#61 - Learning to Breathe, A Path to Wellness with Breathwrk Founders Max and Addie

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By Stephen Hays. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

How we breathe can have a profound impact on our mental health and wellness. Humans are one of only a few species that can proactively manipulate our breathing patterns and those patterns are associated with various emotional states of being. In today’s episode we learn about the physiological and psychological impacts of breathing

Max Gomez and Addie Conner, created their early stage startup, Breathwrk, to help people consciously improve their breathing in order to achieve health and wellness. In this episode we dig into how breathing impacts us, why it does and the formation story of this startup looking to revolutionize the way we breathe.

You can connect with Max and Addie here: Max on LinkedIn, Addie on LinkedIn,

Links mentioned in the show: https://www.breathwrk.com/

HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT:

  1. We talked about why breathwork is worthy of its own category separate of meditation. We talked about the differences between meditation and breathwork as well as how they are similar.
  2. Max, a neuroscientist by education, explains the science of breathing and meditation.
  3. Max explains that a lot of people try meditation and feel like they fail when they are not able to focus or stay on task in their first few sessions. So, they give up. Breathing is easier to start and have success with.
  4. They explain how the Breathwrk app was built intentionally to be different than the meditation apps such as Calm and Headspace.
  5. Max is from a small town in New Jersey. Studied Neuroscience at USC. He talks about falling in love with how the body and brain works. He realized med school wasn’t for him, picked up a minor in entrepreneurship and found a passion for applying neuroscience to business.
  6. Max talks about going through some tough personal challenges. He found himself in a very anxious state and it led him to depression that found him spending an entire month in bed. He started looking for a solution that could help him get out of this anxious state.
  7. Max talks about going to a coach and being exposed to simple breathing exercises. He talks about how within 15-30 seconds he already felt better. He realized this is the solution.
  8. The vertical of breathwork is quite diverse from waking up in the morning, to high performance athletes, Navy SEALs, sleep improvement, and may more applications.
  9. There is a physiological and psychological reaction that takes place during breathing exercises.
  10. Max looked in the app store to see if there was a breathwork app and could not find anything dedicated to breathing. So, he decided to spend a couple weeks building a prototype of an idea, mainly for his personal use, to help him with his own breathwork.
  11. Max and Addie met through a mutual friend. And immediately hit it off and realized they were passionate about this at the same time independent of one another. The universe brought them together and they began to work on this product together.
  12. Addie talks about her immense experience in online advertising. She had early access to Facebook ad APIs. Eventually built a huge Facebook ad agency.
  13. Later Addie went to Mexico to live in a nudist commune for 3 months. She met a shaman, then went to the Amazon jungle and was working with Shamans while being on a journey to find herself. Along that journey she reconnected with an old mentor of hers who is an expert on flow states (neuro semantics of high performance). He made her aware of breathwork.
  14. Breath became her favorite modality. She talks about trying to get into meditation, but it never working for her. She realized that breathwork was far more powerful in her life and it was easier for her to develop a daily habit around.
  15. They tell the founding story of Breathwrk and how they decided to build a business and how that’s gone so far.

Connect with the Stigma Podcast in the following ways: Patreon, Website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email

Connect with host Stephen Hays here: Stephen Hays Personal Website, Twitter, LinkedIn, What If Ventures (Mental Health Venture Fund)

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