S3 E62 Rita Savoia Wants You To Breathe Through Your Nose and Shake Your Body

In this episode, Rita talks about the power of self-healing and the body's innate intelligence.
S3 E62 Rita Savoia


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Show Notes

Today, we have a very special guest joining us. Rita Savoia. She is a true believer in the power of self-healing and the body’s innate intelligence. She’s here to share her expertise on how we can become our own health heroes and live vibrant lives as we age. She is a heart-centered practitioner who is passionate about organizing health talks, workshops, and retreats that promote healing, emotional release, and spiritual renewal on a local and international scale. 

And just a few days ago, she led an Elemental Breathwork Workshop for the Healthier Tech Community. Stephanie and I both participated. And so we wanted to invite her onto the show to discuss the experience.

S3 E62 Rita Savoia

In this episode, you will hear: 

  • Amplifying your breathwork with intention. 
  • How Rita’s breathwork sessions can be so powerful. 
  • Moving your body to receive experiences. 
  • How often you should practice different types of breathwork? 
  • Benefits of elemental breathwork (and paying more attention to your day-to-day breath). 
  • Why carbon dioxide is more important to oxygenating our cells than people realize. 
  • What makes your breathing dysfunctional? 
  • Activating our parasympathetic nervous system to increase the health benefits of functional breathing. 

Rita Savoia is a Certified Nutritionist, Functional Breathing Coach, Yoga Instructor, Workplace Wellbeing Consultant, Speaker, and Mental Health & Longevity Advocate.

Rita is convinced that by removing the interference and allowing your body’s innate intelligence to self-heal, you can become your own health hero, live your highest vibrating life and thrive as you age.

Rita founded Savoia Self-Care Holistic Wellness and created the 6 Pillars of Self-Care aimed at resetting back to the basics, because getting healthy doesn’t have to be so complicated. The pillars are based on the holistic integration of the heart, mind and body that bridge the gap between our emotions, thoughts and physical body.

She is a heart-centered practitioner and passionate about organizing local and international health talks, wellbeing workshops, and destination retreats on various self-care activities that promote healing, emotional release and spiritual renewal.

Check out the Elemental Rhythm Breathwork Workshop: https://www.healthiertech.co/elemental-breath-workshop/ 

Episode Reference: 

Connect with Rita Savoia:

Website: https://savoiaselfcare.com/ 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@savoiaselfcare

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/healthhappinesshacker/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Savoiaselfcare

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ritasavoia/

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/self-care-goddess-podcast/id1571089815

Use HealthTech50 to get 50% off an Online New Moon Breathwork Session here: https://savoiaselfcare.com/events/ 

Connect with R Blank and Stephanie Warner: For more Healthier Tech Podcast episodes and to download our Healthier Tech Quick Start Guide, visit https://www.healthiertech.co and follow https://instagram.com/healthiertech

Additional Links:


Rita Savoia 0:00
We always and most of us just carry this burden carry the stress, you know, and then maybe we sort of, you know, lash out or maybe we do it through exercise or through sauna where we sweat it out, but we never really shake as much as we should and right. That’s why for us dancing, when we used to go dancing, we used to be so happy because we the dancing part, like really allowed us to release those stuck emotions that stress that tension in our bodies, right? So the shaking is so important, and we find the more the person shakes in the beginning, the better the experience.

Announcer 0:36
Welcome to the healthier tech podcast, the show about building a healthier relationship with modern technology. Now, here are your hosts, R blank and Stephanie Warner.

R Blank 0:49
So this is the discussion first time my life I discovered they actually make a product to tape, Stephanie’s mouth. Tape. Well, no specific mouth tape, and it’s actually for mouth breathers. It’s one of the little factoids that we cover in this, this workshop. With Rita Savoy, I’m sorry, in this interview with Rita soya, where we talk about the workshop that she ran for our community, just the week before this recording, which was a really fantastic experience.

Stephanie Warner 1:25
Absolutely. I want to you know, it’s for anyone listening, I if you are interested in breathwork at all, or you’re sceptical, you’re not sure what that is, please do check out the show notes and hop over to the webinar that we that, read a lead, and then come back over and listen to the podcast because it’s, it’s a really powerful experience. And her work is it really affected my knee for days, I felt less stressed, I slept. This is something I didn’t say in the interview. But I actually slept so well for days, I just felt more relaxed in and I want everyone listening to have that experience. And also coming back and listen to the interview of course. And you’ll get some more tools and tips and a great conversation with Rita. Yeah, so

R Blank 2:20
the replay of the workshop that we talked about in this interview that is available on the healthier tech site and we have the direct link in the show notes. So you might want to go watch that and then give this interview a listen. So let’s get to it. Today we have a very special guest joining us Rita Savoy, a certified nutritionist functional breathing coach, yoga instructor, workplace wellbeing consultant, speaker and mental health and longevity advocate. Rita is a true believer in the power of self healing and the body’s innate intelligence. She’s here to share her expertise on how we can become our own health heroes and live vibrant lives as we age. As the founder of Savoy self care, holistic wellness, she has developed the Six Pillars of self care, which aim to simplify the journey to good health by going back to the basics. These pillars focus on the holistic integration of the heart, mind and body, bridging the gap between our emotions, thoughts and physical well being. She is a heart centred practitioner who is passionate about organising health talks, workshops, and retreats that promote healing, emotional release and spiritual renewal on a local and international scale. And just a few days ago, she led an elemental breathwork workshop for the healthier tech community. Stephanie and I both participated, and so we wanted to invite her onto the show to discuss that experience. Welcome to the healthier tech podcast Rita.

Rita Savoia 3:46
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to get your feedback on the experience and talk a little bit more about breath work and its beauty in optimising every single system in our body. So I’m super excited to be here.

R Blank 3:57
Yeah, it’s great to have you. It’s great to see you again. So yeah, funny story. Apparently, you and I met through your aunt, can you can you tell our listeners a little bit about that chain of events there?

Rita Savoia 4:09
Yes. Thank you. Thank you. So basically, my aunt passed away about two and a half years ago, and we were very close. She was one of my best students. And through I was it was really I was really taken by her death even though she was you know, suffering for what 11 years, and, but always going in remission. So there was always something that she was coming in and out of. But basically, it was so hard to grieve her death that I decided to use my own tools and created a meditation and sort of breathing the type of breathwork that you experienced. And what I saw was visions of her telling me she’s in a better place for me to move on with the things that I love to do and share with the world which she was always a part of. And she written in that message. She told me to finally start my podcast in which I had been talking to her about it for for a while and that’s is exactly what I did. And that’s how we met. So yes, we did meet through my ad.

R Blank 5:06
So, we talk a little bit about and by the way, we’re going to be referencing this workshop quite a bit in this interview, and we have a link to the replay of that workshop in the shownotes. So anyone who’s listening, can check out the show notes. And I did ask you in the workshop, but I think it’s worth bringing up here again, right, because I called it the I referenced it as the elemental, breathwork workshop. And so that’s not just any standard breathing workshop, it’s a specific type. Can you can you explain a little bit about what that type of breathwork is and how you got into it?

Rita Savoia 5:44
Yeah, for sure. So and you’re right, there are so many different types of breathing techniques and actual experiences out there now more than ever, so I’m so happy that everyone is really engaged in this beautiful powerful modality that we have in our nose tip early and mouth course. And to help us self heal and release trauma and stuck emotions and just feel really, really good. Get some clarity. So it’s been so amazing for all of my clients and new people that get introduced to it. So this type of breathing technique, or experience, as I like to call it, is really it’s made up actually from a man from Toronto. For those listeners and viewers that are Wim Hof of fanatics or fans of Wim Hof. He was actually one of the very few His name is Giovanni Buttle. Now, he was one of the very first Wim Hof trainers like to facilitate to train under Wim Hof, when Wim Hof 15 years ago was not really known, right. He had literally contacted him, he said, Wim a whim said, Sure, come on, and I’ll teach you what I know. And so basically, Giovanni, there’s definitely some Wim Hof, as you can see in the actual experience, but then what he found was these different types of breathing techniques, sort of, you know, after the actual breathing, they left you, you know, feeling, whether it was that emotional release, or that trauma or something sort of, there was something missing, right. And so what he’s done is put together a whole experience where we’re doing the brute Well, we first start, as you know, with the shaking, and the shaking allows us to make room for the breath work. And for those of you that have actually read the book, Why zebras don’t get ulcers, it’s because they shake off the stress and trauma and everything else that they experience. And that’s why they’re able to forward for when they survive an attack, right? We as humans never do that. So we start off with the shaking, to make room for the breath work, then we go into five rounds of six different breathing techniques. And then from the breathing actually, sorry, I miss the intention piece, which is so important. So after the shaking, we set an intention. And the intention, again, is very powerful, because it guides the experience. So my intention, when I did the breath, work with my hand was just sort of to release. What I was feeling was the grief and the anxiety and, you know, give me the strength to move forward. That was my intention. And that’s exactly what I got right? So many times. Another intention, I have to share this because I’ve had Sunday nights skerries or the Sunday night, whatever they call them for Sunday night anxiety, really for ages right ages, every single Sunday night actually wasn’t even a Sunday night. It was Sunday afternoon by two o’clock, feeling super anxious about the workweek. And the funny thing is, are and Stephanie is that I was coming to see me I had my own business for eight years. So what was that? What was the anxious of all right? I was not coming to a nasty boss, right? It was me. And so one breathwork session because of course I do these as well for myself, I decided why do I even have this Sunday anxiety, I just want to get rid of it. That’s gonna be my intention for today. I did the breath work left the class I didn’t know if it worked or not. Sunday, I this was on a Wednesday and Sunday afternoon comes around. I’m looking for that anxious feeling. And it’s not there. And Sunday night comes around or like, Whoa, there is no anxious feeling here and Kid you not it’s been over for months now, Sunday’s are beautiful again. 30. The high got rid of this Sunday night anxiety with that intention in mind. Because you know, when you do anything with intention, there’s just amplifies the actual objective and the results, right. So we set the intention, we do the breathing techniques, there’s about six breathing techniques that we do, and I’m more than happy to share sort of the the benefits and you know, what’s behind each one. And then and then we go into beautiful three part meditation and that meditation is what’s really missing in a lot of breathwork experiences out there, because they’re just doing the breath work, right? But there’s no real place to integrate what happened during the breath or because there’s so much happening during the breath work. So the three part Meditation allows for the integration of that experience, the integration of the insights, the integration of whatever clarity you might have received during the breathing experience. And then we go into a beautiful integration song where I just leave you to really experience whatever your body wants to experience. If you’re sleeping. That’s fine. That means you’re retired if you’re excited or you know just You’re crying also, that’s okay. Right. And then we sort of come together again. And we share with the beautiful with shares, right with comments about the experience, or maybe any insights if the participants are ready and willing, because sometimes it’s so overwhelming that there are no words to describe what just happened during. So that’s why it’s really different from other breathwork experiences that I’ve had, as well as that I’ve come across.

R Blank 10:26
Yeah. And the, the response you got in the session was, I mean, I didn’t even know zoom had these features to be able to throw hearts over the screen and everything but people really loved it. And just your description of the Sunday scaries I don’t I don’t know if you know, the now deceased British author, Douglas Adams. He did the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he described, that phenomenon that you were talking about as the long dark teatime of the soul. And I always thought that that was a perfect description of those Sunday afternoon emotions. So yeah, shaking, let’s go there. Because I have never started breathwork with shaking before. And and just so people understand like, that we’re not talking about like, 1020 30 seconds, you had a shaking for like, five minutes or something. Right. And, like, yeah, and encouraging us to be as crazy looking as possible, I think was sort of the direct.

Rita Savoia 11:27
Yeah. Exactly. Yes. Dancing to express and not to impress, if you want to dance, if you want to dance it out. Yes. It was really releasing that tension and that anxiety and also, for a lot of times, for a lot of people being in our bodies. We’re so not used to it, right? We’re always in our heads. So that allowed us to really release that as well. Or maybe perhaps, and we do this blindfolded, by the way, so that we really tune out the outer world. And we can really go within and the shaking as I mentioned earlier, it really every single animal out there, does it right. Okay, some people some I think it’s a possum that doesn’t maybe the possum fight or flight, the possum freezes, and he pretends or they pretend they’re dead. But no, but every single animal does this in the wild, every whenever they survive an attack in the wild, they will put them they will go to a safe space and put themselves into a self seizure. And so we as humans never do that, right? We sort of, we always and most of us just carry this burden, carry the stress, you know, and then maybe we sort of, you know, lash out, or maybe we do it through exercise or through sauna where we sweat it out. But we never really shake as much as we should. And right. That’s why for us dancing, when we used to go dancing, we used to be so happy because we the dancing part, like really allowed us to release those stuck emotions that stress that tension in our bodies, right? So the shaking is so important. And we find the more the person shakes in the beginning, the better the experience. So that’s why people tend to come more than once for this experience is because they’re like, oh, I should have shaken a little bit more or could have a greater experience, especially when it comes to the sharing circle. And they they hear what other people experienced, oh, I didn’t experience that I want to come back. And so that’s what we find. When they do come back and they shake a little harder. The feedback that I get is, oh, I had a totally different experience because I was able to really move my body.

Stephanie Warner 13:28
Yeah, I for myself, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. And when we started that part of the exercise, I was a little hesitant because we do we like to keep ourselves in a certain code of conduct. We don’t necessarily in the middle of the day, start dancing, and I was just I shut my door. And it was in my intention for the exercise was just to experience it, and to be open and relaxed into it and not be in my head. Like, am I doing this right? And just just receive really? And yes, starting with the movement. I wasn’t I didn’t expect that. And I was like, you know, I’m just gonna do and I was I definitely got into it. And I was like, This is great. Why don’t I do this all the time? Why don’t I start five minutes of just listening to some music and moving my body around and dancing and beings, like there’s an element of silliness that just kind of opened me up to like, I know I look silly, but I love it. And it it I do really believe that it contributed to my experience overall, and set me up to really like breathe into and receive the experience. I appreciate that.

Rita Savoia 14:37
Thank you and we all know it’s amazing. And also I have a client now that before he comes home from work, he’ll park the car in the garage and literally shake his day off and then enter the home right that’s another thing is sort of releases what just happened? I do it between client calls especially difficult client calls. So that’s something that you can definitely incorporate in your everyday for sure.

Stephanie Warner 14:59
Yeah, apps We and the other you were. So I so just kind of going back for me and my, my experience with the with the breath work is I have done breath work before in a Kundalini practice. And when you were just talking, you were saying the part that’s missing in a lot of breathwork practices is the intention and integration. And I had this this aha moment of Yes, yes, I had some profound experiences with breathwork in the Kundalini practice. But that part was missing and setting that intention. And then having that meditation at the end really just made it feel like I feel like I got a lot more I absorbed a lot more that was able to carry over into the weekend and into the coming days.

R Blank 15:46
So and so it’s called elemental. Because each type of breathing you practice in the session is named after an element. Yeah.

Rita Savoia 15:58
Correct. Yes, yes. And then rhythmic rhythm and because we’re breathing to the rhythm of the music as well. So that’s why the elemental rhythm.

R Blank 16:06
So yeah, so you start with Earth, and then move into water, and then wind or air and then fire? Yeah. And the pattern is, is different for each.

Rita Savoia 16:21
Yeah, so the yes, for the first two, maybe the first three, the breathing pattern is similar, actually. But we just speed up the tempo. And then for the Breath of Fire, or the fire breath, it’s just really aggressive. ins and outs, ins and outs. And the breathing mechanics really, for the entire experience is to breathe in through the nose, very sharp inhales through the nose, and then side out through the mouth. So we’re just hop opening our jaw a little bit and just sign it out through the mouth. Yeah, except

R Blank 16:52
you you gave an you gave an exception on on the fire, where you could do the both in and out of the nose or in and out of the mouth or in the nose and out the mouth. That fire. So anyone you should go watch the video. Fortunately, you won’t see me practising. You’ll see Rita leading, but the fire was incredibly hard to keep up.

Rita Savoia 17:15
Yeah, and you’re not alone. It is definitely by far the hardest one the most difficult one. Also. That’s why it’s only 30 seconds, so it doesn’t last long. But yeah, it’s really simulating hyperventilation, right, we’re sort of that chest, upper chest movement, as well. So it’s one of the hardest ones also, because we’re we’re, it’s the stress response that we’re activating to right. So that kind of builds into the difficulty of it as well, for me, you know, hormesis, right, good stress, we want a little bit for just a little leaner a little bit of time so that we can build that resilience, right? That’s the actual benefits behind that.

R Blank 17:53
So in your practice, you work, you work with clients individually. You also lead workshops, what what are the differences, if any, that are report like so if you’re doing a breath work with a one on one with a client? Versus you’re leading a group of six or 10 or 20? Like what are the differences available in the experience in the results are there?

Rita Savoia 18:19
So definitely there are especially if I’m working with a client for a very long time, I can really customise what I say. And my prompts can be really customised to what the client is experiencing at that point in time. And this is where the breathwork coaching comes in. And then even the debrief or the the circle, the debrief, I guess circle is a lot more personalised to we can sort of go a little bit deeper. However, the group experiences are magical as well. And you know, even doing them online, I feel the energy and I feel like I’m you know, you’ve you’ve witnessed this as well, right? But in person, they’re even, they’re even more amplified, but the group energy in the group experience I never, but really nothing is happening by coincidence that people that do come for the class are there for a reason. And they there’s just such a beautiful energy that’s created within a group setting. So I would say there’s, there are advantages to both right? Because I do also encourage, well, it’s part of my package. If you are my one on one client, then you’re coming to all of my online New Moon group sessions. So there are some benefits that you can gain from coming, doing the group stuff, even though you’re working one on one with me. So there are differences, a personalization comes in for sure. And the adaptations to whatever scenario or situation that the person is going through.

R Blank 19:37
And how often do you ideally recommend someone practice something like this?

Rita Savoia 19:44
Yeah, so we consider so there’s a few things right. So in terms of the one on one coaching, I usually do it once a week one on one, the breath work experience that you’ve experienced, there’s there’s actually two maybe we can do another one actually, there is the one that you did was a breakthrough, right? It’s really hardcore. It’s a Yang. Like, let’s go, let’s breathe really hard. And then there’s a sort of the Yin part of it, too. It’s like, uh, so what I do usually is I do the Yang for new moon, and then the Yin. Because the full moon, everyone feels super fatigued and drained because of the formula, we do more of a Yeon style. So it’s a lot slower pace, but people still get the amazing breakthroughs that they do during the Yang. So the Yang would we would consider as a hit workout, so you wouldn’t do a hit workout every day. So maybe once every four days, really depends up to you how much you I mean, I have some clients that are like, I need it. Like now for, you know, a couple of days, for a week, let’s say for example, but usually what I recommend is, you know, once a week, maybe once every three days once a week, for the ying experience, the yen, you can actually do almost every day. But it takes a lot out of you, right? I’m sure Stephanie Are you are dreading that.

Stephanie Warner 21:02
I was I was I was so excited. I was like, Oh, I’m gonna do this every day. But like you’re saying it’s like easily like, oh, wait, no, it did feel like there was a lot to process there and a lot to, you know, to kind of just settle into for a few days. With Yeah, you did,

R Blank 21:19
like 40 minutes of prep with us before we even got into the exercises. Right, exactly.

Rita Savoia 21:25
And also sorry, just so sort of, it’s something you feel drained, it’s really about your body. Some people feel energised after some people feel drained, but you write something, it’s the processing and the interrogation, you want to give yourself that time to process and integrate what has come up because it’s a very powerful tool for self reflection. I mean, you know, the studies are out there now that it’s just as powerful if not even more powerful than talk therapy, you know, one breathing session is worth maybe 1020 Talk therapies, right? Because we’re getting out of our head and really connecting with the subconscious mind. Right?

R Blank 21:57
Yeah, I didn’t feel drained. I felt pumped. After after the session, I was very excited. So but in the end session, just so I can get an A, an A. So is that still part of elemental? Yes. Work? Yeah. So you’re still doing that the four elements, but maybe in an

Rita Savoia 22:18
E hour? We’re only doing we’re only though it’s a different technique? It’s two. Okay. Well, one is similar to the earth, but then it’s a different technique. Yes. So what So he’s actually created the flow, it’s called the flow. So the elemental flow, as opposed to the elemental rhythm is because of this exact reason that a lot of times people felt really tired, or they didn’t have the energy to really give it their all. And that’s sort of where that came from. Let’s let’s find something that’s a little slower. Also, for people with certain conditions, as well, maybe health conditions or, you know, traumatic conditions, or it’d be too much, or maybe even some people, some elderly folks, I wanted to try it. So this fits really well, with that with that group of people.

R Blank 23:02
Yeah, that honestly sounds a little bit more my speed.

Stephanie Warner 23:06
Maintenance Mode. That’s kind of how I think like, it sounds like maintenance mode, like, Okay, I don’t need the full, you know, anti traumatic experience. I don’t need all of that. But maybe like a daily, a little daily ritual to keep to keep up the momentum.

Rita Savoia 23:24
Yeah, it could be yeah, definitely could be 70. But some of us, you know, want that breakthrough as well. So yes, you know, stuff always happens, right. So it’s actually good to get to get rid of it and build that up. But yeah, we should definitely try to float to and I’d love to get your opinion on that.

R Blank 23:39
So we’ve talked a little and I’d like to talk some more about it too, but about how the workshop made us feel and how we felt during and immediately after. But as you were indicating, earlier in the episode, right, where you got rid of the Sunday scaries. There can be benefits realised late like just in general, right? So there’s how you feel during the experience and right after the experience, but maybe five hours later, or the next day or two days later. And so what are some of these benefits that this type of breathwork and yield?

Rita Savoia 24:17
So yes, that’s a very important point is that a lot of times for many of us, it’s that immediate release of stress, tension, nervousness, anxiety, like you just feel like some of that that’s why some of us feel drained right after it. But then some of us cannot that could also energise someone right? When they get rid of all that stress, and that anxiety, and so those, there’s those immediate, I would say, reactions or benefits to it, but then more in the long term is more about, especially if it’s related to your intention that you wanted to, let’s say, forgive someone, or trust yourself or this process or this decision wanted some more clear already on the decision, you may not get that right away. Right? It might not be the first thing that comes to you light bulb moment. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. And it’s for me, it always happens in the shower, when it’s like, oh, okay, I get it, you know, there’s that connection, maybe sometimes three days later, sometimes a week later, sometimes months later. So that those are the some of the benefits that I’ve come across myself in my own personal practice. But also, feedback from my clients is that it wasn’t always so apparent when it’s more sort of deeper self reflection, clarity, decision making, problem solving sort of type of intention that you want it to realise during the breath work, sometimes it is, sometimes those are more long term benefits, but the immediate benefits are that are definitely more of that stress related. Psychological, sometimes, you know, even though forgiveness or hey, I have some clients that you know, really overcame sexual trauma, want during one of their breathwork sessions, like right then in there, through the different prompts that are used. So and this is something that she was working on for ages with her psychotherapist. So it really depends, but these are the kinds of benefits that we see, just by engaging in this type of breath work.

R Blank 26:22
So I’m a, as I’ve told you multiple times, I’m a big believer in the power of breath work. I am not nearly as well versed in how to zero but you know, I do I do, I do my share of it. Very simple stuff. But I am a big believer in it. And I’m wondering it because it is so powerful, that I think some people just might not believe it. And it because it’s also one of these things that we all do all the time. So it can be hard, I think, for people to think, well, if I just do it a little differently, my whole, my whole life will change. But what is your experience in in getting people to be more aware of the importance of breath and the power that breathwork can bring?

Rita Savoia 27:13
So yes, 100% that’s my mission is to educate and empower and inspire as many people as possible, because you’re right, first of all, it’s free. And once I teach you the technique, really you don’t really need me anymore, right. And so you’re you know, and sometimes when something is free, people don’t see value in it either, right. So it is a really hard, I guess, nut to crack. But I do believe my sort of vision for the future is to have as many breathwork studios as there are yoga studios, right, you yoga booms, right. And so I really do believe that either it’s going to be integrated with yoga, which it already is part of, or it’s going to be the sort of standalone, let’s do breath work together. Because even though I teach you a technique, and you can go and do it yourself, it’s always nice to be led to right even me as a breathwork facilitator, and instructor and coach, I’d like to be like, even as a yoga instructor, I’d love to be light and just not think of the sequence but just sort of go with the flow. But what I do find is that there’s sort of these two different people. And really, I’m not trying to convince anyone I’ve sort of given

R Blank 28:17
permission to convince us

Rita Savoia 28:20
empower, empower, and inspire, and inspire. Because if you’re not at that point of you know, if you’re not there, it doesn’t matter what I say, you’re just gonna think it’s breathing, right? So I really want the person to be to come over to that, you know, hop over the threshold, and be ready to receive and be open. Like I love the way the Stephanie’s already talking about she’s tried Kundalini, well, then, of course, she’s going to find this interesting, or at least, you know, have her ears open to this type of breathing techniques, right? So that’s why I love talking to but you know, I still love talking to people that have no idea what breathing is, and they look at me funny. Like even my dad to this day is like, what are you doing? Why are these people laying down? And what are you doing? He just doesn’t understand that.

R Blank 29:06
If you’re let’s say you’re at a cocktail party, and you’re explaining to somebody what you do, and they’re like, oh, that sounds interesting. What would be the simplest exercise you would give them?

Rita Savoia 29:18
So nice. I like that question. So yes, that’s what I was getting to is that sometimes I take the angle of functional breathing as opposed to the breathing experience that you had, because people are a little bit more interested in funk, sometimes in functional breathing, then the sort of the, maybe the spiritual aspect of we know what I’ve just mentioned in the button, its benefits. So good point, when I’m at a cocktail party and somebody says breathing, the breathing exercise that I would give them is actually no I would do a little test with them first. Because then you know that competitiveness comes through like oh, that’s all like or, you know, that’s all I got was this number. So I would probably do like a quick little test to see to test whether or not they’re functionally breathing or dis is functionally breathing. And then the describe to them what dysfunctional breathing is? And there’ll be like, yeah, that’s neat, I do that I do that right, and then sort of give them the technique, I guess the easiest one would be I really love the box breathing one because people find the relaxation right away. And, and, you know, it really depends on like, so basically what we’re doing in box breathing is we are drawing, or creating an imaginary box with our inhales, our breath holds, exhales. And then we hold again. And you know, I always say this, that box breathing is what the SWAT team of the US Army uses. And if it’s good enough for the US Army, then it’s good enough for us, right? It’s what they actually use to help them actually swatting the snipers to help them calm down before they actually have to pull the trigger. So if it’s helping them, then it can help us and we can use Box breathing before sleep, you can use Box breathing before in a presentation, I use it before this podcast. It really is for focus and anxiety and to maintain concentration too. So that’s, that’s sort of my go to is the box breathing because of that little angle. If the US Army snipers isn’t that it’s good enough for us. Right?

Stephanie Warner 31:19
Right. So how does that go? So it’s you’re building a box with your inhale and exhale,

Rita Savoia 31:23
correct? Yes. So I like to draw this one as I’m explaining it as well. So and usually the counts how long we’re actually counting the breath, it can go anywhere between four to six breaths. So it really depends, maybe perhaps, we can start with four, but some people can do four, so they need to do three. So really, what we’re doing is we’re breathing in for 1234. And we’re holding 1234, exhaling for for 1234. And then we’re holding again, for four counts. And then we sort of just keep drawing this imaginary box with the the inhales the whole the exhales, and then the holds again,

Stephanie Warner 32:04
I’m definitely going to add that.

Rita Savoia 32:07
That’s called Box breathing. Yes. Box breathing. Love it.

R Blank 32:12
So where were where do you? Where do you see your work going? In? I don’t know, the next year or two years. I mean, you painted this vision for the future, with, with, with breathing workshops being more popular than Starbucks, so But where does ya know? You got to set your intent, right? Yeah. So what I mean, so what Yeah, but where do you see your work going in the next couple of years.

Rita Savoia 32:45
So I’m really, really hoping are aiming to penetrate the workplace wellness, the workplace, with this type of breathing, because How amazing would it be to walk into a meeting and do a breathing exercise before it before going into a brainstorming session? Or before going into a really, really tough meeting? Or just in general? So I would love to more performance management? Meeting or? Yeah, I guess when we’re talking about salary increases, or? Or not? Like, how cool would it be for the manager and the employee to be doing a breathwork exercise before? So it really penetrating the workplace?

R Blank 33:24
Yeah, that would be great. And I imagine that would be that would be really conducive to if you can get enough of those clients and really conducive to running some some data on performance, whether it’s, you know, sick days, or productive, or whatnot. Yeah, actually, that

Rita Savoia 33:43
reminds me that in Japan, what they do is when they have a problem, they’ll actually I’m not sure what they’ll put in the middle of the actual room, and then they’ll sit around this, that’s a I’m not sure a jar with the problem inside it. And then they’ll all breathe together, and sort of tried to come up with individual problem solving solutions for this particular problem. And it’s through the breath work, that they do it together, and then they go into the actual meeting room. So Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, super cool stuff. Right.

R Blank 34:14
So I understand you wanted Stephanie to take some kind of test. Yes.

Stephanie Warner 34:23
So I could laugh. Oh, yes. Come on, you know, you want to join

R Blank 34:28
though she asked for you don’t want to step back.

Rita Savoia 34:33
So okay, you can both join and of course, the listeners as well. And so again, this is sort of the test that I do when I am when I do start any sort of workshop breathing workshop.

R Blank 34:43
Well, I was also going to ask this this the same test you would give at the cocktail party, or is this a different okay?

Rita Savoia 34:49
Yes. I mean, depending on talking to if they’re open and willing to do I might have lost the person already. I breathwork breath what so That might not be the solution. But so this one is called the control pause test, or the body oxygen level test. So basically what we’re trying to do is to understand our carbon dioxide tolerance, because I think I said this during the the actual session as well. It’s a myth that the more oxygen we take in, so the more we’re gasping for air, the more oxygen is getting into our cells, it’s actually carbon dioxide, that allows haemoglobin to release that oxygen into the cell. So in order to optimise your oxygen levels in your cells, tissues, muscles, or in Oregon’s, it’s really having the carbon dioxide built up there. I know this is like, what are you talking about? And it’s so true. So we want to test this carbon dioxide tolerance. So how was through breath holds, that’s why a lot of popular breathing techniques involve breath holds is because we actually want to train our body to retain more carbon dioxide. So help to release those oxygen molecules. So this is a test that actually allows us to test for that. And Teasle in 2017, actually came up with a little and they did this with athletes with a little legend. What does the test once you do the test and the results? What do they mean, in terms of functional breathing and dysfunctional breathing. And, and this is sort of how we can we can test that. So what we do is just take normal breaths in and out through the nose. And then so I’ll explain it first Stephanie, and then you can do it. I’ll go through it again. And then we’re going to take a normal breath through the nose, and then we’re going to exhale, and then at the bottom of the exhale, we’re going to hold our breath, I’m going to put a timer on and then you just tell me when maybe just raise your hand when you have taken that breath. So again, inhale through the nose, and out. And then we’re going to inhale. And then we’re going to exhale and start the breath hold at the bottom of the exhale. And then just raise your hand once you have to take that breath again.

Stephanie Warner 37:16
Okay, we haven’t started Yeah, heavy because I was I was breathing. We’re talking. I’m still breathing.

Rita Savoia 37:27
You were practising. Okay. Okay. So then yes. Okay, hold the breath. And then just put your hand up. So I know where, when to stop the timer. Okay. So, just important to know that when you do want to breathe, it shouldn’t be the second aggressive gasp for air should be sort of a normal. Inhale, okay, or else you’ve gone a little too far.

Stephanie Warner 37:48
Yeah, don’t turn blue.

Rita Savoia 37:50
In through the nose, and out. And then again, in through the nose, and exhale normally, and once you’ve emptied out your lungs, let me know what to start with the breath hold, okay.

And then when you’re ready, just put your hand up. Okay. Okay, okay. All right. So that was about 10 seconds. I’m still going. Oh, you’re doing it? I didn’t know you were doing okay, so you were way past the 10 seconds. I want to put you probably at 20

Stephanie Warner 38:39
trying to do like I wasn’t trying to go super hard. I mean, I just felt like

R Blank 38:46
no really said as soon as you say it’s a test your competitive competitive.

Stephanie Warner 38:51
This will tell you a lot about our personalities. I’m not that competitive. I’m like, you know, I feel like taking a breath now. So let’s let’s go with that.

R Blank 38:58
Yeah. So what are these numbers tell us.

Rita Savoia 39:04
So what these numbers tell us is that if your breath hold was anywhere under 20 Then there are some signs of dysfunctional breathing. Because basically, if you’re able, for example, if you’re more of a mouth breather or if you’re more of a chest or shallow breather then that’s those are signs of dysfunctional breathing and those actually impede your your carbon dioxide tolerance. So how much carbon dioxide you can actually

R Blank 39:32
yes, it let’s put a little flesh on that term. What is dysfunctional breathing? Right, because you’re still breathing. So what makes it dysfunctional?

Rita Savoia 39:40
Yeah, so you’re not optimising that breath. You’re not optimising that release of oxygen from haemoglobin because of your carbon dioxide tolerance levels. Right. So usually the signs and symptoms you might be saying, okay, so what does this mean really, is that you’re more of a mouth breather. Maybe you breathe more through your mouth at night. So you may not even know that because You’re like, Oh, my mouth is only shut during the day, but maybe at night, your mouth breathing, right. So that’s why there’s this popular thing to do now is to tape your mouth at night, which I highly recommend and look into.

Stephanie Warner 40:09
I’ve never heard I’ve never heard that it

R Blank 40:12
doesn’t get congested.

Rita Savoia 40:17
Yeah, I tried it. And it’s amazing. I feel I feel bad even though I’m not a mouth breather a night, but maybe you know, some cracks get through here, but actual taping your mouth. So you can use surgical day by actually use regular tape. But you can use surgical tape and just close your lips this way. And you’ll know your mouth breather, if you wake up with the dry mouth, right? Or dry lips or anything like that, then you know your mouth breathing.

R Blank 40:43
It’s not just mouth breathing, right? There’s other shallow Yes, shallow

Rita Savoia 40:47
breathing, right? If you can hear yourself breathing, if others can hear you breathing, the wheezing, right, that happens. A frequent yawn sometimes could also indicate dysfunctional breathing, right? chest breathing. So if you’re, it’s mostly your chest, as opposed to your diaphragm. Engaging your diaphragm is super important. So that these are all sort of signs. But even easily getting stress and panicking easily can also mean that you’re not engaging I think me

R Blank 41:15
so so what is Stephanie supposed to do now that we’ve diagnosed her

Rita Savoia 41:19
exactly. I want to add this to it just super important 25% of back pain can also be attributed to dysfunctional breathing. And also they found that 78 Actually no higher a little bit higher than that. I think it’s 80% of people with depression actually have some sort of dysfunctional breathing. So that can really because the breathing is connected to a parasympathetic nervous system, right? That relaxed digest heal part of the nervous system, we can activate it through functional breathing. Right? So what should we be doing nasal breathing, Stephanie, all the time, as much as possible. I always say the most part is made for talking of course, and eating and then kissing, of course, but the rest of the time, it should be nasal breathing. So now that you’re aware of this, and are as well you can tell her when you see that she’s her mouth is open when

Stephanie Warner 42:11
he tells me he tells

R Blank 42:12
me excuses.

Stephanie Warner 42:16
But it’s funny, when I when I breathe through my nose, I do it feels like my like, I’m not getting as much air as of late. It’s, it’s like I can it almost feels like it’s congested all the time, a little bit, like there’s more small canal or something. So I know I breathe through my mouth a lot. And but when I swim, I do a lot of freestyle swimming, and I hold I’m holding my breath for long periods of time. So I know I can do it for sure. But in just day to day practice, I don’t use my diaphragm. And that’s something that I was doing through the exercise. And I think that one of the interesting things that I experienced was I felt my breathing and my chest expanding. So with every time every round we did, I was holding longer I was you know, and I it just it just it felt really interesting physically, not only emotionally, you know, doing the exercise in the in the days after that, I definitely could see a change and how I was how I was breathing

Rita Savoia 43:17
100% It’s definitely your right spot on because it could be some structural congestion, sinus issues that you may have that make it difficult to actually be through your nose. But another thing with our nose, if we don’t use it, we lose it we start our nose starts getting lazy or you’re not using me then I’m not going to actually optimise your facility.

R Blank 43:36
Well, you’ll notice as to today. Of course.

Stephanie Warner 43:44
Well, I am in the in the, in the exercise you were telling us that are pointing out which I think we all know, but maybe don’t think about but that’s also where the follicles are that that filters out the air that we’re breathing in. So you were you were hitting home some some really important messages. There was a lot there, in you know, but I I appreciate that we’re having this today, you know, just a few days after so to have that reminder. Because if as a as a mouth breather. There’s a lot to like this. There’s a lot of physical, like physical things to remember to do and start kind of working on Yeah, for sure.

Rita Savoia 44:27
And just take your time with it for sure. It’s not gonna happen overnight, but even just the awareness now Stephanie right yeah, and have that’s already gonna help 90% Right, absolutely

Stephanie Warner 44:37
aren’t so much more and do his part to remind me when I’m opening my mouth.

R Blank 44:45
Yeah, that that mouth tape isn’t just for nighttime stuff. No, but I notice and I like I say I mean I’m not like I’m not an expert. I don’t claim to be an expert on this, but I do try To breathe well, but I noticed that when I get really stressed, I can catch that I’m not breathing with my diaphragm. And sometimes I’ll even notice that I’m holding my breath without even having realised that I was doing it. And the second I remember to breathe again, I feel so much better about whatever is happening to me. Exactly,

Rita Savoia 45:18
exactly. And you’re right, or there’s this phenomena now email apnea, where as we’re scrolling, yeah, as we’re scrolling through our emails, we’re holding your breath. And I find that sometimes I do that, too. I’m expecting a really exciting email coming in. And it’s, we’re, I’m holding my breath, as I’m scrolling. So there are things that we yes, we definitely are coming up because of modern day technology, too. Yeah. But 72 That antivax the vitals, the nose, filtering, filtering, moisturising, moistens, the air humidifies the air but also the nasal cavity is where most of the nitric oxide molecule is produced. And that can again, very limited amount is done through the mouth when we breathe through the mouth. But through the nose, this nitric oxide, which is this natural, beautiful, super powerful molecule, antibacterial, antiviral, right, it opens up capillaries, hence why they use this type of molecule in Viagra. So it opens up capillaries since fresh oxygenated blood. So it’s super, super important to actually be doing it through our nose, right, we breathing through the nose and you know, it’s mechanically built to do that the mouth is this huge hole where there’s no filter, right? So all the gunk that’s out there, we just literally goes down our throat and into our lungs. Really, there’s no filtering screening process, but I

Stephanie Warner 46:37
definitely you just added new meaning to my phrase, I have no filter. Thank you. It’s true. I literally I’m thinking of putting a sign on my computer to just just to, you know, breathe through your nose, to nose breathe through your nose, because that is definitely one small thing that I think if anyone out there listening, recognises that they’re more of a mouth breather. That could that seems like a pretty good first step is just just recognising that I’m doing it and then use use my nose just then I’ll add diaphragm.

Rita Savoia 47:11
Yes. 100% One step at a time for sure. For sure.

R Blank 47:17
Yeah, so uh, for anyone who’s listening, right? I mean, you’re you’re based in, in Toronto, but, but for our listeners who may not be in Ontario, you offer these online workshops. And you can get anyone who’s listening can get a taste of them. Because again, in the shownotes, we have the link to watch this workshop that we did last week that we’ve been talking about. And then if you like that and want to experience more with Rita, your website is Savoy self care.com. And we’ll put that in the show notes. And by the way, there’s a lot up there. It’s it’s not just about your courses you have. You have recipes, the books, I love this mental health shopping list. I wish I could go out shopping for mental. Of course, you have your own podcast, which you’ve been gracious enough to have me on. But then you also have these bookings for the group breathwork sessions that happen remotely? Yeah,

Rita Savoia 48:18
yes, yes. So they happen every new moon online, and I am offering all of your community 50% discount.

R Blank 48:25
Excellent. And so that’s what the code Health Tech 50. And we’ll have that in the show notes as well. So the direct link to to the group breathwork sessions will be there along with the coupon code. But even if you’re not interested in the group sessions, I suggest you check out Savoy self care. And you also have links to all your socials, you have lots of social. So that’s yeah, so anyone who is interested in connecting with you and learning more. That’s that’s a really great place to start. And Rita this is it’s just been such a pleasure getting a chance to meet you this whole thing that we’ve because I guess I was first on your pot. It was a while ago now, like a year ago. But this whole kind of happenstance relationship is exactly what I’d love to get out of podcasting. And I’m really glad that we cross paths. And I look forward to creating more experiences with you this is I really appreciate the work that you do and what you did for our community.

Rita Savoia 49:27
Absolutely. Thank you so much. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present and facilitate this beautiful modality that I still believe in so much. So thank you for the experience and the opportunity. Thank you, Stephanie, for your feedback, too.

Announcer 49:43
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the healthier tech podcast. Remember to check the show notes for all the links and resources mentioned in the show. Please like and subscribe to the healthier tech podcast on Apple, Spotify or your podcast platform of choice Get your free quickstart guide to building a healthy relationship with technology and our latest information at healthier tech.co

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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R Blank

R Blank

R Blank is the founder of Healthier Tech and the host of “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available iTunes, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms.

R has a long background in technology. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel.

In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering where he taught software engineering, as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz.

He has spoken at technology conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author of “AdvancED Flex Development” from Apress.

He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

Connect with R on LinkedIn.

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