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Jon Paul's Site: https://www.breathewithjp.com
In this episode, Jon Paul Crimi tells us how breathwork helped him turn his life around. He tells us stories of how breathwork transformed other people’s lives as well. He also explains the breathwork technique to us and the contraindications of breathwork.
[0:00] Intro: Hello true health seeker and welcome to another episode of Learn True Health podcast.
Join the Facebook group Learn True Health on Facebook because I’ve got some exciting news coming up. I’m going to be announcing it there first and I want you to be the first to hear it. So please join the Learn True Health Facebook group. Plus we have some awesome giveaways that always happen and wonderful conversations. It’s a great group to be in, a great community. Very supportive community. Jump on my email list. I give you seven days of videos that I filmed with naturopathic physicians teaching you the foundations of health. All good information that everyone should know. Very fun course. It’s all free. So go to LearnTrueHealth.com and a pop up happens. Just put in your email. I promise I will not spam you. I send out maybe three emails a month. But you’ll get every day, for seven days, you will get videos that I filmed with these naturopaths who are wonderful doctors teaching the foundations of health. So join the Facebook group and get on the website and join the email list so that you get the news first because I have some really exciting news coming up. I want to make sure that you’re connected so that you get it.
You’re going to love today’s interview. I loved, loved interviewing Jon Paul and I can’t wait to have him back on the show. I think this information is something that 100% of the population needs to hear. You know some interviews are just for women or some interviews are just for people with thyroid problems. This interview is for 100% of the population. I’m very excited for you to hear it. Please, share it with those that you love that you know it will help. Help me to spread this information and get it out to as many people as possible so we can help all of our loved ones and everyone we care about to learn true health. Enjoy today’s interview.
Welcome to the Learn true health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 391.
[0:02:19] Ashley James: I am so excited for today’s guest. We have on with us Jon Paul Crimi. I love your last name. I’m saying it like you told me to say it. Like an Italian, Crimi.
[0:02:31] Jon Paul Crimi: That’s right. Kreme. It’s beautiful. I love it. Thank you.
[0:02:35] Ashley James: Jon Paul has a wonderful website breathewithjp.com. We were in the presence of a celebrity here. I’m feeling the pressure. Feel the Hollywood pressure. You’ve been in Hollywood for the last 20 years with the bigwigs. You are sought after. Your classes are full. Your teacher trainings are full. Your breath technique that you’ve developed over the last 20 years has helped people to become very successful in the Olympics, in Hollywood, CEOs, major corporations and executives. So today we get to jam with you and figure out what’s up with breathwork and why are all the celebrities just jumping on the bandwagon? What’s up? So good to have you here today.
[0:03:27] Jon Paul Crimi: Thanks. It’s great to be here. At first, I don’t think I’m a celebrity. I’m more celebrity adjacent. I’m like next to the celebrities or working with the celebrities. I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities over the years and I found that when I’m standing next to some big celebrity I’m pretty much invisible. It’s okay. I’m happy to be invisible. Lately, I’ve been in the spotlight with breathwork. It’s really taken off and people have really taken to it which is it’s fantastic to see because it changes people’s lives in a very short amount of time which is great because we live in this society today that everybody wants a quick fix and there really aren’t any quick fixes out there, right? But this actually is a quick fix. In one session, the most common statement I hear is like, ‘Oh my God, it’s like 20 years of therapy without having to say a word.’ So if you can feel that way after one session or one class or one workshop you know, it sells out. People come in droves. They have this experience then they bring their family members back and their friends back, everyone they know that needs it which is everyone right now on the planet seems like.
[0:04:36] Ashley James: You were telling me before we hit record that you were just in at Hay House, which is a publishing company, Hay House summit.
[0:04:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, so glad it was the Heal. You know the Heal documentary on Netflix? Heal had a Hay House online summit. So it was great. It was like Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. Sue Mortimer. It was like doctor, doctor, doctor, Jon Paul Crimi, doctor, doctor, doctor.
[0:05:09] Ashley James: I like in your website you say, “I’m not a doctor. I’m not your doctor.” But what you do helps people to access their own ability to heal itself. After you were on the summit, your interview is only available for 24 hours you said. After that hundreds, hundreds of people came to your website and bought your five-day course. You have this course. We are definitely going to talk about it because I’m interested in learning more about it. Then you started to get the flood of emails. You’ve been telling me that the weekends been non-stop emails of people telling you that what they learned and what they’ve done with you and your coursework so far has been nothing sort of life-changing.
[0:05:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, to read the emails and to hear the stories from people saying that they let go of trauma that they’ve been holding on to for their whole life. That their bodies are starting to heal. Because so much of our physical health is due to emotional health, right? So if we can start to clear out that stuff, those negative emotions or things that we’re storing in our body then some of that physical health will start to get better. So we can dive into that because that’s a big part of my own personal story as well. So just hearing these stories from people who are doing this course all over the world and having this incredible results and then they want to turn around and give it to other people, to show it to other people. So I’m creating these like soldiers for good out there of people taking other people to breathwork and changing lives. It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done. It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. In a million years I never would’ve thought I would be doing something like this. I’m not that guy. I’m not your typical guy.
[0:06:48] Ashley James: Guru?
[0:06:49] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’m not a guru. I don’t like that. I’m a breath teacher, you know. I’m just not that guy. I’m from the South Shore of Boston Massachusetts where people are kind of rough and tumble. I grew up in a really rough way. This thing was never on my radar. None of this stuff was on my radar but the universe has this funny way of pushing you down roads through pain, right?
[0:07:19] Ashley James: Well we’ll definitely get into your story in a minute. I studied Huna which is the ancient Polynesian spiritual practice. I can’t really call it a religion but in Hawaii, they practice Huna every step of, if they’re practicing Huna is part of their life. It’s part of how they go fishing. It’s part of how they are a parent. It’s part of how they practice medicine. It’s part of how they chant. It’s every aspect of their life. They have a saying in Hawaii. They call foreigners or white people haoles. They say it, it’s a derogatory almost a racist term but haole means without breath. Imagine a hundred years ago, the ancient Polynesian Hawaiian people have never met any foreigners and they were living in harmony. There was actually no recorded accounts of mental illness at all. There was no depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, nothing. People were fishing and gardening and dancing and racing families and they were harmonious. Then these ships came out of nowhere. Most of the people there, the natives were half-naked because it’s really hot. These people, these missionaries come dressed head to toe in wool. Holding bibles and telling them that they needed to stop being sinners, get dressed. The Hawaiians noticed that these people never pause and take a breath. They were just like breathe shallow and be kind of nervous and emotional, uptight at the same time. The Hawaiians would actually take a breath, part of the practice, part of their Huna was that when you met someone to say hello, you would take a pause and you would take a breath and then you would say hello. That you would pause to eat. You would pause before you fish and take a breath. Everything they did was they would stop, take a breath and then do something. So when these foreigners came and they never paused to take a breath they called them haole without breath. I thought that was so interesting, that distinction of our Western culture that we are without breath.
[0:09:49] Jon Paul Crimi: You know, I’ve heard the term haole quite a bit because I have some surfer friends from Hawaii. I have a really good friend who was in this movie North Shore. He says in the movie, “He’s so haole he doesn’t even know he’s haole.” Talking about the white guy in the movie. He doesn’t even know that he doesn’t belong, you know. The shallow breath that you’re talking about, there’s a saying, ‘Shallow breath, shallow life. Deep breath, deep life.’ Hearing that story made me think we’re so disconnected know in our society. The four alienations, right?
The first alienation is we’re disconnected from nature, from the world, from the earth. They were working in nature. They were fishing and they had their feet in the ground. So we’re disconnected in that and we’re destroying the planet. Then we’re disconnected from each other. We’re on social media but we’re not really connecting with people and listening and taking them in and spending quality time as much. We’re disconnected from our work, from what we do. So many people don’t love what they do for work anymore. So we’re disconnected from that. We’re disconnected from ourselves. That’s the biggest one. Those people were connected that’s why there was no schizophrenia, there was no mental illness, there was no sickness. I mean, it’s just as simple as that. It’s like when you have those things in place it’s so obvious for me to see now.
I work with people. In my other business, in my sober coaching, sober companion business I’ve worked with very successful people. Millionaires, some billionaires, actors, and musicians. They’re isolated. They’ve isolated themselves off from the world. They can’t understand why they’re not happy. Everybody else can’t understand why they’re not happy because it’s seemingly what society dictates that they have it all. They have a career, they’re beautiful, they have money, they have success. But yet, if you look at those things I just explained, they don’t have any of those things. They’re isolated off. They’re disconnected from all those things. When you start to sit inside and isolated yourself off from the world your brain starts to play tricks on you when you start to think about all the stuff. You start to read all the stuff online about you. You get down this rabbit hole. I can see how they quickly make themselves sick with that.
[0:12:22] Ashley James: Right. I was just reading the latest statistics of suicide rated among our youth is now the second leading cause of death. Suicide went up 52% I believe it was for ages between 10 and 24. Just yesterday, between –
[0:12:46] Jon Paul Crimi: What is it an 11-year-old or a 10-year-old? You’re playing outside.
[0:12:53] Ashley James: A nine-year-old committed suicide about a month ago. It was in the news. It’s just, what’s going on that we are so disconnected.
[0:13:00] Jon Paul Crimi: That hurts my heart.
[0:13:01] Ashley James: This is so recent. This is just this generation. I mean, it went up 52% in the last 10 years.
[0:13:08] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, what do you think that is?
[0:13:11] Ashley James: We’ve got social media.
[0:13:12] Jon Paul Crimi: Social media. That’s it. That’s it.
[0:13:14] Ashley James: We’re disconnected. We’re disconnected like you said. We’re not meeting face-to-face and we’re isolated. We’re more and more isolated. We think we’re connected digitally but we’re actually more and more isolated.
[0:13:26] Jon Paul Crimi: I agree. I think what happens too is that you know I had a hard time at school. But at least when I got home from school I had my house and my safe backyard. All my stuff, right? Now these kids, they get home from school and now they’re bullied on social media and it’s endless. You can’t get away from it. It’s worse on social media than in school. They’re constantly being bullied and barraged. You know, I had someone close to me that I knew, one of my nieces. She was bullied on social media where they created a website or created a profile for that wasn’t her. I mean, it was pretty serious. She had a lot of problems around it. Just the things that can happen online are you know awful to people. When your brain is that young it’s not fully formed yet. I don’t think you realize that all that online stuff it really isn’t real you know.
[0:14:25] Ashley James: It feels like the real world.
[0:14:26] Jon Paul Crimi: It feels like the real world for some people. They can’t separate that out because they just think that is the real world. It’s scary that suicide is an option. I have a lot of experience with people close to me committing suicide. It’s very difficult. Part of that course, one of the days of the Five Day Emotional Detox is things called the ‘transformational letter.’ That was formed out of loss of someone that was very dear to me that committed suicide. What was happening to me was I couldn’t move the grief out. It was stuck. I went and saw someone who was really wise and they told me, “Write a letter to him saying everything you wish you could say, everything you want to say, everything you can’t say.” I was like, “Yeah. I’ve heard that before.” Then he said, “Write a letter back from him saying everything you want him to say, everything he can’t say, right.” So I did the two letters and then I laid down and I did the breathwork and it was incredible. It transformed everything for me because the letter has brought all the stuff up to the surface. It made me see what I couldn’t see because I was just stuck in a loop that I felt guilty because I could’ve done more, I could’ve said more. I felt responsible in some way. The letters really help me get clear about my part in it and also what I wanted from him, what I needed from him. Then the breathwork really cleared it out of my lungs because grief they say gets stuck in the lungs. We hold on to it. We just keep relieving it over and over again. We just carry it around with us. It moved the grief out and threw me. I was able to get some kind of measure of compassion for him and what he was going through and for myself, let myself off the hook. Because with suicide there is an element of guilt to that that we carry sometimes. I mean, it’s hard. To see that it’s so big and it’s so prevalent in our society that it just hurts my heart to hear about a 10-year-old or a 9-year-old committing suicide. It just, it breaks my heart. I’m really sensitive. It was very difficult to grow up where I grew up being as sensitive as I am. So I had to find ways to deal with it. The ways that I found to deal with it were not great tools, not the right tools. Whether it was through alcohol or drugs or candy or TV or whatever. Just trying to checkout from my feelings. Now, I have found all these really powerful, healthy ways of allowing, expressing those feelings. I’ve just gotten to a place and maybe part of it is just growing. Really, I think it’s the breathwork. It’s gotten me to this place. Someone actually messaged me today and they said, I’m really open at night. I’m really sensitive and I cry and I get emotional in my classes and in my workshops and in my teacher trainings. She said to me, “Were you like that before the breathwork?” I said, “No. I wasn’t like that before the breathwork. I couldn’t access those feelings. I wouldn’t allow those feelings and I certainly wouldn’t allow it in a room full of people.” Now I’ve just gotten into this place now where I’m like I don’t care if I’m on a stage of 200 people. I don’t care if I’m on a podcast or an interview or something like that and I start to get emotional because that’s what I’m feeling, right? There’s nothing wrong with that. Let me allow that emotion. I’m sad that nine-year-olds are committing suicide. It’s terrible, right? So let me just allow that for a minute instead of going, I don’t want to feel that. Because I need to –
[0:18:27] Ashley James: That’s so healthy.
[0:18:28] Jon Paul Crimi: I need to be present in this interview. I need to do the best interview I can or I need to do the best class I can. It’s like, no no let me just be sad and let that come through you. What I’ve discovered just coincidentally because I was actually teaching breathwork when that guy committed suicide and I wasn’t going to cancel the classes and I said, “I’m going to go.” I’m so emotional in classes and what happened was me being so emotional in classes allowed everybody else in the room to let their emotions out and let their emotions go. So it gave permission for people breathing in the room to get emotional. We don’t get that permission, a lot of us, growing up. Be strong, be tough, never let anyone see you cry, never let anyone see your emotions. That’s a lot of the messages that I heard growing up. Most of the people I knew growing up hurt growing up. We get these messages. Knowing what I know now is terrible because if I was to say to you, “Listen, Ashley, I don’t want you to go in the bathroom. Don’t go to the bathroom okay.” You’d be like what? That’s so unhealthy. You’re going to die, right? But why is crying is the same exact thing. Our bodies need it. It’s a mechanism within our bodies to cleanse us and help us release certain emotions. Yet I have people who come to my classes and my things and say, ‘Oh my God, that’s the first time I’ve cried in three years or five years.” You’re going to get sick. You’re going to get some horrible disease if you don’t start allowing those emotions because we’re supposed to cry. We’re supposed to allow those things. For some reason, people are not. They’re fighting all of that stuff. It’s causing a lot of health issues out there in the world.
[0:20:14] Ashley James: Men are taught not to cry. I caught my husband. My husband’s very open-minded. He’s not like a 1950s male that thinks we all need to eat meat and men don’t have feelings. He’s very evolved. He has caught himself saying to out four-year-old son, “Men don’t cry. Don’t cry. Stop crying. Men don’t cry.” Something along that. I jumped down his throat when he says that.
[0:20:46] Jon Paul Crimi: Well just have him watch The Mask You Live In. That documentary. That’s a game-changer. When you watch that as a man and you see what we do to boys, to little boys when we put that on them. It just breaks your heart and you go, “Why are we doing this to little boys?” They’re little boys. They’re just as sensitive as little girls. There’s no difference in the sensitivity level. When my son cries, I just pick him up and I rub his back and I say, “Yeah. That’s okay. Let it out.” I heard a lot, ‘you’re too sensitive,’ growing up. What does that mean? There’s something wrong with me? There’s something wrong with my feelings? If I say something bothers me the response was, ‘you’re too sensitive.’ So now whenever I said bothers me is invalid, it’s me, there’s something wrong with me, right? Our parents, if they knew better they’d do better. A lot of our stuff comes from our parents. Their stuff come from their parents. It’s passed on generationally. Trauma is passed on generationally as well. So I say, ‘your problems may have other people’s names on it but your solutions have your name on it. It’s up to you if you’re going to do something about it and change it and change it for your children.
[0:22:10] Ashley James: Absolutely. We can really only heal ourselves and we can make a better environment for our children. I want to get into your story. What happened in your life that led you to create this type of breathwork that helps people heal physically and emotionally?
[0:22:32] Jon Paul Crimi: So I didn’t create it. This breathwork has been around for thousands of years from India, right? I wish I created it.
[0:22:41] Ashley James: Well you created your own unique style though.
[0:22:44] Jon Paul Crimi: I did. I created a technique. Breathwork has been around for thousands of years from India. What happened was for me is I discovered this incredible technique and it was life-changing for my first session. But the package that it was wrapped in, the way it was done was so new agey and woo woo that I somehow had an open enough mind to do it. I mean I just been to Tony Robbins and I think it cracked me open. A couple of people that didn’t know each other said to me, ‘you need to go do breathwork.’ I was like, ‘what’s breathwork?’ and I find this place. I went to this class and there were five or six people there. It was very woo woo, new agey crystals and oils and all of it. It was just awful for me then. The experience was undeniable. I started doing it on my own every day and at one point I said, “God, if somebody did this in a way that wasn’t new agey and it wasn’t woo woo, they would have 200 people in the room and they would change the world.”
I started teaching it. I was never going to teach it but I somehow started teaching it. I took all that woo woo stuff out of it. I actually added in all these other stuff to make it even more palatable for people. Then I added in a few more components. It just built and it just kept tweaking it and going, ‘how would I want this if I was on the other side? If I was the person laying on the floor right now, what the best experience that I can deliver for somebody?’ So I just shaped it and honed it and it became that. Now, tons of people are doing it the same way. Some of them had been trained by me. Some of them haven’t. That’s a whole other story? You know, it’s been incredible. It’s been an incredible ride. At first, no one would come do it. I would tell people, “You got to come try this thing.” And they go, “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.” I would post about it. There were times that one person would show up. I was renting the room and losing money. I was like, “I want to help people but I don’t want to lose money on the process.” But now, it’s just grown massively. It’s incredible. Everything’s sold out that I do. I’m just so grateful, you know.
[0:24:59] Ashley James: Take us back to when it wasn’t working out and there’s one person in the room. What happened? How did you all of a sudden become so popular?
[0:25:10] Jon Paul Crimi: So, it was kind of a series of events. I kept pursuing it where I would post on Facebook and trying to get friends of mine. I have a lot of friends in recovery. I would just tell them. I hear them share how depressed they were or how angry they were and all this stuff. People could see the change in me. At first, when I was doing it I wasn’t even telling people and people are like, “What’s going on with you. You seem very calm. You’re very different.” I was really angry when I found it. I was so angry because some career dreams hadn’t worked out for me. I’ve been kind of ripped off in Hollywood. I was just so bitter and so angry. You can’t hide that. It just comes out. They say that anger is the mask that sadness wears. The truth is that I was just sad. I was disappointed. I was heartbroken that things didn’t work out. That I got ripped off. All these different things had happened to me. But I didn’t want to feel sad so it came out as anger.
I started doing this breathwork and it just released that anger out of me. It just cleared that anger out of me. It allowed the sadness to come out. It allowed me to cry. It allowed me to feel gratitude and love in a way that I had never experienced before. So I was just doing it every day sometimes twice a day. I could just feel these things leaving my body. I could feel things in my body that had happen to me like I broke my arm when I was a kid. There was something going on in my arm right there. It was healing all these areas, all these traumas within my body. It just started to change me and clients and friends were saying, ‘you seem different.’ I finally started telling people, “I’m doing this weird breathwork thing.’
There was no research, nothing out there on it at the time. I would try and find information. I was a personal trainer, I was a celebrity trainer at Gold’s Gym in Venice. I had the very scientific brain of what’s happening in my body. I couldn’t find the science around it. There is some science out there now. They’re doing more and more studies on it. They’re just starting to go into the studies. Right now, they’re doing a study with breathwork on veterans with PTSD. I think the results are going to be amazing from that. I’ve had veterans with PTSD come in and work with me and see them heal in front of my eyes. See them just transform and clear all these stuff out. So I’m so looking forward to watching this thing grow and it’s growing really fast.
I tell people, “Imagine if I told you there’s this thing, it’s called yoga. It’s going to be everywhere.” They’re like, “Really, yoga? It’s going to be everywhere?” I’m like, “But it’s going to be even bigger than yoga.” A lot of people will go, ‘I’m 300 pounds. I can’t do yoga,’ or ‘I’m not flexible’ or ‘I’m not this.’ They just don’t have that confidence in their body type to go into a yoga studio whereas anyone can go to a breathwork class and just lay on the floor and breathe.
Breathwork, I should straighten this out, breathwork is an umbrella term, right? It’s like saying fitness. If I said I do fitness you’d be like, ‘Okay fitness. What do you do? Do you CrossFit? Do you do cycling? What do you do? Do you do yoga?’ So breathwork, the type of breathwork that I teach, the technique that I teach, and I’ve studied them all but this is the one that I find is the most powerful. So I work with this one specifically it’s called connected breathing, circular breathing.
So in life, you take a breath in through your nose ideally down into your belly ideally. Let it out either through your nose or your mouth. Then you pause for a while and you talk or you rest. In breathwork, we breathe in and out. And through this technique, through conscious connected breathing, through circular breathing, we breathe in and out through our mouth down into our belly without resting in between. It’s intense. So a lot of people have this misconception that they’re going to come and it’s going to be this relaxing kind of like a meditation class and it’s not that at all. It’s a workout. You lay on the floor and you breathe intensely through your mouth for about 28 minutes. In that process, all that crazy things happen in your body physically. All these things happen emotionally. All these things happen mentally. You know, most people have this huge release of emotions. It doesn’t matter if you believe it or not or you think it’s going to work or any of that. It’s undeniable for anyone. In fact, the more resistant to it you are the bigger the experience. That’s what I love about it. I’ll have some women who will do it and then she’ll go, ‘my husband or my boyfriend would never do this but he’ll do with you because you’re a guy guy.’ So the next week or the next month I see the woman there with her boyfriend or husband. He’s just sitting there like, ‘I can’t believe she dragged me to this.’ Then afterward he comes up to me and I can see he’s been crying. He’s had this big experience and he’s like, ‘Can I give you a hug? I never experienced anything like that. That was the most profound experience. It was life-changing.’ That’s what I hear a lot. It’s life-changing. So to answer your question, it slowly started to grow person by person. You get one person who has a huge experience, they would go and tell everyone they know. Then next week they would come back with two or three people. Then so on and so on and so on. It took a while.
There was a meditation studio that opened up in Los Angeles. The owner was really good at marketing. She got people in there. She had me come teach there and my classes grew very fast in there and they were sold out within a couple of months. So I was doing a couple of classes a week there with 66 people in the room because that was as many as we could pack in like sardines. There were 20 people on the waitlist every Monday and Wednesday night. It was just wild. Then I eventually left there and rented this church space, this huge church space in Los Angeles and filled that up. That’s what I still use to this day when I travel back to Los Angeles. I live in Bend, Oregon now. I put 120 people in that class, in that church. When I go to town I’ll do two back-to-back classes sold out which is amazing. So, I’ll fly to Los Angeles say I’m leaving in two weeks. I’ll do a teacher training on Saturday and Sunday where I teach people how to teach it. Then I do two classes on Monday at that church. It’s incredible. It’s an incredible weekend for me. Then I come back to Bend, Oregon where I live with my family and enjoy my life and spend time with my kids and chase my kids around the yard.
[0:31:52] Ashley James: That sounds so awesome.
[0:31:54] Jon Paul Crimi: It is.
[0:31:55] Ashley James: Well, I have so many questions. The constant breathing, the first thing that comes to mind, don’t people pass out? Don’t they get so dizzy? Because I’ve done that prana breathing, pranayama and you get lightheaded. No wonder you have everyone lay down. They might fall over. So do people ever faint or get really lightheaded and they’re afraid of fainting or does that just pass?
[0:32:24] Jon Paul Crimi: So it passes. One of the things, when I break it down and I usually break it down in a really funny way in front of the room. I say, “There are three areas that you have to overcome to do this thing to really have a big incredible experience. Just three tiny areas. Just physically, mentally and emotionally. If you could just overcome those three little areas you’re going to have this incredible experience. Here’s what’s going to happen to you.
Physically, things are going to happen in your body that is going to freak you out. Your arms are going to get tingly and weird. Your hands, your fingers can clamp up. It’s called tetany. It’s like claw hands. It freaks people up but it goes away. Your jaw can get tight. You have all these sensations. You’re going to get dizzy. You can get nauseous. You can get lightheaded. All that will go away. It will pass. You have to push through it if you want to have the experience.
The second part is the emotional part, right? So emotions are going to come up. Let them come up. Let them come out. A lot of us are told that we shouldn’t cry, right? A lot of us are told to be strong. Let that stuff out, cry if it comes out for you. Whatever. So let the emotions out.
Then the last part is the mental part. This is actually the toughest part. I notice for most people. Because the brain doesn’t want you to do this. Your brain doesn’t want you to do anything difficult, hard or uncomfortable. So you have to override that, right? Just like going to the gym or anything else. But with this thing, your brain really freaks out because it does this thing called transient hypofrontality. It shuts off part of your brain, part of your frontal lobe. The critic that we all have that tells us we’re not enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not thin enough. You’re not rich enough. You’re not skinny enough. Whatever. It just tells you you’re not enough, that you’re never going to do anything. We all have this critic in our head all the time. It turns that off. It’s the most incredible feeling when you can turn that off. You can go accomplish anything with your life when you could turn that off. But the brain doesn’t want you to turn that off. So it does everything it can to get you to stop. So it will be like, ‘Ashley, stop doing this. You’re going to pass out. You’re having a stroke. I know he said this can happen to your hands but you’re having a stroke Ashley.’” It will literally freak you out. Some people can’t override. Eventually, you will override it. It’s like stepping out of an airplane. You’re body’s not designed to step out of an airplane to go sky diving, right? So you have to override everything inside of your body physically to step out that door. This is very similar in that way.
The hardest part is the first 12 minutes and then eventually you just go, I’m fine and it just kicks in. The breath starts taking over and you start having this almost psychedelic experience in some way. It’s very incredible. It’s hard to describe. It’s different for everybody. It’s different every time you do it. So I’ve been doing it for a while now and every time I do it it’s still different. So, I tell people, ‘Come back, it’s going to be different.’ Then they go, ‘Oh my God. That was different.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, do it on a regular basis and it will change your life. The way I used it to change my life was I would wake up in the morning and my head would be talking trash to me. I would just lay down and breathe. Okay, let’s get to work on this sober companion business. Let’s get this work on how do we build this breathwork to help more people? How do we do this? How do we build online courses? I don’t know anything about building an online course but let me just breathe and clear out that critic that tells me I can’t build an online course because I can barely use Facebook properly. Let me turn that critic off and just get to work.’ What you can accomplish is incredible when you’re not talking yourself out of it and telling yourself that you can’t do things.
[0:36:13] Ashley James: You’ve been teaching or helping people to be sober, get sober and stay sober for a long time now. Longer than you’re teaching your breathwork, correct?
[0:36:25] Jon Paul Crimi: Correct, yeah. I’ve been sober 19 ½ years. Since March 5, 2000. I got sort of pulled in to helping people get sober about a year after I got sober. That was transformative to watch other people get sober and be a part of that changed my life. Then I was a celebrity trainer and then someone sort of dragged me into this world of sober coaching, sober companioning which is a high-end niche thing where it started out for rock stars. Rock stars would get out of rehab and they’d need to go on the road for tours and they’d need support. So they would put somebody who was sober on the road with them who knew what they were doing, right? Then they moved into movie stars and TV stars and now it’s CEOs, wealthy children, children of wealthy people, right? Because it’s not inexpensive. Insurance doesn’t cover it, unfortunately. But instead of going to rehab which is a bubble, right? It’s easy to stay sober in rehab for 30 days or whatever the times is because you’re in this bubble and they’re guarding you around. What a sober companion does is they go into your regular life and they help you get sober in your regular life whether that is in your work environment, your home environment. Whatever it is you do, they help you build that rehab in your life and teach you to have a sober lifestyle. It’s like taking a tree that’s sick out of the environment, putting it into rehab, nursing back to health and then putting it back in the environment that it got sick in. It doesn’t make any sense. So let’s nurse the tree back to health in its environment or let’s take it out of the environment, get it healthy, then bring it back with someone that can help it stay healthy in that environment.
[0:38:14] Ashley James: So, for many years you were working with people to get sober and stay sober. Then you discover this breathwork and then you adapted your own enhanced version of breathwork that you now teach to many people. When you began to incorporate this breathwork with those who you were helping to get and stay sober, what changes did you see take place?
[0:38:44] Jon Paul Crimi: Oh my God. Because people who were newly sober or don’t want to be sober, I mean there’s a lot going on there. I would see people just flipping out. I’m screaming and yelling. I’m going to go get high or I’m going to go jump the balcony. Just this crazy person in front of me. Then I go, ‘Okay. I’ll tell you what. Let’s get high right now.” They’ll look at me like what? I go, ‘Lay down on the floor. I’m going to get you high.’ Then they go, ‘Shut up.’ And I go, ‘No, no. Just lay down on the floor. I’m going to get you high. If you don’t like this, if it isn’t an incredible experience, we’ll go get some drugs.’ Of course, I’m not going to get them drugs but I would say that, right? They go, ‘All right. I’ll take that deal.’ So they’d lay down and I go, ‘You have to do what I say though. You have to push through the discomfort. It’s going to get weird.’ Here’s the thing, alcoholics and addicts, they don’t care if it’s uncomfortable if it’s weird. If it starts to make them feel, it does put you in a bit of an altered state. If it starts to make them feel that, they’re in.
My joke was in the class I could always see who the alcoholics and addicts were in the room because they’re trying to suck all the air out of the room. They’re breathing 10 times harder than everybody else in the room because once they start feeling something, feeling weird they’re into it. Whereas regular people, ‘Oh, I feel weird. I want to slow this down or back off or I don’t like it,’ you know. So I could spot the addicts rather going twice as hard.
So I do this session with them and then they’d come and they’d sit up afterward, and I do this cool stuff after the breathing where I have you reach out and pull moments into of your heart. I’ll say, ‘Put an arm in the air and find a moment where you felt grateful for something, for someone. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? What are you grateful for in this moment? Who are you grateful for at this moment? Step into it and then pull it down to your heart.’ So you could hear the emotion in my voice. It’s like I’m so grateful that I get to do this thing. So I’m leading people through it, these moments of gratitude, of love, of all this incredible stuff and I’m feeling it myself. I’m going through it with them. So I do that people after the breathwork and it’s a really special thing that I’ve added in there that I kind of picked up from Tony Robbins. I adapted it from a technique that he uses and I tweaked it.
So I do these sessions with people that are flipping out. Then they’d sit up afterward and they would be a different person. Their energies are different. They’re different. They look different in the eyes. They’re calm and they go, ‘Oh, wow. That wasn’t really I thought it was going to be at all.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my God. Who is this person?’ This person doesn’t sound the same. They don’t look the same. I’m meeting this person for the first time. It is a different person now in the room with me. It’s a trip. I’ve worked with schizophrenics. It’s kind of like that. They’ve got a whole another personality, well that’s multiple personalities. That’s not schizophrenia, but it’s like another person shows up in a good way. In a really good way because they’ve turned off all the noise in their head that’s telling them, ‘I need to go get high. I’m too uncomfortable of whatever it is I’m feeling.’ I mean, that’s what it comes down to. It’s like, I can’t sit with discomfort in my body, in my body right now. I need something to take me out of that discomfort. Whether that something is alcohol, whether it’s drugs, whether it’s food or sex or TV or the gym. It’s like, I can’t just sit and allow the feelings to be what they need to be. When we could learn how to do that, people say that meditation is great for that. I think meditation, seated meditation is a really advanced thing especially for an addict or an alcoholic. They have a hard time sitting still.
So breathwork is really great for that because you could lay down on your back. I was a trainer so I approached it like it was a workout. Okay, I’m going to lay down on my back. I’m going to breathe in through my mouth as big as I can to my belly. If anybody’s listening to this in the car, please don’t start doing this in your car. It’s very dangerous when you’re in your car. You need to be at home laying down. I would just say, ‘Okay, we’re going to lay down and do this technique.’ So I took all the woo wooness out of it, the new ageyness out of it. I just looked at it like a breathing technique. But there is something magical that happens there. I can’t deny that and that is transformative. I’ve had connections which you know I’m not religious but someone might call them spiritual connections. I don’t usually talk about that because I think that that’s really personal to each person. Everybody’s got their own beliefs and what they feel and what takes it in. I’ve had a gang member come up to me one time after class and he said, “Can I talk to you for a second?” Pulled me aside and he was like looking around and he said, “Man, I felt the presence of like God or something like that when I did that. Is that normal?” And I said, “Yeah. I mean it’s different for everybody.” That guy came on a regular basis and changed his life.
[0:43:40] Ashley James: Wow.
[0:43:42] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, I’m going to get choked up just talking about it. I mean it’s just the things that I’ve seen. The people that I see transform in front of my eyes. We’re walking, so many people are walking thinking that they’re just not enough. They’re just not whole like we talked about. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the biggest celebrities on the planet and some of the most successful people on the planet. They all suffer from I’m not enough. In fact, a lot of them suffer from it more than your average person. That’s what drives them to be so successful. Because when I get this Oscar, when I get this gold medal, when I get this Grammy, when I make a billion dollars I will finally have reached this thing and I will enough. When they get there, they’re not. It doesn’t work because there’s nothing you’re going to get from the outside that’s going to make you enough on the inside. There’s just nothing that’s going to do that from the outside in.
So once they realized that, they don’t really realize it. What happens is they get the thing and they get really depressed afterward. There’s a study. There’s studies out there. The research shows that gold medal winners or Olympic medal winners, they get depressed after they get the medal because they’ve working towards this thing their whole life. Okay, now what? Do I just train again for the next Olympics? They age out of the Olympics. Then, people who get the Oscar and different things like that. I usually work with people after they’ve hit some pinnacle of success then they’re really depressed or they start using drugs and alcohol. Because it’s just that nothing’s working for them. Now they’re isolated from everyone around them in some way because they don’t feel like they can trust people.
This thing, this breathwork thing is really incredible that it makes you realize that you are enough. That you don’t really need anything else. You don’t need anything more. It’s great if you want to work on some things. Like you want to build some things and you want to create some things. It’s a great tool to do that. I’ve used it in that way. But I could just lay on the floor and breathe and just know that right now, right where I’m at, my life is perfect. I just need to be grateful. I don’t need to be the biggest breathwork teacher on the planet. It would be nice. I would love that. It would be great but that’s not going to fix me. There’s not any better moment that I’m going to have than this moment right now.
So just starting to come to that truth, that realization is pretty powerful. I wouldn’t have found it any other way. I don’t think. I couldn’t have found it any other way. I’ve worked with all these big, successful people. I don’t know who said it. I heard someone say. It’s like, ‘Everybody knows that money won’t fix them but they want to find out for themselves.’
[0:46:41] Ashley James: Yeah. Right. You know what, it’s a lot more fun to be depressed with money than to be depressed without money. I can tell you that. So as you were working with these people, keeping them sober, helping them to stay sober and doing the breathwork. What kind of like percentage increase in success did you see? Were you like, this is 100% creating way more success for people to stay sober if they do this breathwork? Were you able to see measurable, noticeable like with every single person you worked with that people could stay sober because this breathwork had them do that break state and get out of that frenzy and get back in their body and start being able to process the emotions, almost like cleanse their body in a sense and have that reset?
[0:47:38] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean I definitely saw people getting sober around them because of it. I’m a big advocate, I want to make this clear, I’m a big advocate of 12-step programs. I think that they work. I’ve seen them work. It’s how I got sober originally. So 12-step programs, recovery programs, I think they work really well. So I think that that’s the foundation and then breathwork is a great adjunct to that. I don’t think breathwork is the foundation to getting sober. I think recovery 12-step programs are the foundation because they’ve worked for 75 years. Usually, when someone tells me, “Oh, I’ve tried that. It didn’t work.” I’ll ask them a few questions. Did you do this? Did you do this? Did you do this? The answer is no. Because if you’ve done those things you would’ve stayed sober, right? So I’m a big proponent of those.
I would see people, they’re starting to put it in a lot of rehabs, a lot of recovery centers now. They’re starting to put breathwork in there because they need anything they can. The truth is, these recovery centers, they’re just drying people out. Then they’re hopefully getting them to go to 12-step, into recovery meetings. They don’t really have many things. They’re having a lot of success with breathwork. They’re having a lot of success now with EMDR and some other therapies. They’re looking for anything they can to help people get sober. It’s hard to measure results. It’s hard to measure success. Because if somebody, what happens I found unfortunately with people whether it’s with recovery, whether it’s with fitness and your health, people get the results that they want and then they get lazy, right? They forget. They’d stop doing the things that got them there in the first place. So we fall off of the fitness routine. We fall off of the things that got us sober and helped us in recovery. We stop doing those things and then it’s only a matter of time before we relapse into whatever our thing is.
I did breathwork in the beginning for a year and it changed my life. I don’t do it that much now but I don’t need it that much now. I do it kind of as needed. So I don’t need it as much now as I did before. I do different techniques and different stuff but I like to do a big session once a week. If I have something going on in my life, something heavy, something happens. I lose somebody close to me. You can be darn sure I’m going to lay down on the ground and I’m going to do breathwork right then and there. So I can start to move those emotions through me. So they don’t stay stuck. Because that’s what it is. It’s about stuck emotions. It’s about stuck traumas. It’s trapped traumas and all that kind of stuff.
So many people don’t realize that trauma is passed down to the DNA. They have studies that show this now that mothers that were pregnant at 9/11, the babies were born with higher cortisol levels, right? They have studies that show, they did this thing with the mice where they spray cherry blossom spray and then they electrocuted it. Then they spray the cherry blossom spray and electrocuted it and then they just spray the spray and it would have a reaction. Then those mice would have babies and they never got electrocuted but they spray cherry blossom spray and they’d have a reaction to it that other mice it didn’t have that. They weren’t shocked it didn’t have. That lasted up to 14 generations.
There are all these books right now like the Body Keeps the Score and It Didn’t Start with You. So, a lot of people don’t even know. They come in and they breathe and they realize all this stuff comes up and comes out. It’s like maybe it’s not even your stuff. Maybe it was your mother’s stuff. Your mother was depressed when she was pregnant with you because there was something difficult going on in the household. Someone that I worked with very closely, the mother had lost a previous child in a really tragic way and then she was pregnant with him. So she was suffering, she was grieving that loss of that precious baby, child. It fell into the water, it drowned. It’s just terrible. It was just heartbreaking. He tells me the story of his brother that he never met. So his mother was depressed and grieving while she was pregnant with him.
So that goes right into the baby. That baby is born into the world. Then they come out and they come out into a world where there’s still grief in that household. They’re probably happy that the new baby is there. That’s in us. When this person started breathing, he was just breathing out all that grief. All that sadness. All that heartbreak. I mean, I don’t know if you can be on this planet and not have disappointment, not have heartache, not have grief. I don’t think it’s possible. So we all have it. So why are we acting we’re all fine all the time? We all have this stuff, right? So I say in my class, “Everyone in this room has heartbreak and sadness and disappointment and grief. Why are we pretending that we’re fine? Allow all that to feel that and then you can feel what’s on the other side of that which is gratitude and love and joy and all the beauty.” Because if you’re denying those feeling then you’re denying all the other good feelings in. My capacity to feel love and gratitude is in direct proportion to my capacity to feel grief and sadness.
So if I want to feel massive love and massive gratitude inside of my life, inside of my heart I have to allow all the other stuff. You can’t shut yourself off from the disappointment and the heartbreak and the sadness and then open yourself up to loving gratitude. It doesn’t work that way, right? So you got to make a choice. How do you want to live?
[0:53:57] Ashley James: I want to open up all the doors and feel everything. I want to feel everything. But like you said, don’t let it get stuck.
[0:54:04] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. Well, that’s the thing too. People start to feel it. They start to feel sad or grief or whatever and they just back off. They can’t handle it and they back off. So they start to feel grief and they start to feel sadness and they back off because it’s uncomfortable. Okay, if you just allowed it to come through you it would pass through and it’s a few minutes. It’s not going to last forever. I learned that lesson when I was going through a heartbreak of a relationship that ended. My body’s like, ‘what are you feeling?’ I said I’m feeling sad and disappointed and lonely and all these things. He said, ‘go sit there and just feel it. Just sit there and feel that.’ I did. I just sat there and I felt it. Then it lasted like 15 minutes and I was like, ‘okay. I guess I’m going to go make a sandwich now. Where I was fighting so hard to not feel those things and to look for any way around them. I see that with people. To look for any solution to not just allow the feelings to be what they are.
I used to say that feelings aren’t facts and the feeling won’t kill you but I don’t say that anymore because unchecked feelings will kill you. You can get a loop inside of your brain that tells you that I’m not loved, nobody loves me. I’m not enough. People would be better off on this planet without me. You can get that loop going around and around in your heard and you start to believe it, you can take your own life. I’ve seen it happen. It’s a scary thing that your brain can give you bad information. Robin Williams’ brain was giving him bad information. It’s a scary idea that our brain can sometimes not be our friend. It’s there to protect us but sometimes it can get on a loop and start giving us bad information. If you have those kinds of feelings, go share them with somebody that you love and trust that cares about you. Because it’s just not true.
[0:56:12] Ashley James: You brought a really good point that those who are committing suicide feel like the world would be better without them and that they’re family, the people they love would actually be better and happier without them. A friend of mine went through this where her brain was telling her this that she really believed that her family would not miss her, would not feel sad and that everyone would be better if she didn’t exist.
[0:56:42] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s such a weird lie. Why would your brain do that you? Why would your brain lie to you in that way? So your brain isn’t always telling you the truth but it’s really good at convincing you that it is.
[0:56:57] Ashley James: There was a beautiful interview that was posted on Facebook and it’s been shared around a bunch with a man who survived jumping off of the Golden Gate bridge.
[0:57:08] Jon Paul Crimi: I’ve seen it.
[0:57:09] Ashley James: I bawled my eyes out. I keep trying to reach out to him and I’ve messaged him to get on the show because his story is beautiful. He’s now dedicated his life to helping people prevent suicide. He said that every single person he’s ever spoken to, a lot of people who have attempted suicide and survived, every single one of them he’s spoken to says that they immediately regretted. Like if they jumped or overdosed or whatever they chose to do, that they immediately regretted it.
[0:57:46] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s interesting, I’m reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book. I think it’s called talking to strangers. He has this whole chapter dedicated to suicide. What they thought was, if we prevent the way that people commit suicide, if we put a net underneath a bridge, people are just going to go find another way to do it. It’s actually not true. That it’s actually coupled with something else. If they can’t do it that way at that moment because there’s something going on at that moment, then they go off and they do something else and it passes. It’s the easy access to ways to do it that lead to more suicides. There are studies. He has all these studies in his book, Malcolm Gladwell’s amazing. So for years, they didn’t want to put nets, like a net underneath the Golden Gate Bridge because they didn’t want to change the look of it. But once they did, boom the suicides just dropped.
There’s a study in England where they had a gas in the stoves and people were putting their heads in the stoves and killing themselves that way. Then they changed the gas and the suicides just dropped.
[0:59:04] Ashley James: Helping to make it less convenient. Like you said, the depression passes the moment passes. If we can teach our children to have that emotional intelligence, they call it emotional quotient where we’re able to wait a certain amount of time because they know. No matter what we’re going through right now, it will shift. It will get better. You breathe. You’re going to teach us some breathing and to breathe.
[0:59:32] Jon Paul Crimi: Right. There’s a saying in recovery, this too shall pass. It’s like whatever you’re going through, however how hard it is, whatever is going on, it will pass if you could just hang in there. Maybe you pick up the phone. Maybe you talk to someone. Go see a friend. It will pass. You have a breathing pattern for when you are depressed. You have a breathing pattern for when you’re angry. You have a breathing pattern for when you’re anxious. If you can change your breathing when you’re feeling those emotions, then you can change the emotion. If you can change your emotions, then you can change your life. Because like you were saying, people with emotional intelligence. People with better control of their emotions are very successful in life. They’re more successful in their relationships and their work and their life and their friendships. Every area of their life than people with high, high IQs. We used to think that, ‘oh this person’s a genius. They’re going to be successful.’ That’s just not the case. The studies actually prove out that people who are more emotionally well-adapted are more successful than people with higher IQs. We’re living on a planet that’s about relationships with people. It’s hard to be around people that are emotionally unstable. I know. I’ve worked with them for 20 years. It’s a really challenging work.
Teaching people how to manage their emotions through their breath is a key thing. If you can just start to breathe in a different way. It’s that moment where they’re like, ‘I’m angry. I’m depressed.’ Let me just try something different instead of choosing to be stuck in this thing. Nobody wants to be stuck. Nobody wants to be depressed. Nobody wants to be angry. Nobody wants to be a drug addict. Nobody wants to live on the street and try to find drugs. They’re not choosing that. They’re stuck in the cycle and they can’t get out of it. Just trying to find that moment of the window of opportunity where here’s a moment where someone’s trying to help you or you’re going to reach out and ask for help. I sometimes say in my classes, “Stop waiting for somebody to show up and put their hand on your head and heal you because it’s just not going to happen. You have to do it. You have to take responsibility of your own healing, for your own life. Take action around it.” Every time I take an action, my life changes. Every time I do something I don’t want to do, every time I do something that makes me a little uncomfortable I grow, I change. So if I just do something small every day, some small action every day, then I’m transforming. I’m changing. If you do that, they find that’s it. People who have these, that changed their lives, that transformed their lives, it’s through small little actions over and over, consistently. Just showing up to the gym and doing a couple exercises. It’s just starting the thing. Be a good starter. Have a smart feet, whatever it is, just show up and do it.
After a while of doing breathwork, it got kind of old for me so I had to find new ways. I started listening to motivational speakers that I like while I was breathing. What was incredible about that, I didn’t realize it was seeping into my subconscious and into who I am, all that stuff. Then it started coming out of me and my classes. I became this Tony Robbins of breathwork. I started saying all those stuff in the breathwork classes which nobody did before. It changed how I taught breathwork. So just constantly showing up, you don’t know how you’re going to transform who you are and what you do and then how that’s going to transform other people.
[1:03:35] Ashley James: I love it. I like that you pointed out how we breathe differently depending on what state we’re in. I don’t know if you know this about me but I’m a master practitioner and trainer of neuro-linguistic programming.
[1:03:48] Jon Paul Crimi: I love NLP.
[1:03:49] Ashley James: Right? You were talking about anchoring the idea of being able to get someone in a state when they’re in an acute state. So you get them into the state of gratitude and you have them anchor it into their heart. It becomes part of their neurological strategy to go there. You pointed out that physiologically, we actually have anchors in our physiology. So if you sit hunched over and you frown and you just sit there kind of hunched over and you breathe shallow, however you would if you were depressed and sitting hunched over and frowning with your head tilted downward and breathe shallow. Notice the state your body goes in versus if you just pull your shoulders back, put your head up, open your eyes, look up towards up in a 45-degree angle and smile and pull your shoulders back. Just hold that and breathe openly. You’ve opened the chest up and you breathe.
[1:04:59] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. You’re protecting the heart when you’re doing that. When you’re curling over you’re protecting your heart. Then your breath gets really shallow or you’re holding your breath. Most people are walking around not breathing all the way down into their belly, into their diaphragm. They’re breathing very shallow in their chest and holding their breath all the time. That’s why they’re feeling stressed and anxious and depressed. So just breathing in through your nose down into your belly is a game-changer for most people. But you’re saying open, bring it in the physiology in your body. I’m a big big believer in that. You start to feel the emotion. I teach affirmations in my teacher training. I’ve done affirmation workshops. I said, “Listen, you can’t just sit there hunched over and be like, ‘I’m happy, whole and worthy of love.’” Your body, your brain goes BS. That’s BS. Doesn’t feel it. You got to get up. I would have people pound on their chest and open their chest and hold their heads up high and pound. Say, ‘I’m happy, whole and worthy of love.’ We go through each word. ‘I am happy. I am.’ That’s the day two in the five-day detox is that affirmation technique. That’s incredible.
I have them throw their hands up in the air and scream ‘I love my life.’ If you do that, even if you don’t love your life it will start to shift you. It shifts your emotions. If you can just shift your emotion a little bit, break yourself out of that pattern. You’re in a bad pattern, right? It’s just breaking yourself out of that pattern. What’s interesting is, when I was telling you about anchoring those moments. Reaching out and pulling those moments into my heart. For me, I have little children that I love more than anything on this planet. I’ve been pulling these moments with my daughter, with my son and it’s incredible. Now, what’s happened to me from doing that for the last bunch of years, I’ll be with my daughter and my son and I go, ‘I’m in a moment right now.’ I’m having the moment with this moment while it’s happening. It’s such a beautiful thing. I’m just present in it and going, ‘Wow. This is it.’ I’m more present in this moment than I’ve ever been. Maybe I wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t done that in the last 10 years or whatever.
[1:07:10] Ashley James: Just by shifting our physiology and not even like, let’s say we’re in a neutral emotion. Just by shifting for example like hunching over and breathing in that shallow way and frowning, we can create sadness. We can actually access sadness. I think we walk around feeling like our emotions run the bus. That are emotions control us. Our emotions drive the bus. People go, ‘I’m just not motivated to do this.’ Who’s running you? Who is running your life? We’re letting emotions run our life but our emotions are actually anchored to our physiological state. So when we hunch over we create sadness because it’s an anchor. It’s attached to that physiology. So we might have been kind of in a good mood but we can access sadness simply by recreating the physiology of sadness. When we pull our shoulders back and smile, even if we don’t feel like smiling, smile, pull your shoulders back and lift your head up. Breathe openly for a few minutes, even 30 seconds all of a sudden you’re noticing your state shifts into a state that is more fulfilled. More motivated. So just by changing our physiology, we can shift our state. With your breathwork, we’re changing your physiology a lot and we’re moving through those emotions.
I love that you’re teaching to not push them down, to not repress the emotions. When we look at violent crimes in the United States and I’m sure around the world, unfortunately, the sad statistic is that most violent crimes are done by men. I’m not saying that no violent crimes are done by women. I’m just saying the majority are done by men. What is going on? How have we raised our boys in the last 70 years? How have we raised? What have we taught our boys that we have most of the violent crimes committed by men? It’s something really crazy like 96%. I was reading the latest statistics on violent crimes. What have we taught our men? What have we taught our boys? Since I have a 4 ½-year-old son I want to raise him to be respectful of men and women, respectful of his own body, respectful of others and emotionally intelligent. So what’s going on that men are committing violent crimes. If they were in touch with their emotions and actually felt them instead of suppressing them and reacted. Like having some kind of altercation at a stoplight and just reacted and started punching each other, right? What if they could feel their emotions and realize, ‘Oh, wow. That came from all the hurt I had as a child with my dad, or with my uncle.’ What if we process our move through our emotions? I think that your breathwork is even more important for men. I mean, of course, women will gain benefit from it. I think it’s even more important for men to do it because we need to create a society where men are emotionally healthy.
[1:10:34] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean listen, I have a lot of personal experience with it. I’ve been probably over 100 fights in my life. I was stabbed in the head when I was 19 and lost half the blood in my body and I almost died. I’ve been jumped by five guys at once and beaten unconscious. I’ve had a lot of crazy stuff. A lot of violent stuff happened to me. The message that I got was that I’m not safe in the world.
What started happening to me was I needed to react before I was attacked because I had been jumped so many times. I’ve been attacked so many times that if somebody threatened me, then I needed to react first. That was what started happening to me, right? But I think it goes back to something earlier that you and I were talking about which is we tell our boys to be strong, to be men. They repress all these emotions and there’s nowhere for that emotion to go. So it’s repressed emotions. It’s also a feeling of powerlessness. I think that violence is a powerful thing and men are filled with testosterone. If you teach compassion, it’s pretty hard to be a compassionate person and want to go beat somebody up. You know what I mean?
If you get at the stoplight and this person does something wrong if you practice compassion and you know what that feels like then you go, ‘This person’s probably having a really bad day right now.’ Instead of going like, ‘I can’t let them do that to me. I cannot let that guy get away with that. I cannot let that stand.’ I mean, that’s what that feels like when two guys get out of a car. You’ve crossed a line and I’m not going to allow it. Yeah. I know what that feels like. I’ve been on the other side of that and it’s an awful way to live your life. It’s an awful way to live. To be going around angry, it’s like two magnets just looking for each other to bump up against to express this frustration that’s inside of them. When they find each other, that’s what they want believe it or not. They want that –
[1:13:01] Ashley James: That altercation?
[1:13:03] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. If two guys. I’m not talking about a violent crime where some guy commits a violent crime against a woman. That’s a sickness. That’s a power thing. I think a lot of that comes from frustration, from sexual frustration. That’s a whole other topic that I don’t think I would talk skillfully on. You know, it’s not my area. I love women. I think women are the most amazing creatures on the planet. I don’t understand them as much as I would like to. I’ve spent 47 years trying to understand. I think I understand them better than most men. But men are really simple. We have a really simple need. We like food and sleep and sex. That’s it.
[1:13:48] Ashley James: And breathing.
[1:13:51] Jon Paul Crimi: Right. And breathing to clear out the testosterone and the frustration and the emotion. So that’s it. But women have a whole set of needs and motivations that I can’t begin to understand and I don’t think that they understand it neither themselves. Yeah. I mean, a lot of that too is the frustration that people are feeling from social media where so and so has this incredible life, which isn’t true, which is a lie. People are only showing the good stuff. I mean, I’m guilty of it myself. I post all these great videos of my kids and me. I don’t post the videos of their meltdowns. I did post a video where I wasn’t going to do it and then I did it and I regretted it. I hid their Halloween candy on them and I did the Jimmy Kimmel thing where you hide the Halloween candy. You’re like, “I ate all your candy.” They both started crying and I was like, “I’m just kidding. Here’s the candy.” It was 30 seconds, right? I posted it on my social media and people just, people who knew me who really knows me was like, ‘Oh that’s hilarious.’ They know that my kids are my entire world. That I love my kids more than anyone on this planet. It was 30 seconds. People who didn’t know me, I have kind of a big social media following, were like, ‘Oh, that’s awful. That’s not compassionate.’ So I deleted it. It made me feel lousy. I was like, ‘I’m allowing these people who don’t really know me to criticize me and I’m letting that criticism in.’
You know Brené Brown, I’m a huge Brené Brown fan. Brené Brown talks about that, social media, you really allow the criticism of people that are in your inner circle, that know you really, really well.
[1:15:55] Ashley James: Right, right.
[1:15:56] Jon Paul Crimi: Your five people in your mastermind, in your inner circle. All the other people on the outside that don’t know you, you just can’t allow to let that criticism in. I know that. It still bothered me a little bit because people are really good at digs. I’m human and the best I’m going to do is human. Things get to me sometimes. Things bother me.
I love social media. I think it’s a great tool like I get to see some of my family that I don’t get to see very often on the east coast. It brings people to my classes and my teacher trainings and my workshops. I’ve found amazing people in podcasts that I follow through social media. So I think that it’s an incredible tool. But I also think that it can be really harmful if we’re really allowing it to like if we’re believing it all. Nobody has a perfect life like that. They’re just showing the perfect shot. If I’m comparing my insides to other people’s outsides on social media, I’m going to lose every time.
[1:17:10] Ashley James: You know I was just reading Proverbs 27 today. I brought it up because what you said reminded me, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted but an enemy multiplies kisses.” “Wounds from a friend can be trusted,” meaning speak honestly to our friends and the inner circle and take that criticism with heart because they are doing it in a way that’s loving and they care about us.
[1:17:41] Jon Paul Crimi: And they know you. They know you and they know what you need and need to hear.
[1:17:49] Ashley James: Later on in Proverbs, it says, “As iron sharpens so one person sharpens another.” I love that idea that we’re sharpening each other. Take the criticism from your close friends with love and know that we’re sharpening each other.
[1:18:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah, 100%.
[1:18:12] Ashley James: Well, we talked about the emotional component, which is great. I’d like to get a little bit into the biological component. Something interesting about the Krebs cycle. Our body produces ATP, which is cellular energy but in a state of lack of oxygen, the body cannot continue to produce the bounty of ATP. Instead, by-product becomes lactic acid. Lactic acidosis, I’ve had an expert on the show talk about that, all disease, 100% of disease has elevated levels of lactic acidosis. He feels all disease begins with this break in the Krebs cycle where instead of in an oxygenated state, we’re producing too much lactic acid. If we all got back to the root if we’re all fully oxygenated that we could stay in an alkaline balance state. That we would then not produce lactic acid or get into lactic acidosis and therefore prevent disease.
He goes as far as to say all disease. What have you seen because this has been your biggest passion right? What have you seen around disease? Have you seen people reverse disease? What kind of things have you seen actually physiologically shift when they began to do this deep breathwork on a regular basis?
[1:19:40] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’ve seen a lot of people have physical ailments and come in with physical ailments and say, ‘my back has been bothering me for 20 years and it’s gone.’ I’ve seen people, these guys had this throat thing going on and it cleared up in one session. Just all these kind of things, I would love to see. I would like to have somebody do some studies on the alkalinity in the body before breathwork and then after breathwork. That would be amazing. I mean I know you’re oxygenating the body but you’re also throwing off CO2, right? That causes some stuff to go on there.
When I first started breathwork, people’s hands would clamp up. It never happened to me but I saw it happen to a lot of people that I worked with. It’s called tetany and people would ask me what causes that? The answer that I would get from my breathwork teacher, the people that I study with was like crazy answers. ‘It’s, you’re holding on to stuff’ or ‘it’s the moon. You’re detoxing off marijuana.’ I was like, ‘that’s not what it is.’ I just couldn’t take that for an answer. What I did, as someone who is very from a scientific standpoint, is I started just studying commonalities. Okay, who in the room is cramping up in their hands? Okay. These 20 people out of 60. What are they doing that the other people aren’t doing? Well, they’re breathing a little harder. They’re actually breathing louder and they’re pushing the exhale more.
So I brought in this woman who is a student of mine, Tanya Bentley, she’s a health and science researcher with Harvard. We started looking at it. She started going diving into the studies. My theory was is that when people push the exhale extra hard that it got worse. I was correct. So, when I teach it I try to teach people to really inhale, take the biggest, deepest inhale they can into their belly and then take another inhale into their chest and then let the exhale just snap loose. You just get free just to kind of relax it.
For some reason, a lot of people think that if you have to work on the inhale, you have to work on the exhale. You don’t. You work on the inhale and then you let the exhale just relax and be like a reflex almost. So, I’ve had people who were cramping up in their hands, having this tetany and I’ve coached them through that and then it goes away through relaxing the exhale, which is incredible.
I’ve seen people just heal their bodies because of so much of our physical ailments are emotional. I mean some people try to argue that it’s all emotional. It all comes from emotion. Then you’ll hear the other argument, ‘Well, what if I got hit by a car and I broke my arm? That wouldn’t be from emotion’ I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I don’t have all the answers. Nobody doubts, in this world that we’re living in today, that stress, for example, is causing heart disease, cancer, and all kinds of heart problems, right? If we’re stressing ourselves out so much, I stress out myself so much that I gave myself an auto-immune disorder. I gave myself alopecia, which is a sudden hair loss. I lost all my hair. If I can stress myself out to the point where my body starts to fight against itself and starts to kill my hair follicles off because it thinks it’s a foreign invader, then maybe I can do the opposite. Maybe I can start to love myself enough and heal my body. Because everybody knows that you can stress yourself out and cause health problems. If that’s true and people believe that, why don’t they believe that the opposite is true?
[1:23:24] Ashley James: Well they’ don’t know how to decrease the stress. It’s so harder ingrained in their life. How do you not get stressed about your bills? How do you not get stressed about your kids doing stupid stuff? It’s part of your life. You can’t separate yourself from your bills, and your job, and your kids and your husband and the stress. We know intellectually our stress is killing us. But what can we do about it besides take a bubble bath, which helps just for a few minutes, right?
[1:24:00] Jon Paul Crimi: I joke in my classes. I say that self-love, self-care isn’t taking a bubble bath. It can be later but self-love, self-care is showing up and doing the hard work, doing the uncomfortable work. That’s what real self-love, real self-care is. So if you do that, listen, you can be stressed out, your kid can have a health problem, your bills can be overdue, you can lay down and breathe. You’ll get up and you’ll go, ‘you know what? It’s all going to be fine. It’s going to work out. It’s going to work out just fine.’ But instead, we dig into that stress. What is stress really but fear? That’s what it really is. Stress is just a fancy word for fear. So you’re allowing your fears to consume you and affect you and affect your health.
What’s the opposite of fear? The opposite of fear is love. So if we can get more into love and start to love yourself more, maybe you can start to combat those fears and let go of some of those fears and know that it’s going to be okay. Because 99% of it is all in our heads. That’s the truth of it. That’s what nobody says. It was Mark Twain that said, “I have a lot of problems some of them actually happened.”
Most of that stuff that you’re stressing out about the bills, and our kids, it all works itself out. It always does. So you’re creating this all in your head. You’re creating these problems in your head. We’re like right now, you might have a bunch of stuff going on. A bunch of issues, problems, whatever you want to call them. There is no issue right now. There’s just you and I talking right now. That’s all there is. In order to get to that issue, you have to go into your head and start to think about it and start to worry about it and start to ruminate on it. Then you start to go, ‘Oh no, how am I going to pay the bills? My son’s got this…’ Just saying that my chest gets tight and I stop breathing. But if I just stop and sit back and take a deep breath in through my nose, down into my belly, put my hand below my belly button and take a big breath in through my nose down there. Then I let out a long exhale twice as long out of my mouth.
Let me do another one of those. In through my nose, down to my stomach, way below my belly button. Then let out a sigh. That long exhale, that breath in through your nose down into your diaphragm. Then that twice as long exhale, that actually activates the parasympathetic nervous system to rest and digest. It starts to calm you down. It starts to calm your body down. So that saying, ‘take a breath,’ we hear it but we don’t do it.
[1:27:00] Ashley James: Some are like [shallow breaths].
[1:27:04] Jon Paul Crimi: Or like, ‘You take a breath. I’m not going to take a breath.’
[1:27:07] Ashley James: Oh man, I’ve told my husband to breathe and it’s just like [shallow breaths]. It’s like a shallow, shallow breath. I’m like, ‘Really, come on. Deep, deep breathe, through your belly.’ He’s like, ‘Okay.’ [shallow breaths] I’ve seen that where people just they’re still breathing shallow. Can you teach us?
[1:27:25] Jon Paul Crimi: I couldn’t breathe into my belly when I first started because I was a trainer. I have been working on my abs and I’d kept my stomach flat for 20 years. So when I would try to breathe into my belly laying on the floor, I would arch my back and my back was so sore for the first couple of weeks of breathwork because I couldn’t actually breathe into my diaphragm. I couldn’t actually expand my diaphragm. Eventually, I was able to relax and breathe into my belly but it took a while. It’s incredible once you can do it.
You want me to teach you the breathing technique?
[1:28:00] Ashley James: Yeah, teach us. We are your Play-Doh. Mold us.
[1:28:05] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, okay. Well, I could give you the technique. The challenge lies in that it needs to be, I would say, you can get benefits in 15 minutes. Usually the 12 minutes of it, the first 12 minutes are the hardest part. So a lot of people will do like five minutes or eight minutes or ten minutes and be like, ‘I don’t like this. This is uncomfortable. This is weird,’ and stop. So if you just 12 minutes of it, it would be awful. It would be the most awful thing you ever did because you have to breakthrough. You have to breakthrough on the other side.
I could tell you how to do it and then you could go do it on your own and you could just make a playlist. I also have some guided iTunes CDs. So I have a couple of CDs. If you go into the iTunes stores, not Apple Music, I have two CDs on iTunes that have different length tracks and I guide you through how to do it.
The technique is really simple. It’s in through the mouth, down into the belly and you take the biggest breath you can into the belly, and you take another one on top of that in your chest and then you just let it fall out. Then you start again. Belly, chest and then the exhale is half a second. It just falls out. You keep that going, circular. Again, don’t do this in the car.
[1:29:26] Ashley James: I’m already dizzy. I took two breaths, I’m already dizzy.
[1:29:30] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It passes. If you lay down on the floor and you did it and you did it that dizziness is going to pass. Your brain is going to go, ‘I’m dizzy. I’m going to pass out.’ When I do my classes I demonstrate it. ‘Oh my God. Am I doing this right? Two breaths in, one breath out. I think I messed it up already. Okay. I’m terrible at this. I’m dizzy already. I’m going to pass out.’ You’re not going to pass out. You’re on the floor. You’re fine. Even if you did pass out, you would be fine, right? So you got to push through that fear that you’re going to pass out. ‘Okay, I’m breathing. Who’s crying already? What’s going on in their life? Well, that’s me crying already. What’s going on in my life?’ It’s incredible what your head says to you and tried to talk you out of it. Tries to get you to stop doing it. You just have to push through. You have to be willing to push through. You have to be willing to show up for yourself and do something a little uncomfortable, something a little different.
If you do what you always do, you’ll always have what you’ve always had. If you want something different, you have to try new things. You have to try different things. I thought breathwork was the stupidest thing. I’m going to go to a thing and somebody’s going to show me how to breathe and all this. What’s going to happen? It doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been breathing my whole life, right? That’s what everyone says. That’s the stupid thing I hear from people all the time. ‘I’ve been breathing my whole life. You’re going to show me how to breathe?’ Then finally, when they’re in enough pain they’ll show up. Because people aren’t motivated until they’re in enough pain in some way in some are. Then they show up because they’re willing to try new things. They’re willing to try anything.
If you get in enough pain you’ll try whatever. So, unfortunately, pain is the motivator for most people. For me, when that cracked me open I went, ‘okay, what else is out there?’ I started just going down a rabbit hole of exploring all kinds of stuff and all kinds of modalities out there and trying it al. I added what worked to my trainings. Why didn’t I just let it fall away? So be willing to be an explorer, a scientist within yourself, within your life, within your body.
[1:31:50] Ashley James: Is there any contraindications of doing this? Could it be dangerous to breathe this much?
[1:31:56] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. There are some contraindications. Some of them are like high blood pressure, glaucoma, certain mental illnesses are not recommended.
[1:32:07] Ashley James: Which ones?
[1:32:08] Jon Paul Crimi: I would have to go look it up off the top of my head because I’m on the spot right now. I don’t have it all memorized. But here’s the thing, I’ve had all the people with mental illnesses that are on my contraindications and they’re fine. Like I’ve had them come to my classes. I’ve had them come to my training. But you just never know. You just never know what somebody is going to react too. Unfortunately, we live in this litigious society and people want to sue for everything now, right? So, you have to be extra careful. Pregnancy is a big contraindication because miscarriages happen. What do we teach women in Lamaze class, right?
[1:32:56] Ashley James: Breathe.
[1:32:57] Jon Paul Crimi: Breathe. Right. Deep breathing for the most painful thing you’re ever going to go through. They say when women have a baby, it’s almost the pain that a man feels when he has a cold. But it’s the most painful thing you’re ever going to go through is have a child, childbirth. That’s what they say, right? So we do deep breathing. I believe Lamaze is through the mouth, right?
Here, let me read some of the contraindications for you. A person with history of cardiovascular disease including angina or heart attack, high blood pressure, glaucoma, retinal detachment, osteoporosis. I don’t understand the osteoporosis one. Significant recent physical injuries or surgery which is anything, right? You don’t want to be doing anything when you just had surgery, really. Breathwork is not advised for persons with severe mental illness or seizure disorders or for persons using major medications, which is most of the planet. It is also unsuitable for anyone with a personal history of aneurysms. Pregnant women are advised against practicing breathwork without first consulting and getting approval from their primary care physician. Persons with asthma should bring their inhaler, consult a primary care physician.
I can’t tell you how many women have been in my classes. I’ve seen a hand go up while they’re three songs into the breathwork. I go, ‘Yes?’ They go, ‘Is this okay to do when you’re pregnant? I’m like, ‘Don’t you think you should’ve asked that before you came to the class?’ Because they thought it was going to be some relaxing meditation thing but it’s not. It’s a workout. Like I tell everybody in my classes, ‘You’ve all done something harder in your life than lay on the floor on your back and breathe. Come on.’ A hike is harder than laying on the floor on your back and breathe. It just freaks people out because it catches you unexpected. You’re just not prepared that all this wild stuff is going to happen to you physically, mentally and emotionally from laying on the floor and breathing. So because you’re not prepared for it, it just freaks people out, right?
So my job as a facilitator, as a teacher is to prepare people as best I can. So that they can push through that stuff and go, ‘You know what, JP told me this was going to happen. He’s telling me I’m fine and I’m fine. So just push through it.’ Then have a big experience. A lot of people will have that big experience then tell me, ‘Oh my God. That’s like-changing. I’m going to be here every month or I’m going to be here every week. I’m going to do it all the time.’ Then they don’t do it again. They just don’t. They get too freaked out to go back and do it even though they know it was incredible. They could use it. We don’t take care of ourselves in that way. It’s easier to say with bad habits that we know hurt us. It’s easier to stay in that discomfort that’s familiar than to go into unknown that feels good.
[1:35:54] Ashley James: Marilu Henner is an actress who I’ve met a few times and I’ve spent some time with. She has a photographic memory. She was on Taxi and she was on the Apprentice, really cool. She has this whole story and she says, “Choose your hard.” Listen, I mean it’s hard to stay stuck. It’s hard to stay depressed. It’s hard to stay in a bad relationship. It’s hard to stay in a bad job. It’s hard, right? It’s hard to change. It’s hard to get a new habit, a new health habit. It’s hard to get up and go to the gym or eat healthy or not eat crap. Choose your hard. All of it is hard. Everything is hard. Choose your hard. If you’re choosing your hard, which is get up 15-20 minutes earlier and lie on the floor and do breathwork, which would be amazing to start the day off. I can’t even imagine the amount of clarity someone would have after. If they started their day off, they get up, they go potty and then they lay on the ground and they do 15-20 minutes of breathwork first thing in the morning. I mean that would completely reset the day, energize the body, turn on the mitochondria, just totally detoxing. Cleanse the body. Introducing oxygen to the whole body. Just amp up cellular energy production and mental clarity. Turn off that inner critic and allow them to have that huge amount of clarity for the whole day. That sounds like the best. That would beat the best cup of coffee anywhere.
[1:37:37] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean listen, if you get up in the morning and you do that, you walk into the world that day filled with gratitude and love. So you show up to whatever it is that you’re showing up that day, work or whatever, with gratitude and love people are attracted to that. You become a magnet in the world. As opposed to showing up with all your stories, all your stuff like we’re doing and we’re saying, ‘Oh my God. You’re not going to believe what happened last night. Let me tell you the story,’ because that’s how so many people are getting attention, which is really just a way that they’re trying to get love is they’re telling all their stories. If you can let go of those stories and just be present and start to embrace yourself and have gratitude and love for your life, you can walk around in the world like that, it changes who you are in the world. It changes what your world becomes because you start to attract all these other things into your life.
The last 20 years for me has just been a series of replacing one horrible bad habit with something better. I do drugs all day at work and then I go home and drink so let me clear that out and replace it with exercise and recovery and helping other people. Okay, now I’m eating sugar and I’m doing this. Let me replace that with ice plunges and float tanks and breathwork. Just trading off a bad habit for a good habit. I think the mistake too many people make is they try to do it all at once and then they fail. Then they go, ‘Yeah. It didn’t work.’ Then they go back to their all bad habits.’ When it’s like just pick one thing. Pick the one thing that you most want to change in your life right now and do that. Focus on that thing. After you’re successful with that and you see that you can change that one thing, build on that. Build on that. I saw that because I was able to show up and do this and eliminate drinking.
Listen, I would read self-help book and spiritual books while I was drinking and doing drugs. It just doesn’t work very well that way. So I kind of think that’s the first thing. I’ve seen people show up to these kinds of events, these motivational events, these guru events. There’s no judgment from me. I just don’t think that none of it is really going to work if you’re medicating which is self-medicating. So start there because you don’t even know what’s going on until you stop with the drinking and the drugs or whatever that is. However, you know you’re self-medicating and then all these feelings start coming up. Then you go, ‘Oh my God. All these feelings are coming up, right?’ That’s when breathwork is a great tool. ‘Oh. All these feelings come up. Let me lay down and breathe and clear them out and get clear. ‘
What you start to get clear on is all your old stories. All the stories that you’ve been telling since you were a kid of who you are and why you do these things and how you try to sick love that often doesn’t work for us. You start to get clear on those stories and you can start to let go of those stories even if they’re true, especially if they’re true. When we can start to let go of our stories, our old stories, we can start to write some new ones. We could start to create some new chapters in our lives and we could become a different person.
[1:41:11] Ashley James: Is that level of self-reflection happen during the breathwork or those epiphanies come after the breathwork when we’re in that very clear-headed mental state after we get up off the ground from breathing for about 20 minutes?
[1:41:28] Jon Paul Crimi: Both. So you’ll have some things that will come out while you’re breathing. Some stuff will come out, some emotions will come up and stuff will come up while you’re breathing. Then afterward, for me, I tell people, the breath after the breathing that laying there after you’re done active breathing, that’s the pay-off. That’s when you get these, I call them downloads from the universe where it’s like, ‘Oh. This is what I need to do. I need to help this person or I need to do this or I need to create this. I just need to be present with my kids.’
I have this joke where I say like, I want to have shirts made that say, ‘I’m sorry for what I said before breathwork.’ Because it’s been so many times. Like I’ve had an argument with my wife or something and I go lay down and I breathe. Then I come back in the room and I’m like, ‘Babe, I’m sorry. I was just being a selfish jerk. I love you and you’re amazing.’ I wouldn’t have got that clarity or whatever that thing was. It wasn’t that important than what really is important. That’s what it gets you to. It gets you to what’s really important. What’s really important is gratitude and love and those moments in your life that go in your heart.
I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me and be like, ‘the moments that I pulled in was so unexpected and not what I thought at all.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. That’s what really matters.’ Because we think all the other stuff matters and it doesn’t. So it gets you really clear about what really matters in your life. Everything else is just a distraction. That’s amazing if you can get that clarity.
I would have people come in and go, ‘I’m struggling with this relationship.’ or ‘I’m struggling with this career decision, I’m struggling with this.’ I go, ‘Okay. Let’s just set the intention for clarity on it.’ It’s crystal clear when they come up. There’s zero doubt. They were so torn when they walked into the room. They lay down and breathe. What they need to do. The answer is crystal clear. Then what happens sometimes, especially around relationships, is the head will kick back on a couple of days later and fear kicks in. Fear goes, ‘You don’t really want to go back out there and date do you? You don’t want to go out on Bumble or match.com. He’s pain. He’s not that bad. He does do this.’ We start to make a case. We start to build a case because the fear is telling us that we’re not going to find anyone that’s right for us. The truth is, it’s trite to say but it’s like you want to whole and complete within yourself. Jerry Maguire sold us a lie which is, “You complete me.” Well, that’s BS, right? Nobody completes you. You complete yourself.
[1:44:09] Ashley James: I love it.
[1:44:11] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s just like, when you complete yourself and you’re whole and complete within yourself and you’re walking around with gratitude and love for your life and not looking for something more, I’m telling you. You are a magnet. You’re a magnet to the opposite sex or the same sex. Whatever you’re into. Whatever your thing is. You’re just a magnet to people who want to be around you who want to be with you in some way who want to work with you, who want to hang out with you. Whatever. It’s like you become this magnet because it’s so rare now in this day and age that people are not walking around needing, wanting something.
[1:44:47] Ashley James: Feeling inadequate, feeling like there’s a hole in them that they need to fill.
[1:44:53] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. There is literally nothing I need right now in my life. It’s weird. I’ve had some really good business-wise a bunch of financial windfalls lately. I’ve gone like, ‘I should buy something.’ I wanted that for so long. I got to that place and there’s nothing I need. You know that that watch isn’t going to make me happy. Let’s put it away for my kids’ college. I don’t know. There’s nothing I need. There’s nothing I want. It’s an incredible place to get to. It finally makes sense now looking back. If you’re in a part in your life where you’re frustrated and you’re angry, you’re not there yet.
Joseph Campbell, the Heroes Journey, right? When you go through all the stages of the hero’s journey and then at the end of the hero’s journey you turn around and you help somebody else. You come back with the elixir, right? That’s where I feel like I’m at now. I’m just turning around and I’m helping other people and it’s incredible. If you’re struggling right now, you’re listening to this and you’re struggling with relationships, with career and all that stuff, it doesn’t make sense yet and it doesn’t make sense for you. You cannot connect the dots, right? Looking back, Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots until you’re there.” There is no there really. I found this fascinating. Steve Jobs took this font class in college and he didn’t know why. Now, we all know why when we’re staring at an Apple font, we’re starting at the iPhone.
It all makes sense for me in my life. All my disappointments, all my failures, all the things that I tried, they all came together for me to create this thing and share it with people. I never in a million years thought I would be doing this and sharing it with some people. But it totally makes sense to me now looking back. I’m fulfilled in a way that I didn’t know that I would be that I didn’t know I want it, the fulfillment. I tell people all the time, happiness. Everybody’s looking for happiness. They’re searching for happiness. I’m like, ‘You’re looking in the wrong place because happiness is just an emotion like sadness. It’s going to come and it’s going to go.’ Fulfillment, filling yourself up that’s the key. Because whether you’re happy or whether you’re sad, if you’re fulfilled in what you’re doing, happiness or sadness doesn’t matter. So fulfillment is the key to search for, to work for, to find that fulfillment.
Teaching breathwork and helping people get sober has been the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I’ll keep doing it until I’ve changed millions of lives on the planet or I find something more powerful to help people with.
[1:47:38] Ashley James: Well, I love it. I love that your goal is to help millions of people. My goal is to help millions of people too. To be able to learn how to create optimal health. That’s why the podcast is called Learn True Health. They’re going to learn how to create true health for themselves and help mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually and energetically. Do that by listening to amazing guests like you, Jon Paul. Oh my gosh. It’s been so incredible learning from you.
I want to talk about your course because I have a feeling that my listeners are going to want to do it. Before we hit record, you said that I should do it. So I’m going to do your course, your five-day course. I want you to tell us a bit about it. First, I have some clarifying questions. So, if someone wants to lie on the ground and breathe, they want to do it to a minimum of 15 minutes? You said your classes are 27 minutes long.
[1:48:39] Jon Paul Crimi: Well, the class is an hour, right? The class is like 1 hour and 15, but the act of breathing, the active portion of this breathwork that we’re talking about is about, see in a one-on-one session it really depends on the person. Somebody could be done in 20 minutes, right? They could be done in 30 minutes or 35 minutes. So in a class, it’s really challenging to find that sweet spot of time, right? So what I generally try and do, because some people are coming, they come every time and they’ve been doing it for a while. There’s a lot of brand new people in the room. So I try to find a sweet spot of time but it’s really different for everybody.
Let’s just say a minimum of 16-17 minutes. Let’s make it 15 to make it easier. You could go up to 30 minutes. I wouldn’t suggest 30 minutes if it’s your very first time doing breathwork. So you lay on the floor and the active breathing is for 15-30 minutes, anywhere in that zone. The way you might want to do it, the way I used to do it, was I create playlist and I’d know by the song. So I’m going to breathe. I’m going to do the active breathing for six songs. I use songs that are motivational like a workout. I would do the active breathing during the six songs. The last song or two I would do emotion in there like Landslide from Fleetwood Mac. Nobody makes it through Landslide without crying. Landslide breaks everyone. Fire and Rain from James Taylor break everyone.
So anyway, you don’t have to do that but that’s how I do it. Then have some songs that are beautiful, moving, calming after that. Those are the songs that I call the rest songs because the best part of breathwork is after the breathwork. Laying there and enjoying it. I tell people, ‘You just did that hard and uncomfortable work. Don’t get up afterward. Lay there and that’s where you get the payoff.’ I felt my head quiet for the first time in my life like I’d always try to do with drugs and alcohol after breathwork. So just lay there and enjoy it.
[1:50:44] Ashley James: That’s when you can meditate.
[1:50:45] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, that’s how I learned how to meditate was through breathwork. This is what meditation is. This is the quiet space that I could never get to. I would feel my body just vibrating with this incredible energy and that’s your energy that you can use to transform your life and other people’s lives. Just lay there and enjoy it. Get whatever comes in. you’re going to get downloads. You’re going to get messages. I’ve heard all kinds of woo woo stuff in the thing. People tell me their dead relatives have visited them when they’re doing breathwork. People tell me that they have visions and all kind of stuff. I’ve had all kinds of stuff. I try not to put that stuff out there too much because I think it’s different for everybody. It’s different every time you do it. So, who knows what’s going to happen for you but be adventurous and go for it. Lay down on the floor, breathe into your mouth down into your belly, then into your chest, and then let it fall out. Then start again.
So I have a couple of CDs that are guided on iTunes that are like $11.00 I think or $12.00. That’s the cheapest kind of guided option. But you don’t need to do that. You could just do it yourself. Then I have this course, the Five Day Emotional Detox which is on sale right now. I believe it’s 40% off. It’s on my website which is Breathe with JP, B R E A T H E with JP. So a lot of people write breath with JP and then can’t find it. It’s breathe.
[1:52:20] Ashley James: You need to buy breath with JP and just have it redirect.
[1:52:25] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. That’s a great idea. It’s a really good idea. So there’s courses on my website. You’ll see the buttons there. It will say like, Online Courses. If you want the five-day emotional breathwork detox, that’s what the course is called, you’d click on my Online Course and it will take you there. I also have the teacher trainings online or I do the teacher trainings in person in Los Angeles as well. Then I offer them all as a package online. You could do the five-day course with the two teacher trainings, it’s packaged. But the five-day detox, we talked a lot about it. I mean the first session, the first day is a video of me showing you the technique of breathwork. It really goes into an incredible description. There’s a downloaded, one of those albums is in there that you can download and do it. The audio. You could add music to it, your own music. Another way that you can play it with music. The next day is the affirmations. You combine the affirmations with breathwork. Then the third day is the transformational letter with breathwork. The fourth day is this thing called the eulogy or the legacy where you write your legacy. Who you became at the end of your life, which is really powerful to do. You can read it to somebody too. It’s even more powerful. You write this and you go like, ‘I got to get to work.’ It’s time to get to work, right? It’s really moving and I have people do it in my teacher trainings. I have them get up and read their legacy. The last day is a love letter to yourself. You write the love letter to yourself and you combine it with breathwork.
So if you did these exercises with breathwork, and they don’t have to be five days in a row. If you did them, you would have a massive, massive shift in your life. Then I would get an email from you saying like, ‘Thank you so much.’ And I love that.
[1:54:06] Ashley James: Yes you would.
[1:54:07] Jon Paul Crimi: I love that. For me, that’s the real payoff is the email that says like, ‘Wow. I did this. It’s so unexpected. It helped me heal this thing or change this. I feel different.’ I have with me my wife at the restaurant. Some woman came up to me in a restaurant and she said, “Are you Jon Paul Crimi?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “I did your five-day detox online and it was life-changing. Thank you so much.” I looked over, “See. That’s my husband over there.” She pointed to her husband and her husband mouthed thank you to me. I was like that’s so awesome. It’s just incredible.
It was a combination of these workshops that I was doing and I decided to just put them together in a course and see what would happen and see if it would work. I didn’t know if it would work. I took a chance. It was an idea that I had to do breathwork. It all comes to me through breathwork. So I put them online and the response has been amazing. I just feel so grateful that I get to share this with people. It was like, ‘How do I share this with people in other parts of the world?’ Because I got emails from people all the time who would hear a podcast with me or see something or hear about it. I was like, ‘I need an effective way to share this.’ So I did the iTunes album. Then I did the course and the course is really powerful because it helps I think when you see me kind of explain it to you. When you watch it physically. When you see my diaphragm expanding and you watch me do the technique. It’s a little challenging to understand just hearing but I think people could do it.
I’ve had people listen to it and hear it and do it and it had incredible results. Oftentimes when people do it just from hearing podcasts like this is they’ll do five minutes or ten minutes and then they’ll get scared and they’ll stop.
[1:56:03] Ashley James: Right. They got to power through.
[1:56:05] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I mean, that’s actually why the class helps. It’s kind of like peer pressure in a good way like everyone around you is doing it. You hear people around you having emotional experiences and you start to get emotional. So classes are really good. A private session’s a really good for people. But not everybody has access to that. So, if you don’t have access to that, that’s why the online courses are great.
[1:56:27] Ashley James: This makes so much sense why you have a link to Spotify with all this playlist. I was going through your website. I was like, ‘Oh, he’s on Spotify.’ I click on it, it’s just a bunch of playlist of songs. I’m like, ‘What? What?’ Now I get it.
[1:56:43] Jon Paul Crimi: I’m so glad you brought that up. All right. I have years of my classes. Those are all my classes, right? That I’ve done on Spotify. If you look at the playlist, let me get one up here so I can kind of go over it. If you look at a playlist, let’s just say here we go Bend. So the first song is like a song Feeling Good by Lauryn Hill. That’s a real intense motivational song, right? Then the second song is another motivational song. So the first three or four songs are really pushing you. Then we get into emotional stuff. Then there’s a song in there that’s just sound. What I’m doing there is I’m actually playing the gong in my class. So I have a gong. I can’t believe I have a gong and I play a gong in my class. It’s just so weird for me. How that came about was I was in a class and I didn’t like the class but we screamed into the gong and that was such a powerful experience for me that I added it to my class.
So I have a song where I play the gong and you’re still breathing during the gong playing, which is really weird. Then I count it down, ‘On the count of three, we’re going to scream into the gong. One, two, three. Ahhhh’ I’ll have 200 people in the room just screaming, yelling at the top of their lungs. That in itself is a powerful, powerful release because where in your life do you scream at the top of your lungs, from the bottom of your soul? When do you get to do that? Unless stuff’s gone really wrong in your life, right? It just doesn’t happen. That adds to the release at the end of the breathwork.
Then after the scream, I’m like, ‘Okay. Just relax.’ Then another song will come on. It will be an emotional song like Be Still by the Fray or I Am Light by India.Arie, whatever song I pick. Heroes by Peter Gabriel. So that’s the rest song. That’s the payoff. That’s the beauty. So I don’t say anything during that.
Then this other song, Devi Prayer comes on. You shouldn’t still be breathing by then if that comes on. That’s the song, it’s like a yogi kind of song. The woman is like, ‘Ohh.’ She’s like sort of singing like that. That’s when people reach up and pull moments of gratitude, moments of love into their hearts. Then I read something. Then I say, ‘Okay. I’m going to go outside in the lobby. Come out in a bit. Enjoy these couple of songs and just lay here. This is what you came for not the breathing.’ Then people will come up and hug me on the way out and I get 200 hugs and I feel amazing.
[1:59:27] Ashley James: Wow. That sounds awesome. Your classes sound amazing.
[1:59:31] Jon Paul Crimi: It’s a good time. I mean, it’s pretty powerful. It’s a ride. It’s an experience. I’ve made it such. I tweaked it and I honed it and I made it into this incredible experience where people come and they bring- I have people that buy 10 tickets and bring all their family members. People that bring like rehabs bring all their people in rehab or sober living. People come with their friends. They drive, people drive. I’ve had people fly in for my classes. It’s wild. It’s become a thing. I’m feeling really blessed. I’m feeling really lucky that I get to do this incredible thing and changes people’s lives. I never knew that I would be here doing this. I’m so glad that I didn’t get what I thought I was supposed to get. It would’ve been so much less.
[2:00:34] Ashley James: You thought you were going to some relaxing yoga breathing class.
[2:00:40] Jon Paul Crimi: No. I meant in my life. I wanted to be some big celebrity thing. That’s not what happened for me. I’ve got so much more because I saw that that wasn’t going to fix me. I saw that first hand. I believe that’s the reason I worked with all these people is because I got to see that that wasn’t going to fix me. So I got something much more fulfilling.
[2:01:05] Ashley James: Yeah you did. Absolutely. You have been training teachers. You’ve been training people. You have an online teacher training and an in-person teacher training.
[2:01:15] Jon Paul Crimi: Correct
[2:01:16] Ashley James: Thousands of people have been certified in your technique and work with individuals. People can do one-on-one work or they could do classes. It’s a movement. You’re the head of this movement.
[2:01:33] Jon Paul Crimi: I don’t know if I’m the head of it. There have been other people that had been around doing it for a long time. I think that I teach it in a way that I just have taken all the new agey woo out of it. I feel like I’m more accessible to most people. I had a fire chief come to my teacher training. I’ve had doctors, PhDs, psychologists coming to my teacher training. So I think I’m just teaching it in a more accessible way that translates to your housewife, to your angry guy guy, to different people who really need this.
People bringing their teenagers to my class, which you have to ask first. I think that it was really kept within this new agey woo woo circles. It was kept small and done that way. It just turned a lot of people off. I just tweaked the technique to make it more accessible to everyone else. One time I had one of these teachers that I’m talking about. If I get any criticism, it’s other breathwork teachers who studied from someone else or had a different style and they don’t like it.
This woman came into my class and she’s like, ‘I can kind of like see how you’re like for like people who would never do this work.’ I was like, ‘Yeah. That’s exactly right. I want a room full of people who needed help, not eight other breathwork teachers pretending that we’re all spiritual in mala robes and mala beads. I want to help angry guys and stressed out moms. That’s what I’m for. Thank you for the compliment that you weren’t intending as a compliment.
I don’t do the whole spiritual speak. I worked at a meditation studio. I worked with a couple of them. I don’t anymore. I rent spaces and just do it myself. The teachers would come in with this, I love a lot of these teachers but I would hear people come in with these voices that are like, “Hey everyone. I know it’s been a hard day. Mercury is in retrograde right now.’ I’m going, ‘Oh my God. A) That’s not really your voice, b) don’t blame it on Mercury in retrograde. Your life is a mess because you made it that way. Just own it. Let’s fix it.
So I’m kind of like a little edgy and I can still be a jerk sometimes. I’m a lot less of a jerk but I’m a human being. I used to go to these classes and I’d go, ‘Oh my God. It’s just on the 405 freeway to the 101 to the 10, which are the three worst freeway in America to get here. I almost choke someone out in the parking lot. Don’t worry, we’re going to put gratitude and love in your heart right now.
So somebody will be like, “Oh my God. This guy is so real. He’s so authentic.’ I’m like, ‘No, no. I’m really going to kill somebody. Just lay down. Stop messing around. Put your phone away.’
[2:04:25] Ashley James: Shut up and breathe.
[2:04:26] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. I’ve actually mellowed quite a bit as a teacher. It’s ironic that attracted a lot of people to me is my style. It’s my sort of like angry breathwork teacher. I mean, I’m not angry anymore. I can get irritated but it’s just not there. Most of it is gone.
[2:04:48] Ashley James: I love it.
[2:04:49] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It’s really powerful. That you would never. So, if I have anything to share with anybody it’s like, ‘Don’t believe your head. Try something different. Try something new. Tray something that you would never try. Do something that you would never do. Be open. Keep showing up for yourself because you’re worth it.
[2:05:09] Ashley James: I love it so much. You say you take the woo woo out of it. So, you’re so not woo woo then when kind of like spiritual things happen, it’s a bit of surprise for some people. Can you share with me what kind of interesting spiritual things has happened for you in doing the breathwork that you were shocked happen? That you weren’t aware would happen?
[2:05:42] Jon Paul Crimi: I don’t usually share the spiritual stuff because I don’t want people to get turned off by it. I feel like if you’re hearing someone share their spiritual experience you go, ‘Okay. I’m out.’ That’s not for me, right? But if you have your spiritual experience yourself, different story.
[2:05:59] Ashley James: Right. To preframe it. One of my regular guests is an exorcist. I think my listeners are more open-minded than the regular population.
[2:06:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Okay. All right. We can dive into it. One of my first breathwork sessions, I saw myself on the stage, reaching out in the air, hand in the air, 100 people in the room. They were all reaching out, laying on the floor. I was like, ‘That’s so weird. Why would I be doing that?’ I was on a stage couple of years later with 100 people in the room and I had them doing that, pulling the moments in. I remember that first session. I went, ‘Oh my God. That is the thing I saw in the breathwork session. I saw this. I saw this years ago and I didn’t understand what it meant. So, it was like a future download.
I would get messages. You need to go call this person. You need to help this person. It was always about help. It’s always been about helping people. I’m a selfish, self-centered person by nature. So I was like, ‘Damn. Why can’t it be just about me?’ It’s never about me because when I help other people, my life gets really good. When I focus on myself, my life gets really lousy.
So, just parts of my body healing traumas in my body from different things that happened to me in my life I would feel that. My very first session, I felt connected to the universe. God, spirituality, whatever you want to call it. I felt it in an undeniable way. I felt it in the way like I would want to get out of the car and kill someone in LA in the freeway. It was that real for me. It was that undeniable. I felt it. I felt the presence of something in my life. It was the first time I’d ever felt it. I have grown up in religion. I traveled the world and gone through temples in Cambodia and the cathedral in Notre Dame. I’ve done it all and I never felt it anywhere in my life ever. I felt it in this breathwork session the first time. It was incredible.
I came home and told my wife about it. I made love to my wife and I said, ‘I just made a baby.’ She said, ‘Shut up you idiot.’ I said, ‘No, no. I felt the soul the baby come through me.’ The next day, she was nauseous, I was like, ‘That’s the baby.’ She’s like, ‘It’s the next day, idiot. Shut up.’ Then I had this thing the next day which I’d never experienced before, which was my head was completely turned off for the entire day.
[2:08:34] Ashley James: Wow.
[2:08:35] Jon Paul Crimi: Yeah. It was the best day of my life I guess. I felt like maybe what someone feels like, I don’t know for sure, with schizophrenia or some kind of mental illness because I was walking around kind of just giggling. Present and giggling. I said to my wife, ‘Do I look like I’m crazy?’ She said, ‘You just look really happy.’ But I’d never experience anything like it. My friend who was a spiritual kind of guru, healer he said, ’You are in the Buddha mind.’ I was in the Buddha-mind for that day and it was just an incredible day. Sure enough, that was the conception of my daughter that day, that night before.
It’s just been one awakening after another. There have been times where I’ve done fasting. I started fasting and I would breathe in a fast. I will go, ‘Oh my God. Now I get it, what the connection is between fasting and spirituality.’ I would have these intense breath sessions where I would do the active breathing for an hour or more. Then I would lay there vibrating on the floor for two hours just connected to some kind of source, to some incredible thing.
So, there’s been journeys like that. I’ve done it on beaches, on planes. I have a float tank, that sensory deprivation tank in my house, which I love. It’s like my favorite place to and I’ve done it a ton in there. I freaked myself out, maybe I’m building too much carbon monoxide here. But it has vents you know. But your mind is really dangerous. It can be really dangerous, right. It’s like acid. They say if you start thinking you’re going to have a bad acid trip you do, right? That really translates into breathwork too. If you think you’re going to have a bad time- there have been people who email me like all scared and worried. I go, ‘Yeah, don’t come. If you think you’re going to have a bad time, you are going to.’ Whether you think you’re right or not, you’re right.
The brain is such a powerful thing. The mind is this supercomputer and it has to be right and so we make it right. So if you think you’re going to have a bad time then you probably are.
[2:10:46] Ashley James: Yeah. Yeah. We need to shift our mindset. Absolutely. Because it’s right. Our mindset is right.
[2:10:54] Jon Paul Crimi: I program people. Like you’re talking about the NLP, I tell people, ‘You’re going to have this incredible transformational experience tonight. You’re going to walk out of here different than the way you came in. If you can just do these little things. If you can just push through these little discomforts, you’re going to leave here differently.’ People do. Everyone in that room leaves different than the way they came in without a doubt. I’ve been teaching it for eight years now, I’ve never had somebody come up and say nothing happened. This hasn’t happened, never had anyone asked for their money back. It just never happened.
[2:11:24] Ashley James: Oh my gosh. That’s amazing.
[2:11:25] Jon Paul Crimi: I have had people quit at the studio. I would see two or three people quit. They gave up five minutes in because it got hard, it got uncomfortable where they start to feel the physical sensations and they got scared and freak them out and they stop. They go, ‘This isn’t for me.’ I’m like, ‘You haven’t gone to the other side yet. You don’t know if it’s for you. You have to fully do it.’ But what I found out is I would go ask the studio, ‘Was that person here on a guest pass, on a free guest pass?’ They’re like, ‘Yeah. How’d you know?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. Because they gave up.’ Because there was no investment. Being invested is often key to this thing. Having some kind of investment, having some kind of exchange will help you to push through.
If I have you pay $1000.00 to do it, you’re going to do it.
[2:12:11] Ashley James: Yeah. I bet the people that fly into LA and dedicate a few days of their life between travel and getting to your class, I bet they get the biggest breakthroughs out of being there.
[2:12:22] Jon Paul Crimi: They do. The more invested you are the bigger the experience is going to be. Yeah. Test it out. Let me know what you think. If you have the guts, you got to push through it.
[2:12:34] Ashley James: I know. I’m totally going to do it. I’m so excited.
[2:12:36] Jon Paul Crimi: The one thing- I just realized I forgot to say that it works better on an empty stomach.
[2:12:40] Ashley James: Really glad that you mentioned to do it on an empty stomach because when I was in massage therapy college back when I was 19, many many lifetimes ago, I had learned this breathing exercise that also involves clenching. You clench your muscles and let go. You clench your muscles and let go. I came home and did it with my roommate, he threw up everywhere because he had just eaten. He’s like, ‘What are you doing to me?’ I was really afraid of it afterward. It was so weird. He was just lying there one second next thing he’s throwing up everywhere.
So I imagine that deep breathing because the diaphragm is pushing on the stomach. You definitely want to be- so how many hours away from food should we be?
[2:13:25] Jon Paul Crimi: You know look, the less you’ve eaten, the further you’re away from it the actually the bigger the experience will be. But if you’re someone who gets really lightheaded or dizzy or has low blood sugar then I would say two hours, three hours. Bring a bar or bring juice to have after the breathwork to take care of yourself. If you’re someone that can handle it that does fasting regularly then you’re fine. Do it fasted. My biggest experiences have been fasted. But listen, if you’ve never done this before and you’re not someone that fasts, don’t do that. Don’t fast all day and then do this big huge breathwork session. I mean, it’s too much too soon.
[2:14:10] Ashley James: The mismatches that are listening, the mismatchers who have to do what you tell them not to do are all going to do a seven-day fast and then start breathwork. The mismatchers, you’ve been warned.
 Jon Paul Crimi: They’re going to see God. They’re going to see God. They’re going to email me 50 emails after that.
[2:14:28] Ashley James: So take it slow. It sounds like the best time is first thing in the morning because you’re already coming out of a natural fast having not eaten for the last eight hours.
[2:14:37] Jon Paul Crimi: That’s right. That’s right. I do my classes often at night so people will hold off and they normally have dinner at five or six or seven and I’ll do my class at seven or 8:00 and they’ll be really hungry. Those are the class and they go have this big experience. Then they’ll go eat with their friends afterward. I would suggest at least two to three hours of an empty stomach.
[2:15:02] Ashley James: Very good. So your five-day class is on breathewithJP.com
[2:15:09] Jon Paul Crimi: Yup. Five Day Emotional Detox it’s called.
[2:15:11] Ashley James: Five Day Emotional Detox. The link to that and the link to everything Jon Paul does is going to be on the show notes of today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com. I want to have you back on the show after I’ve done the Five Day Emotional Detox. We should definitely have you back. We should keep diving into this topic. I think that this is incredibly valuable. My listeners are turning over stones and trying to figure out what am I eating? Am I eating things wrong or right? What am I doing? Should I be taking these supplements? Should I be taking these herbs? Should I be taking these classes? Should I be doing this or doing that? They’re turning over stones and this is the stone that 100% of the population should turn over.
[2:15:57] Jon Paul Crimi: Yup.
[2:15:58] Ashley James: Absolutely. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing. I definitely want to have you back. Is there anything you’d like to say to the listeners to complete today’s interview? Any homework you want to give or any final words that you’d like to impart upon us?
[2:16:15] Jon Paul Crimi: I think I just want to say that I think I already said it which is you’re worth it, show up and love yourself no matter what, no matter how hard things get. Everybody wants somebody to show up and love them for who they are, the way they are when they’re not loving themselves that way. We teach people how to love us. We show people how to love us by how we love ourselves. How we love ourselves is how we show up and do the hard work for ourselves. So show up and do the hard work for yourself because you’re worth it.
I want to say this little quote by Thich Nhat Hanh which is, “I have been repeating this to myself over with my hand on my heart and it is so healing. To love is to be there. We cannot love if we are not fully breathing into each moment. May we have the courage to open to each moment with a sense of curiosity. May we have the desire to show up for ourselves no matter what. May we put our hands in our hearts and speak in a gentle voice. Dear one, I am here for you. Dear one, I am here for you. Dear one, I am here for you. All my love.
[2:17:33] Ashley James: Jon Paul Crimi, thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. I can’t wait to have you back.
[2:17:39] Jon Paul Crimi: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. It’s been fabulous.
[2:17:43] Outro: Hello, true health seeker. Have you ever thought about becoming a health coach? Do you love learning about nutrition? And how we can shift our lifestyle and our diet so that we can gain optimal health and happiness and longevity. Do you love helping your friends and family to solve their health problems and to figure out what they can do to eat healthier? Are you interested in becoming someone who can grow their own business and support people in their success? Do you love helping people?
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