Do prescription meds cause more problems than they solve?
Watch any one of the incessant commercials from pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., and the laundry list of side effects is horrifying.
Joining me on the show today is Niraj Naik, a former pharmacist who has a lot to say on the subject.
With a history of working long hours, as a community pharmacist across the pond, Niraj witnessed first hand many clients going home with bags full of drugs each month, rarely getting better, and usually going on to suffer from other diseases.
Niraj left the pharmacy behind and is now known as The Renegade Pharmacist, helping others heal using natural treatments like Ayurvedic practices, dietary recommendations, meditation, yoga, and mind power techniques like self-hypnosis and NLP.
On top of that, Niraj is also a musician and is definitely into sound healing and breath work. You may have even heard his music, which is used by healing centres, spas, and therapists around the world.
On today’s show with Niraj, we’re chatting about:
- The benefits and science behind breathwork
- How to use natural supplements instead of prescription drugs
- The power of music in healing
- Mind training with words instead of drugs
- And tons more…
Alright, let’s go hang out with Niraj.
Niraj Naik: The Renegade Pharmacist
Abel: Alright, folks. Niraj Naik is the Renegade Pharmacist, as well as a musician and entrepreneur.
Niraj’s popular brainwave meditation music library is used by spas, healing centers and therapists worldwide.
Thanks so much for joining us from all the way across the pond, in Spain. Is that right?
Yeah, Barcelona right now. Absolute pleasure.
Abel: I’m so glad that we can do this, even though we had to reschedule. And now it’s getting late in the night for you.
I’m really excited to speak, because we have so many mutual interests.
But where I’d like to begin, I think, is where you were at 30 years old, not wanting to carry around a colonoscopy bag. I think that’s a good place to start.
Yeah, fantastic. It’s not the most sexy story in the world.
But basically I was a community pharmacist. I got very disillusioned with the profession.
Long story short, I ended up actually housebound with a chronic illness, called ulcerative colitis. And I was literally pooping blood 40 times a day, it was horrible.
And I was given two choices, “Either you go on a drug that hasn’t been tested before as a guinea pig, or have your colon removed.” Which means I would have had a colostomy bag.
And to be given that news at that age was just terrifying, and very, very disheartening.
So, they say God stands for “Gift Of Desperation.” So, I was actually in the most desperate point in my whole life.
And luckily someone came to my rescue, called Swami Ambikananda, a beautiful lady who runs one of the top yoga schools in the UK.
And I was very fortunate, because she basically said to me, “You actually have a gift, if you can heal yourself from this illness with all of your back story.”
I actually had a lot of success in the pharmacy, getting people off the medications and using diet and lifestyle changes to help them.
That’s a long story in itself, and it’s how I got named “The Renegade Pharmacist.”
Basically, I then had to go to work on myself. And she said that by learning the foundations of yoga, pranayama, Ayurveda, you should be able to get well.
“And you need to inspire many people who’ve been in a similar situation.” And she was completely right.
I followed her lead. I then went really deep into the subject myself.
I started to research people who had already cured themselves from this without medication. Started to look at what their lifestyle was like.
And it all came down to some simple ingredients, and it just fixed me within a few months.
Music was a big part of the healing journey, actually.
I kept falling in love with making music, especially this beautiful, therapeutic, relaxation music, which you find in some of these brainwave meditation tracks.
Because I come from a trance and dance music background, I decided to add my own flavor to it, and it became very popular.
And then lots of people around the world have since used it. So, it’s been amazing, a personal blessing.
Rockstar to Healing Music
Abel: So, as I understand—and I’m paraphrasing here—you started off wanting to be a rockstar, but you became a healer instead.
Yeah. But you could also say that, well the music I was into, this kind of euphoric dance music at the time, you could say it’s also like spiritual healing. People went to it like church.
Then, actually, the scene changed a bit, and it became very hedonistic, and a lot of alcohol got mixed into it.
But in the early days of the, now you call it EDM, but before the electronic music scene, there wasn’t much alcohol involved.
Without going on too much about it, the drugs were just so much better quality. It was the most spiritual awakenings that we had.
It was like going to church. And then it got kind of corrupted after a while, because then the culture became very mainstream.
The wrong people got involved, the money got to certain DJs’ heads, myself included, and became a victim of this kind of commercialization of music culture.
For three years, I used to run massive raves—2,000 capacity raves.
And then I lost everything, and ended up as a pharmacist. And I think it was to teach me a lesson.
I went from having a lot and a giant ego, to having nothing and being a slave to the pharmaceutical industry.
And it was an unbelievable wake-up call. But it was the best thing that happened, because I got a real good insight into the healthcare profession and what’s going on there.
Abel: It’s so interesting, the dichotomy between those worlds.
I can only imagine the spiritual, but also kind of drug-laden world of dance music culture, and then being a legal drug dealer.
Couldn’t get rid of the drugs.
Abel: But which one heals more? What are the pros and cons? Let’s talk about that a little bit.
Yeah, I couldn’t get away from the drugs. So yeah, I actually saw people go away with shopping bags full of drugs.
I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on in the beginning. And then I just had this deep intuitive sense that this whole system was a sham, something wasn’t right.
Because if you just put yourself in a position of this—being the Chief Marketing Officer of one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
What’s the biggest enemy to them, their profit, and their bottom line? It’s a cured patient.
Because once the patient’s cured, they don’t need their drugs anymore, so they’ve lost the customer.
So, they don’t want to cure people.
Basically, in a very short synopsis of the whole evolution of pharmaceutical industry—the early days, brilliant, they saved so many lives with Smallpox vaccines and things like that. Antibiotics. Great, brilliant.
Then what happened was they had been done with killing of these big bacteria infections and it was like, “Now what? What do we do now?” So they got involved with chronic health.
And chronic health such as heart disease, and arthritis, autoimmune conditions, all of these things cannot really be fixed by a drop.
But what you can do is you can treat the symptoms and that will give you the illusion that you’re getting better, or you’re better.
However, what will happen is, the drugs will stop working and they’ll create side effects, so you need more drugs.
And this way, you can create, as a pharmaceutical industry, a customer for life, who has a plethora of drugs.
That’s what a CMO would think like, obviously, because that’s your job, that’s how you going to think.
And it’s crazy, but that’s how people think.
Because us humans are being treated like cattle, but it’s the way it works.
I mean, if you really want to read a book on this that’s brilliant, by a psychiatrist. And actually mental health was one of the first industries they really went deep into, they literally created an industry of mental health.
With the early schizophrenic drugs, anti-schizophrenic drugs, which were produced from all kinds of chemicals, leftover chemicals from the chemical industry, and they all work together. They all work hand in hand.
But anyway, there’s a book called Pharmageddon. You should check it out, it’s a really good interesting book. You want to learn a lot about this.
Abel: With a P-H?
Abel: Got it.
Basically he had the end of the world through, you know it already, it’s like a lot of great facts about the pharmaceutical industry, and how they’ve grown into such giant organizations. And how they’ve pulled the wool over people’s eyes.
Buy anyway, I really suspected there was something going wrong and I just became more and more disillusioned.
I just saw people going away with shopping bags full of drugs. I was literally like on a conveyor belt dishing out pills every day.
So I wanted to do something about it, but I didn’t know what to do. I was very frustrated.
And then literally I got dragged by one of my best friends at the time, he was a doctor, funny enough, a psychiatrist, to a Tony Robbins event.
And I was like, “What? Are you serious? Tell me what is this nonsense?”
Anyway, I went to it, it was the best thing ever.
And the last day it was all about health and it was the first time I heard anyone talk about diet and nutrition for fixing diseases and getting into alternate states.
Like at University you don’t learn about it either.
So I thought, “Ah, you know what I’ll do? I’ll see if I can apply this knowledge to the patients and see if I can get them off the meds, see if it works, test Tony out.”
And I did. I would create these healthy shopping lists for people based on their conditions and I had amazing results.
However, it got me fired from my first job, for mismanaging the pharmacy.
But then it got me promoted to the head office of one of the biggest corporations in the world, and they loved this concept of healthy shopping lists.
We created this whole idea for a website, which would give out a healthy shopping list based on people’s conditions, and it would send groceries to their homes.
It would be really good for housebound patients and stuff like that, as well.
But unfortunately, six months into it, it all ended in disaster. This is where I was known as a renegade, because my ideas were quite controversial.
In a nutshell, I was basically saying I don’t eat factory-based foods.
But the majority of the profits of corporations, supermarket chains, is factory-based foods. So if it got popular, this concept, it would have been devastating to their profits.
I was very close to getting it through, but then, boom, I got so disillusioned, I got so depressed, I lost all my faith in humanity, God, everything.
I got hit with a chronic illness called Ulcer Colitis, and literally I was pooping blood 40 times a day. It was hell.
I just didn’t know what to do and that’s where I got given two options.
I had to be a guinea pig for a drug that hasn’t been tested yet or have my colon removed, and then I would have been in a colostomy bag.
And boom, luckily, came to the rescue, this lady. This yoga teacher who taught me the foundations of pranayama yoga and Ayurveda which just was transformational. It was amazing, yeah.
Abel: Why do you think it’s stuck then? What was the thing that you were ready for or why? Why was that the thing that made the rest of your life happen this way?
What? The getting sick?
Abel: Yeah, it’s almost like were you asking for it? Or were you ready for it? Or what happened?
So, there is a good friend of mine who’s called Marisa Peer and she’s one of the top hypnotherapists out there and we work quite a lot together.
Basically, she gave me a great understanding of the subconscious mind.
So if you imagine we are like two people in one body, we have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. And a human or an inner chimp that has been talked about in The Chimp Paradox book by Steve Peters, I think his name is.
Anyway, so what happens is that sometimes if you don’t listen to that voice inside your head, which is like a whisper, which is your whole brain.
Your whole brain is your gut, it’s your heart, it’s your head, it’s your sex, it’s all the endocrine glands, basically, that produce hormones that create feelings and emotions.
And if you stop listening to them, this gut instinct—if your heart is not in it, eventually, it will do something to you to give you what it is that you wanted.
And what I really wanted was a way out of my job, and instead what I did was I did a lot of dabbling to try and quit my job. But then I worked really hard, this time I worked really hard.
I was so frustrated with trying to prove to people that diet and nutrition and all these things are important, right, because people are so very much in the mainstream.
Even my own family, they just didn’t want to know, they just tell me I’m crazy.
But I think the subconscious mind gave me exactly what I needed, which was the chance to prove maybe I’m wrong. A year curing myself and it put me out of my job, and it forced me to go deep on what it is I really wanted to do and it gave me a lot of time.
It ticks so many boxes and it gave me exactly what I wanted, and it works out exactly like that, but I don’t wish that upon anyone.
I like to now help people before it gets to that point.
I want to help people get aligned with their inner world, aligned with their outer world in a way where they just go in the flow to where they want to go.
We have apps, we have computers, we have mobile phones that are more powerful than space station computers were, a few years—10, 20 years ago and literally, we have everything we need.
So, it’s at great abundance, wealth, health, happiness, everything. But yet, still, some people get overwhelmed with choice.
Now, we will have a big problem of too much choice. Where do we go?
What direction are we going? And distractions turns into procrastination, you know what?
There’s the law of attraction. There’s a law of action which is more important, but then, there’s also the law of distraction, and a lot of people are caught up in this. I was for a while.
And that’s what I’m trying to help people do, is take more action because that’s where the real success happens in people’s lives.
How To Get Started with Breathwork
Abel: And a simple way to do that, in the here and now, is through breathwork itself.
It’s pretty easy to go through life without ever thinking too much about your breath.
But I’ve asked a number of people, some of them coaches to professional athletes, others who more have your type of background. What is the most important thing?
And it always comes back to the breath and how it’s managed. And people might not realize that they’re breathing wrong.
That’s not exactly the right word, but can you speak a little bit to the power of breath and also perhaps a little bit of what we can do to improve our own practices?
Yes. So, what I learned from my swami, originally, was pranayama which means energy control.
This will be interesting for your listeners who are into keeping fit and healthy and having good stamina and endurance.
Basically, let’s go right to what that means. Prana means energy. Yama means control.
Prana and breath go hand in hand. Why is that? Because, imagine inside every single cell in your body, there’s a fire burning right now.
That’s your mitochondria. It’s like a furnace, alright. So, what happens when you breathe in, you breathe in oxygen. Oxygen goes in, binds to the red blood cells.
If there’s enough carbon dioxide gradient, the oxygen comes off the red blood cells, goes into the tissue cells and goes into the fire to burn glucose, and that’s how you produce energy.
And that energy, ATP, is actually light, it’s light energy. So, we are light.
Everything moves through us and communicates to us through light photon energy guided by ATP.
Now, so that means by controlling your breath and your rate of breath and your rhythm of breath, you actually control the inner fire, the fire within your mitochondria and the amount of energy you produce.
Now, this is super-important, ok? There’s a lot of research going on now into mitochondrial function and a lot of people are saying that this is the foundation of your health.
And as soon as mitochondrial function goes out, I think it can lead to all kinds of problems and diseases and fatigue and brain fog, and all that.
So, let’s just go into that and why the breath affects us.
What the yogis figured out was, actually, oxygen is our friend and our enemy at the same time.
Obviously, we need oxygen to produce the energy. However, too much oxygen leads to too much fire and just like California, too much oxygen by over-breathing or too much wind, California gets all these wildfires, right?
The same thing goes on inside.
If you have too much air, if you over-breathe, it produces too much fire which leads to a free radical production, and that free radical production can actually damage the DNA and cause early cell death and aging and degenerative disease and even cancer by creating the mutations in the DNA.
So, what the yogis figured out was actually it’s all about controlling it and becoming efficient in using oxygen.
It’s so efficient that the less oxygen you need, the less you breathe. It means you live longer, and they observe animals.
The animals that breathe very fast, they live not a very long time, like rodents.
But the animals that are very slow breathers, they have very much longer longevity.
So like elephants and animals like all that, humans as well, we have the ability to control our breath consciously, which is very unique.
If we give up our control, so our autonomic nervous system, which most people do, which is what controls everything that happens on autopilot, then under stress the reptilian brain senses danger and it kicks in fight-or-flight response, which puts us into a state of action to either fight or to run away.
This was very useful in the olden days when we were in jungles.
So when we’re in the jungle, we’re surrounded by lions, tigers and bears, right? That was our threat in nature.
And if they came, we’d run away or we would attack and it would give us a relief once we’d gotten rid of the stressor. So the nervous system calmed down.
Fast forward now, we’re in concrete jungles, and we’re surrounded by different forms of stresses—which are instead of lions, tigers, and bears—deadlines, bills, bosses, relationships that aren’t working out, guilt, envy, jealousy, the fear of the news and media, all of that stuff bombarding us all day long.
So the fight-or-flight response is always as strong and we don’t get a chance to turn it off. And that means that we’re pumping adrenaline and cortisol, which shrinks arteries and causes vasoconstriction.
So, basically, we can’t just rush out and stab our boss or whatever like that, even though we really feel like it.
We really want to attack or run away from our job or our relationship, we can’t. And we come home and we’re stressed out. We go to work, we’re stressed out.
So there’s no off switch to stress. We’re not given that off switch to stress.
The yogis figured out the off switch to stress, right? And it’s super simple. It has to do with breathing.
So first, to summarize, we need to make our mitochondria as efficient as possible so we breathe less.
Secondly, we have to find an off switch to stress so we don’t over-breathe, because that sympathetic response actually creates a demand for energy, an extra set of energy even, because we’re not physically using it up.
But the emotional stress creates the same chemistry in the body as physical stress.
So the off switch to stress is the exhale. When you exhale, you stimulate parasympathetic nervous system, which is the opposite of the sympathetic.
When you inhale, you stimulate sympathetic, right? So when you breathe out longer than you breathe in, you turn off the stress response.
Now, if you do rhythmic breathing, if you breathe in for two and out for four, or you double your exhalation time, breathe in for four or out for eight in a rhythm.
I’ve got really deep into doing with music and stuff, and that’s what we call Soma Breath. You can actually quickly switch off the stress.
I use an app called SweetBeat HRV, which allows me to measure the sympathetic levels and the parasympathetic levels. And you’ll see it switch within a minute, you’re going to be into a calm, relaxed nervous system state.
And this lasts a long time. I’ve done experiments where I did it with my friend, and then I was like going, “Whoa!”, like that to try and shock him.
And it was really hard to get him back into a sympathetic response, and he was just more calm and relaxed.
So, this two-four rhythm is amazing and it puts you into a healing mode, rest and digest mode.
So, doing that for a few minutes a day, like when you’re digesting your food or when you want to go to sleep because it’s rest and digest. You use it for when you’re resting and you’re digesting, it will change your life.
It will change your life forever because you’ll finally get to sleep.
You’ll finally get to digest the food without getting indigestion and heartburn and all that stuff. That alone will dramatically be an impact in your life.
Abel: That’s important because so often people get caught up in the food that you’re eating, but in fact the state that you’re eating food in can be so much more important than even the food.
Abel: So let’s talk a little bit more about that. We know that there are solutions and oftentimes it’s just a little bit of targeted breathing, right? But let’s talk about that a little.
Yeah. So obviously to digest your food, you need to produce the right enzymes and you have to be in the right state, which is the parasympathetic state.
Most people, unfortunately, and I was one of those people when I was in the pharmacy, we would have like five minutes really to have to ourselves to have lunch.
So in that five minutes, I went to McDonald’s and got back to my desk, right?
And that was my window of opportunity to get my lunch, and then you’re bam, bam, bam, prescriptions, prescriptions, prescriptions, eating, eating, eating.
So how is that healthy? I mean, first you’re eating junk, and then you’re eating under stress.
So, every day I was getting heartburn and indigestion, and it was no wonder that this took its toll eventually. And this is common. This is not just me.
Alright? So just by having a few minutes just to breathe in through your nose.
So, nose breathing is super important. And another thing you can do is breathe in and breathe out very slowly like you’re breathing out through a straw, and that alone will just make you feel calm, more relaxed, more focused, more present.
And another thing you can do, which is actually very effective, is to use the chant “Aum.”
Aum is actually three syllables: A-U-M.
And actually, the yogi, the very ancient Rishis, they encoded the secrets of how to live your life, which actually the method is called Tantra.
Tan means body, tantra means—it’s basically all the methods of making and having the best life that you can through your body, through action, through your physical world.
So, yoga is a philosophy—the mind, the how to think, and the tantra is the doing, the action, to have the best life.
It’s like the ancient biohackers, that’s what they created, it was Tantra and Yoga.
Now, in there they came up with these metaphorical stories. So the gods, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva or Shivam, were the gods, the three supreme deities.
So, Brahma is the supreme creator. And actually, the tone is very important. Brah-ma-aa.
So, the Aum is actually three syllables: A-U-M, okay? So when you say Aum, you’re going to say those syllables in turn and make a vibration.
So Brah-ma-aa, Brahma means creator, the god of creation.
And if you look, all of the creative parts of the body that creation happens is just sex and your digestive system.
And if you go “Aaa,” you’ll feel a vibration down here. “Aaa,” okay?
Then the next god is Vishnu, the preserver, okay? “Oo, oo,” and that’s the second syllable in Aum, A-U.
Okay, so if you go “oo” you’ll feel the vibration there.
If you just do it, you’ll feel it, okay? And the idea is that you move energy up through the body.
So if you go, “Aaa-oo,” you can actually feel the energy goes up.
It goes from your sex to your digestive glands into your heart, alright?
Then the third, to complete the cycle, is Shivam, “Mmm, mmm,” like that. It’s the humming sound.
So if you go “Mmm” like that, okay, you can even accentuate the humming by putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth to go “Mmm,” like that.
So “Aaa-oo-mmm,” you’ll feel the vibration moves up through the body, alright?
That, just doing rounds of that is so therapeutic because a lot of us store stress.
When we’re very scared, what do we do? When we’re fearful, when we’re stressed, we’re angry, we’re not happy, we store a lot of energy.
We’re creating a lot of fire. Our sexual energy, especially when we’re younger, we’re full of fire and we just want to do things.
But that can make us get distracted and get ADHD and go all over the place and lose control of the mind.
So, to bring the mind into harmony. Chitta vritti nirodha is the sutras for what yoga stands for, which is bring peace to the mind, calm the mind, bring peace to it, control of the mind, basically.
So, one of the most powerful ways of doing that is what we just did there is the, “Aaa-oo-mmm.”
And you just breathe like that in a rhythm, making those vibrations, and it calms all the nervous system down and it moves all that sexual energy up to a higher purpose, to the higher consciousness, which is your third eye, a pineal gland, your mid-brain, which is the sea of awareness.
And through this, we can actually transmit energy from down here up to here, and use it for a more worthwhile pursuit like creativity, music, arts.
I mean, if you take away all of the art and music from the planet, what have humans really done on this planet that’s worthwhile, really?
Abel: That is a good question.
Nothing else, nothing else, nada.
This is why I believe that we are all natural creators, we’re all natural artists, all of us are.
We all have it inside ready to unlock and by us we’ll become more creative and less robotized and conditioned.
We can actually create works of art and genius and things that will leave a mark on the planet.
And now, it’s easier than ever before to do this. We need to get creative now because there’s so many problems going on in the world that we need to solve.
So, it’s time that we all stepped up.
The Healing Power of Music and Art
Abel: Yeah. I love that. So, music and art can be used to heal, but you mentioned earlier kind of the, at least, EDM scene being co-opted or driven in the wrong direction, too.
In fact, the most popular music today is more like junk food for the brain, right?
Abel: So, maybe you could speak a little bit to that, because a lot of people kind of know that, but they still listen to pop music in the car.
You know it’s not enough to actually change the behavior.
So, help me convince people that it’s worth it to actually try to nourish your mind with music and art.
Well, I’m very fortunate. I was best friends with one of the top music agents in the world, music managers involved, like Safta Jaffery, sadly died, but he always told me one thing.
He managed the band called Muse. Have you heard of Muse?
Abel: Oh, sure. Yeah.
Yeah, he discovered them and made them super famous. I know a lot of super bands like Radiohead and all that were produced by his company.
But anyway, so he was a great mentor, but he always said to me one thing, “You just have to be really honest.”
He says, “People are not honest enough about what they like. Too many people just like things because someone else does.”
Right? And it’s very easy to brainwash people on a mass scale.
If you look at YouTube, there’s so much bad, hypnotic language, rap and mumble rap music out there.
They have insane views, like billions of views.
But there’s nothing intellectually stimulating by any of that stuff, but they have billions of views, and I know from an insider that they inflate the views to push records out.
And if you’re constantly bombarding kids with, “This is obviously cool because billions of people have watched it,” then you’re going on a mainstream because the mainstream has a herd mentality, unfortunately.
It just does. They follow what’s popular. You can make something popular that you want.
And then through that, you can actually literally create a bad culture.
Bad cultures have problems. They have drug addictions. They get sick easier, all sorts of problems.
They need more policing, they need everything. They need looking after, and that means money.
And this may be my own little conspiracy theory, but I think it makes sense that why else would there be so much? I don’t believe human beings really like this stuff. I don’t think they do.
I think they’re really liking it because of a phenomenon I call FOFO, the Fear Of Fitting Out. And it all comes down to tribe mentality.
Now a thousand years ago, in the tribe, if you didn’t fit into the tribe and you were excluded, you were pretty much dead.
Right? You’re done. You’re not going to reproduce.
And I think over time people, the weird ones, got excluded and they went off and formed new tribes ,and then we had different cultures and that’s how cultures spread. But ultimately there’s still that problem where nowadays, as I said, we live in concrete jungles.
It’s not different. We’re still tribal.
We still do so many things and I know I did a lot as a young kid—15, 16 years old or even younger—to fit in.
But if I was to take a step back, the stuff that I used to do to fit in was so stupid, so stupid, like piercing a hole in a beer can and doing a funnel.
Abel: Oh, yeah.
Just funneling booze into your belly within a second.
Abel: Oh yeah. We did that over here, too.
I mean, it’s ridiculous. It’s crazy stuff. But you do it to be cool and to fit in with everyone.
Abel: Sure. I’ve seen it in the movies.
You’ve seen it, right? And I think that’s what’s driving the bad taste in the world. But the thing is, it’s all good.
I’m not here to tell anyone that one piece of music is healing and therapeutic versus another.
But what I will say is that you just got to be honest, like, “What is it that you really like?”
And when you unravel the conditioning, which is so hard to do with people these days, because the societal pressure is so strong.
But when you usually unravel it, there’s some commonality starts to emerge, which is pleasant chord sequences, like melodies that are timeless.
There are certain bands that are timeless. Everyone loves them. Like most people, a majority—and they’ve gone a little bit.
Like where are all the cool bands that used to be around? Like Pink Floyd. Where is the new Pink Floyd? It’s all gone, it’s all turned into a different type of industry.
But there are some songs. You just know. You know, you hear it, everyone likes it, you can’t help but like it.
There’s like a lot of Indian music. So original Indian classical music, where the raga was actually a vibration. And you’re listening to it and it just tingles your spine.
When you hear the singing and the way it just all goes together with the music and the musicianship and the rhythms and the polyrhythms, it just blows your mind.
And I don’t think that anyone honestly could say that they don’t like some of that stuff, the ancient old classical stuff. It’s timeless.
Even like Mozart, some of his symphonies, and all coaches have this rich classical music, and now if you look, a lot of the EDM stuff is borrowing melodies from the olden days and re-mixing it with cool beats, which is cool. I love that.
And there’s a lot more emergence now of really good music. There’s a lot of amazing music, but there is still a lot of absolute crap.
Like, what’s his name? Drake—oh my god, don’t get me started with Drake.
Abel: I agree. Well, of course, don’t get me started either. I’m sure a lot of people will turn this right off.
I know. I know.
Abel: But so dance and music, they’re not just arts that are supposed to be taught in schools. These are historically ancient parts of our spiritual beings, right?
These aren’t things that we just pop on something in the car, listen to commercials in between.
I mean, it can be that, but it can be much more powerful than that, too.
And maybe you can help speak to some of the people out there who are not musicians, because a lot of music healing—to me anyway—isn’t just what you’re listening to out there, it’s actually participating in the creation yourself.
Abel: How could you egg on some listeners who might not have practiced their creative side in a while?
Alright, to get more creative. Well, you know what, a lot of people have to undo things.
So, school has a great habit of putting people off art because they teach things in such a bad way.
I was so lucky in my school that my music teacher was awesome.
She did not teach us anything technical, and she really didn’t want me to learn the technical stuff and to become this person who just played, like a jukebox plays other people’s songs.
She really encouraged me to compose. It was amazing that she did that, because I could have easily become corrupted.
I have friends who are amazing piano players. Amazing. But they can’t compose a sheet.
And I’ve sat with some people who’ve been like that and I’ve broken their mold a bit.
And actually, I hate to say it like this, but a good hit of a vape pen. A good dose of that.
Abel: Renegade pharmacist returns.
I’m telling you, man. Just sitting, and just forgetting everything you’ve been taught, and just going and playing from the heart.
Abel: Wow, yeah.
And so, you’ve got to get into the body.
And I’ve been good with some, like the guy who wrote a lot of their music with me, in the early days, he was one of these people, he couldn’t compose the sheet.
And I encouraged him, I encouraged him every day.
I would basically say, “Look, you know you’ve got it in you. I think you just need another hit.”
And then he would get a little bit higher and then suddenly, he would lose. The conscious mind will go, and then he would go into the flow state.
He would be speaking from the heart, and that’s where you got to get to. Because you got to go into the different levels of the brain.
The brain in our head is very analytical and it will always criticize you. Or will always tell you you’re not good enough to be like Mozart, because really, Mozart’s freakin’ amazing.
So, it’s rationally actually a good point that it’s making, but ultimately actually it’s all subjective.
So, what is considered good? Somebody might think Mozart sucks and might love your little composition that you just made.
It’s like getting people out of the comfort zone and just really—that’s why with me, I was very, very fortunate.
I literally just was very good at just going with the flow and getting in and experimenting and just even if it was weird, like sounding horrible.
One way would be I would listen to music that I really like and I’d start jamming along with it and coming out with other melodies on top of their melodies and their chord sequences.
And maybe take some inspiration, take some grooves from some pieces and then adding to it.
It’s all about mixing in, becoming really good at one thing and then being really good at another area and then fusing them together to create another offspring.
It’s like marrying two skills to create a new offspring out of it. So yeah, these are sort of little tricks that I’ve picked up along the way.
Abel: Well, these skills do start to help eachother and to mention the vape pen, that’s number one, like a highly shamanic event, historically.
That’s kind of how it was done with, not a vape pen but plant medicine of some kind to get into a trance state where you’re no longer self-monitoring or in that self-critical state and you’re just letting, for lack of a better term, energy flow through you, whatever that means to what you’re doing.
And so I think your point is really well taken, but also one of the things that we’ll do is even simpler.
We’ll just dance around like silly children sometimes, when we’re just like, “We’re way too serious right now.”
Feeling bogged down, like you almost feel of it that you’re carrying on your back. And then just being as silly as you can for just a few minutes, moving your body, kind of shaking it out.
That’s also like a historically shamanic event. That was something we got from our culture and gave to our culture and kind of breathed in and out as just part of our natural lives.
So we almost need to re-insert this artificially, or at least intentionally—this breathing, dance, music, but especially the participation and even creation of all this ourselves—I think seems so important.
The Soma Breath Technique
While we’re talking about breathing and creativity, one of my very, very profound methods is the signature Soma Breath Technique, we call it awakening.
It literally changes your brain and it makes you more creative, if you put the intention towards it, by the process of how it works.
I can explain to you a bit about how that works.
Abel: Yeah, go for it.
Yeah, so the most revered technique of all—well, there’s two foundational techniques in pranayama—rhythmic breathing, breathing in a rhythm, and kumbhaka, which is breath retention.
In fact, another word for pranayama is kumbhaka. Kumbhaka is such a cornerstone of it, but nobody talks about it, and that’s holding your breath.
And when you hold your breath for a long enough period of time, what happens is it triggers this positive stress response in the body.
This is the part to do with making mitochondria more efficient. That kumbhaka technique really helps make mitochondria more efficient, okay?
But what it does is by its mechanism, when you hold your breath and your lower oxygen, you create the state called hypoxemia.
What that does is it triggers a cascade of reactions and hormones you produce.
Nitric oxide gets reduced, you get more vasodilation, carbon dioxide rises, and all the blood vessels dilate in your body and you get more blood flow to your brain.
And this is the amazing thing. When you get more blood flow to the brain, because the brain is the one organ that really needs the most oxygen, and if you’re lowering your oxygen, you’re holding your breath for over a minute thirty or longer, you literally start to wake up dormant parts of the brain.
And this is when, with the power of intention, you can actually, with visualization techniques, enhance the neurogenesis of the brain.
They’ve done some crazy experiments already, which shows the power of intention and how the brain works.
They had one group of people play a piano piece and they just learned a piano piece off by heart. And that was actually playing the piano, and they scanned their brains.
And then they got another group and they just got them to visualize playing that same piece over and over and over again, but not actually play it.
And guess what happened?
When they mapped their brains, they found the same changes in the brain.
So just by using visualization techniques, power of intention, we can change the brain.
But when you add on top this kumbhaka techniques and the rhythmic breathing part, which optimizes blood flow from the heart to the brain, massive change can happen to the brain.
So you can actually, I believe, hack creativity at the cellular level.
Abel: Wow. I dig that. I’m definitely going to try that after this one.
Oh, totally, man. Totally.
Where to Find Niraj Naik
Abel: Well, we could talk all night but we’re just about out of time. But Niraj, I want to give you a chance to tell folks what you’re working on and where they can find you, as well.
Well, that’s one of the things I’m working on is the somabreath.com, you should definitely go there, sign up for the webinar.
I talk a lot about the science of breathwork, yoga, the legend of soma, where I got all this stuff from, and the ways you can influence your autonomic nervous system at will.
You have conscious control over your involuntary systems, which we’ve been educated out of. And then you get experience of the soma awakening experience, which is this amazing breathing ritual which makes profound changes in the brain.
And then we have a course called the 21 Day Protocol, which is a super powerful protocol program over 21 days led by an instructor, very powerful.
And then you can actually become an instructor yourself, if you want. We’ve got over 140 instructors in the world now in just a year, which is amazing.
So we’re growing and it’s becoming a great phenomenon. My aim is to get Pranayama into yoga studios. It’s massive missing component in yoga. And yoga’s kind of lost to some of its value.
Well, it’s meaning and purpose become very asana, fitness-led, when really, it’s a very powerful tool for getting connected with yourself.
And so I want to add pranayama back in and really make people understand the true yoga.
And we have this amazing system which ties in which eachother with between The Renegade Pharmacist and Soma Breath with the supplements, nutrition—and it’s basically a lifestyle that we’ve created for our instructors, so it’s really cool.
Abel: That’s wonderful, I love that you do so many different things. It’s a great example for all those people watching and listening out there and all those people who are just coming up in the world.
Because with a few deep breaths, you can do a lot more than you ever thought possible.
Yeah. Yeah, and it’s really, as I said, it’s about mastering a couple of skills, joining together to create something new. That’s creativity.
So what are you going to do. Or you’re going to master a couple of skills. It could be marketing and piano.
Put them together and you may become an amazing piano teacher online or something. I don’t know, just throwing those ideas out there.
Abel: Well thank you so much, I really appreciate you taking the time.
Cool, man. Fantastic. Love it, peace.
Before You Go…
Let’s share a quick review that came in for The Wild Diet from Christine. She says:
“Purchased two copies of this book. Gave one to my two sons. In the past three months, since starting Abel’s wild methods, we have all lost weight and improved our health. All the food tastes fantastic.”
Christine, thank you so much for writing in and sharing this with your family. That is a major accomplishment.
Let me say, families and people close to you in general can sometimes be the toughest people to get on board with healthy habits, especially around eating where people can be very territorial.
What people choose to eat and not to eat is a very personal thing. And I think at its best, for many people, it can also be a very spiritual thing.
So kudos to you for getting your family involved, and I’m really glad that you’re enjoying it.
But even more than that, I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying the food and the recipes. Because I think getting lost in the shuffle of all the new trends in science and health and nutrition, a lot of people forget how to go in the kitchen and make simple, good foods.
Homemade cookies are a staple in our household. Breads, cakes, pies, pancakes, all sorts of things can be made with real food.
And they’re better for you 99% of the time when you make them at home with real food.
You’ll learn the longer you do this, that one of the most essential and critical things to staying healthy for the rest of your life is knowing how to be prepared—being prepared for your next road trip, business trip, birthday party.
Have backup plans for when things really go sideways for those worldwide global pandemics, making sure you have enough food and supplies.
A little bit of preparation can go a long way, but you can still make survival foods and camping foods taste great and be great for you.
As long time listeners know, my wife and I have traveled around the world and around the country, living out of RVs for periods of time, sometimes backpacking—you can make it work.
It definitely takes effort to keep your health and especially to eat well in times that are uncertain, and places that are weird that you’re not used to—it’s difficult, but you can make it happen.
Now, dear listener, how about you? How are you doing?
I hope you’re doing well, but if you’re not, and you have a question please get in touch.
Drop me an email through the newsletter, you can just reply to the email I’ll send to you with some free bonus goodies.
Let me know what you’re struggling with, let me know who you’d like me to interview next on this show, what you’d like us to talk about.
And if you have experienced results, please join our community, let us know how you’re doing. I always appreciate your reviews, your emails, and every other way that you get in touch and support this show.
Now, if you’d like to try The Wild Diet yourself, I have some very good news. We’re making a lot of improvements behind the scenes.
If you’re looking for quick results, if you want to lose a little fat around the middle, if you’re getting curves where you don’t want them, if you’re not performing at the level that you’d like, or if you’d like to clean up your diet a little bit and maybe get back to working out, especially at-home workouts that will do you good, then make sure to check out our Wild30 Fat Loss System.
Here’s what you have to look forward to in that program—we’ll show you how to reprogram your metabolism to go from sugar burner to fat burner, which speeds fat loss.
We’ll also tell you how to deal with some of the problems that a lot of people experience when they make that transition.
You don’t need to slave on a treadmill for hours, you can lose weight with much less time using our quick Wild 7-minute workouts.
That said, if you want to exercise or eat in a very particular way, we can also support you there.
You don’t need to obsess yourself, though, with eating six meals a day or counting calories or counting any sort of points or anything like that. It’s much more intuitive and we’re here to help.
No ridiculous workouts, calorie counting or gloom required.
If you are ready to start shedding stubborn fat while eating delicious food, grab our 30-day program for a limited time discount.
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You’ll also get the best Choconut Cookie recipe in the entire galaxy.
Just reply to it as well with your question, as I said before, and I’ve had a lot of fun reading those recently.
It’s a wacky new world, in this new decade that we’re dealing with here.
But before I babbling on too much here, I also just want to mention one more thing that’s really exciting.
We regularly do a lot of challenges with our community, we do giveaways, and we just had a big one where we gave away thousands of dollars in Wild Superfoods goodies, and over 13,000 of my books, many of them cookbooks.
We also gave away thousands of my brand new book Designer Babies Still Get Scabies, which is now a #1 International Bestseller in Humor.
So make sure that you’re signed up for the newsletter.
We also gave away a Smart Grill. We’ve given away drones before, and even 360-degree cameras. We gave away thousands of dollars in goodies and health supplements from Wild Superfoods.
So if you want to join our next giveaway, make sure that you’re signed up for the newsletter, and we’ll hook you right up.
And also, if you want our favorite health supplements in the world and you want to support this show, then visit wildsuperfoods.com.
It’s a very good time to boost your immune system and stock up essential nutrients.
We’re offering lots of good deals on Vitamin D Stack, on our Mega Omegas, on Future Greens—which if you want to know what that is, it’s shelf-stable fruits and vegetables that can get you through any apocalypse.
If your access to healthy foods may be a little bit limited at some point in the future, you’re on a road trip, or you’re shut in, or whatever, check out Future Greens.
We’ve got over a dozen superfoods that we’ve eaten and tested and tried and worked into our daily routine for years now.
We trust our supplements with our family’s health, with our community’s health, and we hope that you enjoy them, too.
So if you’d like to support this show, check out our tasty Future Greens concoction. We’ve heard from quite a few folks that their kids love the deliciousness of Future Greens.
And actually, right now you can save over $128 off the Ultimate Daily Bundle from Wild Superfoods.
What did you think of this conversation with Niraj Naik? Drop a comment below!