousness or just people who are feeling fearful. And that’s kind of common these days, this anxiety is pervasive. We are one notch below freaking out for a lot of the day.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Sometimes we are. And I think it’s well, we know that anxiety is really us forward thinking most of the time, we’re worried about what could happen in the future. Winston Churchill, one of his famous quotes where he said he had a conversation with a man on his deathbed and the man told him that he had a lot of worries in his life, most of which never happened.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Never happened. I tell that to my kids.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And most of which never happened. We spend a lot of time in that. That’s because we’re programmed using our, we’ll call it our caveman mind, whatever, our reptilian mind, I hate to call it that really. But basically going back into our species that evolved from where we had to really think about our surroundings. We had to worry about if we were going to be attacked because we were not the top end of the food chain. Problem is we haven’t evolved from that. We think about what could happen and we utilize our nervous system to help us regulate that. Our hippocampus and our hypothalamus, they regulate our emotions and our chemicals and our nervous system talks to that. These are signals that our body is speaking to us to help us survive. Like we just said, our unconscious helps us survive.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
What we’re learning now is we can influence the autonomic nervous system. And that anxiety, not only is it us forward thinking but also this is us not being in hormesis. The primary chemical for anxiety, one of them, noradrenaline. When we breathe balanced, we tend to inhibit the release of that. It inhibits that chemical response that says, “I’m so anxious.” And of course there’s a lot of other training that can go along that where we’re not our feelings, we’re just experiencing them. Where we’re saying, “I’m feeling anxious, not I am anxious.” And moving away from identifying with our emotional state as who we are. That’s a temporary thing. It’s like the next moment. Here’s the next moment. Oh, there’s another one. And each moment is different. When we can get away from identifying that we are the chemicals that are within us, we become our own alchemist. We say, “I can control this.” And we do that a lot of which through breath work and of course, some mind training with meditation and others but all great tools.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
The physiology and anatomy of it is really cool. The diaphragm is that major muscle of breathing. People forget that it doesn’t just happen. There is a muscle and the vagus nerve is attached to the system that can release all kinds of peaceful hormones and chemicals that rejuvenate, connect, relax. The entire system can be turned on chemically through proper breath. And it’s surprising we don’t use breath in the hospitals. It’s so easy, not in the moment but if somebody was coaching you, if they can do it in labor you should be able to do it anytime if someone is there to help coach you so that it’s a well used tool.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Those who are wanting to know more about breath work at least in the initial stages, now we’re getting into more of a therapeutic aspect but it was really athletes. How can I have more stamina? How can I go in higher elevations and be able to function in the way that I do at lower elevations. And so really in my opinion, athletes are kind of what spurred this a little bit. I want better and higher performance. And then we’re realizing, okay, I actually feel better. Now let’s get this into a therapeutic aspect. How can I feel better when I’m usually always anxious? Well, let’s help you sleep a little better. Let’s help you rise with momentum. When we get up in the morning, let’s start the day not with a coffee that’s going to create a crash but let’s start it with our own endogenous chemicals that say, “Here’s some adrenaline, let’s get going. Let’s get some dopamines going and let’s feel good today.”

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And then I incorporate that with a lot of other practices but let’s get going. And then when I want to eat, breath work just before I eat because I can now digest better. Problem is we’ve kind of evolved into this hurry, hurry, fast paced civilization, where we have what’s called a lunch break. We have lunch breaks. And you have maybe for many, you have an hour, usually. Run out, get in your little tin box, your car, your tin box going 50 miles an hour with other tin boxes going 50 miles an hour to get to a place where you can hurry and get some food that might have some nutrition. Hopefully it does but might have some nutrition. And then you hurry up to get back to work because you got to get back within that hour.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And really, we haven’t taken any time to prepare to receive that food. We’ve just sort of like clunk. And then we wonder why we have digestive issues. And a big, we’ll call it an epidemic a little bit because if you go into any kind of drugstore, you’ll find all kinds of medications that help with indigestion. And it’s because it’s how we’re eating. We’re not actually taking time to just simply stop. I was actually, I taught a retreat this weekend and the caterers, wonderful caterers, before each meal they had us do something and it’s very indicative of very ancient yogic traditions. But all they had us do, instead of saying, “Om,” over our food, we said, “Yum,” three times. Think about that. The breath is in, yum. And then you let it out for about a five count. And so here we are creating a breath work that is us appreciating our food first of all and also creating this parasympathetic response within the body to digest better.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Oh, I love it. Hey, I wonder if there is some aspect of breathing and staying about praying before you have your meal. It would seem to me that any time you take time to pause and say to your body, “Hey, lunch is coming. Get ready.” And you’re smelling it, which starts the salivary glands, which has the digestive enzymes in it. I bet you there are many different cultures that have built in ways that we’ve kind of just ditched. We don’t even sit down to eat.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
We’re not even sitting down. And that’s one of those sympathetic reactions that happen is if you’re in a fight or flight response, you’re not salivating, your body’s not worried about that. here you are not even digesting it. And James Nester in his book talks a lot about that with how we’ve started to process our food and how it’s changed our palate, even shrunk it. And that’s why we have not straight teeth anymore and our jaw lines have changed and how our faces have changed over time and really interesting book. But it’s because we’ve become so fast paced. And we have to go, go, go, go. But if we just take a little bit of time to just slow down a little bit, I don’t know that we’re going to undo thousands of years of, but I think that we can find that us personally will function better and feel healthier.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
For me, I eat mostly a plant based diet, which I know that’s not a traditional, with evolution. I think over time, we’ve tenderized our meat and we’ve cooked it and whatever but for me, as long as I’m taking time with it and appreciating it and making sure that I’m in a sympathetic or parasympathetic state when I eat, I just digest really well. I would hope that for most people that we could just slow down just a little bit, just try it. Just try to slow down just a little bit and see what happens.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
We got our first challenge.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Just slow down.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Three yums or a prayer with some big breaths before you eat, sitting down a minimum of one meal a day. When you’re doing this breath, if it’s not the yum, I’m sorry, I’m asking so many questions because I’m that detail person.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Ask away.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Is it in through the nose and out through the mouth? I know there’s a million different things but let’s talk about if we want to chillax, what’s the best way to do that?

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, breathing in through the mouth is never really meant to be a primary breath way. Let’s just eliminate that immediately. It’s not really meant to that. There’s no filter. There’s nothing there. It’s just down into the body. We want to use our nasal breath way as much as you can for an inhale. There’s lots of reasons. The turbinates that are in there are going to clean, filter, moisturize, lots of reasons to breathe in through your nose. It’s also going to slow and maybe even change the temperature depending on your environment. Also, the nose is known to be really a primary manufacturer of NO2 or nitric oxide. We want to do that. If the listeners don’t know, nitric oxide is really one of the gases that we need in the gas exchange within the body and it creates a vasodilation and a bronchodilation.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
As we’re breathing in this way through our nose, we’re introducing NO2, we’re introducing O2 into the gas exchange for cellular respiration. We bring it into our body and the NO2 allows the bronchi to expand, let’s the veins expand so they can deliver that oxygen that we’re bringing in. And if we’re bringing in a diaphragmatic breath, we’re also breathing down quite low into the lower lobes of the lungs, which if we understand gravity correctly, that’s where most of the blood is going to be. It’s going to be down here in the lower lobes. And if you look at the branches of the lungs, there’s a lot of them down there, where up at the top, there’s not so much, not as many. We’ll just say not as many. We want to try to breathe down into there, allow that dilation to happen so that we’re getting an optimum cellular respiration for energy.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
As we bring those gases into the cells, we’re influencing the production of energy, ATP. We’re influencing down to a DNA level. We’re really influencing our own evolution. We’re saying, “Ah, here I am breathing again,” very deliberately and maybe even changing some patterns just by thinking about how we breathe occasionally. As I talk to you here, now, the listeners are going to know this and you’re going to know this but I have to stop. I stop for a few minutes and go, nice nasal breath because we’re speaking through our mouth. And if I don’t, I’m going to go into a sympathetic or a fight or flight mode unconsciously, just because I’m speaking a lot.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
The inhale is through the nose?

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Yes. Inhale is through the nose.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
And then the exhale?

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, that’s kind of where it comes down to technique. And I don’t want the listeners to become technique collectors but simply if you’re doing a more of a super ventilative breath, one that is trying to influence activation within the nervous system, you’re bringing in more oxygen and then you’re starting to balance it with a breath hold or a retention time, the paths get crossed and you may want to use your mouth for the exhale usually. However, when I’m teaching a parasympathetic breath or we sometimes call it either the box breathing or I call them a bottom triangle breath where we’re having a 5, 7, 8 breath. Five counts in, seven counts out, eight count hold at the bottom and then you can influence that pyramid however you want.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I encourage my clients to breathe just through the nasal breath way because not only for the NO2 but we’re also building that muscle that has probably been neglected and shrunk our palate. Our palate has changed and this is one of the primary causes of why people snore and have sleep apnea. This is the cause of why our teeth are kind of, we’re going to orthodontists now. No offense to orthodontists but they’re not breath workers. They’re just fixing teeth. They’re not saying, “Hey, if you breathe differently, your teeth would be fixed.” Dentists and orthodontists are not thinking that, they’re thinking, how can I fix your teeth?

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
And they even have to have palate expanders a lot of the time and when the kids start, before they start.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And no one’s teaching that world that, hey, if you just did a little bit of respiratory therapy, there might actually not be the problem at the beginning. I’ve experienced this in my own life. As a kid, my teeth were all kinds of messed up and I actually had to have two teeth pulled so that my braces would move the teeth so they would be straight. I kind of have straight.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
So they have room.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I kind have a straight smile now but now I have two fake teeth. They’re not my own because we moved everything out to make everything straight. Interesting. And most of us will have our wisdom teeth removed because we don’t have enough room in our mouth. But do you think that we were created on purpose with not enough room in our mouth? I don’t believe that. I think that we are just.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Well, not even 70 years ago did they even have that, in our parents and grandparents’ lifetime.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
No. And I think it’s just because it’s there’s a disconnect between doctors, dentists, respiratory therapy, breath workers. There’s a disconnect that’s there that’s not saying, “Hey, we can change this. We can change this.” And there’s just a disconnect. To answer your question, mostly through the nose, mostly through the nasal breath way as a primary breath way. This will train you to also do that at nighttime, as you’re sleeping. If you’re having a hard time with that and you’re waking up with a dry mouth and you’re snoring, your partner tells you’re snoring, tape your mouth shut. It is okay. I still do that just to try it. I don’t have that as an issue anymore but you can just a small piece of tape there. It’s not to close your mouth off. It’s to remind you to breathe through your nose. It’s just a reminder.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
And just saying, I just tried this. I literally argued in my own head about this. I’m like, no, this is not going to be getting, I don’t snore. I don’t breathe through my mouth. I’m fine. And then I was like, so what is the downside of taping my mouth to see how it affects my sleep? See how I feel, who cares? And it was profound. And my HRV testing changed significantly. I’ve been recommending it to some patients, especially patients that have higher blood pressure because the nitric oxide will actually help lower blood pressure. And so can you imagine having this all night long, NO factory going. Oh my gosh, oh, I can’t do that. I’ll suffocate. I can’t. I’m like, no, you won’t it’s okay. Your body will not let you have a tiny little piece prevent you from breathing.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I’m paraphrasing this but in James Nester’s book, he actually put silicone in his nose to see what it was if you were only mouth breathing. They filled his nose up with, with silicone and he had imagined that within a few days, his blood pressure would go up, that his heart rate would, he imagined but it was really within almost five minutes where he was in a straight fight or flight mode and I’m not going to go into detail but in the book he describes when they took it out, the damage that he had done. I think it was a one week, I think it was seven days that he had that in there. But the damage that had been created just with the buildup behind the silicone and his heart rate. Essentially, he was just, he was a cardiac mess.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And then he did the opposite where he closed off the mouth as he went to sleep and noticed the data points that said, this is how you change. And as therapists, as doctors, as scientists, we like data points. We like consistent data, if you can. And I think this is pretty consistent. If you silicone your nose shut, you’re going to have a higher blood pressure. If you breathe through your mouth, you’re going to have some issues sleeping and we can really consistently replicate that and I’m not saying that everyone has to.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
And you don’t know how you sleep all night long.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
You don’t.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
People always say to me, “Oh, I don’t sleep with my mouth open.” I’m like, “Yeah. I don’t think that you know.”

Ryan Tyler Bean:
We don’t. And I think that most people, they’ll wake up and go, “Oh my mouth’s a little dry,” and not really think that’s oh, because I’m breathing through my mouth. They just think that their mouth is dry. But how do you feel in the morning is what I’d say? How do you feel? Do you feel rested? Do you feel like you consistently sleep through the night? There’s a lot of data points for that too. It could be thought rumination and all kinds of other things, anxiety that are keeping you up. But for the most part, if we move into a parasympathetic style breath before bed, even if it’s just four rounds of that bottom triangle that I told you.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
That was my next question. Four big, slow breaths.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I don’t know where I really learned that four was the magic number. I just know that that’s what works for me. Because there are times just like you, I have a dog and she sometimes will get up and shake and move or whatever, just like dogs do and maybe wake you up. Well, when that happens or maybe you have to get up to use the restroom, I get back in bed and I do four rounds of five counts in, seven counts out, eight counts hold. And then I move into a more balanced. Sometimes it’s just five in, five out and then I increase that, six in, six out, seven in, seven out, eight in, eight out. That reduces that noradrenaline and just brings you into this place of just peace. And I’m asleep really, really quick. And I’ll tell you that this can be replicated. It’s not because I have some super human DNA that I can control how I sleep. I just have learned to use the tools.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Those are great techniques to calm down and relax either when you’re feeling anxious before a test, before you speak, before you go to bed, before you eat. What about that morning that you were talking about? Morning is not my best time. And I still, I wake up and I do, I go to bed early. I sleep well. I know this because I don’t just believe it, I have data points, tape my mouth shut, feel great. I do wake up but oh my gosh, it literally for an hour, it’s like I am in molasses.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
You’re looking for a routine really, I think sounds like. For me, I found that a routine that incorporates breath work gets the momentum going. Now I have a lot of things and the listeners are going to be like, I can’t do all that in the morning. There’s no way.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
It’s like meditation. I can’t do that.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I’m not going to say what my entire routine is because.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Give him beginner’s routine.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I’ll give a beginner’s routine.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
You’re super advanced.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, mine has just evolved over time. Where I said, “I can incorporate this now.” And especially now that I’m kind of more in charge of my schedule. I don’t work a 9:00 to 5:00, I schedule my own clients and how I’m doing it and so it’s a little different, but for those who are on a 9:00 to 5:00 schedule, the first thing you need to do is don’t hit snooze. Don’t hit snooze. Now that seems like, okay, well but I like snooze. I like to go back to bed. Well, not only are we messing with our circadian rhythms when we do that, which is not good, nine minutes or 10 minutes or whatever your snooze is, is really going to make you feel more sleepy when you wake up anyway. But that 10 minutes, within that 10 minutes I do breath work in bed.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I’ll get up in the morning. If my alarm goes off, I don’t use my phone because that’s another thing we don’t want, the blue light. And most people, when they look at their phone, they’ll look at their notifications and then they’re all the way in their notifications while they’re still in bed. Their momentum has already begun with a negative email, a text message they have to respond to and they’re already kind of in this, oh man, I got so much to do today. I’m so busy today and we’re already in this mindset of being behind. I like to create the mindset of I’m accomplishing tasks. I’m in the momentum of the day, not letting the day move me.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
As I wake up, my first thing to do is I do a gratitude practice. It’s really, really simple. I name three things that I’m grateful for. I say, what would make today really great, three things that would make today really great. And at the end of the day, I talk about what did make the day great. But the three things that I’m grateful for, three things that would create a good day.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Then I look at my dog. If she’s really begging to go out, then maybe I let her go out but if not, we do breath work in bed. I do usually do some super ventilative breaths, which are more of a hypoxic feeling, more oxygen saturation, get moving, kind of get the adrenaline and cortisol going, that way that I can take in my retention times and then get the melatonin and serotonin going through the retention portion of that. Super ventilative breaths and incorporate some other stuff depending on what I need to do for that day. But mostly that’s what I do. It’s usually 10, 15 minutes. I also do ice baths every day. That’s also a piece piece of my day.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Back up. Hold on. What is a super ventilative breath?

Ryan Tyler Bean:
A super ventilative breath is us bringing in intentional breath, usually in through the nose, out through the mouth and really not worrying so much about the exhale because I don’t mind building up oxygen. In the 30 to 40 breaths I’m building up oxygen within my body and then as I go into a final exhale, I hold the breath from anywhere between one minute to five minutes, depending on my round that I’m on and what I’m feeling that day. It’s also an indicator of how I’m feeling. The primary indicator for you to want to breathe again is CO2 building.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Toxic buildup. We got to get rid of this.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I have plenty of oxygen.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
People think they need to breathe in. They don’t, they need to breathe out.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
They need to breathe out. I’ll tell you a story about that actually being in the airport but we need to breathe. Our body wants to breathe out because we have plenty of oxygen. Normal humans breathe about 15 breaths a minute. Now, if I’m doing 40 in that round, that means I have three times as much oxygen as I would normally. I have plenty of oxygen. That molecule is saturated. And then as I let CO2 build up, that’s really an indicator of how I’m feeling that day. And so as I let that build up, it creates that little bit of a balance. And then I take another breath at the end of that retention time, called a recovery breath, let the oxygen come in, hold it for a few seconds and then go on to the next breath.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Usually I do about four rounds of something like that. Usually beginning with one minute retention and then ending with somewhere near, usually my day is about three. I’ll do about a three minute retention on my fourth round and that’s my breath work in bed. Now, I also make my bed and I say a mantra as I make my bed. I do a couple of other things that really create momentum rather than feeling behind, I’m really creating my day. And it just feels good. I don’t know if you do this but I do. I cross things off my, my to do list.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
And it’s paper.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I just.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
I love it.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And if I go to the grocery store and I wasn’t planning to, I’d write it on my list just so I can cross it off because it feels good. It feels good.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
It’s a win.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
It feels good to do that. But I was going to tell you about breathing more. I was in the Denver airport and I was coming back from Poland.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
First of all, Denver way up there.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I guess so. I didn’t really think about that part of it but I live in Utah, so I live in a high area too. But I was in Denver and I was coming back from Poland. I was in Poland training with a Wim Hof method group and we was coming back and I was in the Denver airport and I hear this lady. I had a little bit of a layover and I hear this lady, “Oh no, oh no, ah. Don’t close the door.” The flight had already closed the door. And once that door is closed, they’re not letting anybody in. And so she immediately started to go into what resembled a panic attack, heavy breaths, coughing, just having a really hard time. And you know, in this day and age, if you’re coughing in an airport, no one’s going to want to be around you.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
That’s true. I didn’t think of that.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
She’s coughing, she’s in full on panic mode and this was a bottom up signal. She saw something and her brain said, “You’re in trouble now.” And so she’s sitting there panicking. And of course the gate agent, she’s not trained in breath work, she’s not trained in how to help this. And she just said, “You just need to sit down and breathe more.” I’m in listening distance of this and I’m like, ooh, she does not need to breathe more. She’s breathing so much oxygen right now. She needs to release this CO2. She has to exhale more.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And so after about a minute or two of this going on for her, them telling her to breathe more, I just went over and go, “Hey, I teach breath work. I’d like to help her if you don’t mind.” And, “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.” all I did is have her hum, really simple. If people are feeling this, all I had to do is she’s huh, huh, huh. I just said, “Hum now. Hmmm.” Hum as much as she could. Hum out the exhales, which allowed the CO2 to be released, thus reducing her panic attack to a manageable level.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Ooh, I love it. The hum method.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, I haven’t named it yet but that’s really all it is. It’s just a matter of saying, “Hey, let’s exhale more.” And I think that’s part of the problem is, now we’re having this renaissance of breath work but a lot of people don’t know that. They know from panic attack, oh, breathe into a bag. Is that really what we need to do?

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Well, you know what? The reality of that, that’s not the best way. But if you think about it, it’s capturing all the CO2 so you’re actually breathing less oxygen as you’re breathing this used paper bag. It’s kind of doing this same thing but it kind of is disturbing to see the bag.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
It creates a lot of chaos around you that you really, you know this from with psychedelic integration is it’s all about the set and setting for how someone may feel. You can have a whole lot going on but really if you create a setting where they feel calm, they’re going to be calm and have a better experience. And so even removing her from the gate where she missed her flight and just turning her away and looking out at the mountains, created a set and setting that felt better than seeing her flight pull away and she wasn’t on it.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Oh, that’s beautiful. I don’t really want to talk about this but you mentioned it. In my world, hell is not hot, hell is cold. I hate being cold. There’s nothing that I despise more and so you start your day on purpose with an ice bath.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I do.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Tell me about that. I’m a researcher, I’m a doctor. I know the inflammatory properties of it but I just cannot imagine why would I want to do this? There has to be a different way. It’s so yucky.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, let’s go back to what I said earlier about transformation is in the discomfort and really it’s never going to be easy. I don’t look at an ice bath and go, “Oh, this is going to be so easy today.” I don’t do that. I don’t do that. I actually, sometimes I’ll sit there and look at the ice bath and go, “Ugh.” But it’s what do we want to feel like later? Not only is the ice bath anti-inflammatory but I’m entering the ice bath in a calm state of mind. I’m not trying to run in and run out.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Do you breath first?

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I usually do breath first. And then I move into it in a very calm state of mind. For me, there’s a couple different reasons why I do it. One, ultimate grounding. You are not thinking about your future or your past, you’re only thinking about the here and now. When you’re sitting in an ice bath, you go, I’m right here and you’re in your breath. It’s different kind of breath but you’re trying to go to a very slow breath because your adrenals are pumping out adrenaline. Cortisol is going crazy. And then here you are in the mix of all your alchemy, breathing slowly and you’re grounded. No other place have I found where I can be totally present for a couple minutes. Now, starting I take.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
That was my question. Two minutes. That’s the goal?

Ryan Tyler Bean:
That’s where I start people at. My ice baths are quite a bit longer but that’s where I start people out when I coach them. It’s two minutes.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
I walked into our Pacific ocean on January 1st and I think that I was in it for three and a half seconds. I was so bad.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, I’ll come up there and coach you and we’ll figure that out.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
We’ll record it. And if I can do it, anybody can.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, part of the process is not just that. For me, the groundedness, it’s a meditation for me. It’s training for me. It’s also the inner anti-inflammatory. I teach a lot of yoga so it really feels good to really have that for my joints and my body. But also there’s two other layers that I really like to talk about. One, is of brown fats that get produced, which really help with our metabolism and through our lymphatic system, there’s a lot that we want to build there, which we don’t really build a lot. We don’t train our lymphatic system in any way, most of us. Some people do tapping and stuff but this is going to build that. But also with doing this, in that release of adrenaline and cortisol, we’re also releasing some anti-inflammatory proteins that do some really special work.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Specifically IL-10 is a major one. Interleukin 10 is a major one. There’s IL-6 and IL-8 but interleukin 10 primarily will inhibit the inflammation within the cell. Let’s say there’s an invader, a virus or a bacteria, our body immediately responds with inflammation to fight it off. We get fever, we get diarrhea, we get sick, whatever, all these things happen. And with this activation, the body basically just begins to work without the inflammation. We start to go, oh, I can fight that off. And I don’t get scared about it. It’s basically like, I got this, bro. I got this. And I’m going to take care of it, rather than us going, oh no, let’s fight. It’s just saying, “I got this.” It’s building confidence in the plasma and in the blood. It’s just saying, “I got this.”

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And for that reason, I haven’t gotten sick. I actually, when I was coming back from a trip. Maybe some of the listeners have heard of this, it’s something called COVID, anybody heard of that? I was traveling and we had to leave and when you travel overseas, you have to get tested. You have to get tested to come back to the United States. And so you get tested. And I had tested negative when I left Prague and I tested in Germany. I tested negative. I was on a long flight, came back and I actually tested positive when I came back. But the thing is, I never had any symptoms because there was zero inflammation. I never had any symptoms of that bacteria, that virus, nothing in me. And I heard about this through my training with Wim Hof method, where they injected in with an E. Coli endotoxin and everybody got sick. But those who are part of the group, who trained didn’t because they inhibited the inflammation that makes you feel sick.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Even though you may be a carrier, you don’t get sick and you just fight it off. Essentially we’re strengthening our immune system. And for me, that COVID invader that came in, lasted about 12 hours. I came in, I tested positive that night. I had an at home test, tested positive. Went back to the lab the next day and it was gone. It was that quick. It was just like, oh yeah, I got you. We got this. And it’s really creating a confidence by getting into the cold. It’s not easy but the thing is you don’t have to do it every day. Really the benefits of that anti-inflammatory protein last about six days. About six days.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Oh, good.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
The breath work that we want to go to get for alkalinity and everything, you have to do that every day but the ice bath you could do every week and still have the benefits of getting into the ice bath. Even if it’s just two minutes because what we’re really trying to do is go from a fight or flight state, calming it down while you’re in the middle of it all, move into melatonin and relax into it and not only is it building your willpower because a lot of our healing is in our mind. I can do this. I can make changes. I can be stronger. I can change patterns. And this is all our neuroplasticity. It’s just making changes that say, “I can do hard things and I got this.”

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
I bought both of my daughters a plaque at Christmas that says, “You can do hard things.” I think that it’s easier to do hard things with people like you helping us learn how.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Maybe.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
We were going to talk about psychedelics and ketamine and breath and I really want to do that but we are coming up on our time. Would it be okay if we scheduled you for another session so we can talk about how breath work and ketamine are wonderful buddies and can create some pretty magical transformations in what you have seen in the workshops you’ve done.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
I would love to because it’s really what we were kind of leading up to it there. Is it has a lot to do with the endogenous chemicals within our body, prepping us for the psychedelic experience and almost moving us into a cardiac coherence rather than our neocortex and the brain stem. It’s really taking us into the heart and into our DNA. That’s the breath that I teach, how it works with psychedelics, takes us quite deep and it’s just a matter of doing a few minutes, 15 minutes of breath work before a psychedelic assisted therapy session.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Well and you and I were talking about having a workshop in Seattle and having a have breath workshop and then have the options for other things as people are evaluated and see if they’re good candidates, et cetera.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Would love to.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Stay tuned. Ryan and I will connect about a date where we can invite all of you to come to Seattle for a transformative breath work workshop with him. Well thank you so much. I end every single podcast by asking my guests to share one of two things. One is either something that is something you’ve learned that would bless someone’s life. It doesn’t have to be about our topic or your favorite book, which often is something that blesses people’s lives.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Well, one of my favorite teachers and I quote him often is Rom Dass. And Rom Dass has made a significant impact in my life, not only in the world of psychedelics and his work with LSD and even with psilocybin but also just being spiritual and kind of connecting to something beyond us, whatever that is. And it kind of brought me into really learning about spirituality. Again, I grew up in a very Christian household and I had the script, so I kind of stopped being spiritual anymore. And then by listening to Rom Dass, I learned more about how my spirit affects everything and how I can interact and share spirit and share that space, learning about my subconscious.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
And one of Ram Dass’ quotes that I’ll share and it really makes me think when I have these feelings, emotions, anger or frustration or anything that has to do with relating to another human, one of his quotes is that, “We’re all just walking each other home.” And for me, I think of home as a place that’s safe. For me, I think of home as a place where I can relax. When I think of home, I think of it as a sanctuary. And if we really look at each other as we’re walking each other home, not as our personalities, I’m a man, you’re a woman. This is my job, this is your job. This is who we think we are. When I really just say, “Here I am, I’m a soul, you’re a soul and we’re just walking each other home on this really crazy journey in our incarnation of our bodies. We don’t have the script to know what it means to be human but let’s walk each other home and figure it out together.”

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Oh, that’s beautiful. And everybody can interpret that the way that is most meaningful for them. Home is also a place that people call heaven or it can be a place where they literally just can only manage that day. And so just walk home that day with each other. Thank you so, so much for an amazing, informative, almost hour together. My goodness. I really appreciate you.

Ryan Tyler Bean:
Thanks, Tami.

Dr. Tami Meraglia:
Thank you so much for joining us on our podcast today. I hope that some of the information helps you become the CEO of your own health. Remember, health can be contagious so be sure to pass us on to those that you love and make sure that you subscribe so you’re right on track to hear more amazing information to help you thrive. Have a beautiful day.

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