In this episode, my long-time friend and former fitness trainer (and currently my holistic health coach) Ambrose WB, returns for a second season of The Brave Bear Show.
Ambrose and I talk about what he’s been up to since quitting personal training in 2013 (or as Ambrose calls it “breaking up with 30 women at the same time”) to working for a non-profit organization serving underprivileged youth to a number of other amazing projects—including the work he is most passionate about now: mental performance coaching.
Towards the end of the conversation, Ambrose candidly shares what life was like after contracting The COVID. And we close up the conversation with a simple and effective breathing technique you can use when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or need to slow down.
(If you missed Ambrose on Season 1 of The Brave Bear Show, go check it out here.)
Listen on Apple Podcasts (coming soon)
Coaching and training are different things. When I train people, I give them the weights and wipe down the bench. I make my client feel the same way they would as if they were at a beauty salon. With coaching, it’s my job to ask you the right questions and to have the knowledge, expertise and experience to get you there. It’s more of a relationship that is longer term versus a training to learn a thing. – Ambrose WB
What I thought success looked like was not working for me. I did the thing they told me: be a good kid in school, get good grades, play more than one sport, volunteer, go to college—I even played football in college with a fraternity and got two degrees. Then, first thing out of college, I couldn’t get a job. – Ambrose WB
I teach students and parents and educators how to use their breathing to regulate their stress and to regulate their emotions. – Ambrose WB
I think that what I’ve learned [from getting COVID-19] is how to become detached and have dispassion. – Ambrose WB
After doing meditation and silent retreats, sitting in uncomfortability I’m getting better at. – Ambrose WB
Be compassionate with people. You might see someone wearing their mask in their car. Now I know why people do that. Let’s say I borrow your car and we live in the same household; I don’t wear my mask because I’m worried about catching it, I don’t want you getting it. Don’t judge other people. What we choose to do is not only for us, but also for other people. – Ambrose WB
(To watch the mini lesson, go to timestamp 32:37 on the video or click here.)
A Version of Straw Breath
This is a really simple, practical technique you can do at any moment, especially for those who say they can’t meditate.
Use your lips as if you’re breathing through a small coffee straw. Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs. Breathe out the small hole through your lips making the exhale as long as possible.
- Sit straight in your chair or wherever you are.
- Put your feet flat on the floor to get grounded.
- No special need for hand postures. I like my palms up on my lap or on the desk in front of me.
- If you can, close your eyes. If you’re unable, then lower your eyes.
- Become aware of your natural breathing pattern right now.
- Surrender to any craving to change how you are right now.
- Whatever your breath is doing, let it go.
- Become aware of your body again, not to change anything. Just become aware.
- To begin, take a deep breath in through your nose filling your lungs.
- Make a small hole through the lips and breathe out slowly for a long time.
- That’s one round, complete five more rounds at your own tempo by breathing in deep and out through your lips.
- Keeping all your focus on your breath.
- If you become distracted, don’t worry, just take a deep breath in.
- Start your last breath.
- As you complete that last round, relax your breath again, eyes still closed, relax your body for a few moments.
- Become aware of your feet on the ground, your body on your chair, your physical body and your space around you.
- Begin to rub your hands together nice and warm.
- Bring your palms over your cheeks covering your eyes.
- Slowly and gradually, in your own time, begin to open your eyes.
Ambrose coaches three things: moving better, eating better and breathing better. You can find him pretty much everywhere on the internet, just search for “Ambrose WB” wherever you prefer to be social.
SKY Schools: This program teaches stress management and motion regulation techniques primarily through breathing over a socio-emotional lens. If you’re a parent or an educator attached to a school or community center, connect with Ambrose to learn more about what SKY School does and for a free production session.
Let’s Breathe Together: This organization, founded by Ronny Thompson, was started amidst the social unrest with the recent death of George Floyd. In addition to teaching people how to breathe, Ronny also created the “Let’s Breathe Together” T-shirt Ambrose is wearing in this video. If you want a “Let’s Breathe Together” T-shirt, connect with Ambrose here or me here.
Mental Performance Mastery: This is Ambrose’s coaching program offering you the tools, strategies, and practical know-how to overcome obstacles, achieve long-term success, and be at your best. Ambrose is offering a FREE event on Wednesday. For more information, go here.