Sep 20, 2022
The breath found me. My philosophy around breathwork is that it
is opening us up to be conduits for life, love, and spirit to flow
through us. - Gwen Payne
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Wellness + Wisdom Episode 471
Founder of, “Breath is Prayer” and “Inspired Sedona”, Gwen Payne, shares what skills every breathwork
facilitator needs, her own breathwork training experience + why
she's a student for life, why death can be our greatest advisor and
how to listen to your own authentic guidance system.
What actually blocks people from letting go of their
stress, anxiety, and negative emotions?
By the end of this episode, you will have a full
understanding of how ancient breathwork turns your
body into a conduit for healing depression and generational
Listen To Episode 471 As Gwen Payne Uncovers:
[1:30] What's Blocking Our Ability to Move Past Anxiety?
- Gwen Payne
- Inspired Sedona
- Gwen's Gift to You!
- How Josh and Gwen met for the first time in Sedona, Arizona
when he went there to do a training with Carrie.
- What it's been like for Gwen to be back in Austin, Texas after
about 40 years since she last visited it.
- The fact that Gwen was actually conceived in Austin and that's
why it felt like home for her when she visited it in 1983.
- Unpacking how we can allow ourselves to be and feel more
free in our skin.
- How growing up in a Mediterranean culture where differences are
celebrated allows Gwen to see how homogenous American culture and
identity are all over the
- What Gwen's 'Breath is Prayer' medicine is and how it helped
Josh let go of held-back emotions.
- Why experience is vital if you're going to facilitate and hold
space as you lead a breathwork ceremony.
- The fact that the average adult is only using 30% of their lung
- Why sometimes people are so triggered and afraid by the idea of
doing the inner work that they don't even begin it.
- Exploring the deeply embedded thought in our psyche that
everything we need is outside of ourselves when that isn't
- Why we are so afraid to authentically express ourselves out of
fear of being punished.
[10:40] The Core of Behavioral Dysfunction
- What microtrauma
is and how Josh did it to himself when he would watch porn or not
speak his truth when he was a child.
- Why energy from trauma doesn't just go away; it
- Unpacking the core of dysfunction: being out of alignment with our natural way of
- Why freedom is something that we already have and how we can
unblock ourselves to obtain it.
- The moments of freedom that Gwen has experienced and
witnessed in others while doing breathwork.
- Why just doing breathwork is not enough; the release it gives
us is fleeting and so it must be practiced consistently to help us
feel free and in alignment.
- The fact that it takes 90 seconds for an emotion to move
through us + what it is about our psyche that blocks them.
- Going beyond the intellectualization of our healing to focus on
- 249 SOMA Breath For Less Stress:
- 410 Mark Divine | Positive
Neurodiversity: Kokoro Spirit, The 5 Mountains For Inner Peace,
& How To Fulfill Your Potential
- Why Gwen was the only breathwork teacher that made Josh feel
like he could teach other people.
[20:00] The Art of the Breath: What Skills a Facilitator
- What to expect when working with Gwen both in groups and
- The embodied learning that people go
through when they do Gwen's breathwork facilitator program.
- Differences between feeling ready to practice breathwork
compared to facilitating a session.
- What the best training she ever did was and why she did
trainings for 3.5 years before becoming a facilitator.
- The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood - The Passion
- Common breathing mistakes we're making without even realizing
it including holding our breath (especially exhales) for
extended periods of time.
- The fact that more and more people are turning to breathwork as
we experience more stress as a collective.
- How to go about selecting a breathwork program according to
- Why it's so important to be a facilitator who creates such a
safe space for participants that
no matter what comes up, they can be there and support the people
participating in the session.
- What usually comes up for people when they do breathwork and
why trauma is present in various ways from
crying and shaking to laughter or coughing.
- Gwen's own intense breathwork moment with a client and why it
could've been an ego stripping or something from
his past being let go.
[34:20] We'll Always Be a Student of Life
- Josh Trent: Solocast | Healing The
Father Wound, 100+ Hours Fasting, Vision Questing + Being Alone
With Mother Nature’s Wisdom
- The best way to use breath to assist an emotion as it makes its way through the
body in 90 seconds.
- Why having an open mouth during breathwork makes such a
difference because there is a lot of control held within the
- The fact that we can never fully become a master at anything
until we accept that we are a student.
- Gwen's thirst for always growing, learning, and becoming
an even better breathwork facilitator and trainer.
- Her experience growing up in North Africa in an
atheist/agnostic household and why it was the most educational and
informative experience for her.
- Why both Josh and Gwen feel like they didn't find the power of breathwork, it found
- The fact that Gwen's great aunt was a spiritual teacher ever
since her early 20s and how that influenced her mother.
- What a Sufi retreat is and what most people
get wrong about sufism.
- Where and when Gwen was first introduced to breathwork for the
first time in her life.
[45:00] How to Listen to Your Own Authentic Guidance
- Gwen's experience attending Stanford and the pressure she felt
to go since her parents both went there and chose the professor
- The trauma that Gwen experienced in her upbringing and why
being there with her parents while they were in hospice impacted her heart the
most and that's when she really found her grit.
- Her experience being a single mother and fighting for her
children in different ways.
- How breathwork and other inner work practices have helped her
shift her trauma and difficult experiences into something that has
made her stronger.
- Why she strongly believes that we all need mentors and even
multiple ones to help us develop.
- Who she turned to for help and support when she didn't receive
that from her family.
- Why a person cannot do something like what Gwen does without
going through a continuous healing process themselves.
[55:30] The Breath is Prayer Experience
[1:01:00] Why Death Can be Our Greatest Advisor
- Exploring the concept of death and how sometimes Josh and
Gwen have experienced unique "death-like" out-of-body sensations
during breathwork and for Josh also Ayahuasca
- Why the idea of death as her advisor has been a philosophy for
Gwen for many years.
- The powerful exercise she did in which she was told death was
coming and she had to prepare by writing letters to people and her
- Lessons that death has taught her about how to be and live her
- How her grandmother's illness with polio and needing to walk
with crutches showed up for Gwen in her epigenetics, beliefs, and healing
- The deeply imprinted belief Gwen had at one point that she
could not trust life.
- Molecules of Emotion: The
Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine by Candace B. Pert
The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
- How Family Constellations has expanded to the Systemic as well
(such as the soul of a business for example) or the Collective to
find out where energy is being blocked or not properly healed.
[1:10:00] How Breath Exposes What's Already There
- Mindbody University
- What fascinated Gwen about breathwork the most to become a
- How she has combined breathwork with the passion test, hypnotherapy, and epigenetic
- The incredible fact that we are breathing the same breath that
our ancestors did.
- How you can combine breathwork with other healing modalities such as
- The power of just doing a regular if not daily 3-10 minute
- Gwen's powerful practice that she always does at the end of
each of her own breathwork practices.
- Why Gwen says that "Breathwork doesn't bring anything new, it
just exposes what's already there."
- Gwen's gift to the audience including an online breathwork
- What Gwen believes is the meaning of her being a breathwork
facilitator and life coach in Sedona.
- Why she believes we should all be striving to be the most
authentic version of
- The fact that it's just so much easier to trust a healer who is
open about what they themselves are working on like in Gwen's
- What wellness means for Gwen with all of her life and work
Power Quotes From The Show
Letting Go of Our Collective Fear of Emotion
"Collectively, we have such a profound fear of emotions. If
people were to really go in and sort of take a magnifying glass
approach at some of the beliefs that they hold in their body that
have been imprinted on them, not that they consciously think these
thoughts but they have them: 'If I feel this I will die,' or 'If I
feel this I will go crazy,' or 'If I feel this I will never come
back from it,' and on and on. So, people just fight it tooth and
nail and the truth of the matter is if we could open up and allow
that energy to flow through us, it's pretty easy. It might be
intense but it's pretty easy." - Gwen
We're Only Using 30% of Our Lung's Capacity on Average
"Do you know how little people are breathing? 30% is what the
average American adult is said to breathe of their functional lung
capacity. Only 30% is essentially starvation mode for the cells of
your body and for your brain. You are literally living in survival
mode and I don't think as a society we can help but feel anxious
and depressed. If there is one thing I would encourage people to
do, it's to breathe more." - Gwen Payne
How Breathwork Unlocks Our Essential Nature
"In breathwork, one of the things that I find so impactful is
that concepts become viscerally experienced, and then it's an
embodiment. In that moment of embodiment, there's nothing else that
we're focusing on outside of ourselves; nothing. It's part of our
essential nature. Those are the moments of freedom that I have
experienced and witnessed in others. It's an experience of tuning
the world out and letting go of what energies we have been
carrying, releasing, bringing our attention inwards, and only then
can we really experience that freedom." - Gwen
Links From Today's
About Gwen Payne
Founder of, “Breath is Prayer” and
“Inspired Sedona”, Gwen intuitively employs a combination of
Breathwork, The Passion Test, Family Constellations, Hypnotherapy,
Coaching, Yoga, and Dance to guide and support people in coming
home to their true nature and remaining consciously connected to
their essential truth.
Gwen was born in Italy, grew up in Tunisia, and attending
boarding schools in Europe throughout high school before moving to
United States to attend Stanford University.
Gwen credits her diversity and cultural experiences as the most
formative education of her life – one that provided her unique
vision and perspective upon which she draws in her work.
Gwen's Passion for Breathwork
At the age of 21, Gwen stumbled across breathwork when she took
part in her for spiritual retreat. She has remained passionate
about it ever since. When she found a breathwork school years
later, it's solidified her journey with the breath and her calling
to share its power.
- B.A French Studies, Stanford University
- Breath work/counseling hypnotherapy certificate, BodyMind
- Breath of Love Facilitator
- Alchemy of breath facilitator and mentor
- Passion test facilitator
- Self-love facilitator
- Family constellations facilitator
- Kundalini yoga instructor
- Erotic blueprints coach
Work with Gwen
In your work together, Gwen invites clients to explore their
inner landscapes, to step into their most authentic, empowered
self, and to choose a path that honors themselves and their
As a result, Gwen’s clients experience real transformation and
learn to live truly inspired purposeful lives.