How “Darth Vader Breathing” Trains Your Core…Plus 2 Foods With Morphine Qualities

As we brace for a snowstorm and subzero temps here in Indiana, I got out to the park to make a new “3 Pillars” episode of Core Wellness TV for you.

It started raining on me so it’s short and sweet and full of actionable strategies to help you…

1.  Enjoy clearer thinking, less weight, and more energy by getting rid of 2 addictive foods (you’ve GOT to watch the video below this episode…I was almost rolling on the floor and it gave me the inspiration for the nutrition portion of this “3 Pillars” episode!)

2.  Break out of a “same old, same old” pattern so you can be who you really want to be!

3.  Activate your “true” core and find your calm center with a yoga breathing technique inspired by Darth Vader!

Enjoy and leave your comments and questions in a reply at the bottom of this post!



  1. You must have read my mind on the "Darth Vader" breathing because I've been experimenting with that recently both at rest and during running, walking, biking. Do you have any good book or article reference recommendations on it? Thanks for all your great work!

    • Most yoga books will talk about this throaty breathing but I appreciated it more coming from my Rehabilitation of the Spine Book by Craig Liebenson.  The chapter was by Dr. Karel Lewit of the Czech Republic.

      It is a simple concept.  Giving resistance to the inhalation, which is done by the diaphragm, trains the muscle the same way adding weight (resistance) to a bicep curl.  It's a great awareness tool.

      Breathe down low into your roots, Amy!  Keep it up!

  2. I loved the bread and milk video. It made me laugh so hard. I went to the store before the storm, and you could feel the panic from the shoppers, very much like in the video.  I have not eaten bread or dairy for quite sometime, and did not go for bread or milk, but kale and ginger. I knew I felt better having eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet, but until today I did not understand why. Thank you for making that so clear. It is easier to maintain my resolve to not be swayed by the persistent urgings of others, to conform to their way of eating, when I have a clear, rather than vague, understanding of WHY I chose to eat the way I do. Thank you for making these videos. You have such a gift of being inspirational and encouraging, as you educate in a way that is easy for me to understand. Thank you so much.

  3. OMG I just about spat my lunch out laughing! Both at your running up to the camera for the Darth Vader impersonation and the vid below… You'll be pleased to know that I didn't (only just) and that lunch was salad and tuna with just a simple squeeze of lemon – yum! 

    thanks for the words of wisdom/encouragement… K

  4. Steve,

    We have a breathing technique we use called 'ocean breath' to get all the air out loudly with an open mouth. This activates the transvers abs effectively, then we lift the pelvic floor (Squeeze the core and lift the floor) – provides great stability for the lower back. Love your videos.

    • Sounds like good intra abdominal pressure to me!  We also always have to be able to breathe fully and functionally into or "behind" that brace so we don't let the rib cage creep up (cephalad) in the process.

      Thanks for your comment, Allan!

  5. I love it 🙂 …gave me my laugh for the day!! At our house it would be "gotta get the kale and spinach"…we hardly use any milk or bread, I seem to not be able to tolerate it very well! I have been trying the "breathing technique" but am not sure that I'm doing it correctly, almost think i need someone to show me in person! Thank you for taking the time to share several inspirational moments with us again, it is appreciated so much!! Happy and Healthy 2014 to you and your family!

  6. After I woke up, but before I got out of bed I was thinking about the Darth Vader Breathing. I did it a couple of times, and realized it used the same muscles as the mini crunches I always do before I get out of bed. Perhaps it has been obvious to others, but I found it fascinating. Seemed to accomplish the same thing, but no strain on neck or back. Hmmm……….

  7. Steve,

    OK that video was pretty funny.

    I like to eat yogurt for the live bacteria. How do you feel about yogurt and/or do you have another way to help keep digestion going?



    • Do NOT like “sweat shop” yogurt from factory farm cows loaded with sugar and artificial colors.  Better is organic like Stoneyfield Farms.  Better yet is yogurt made from RAW milk.  Better yet is raw goats milk yogurt (closer to human milk than cow’s milk). 

      Some people just can’t handle it at all and are better with NO dairy at all.  I suggest a 30 day dairy elimination experiement to all my patients to see if mysterious symptoms dissappear.  Then reintroduce to see if they re-appear.

      I like fermented vegetables (easy to make on your own) like sauerkraut, kimchi etc. along with an occasional boost with a bottle of high quality probiolics.  We use Metagenics “ultra flora” line regularly because of the extensive testing done on the bacterial strains.

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