Dr. Brian P. Ramos + The Art Of Stress-Free Living
Q&A With Master Ram, Neuroscientist and Yoga Master
Hi Seek North fans! I am Philippe Trinh. For today’s story, we’ll be having a conversation with Dr. Brian P. Ramos. He is a talented neuroscientist from Yale University and a true yoga master with over twenty years of experience. He is also author of the book, “Art of Stress-Free Living” which goes into depth about centering wellness in your life. We will be talking about how he founded his companies, Rama’s Rooted Tree, Inc. and DNA Hackers Mastermind.
We all deal with stress in our everyday lives and it is important to our health to learn how to manage it so it doesn’t overcome us. In our conversation, Dr. Ramos will give us a few tips that we can incorporate into our daily routines to live a more stress-free life. We’ll also be discussing the benefits of kombucha and how gut health can impact our overall and mental health. So sit back, grab some of your favorite 'booch and learn how you can free your mind, body, and spirit to achieve all of our greatest potentials.
Thank you for talking with us today and giving us the opportunity to learn more about you and your amazing company. I would love to know more about you. Can you tell me about yourself, your background and your studies?
Ram: I earned my bachelor's degree in clinical microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez in 1999 before obtaining my Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Yale University in 2005. I was not always stress and disease-free, but I committed the last two decades to figuring out what it took to live without any obstacle that limits our potential. More importantly, I’ve learned how to teach it to others. A big element to this work was integrating my inner yogic practices with advanced concepts in molecular genetics, neurophysiology, and biochemistry to master how to activate the right genetic programs.
By this you’re referring to your DNA Hacker Mastermind and 66-day Program?
From my knowledge, after you received your Ph.D. you started immersing yourself in studying the effects of stress along with its effects on our nervous and endocrine systems. Could you tell our readers what you've learned? How does stress influence your own overall health?
Ram: Unlike other so-called experts or coaches in the health and wellness field, I bring years of not just research experience but also practical and experiential knowledge that I have tested on myself as well as others. Stress in humans is more of a psychosocial phenomenon where we chronically activate the same pathways that animals do, yet they do so acutely and only when needed. Chronic activation of these stress pathways sets in motion many changes that manifest at every level of our being and are at the heart of many of the diseases that plague our western developed society. You can read more about this in my book, The Art of Stress-Free Living, which is free to download <<here>>.
Dr. Ramos On Kombucha
Before we dive into your company and your books, I do want to ask you a few questions about kombucha. We have a big fan base of kombucha fanatics so I’d love to talk about that first if you don’t mind. So, do you drink kombucha
Ram: Sure thing. I am a regular kombucha drinker. Kombucha is a great way to stimulate probiotic processes (add healthy bacteria as opposed to prebiotic which stimulates the growth of existing healthy gut bacteria) and reduce oxidative stress (free radical induced damage).
Besides kombucha, are there other ways to enhance our microbiome?
Ram: Of course, another great way to enhance your microbiome of gut bacteria health is to eat a whole plant-based diet rich in the prebiotic fiber.
When were you first introduced to kombucha and what was your initial reaction towards it?
Ram: I loved it. I wasn't even bothered by the natural microbial culture seen at the bottom of the drink. Since I have followed a plant-based diet for many years, I was intrigued by a vegan probiotic option that in addition had other important components beneficial to health. I can't remember exactly when I first tried it. I have this ability developed where I attract positive things even if I do not have information about their benefit. It was like that with yoga, where I did not know anything about it and was attracted to a local studio and began taking classes. I still remember asking teachers about advanced practices like meditation and not getting an answer so I went on my own and rediscovered my practice in the HERE and NOW. I rediscovered kombucha in a similar way probably like 10 years ago before it became as popular as it is nowadays in the health circles, though I did not drink it as often as I do now.
I think it's is a wonderful tonic with many benefits. I also like how you find more and more options with additional superfood juices or extracts.
What importance does gut health have on one's mind?
Ram: Many diseases originate in the gut. To master 100% health, maintaining optimal gut health is key since the native microorganisms that line your digestive tract, skin, and nasal passages protect you from foreign invaders, produce helpful chemicals, etc. the right foods talk to your genes the right way and also to microbiome genes, which outnumber our genes by quite a lot. Being healthy removes the body as an obstacle to understanding the mind and, eventually, more advanced practices allow you to transcend the mind and rest one-pointedly as you really are (a wonderful experience that must witnessed firsthand).
There is growing body of research suggesting that there may be a connection between alterations to your microbiome and mental health through what is called the “gut-brain axis.” You want to keep the mucosal membrane in the digestive tract healthy. Otherwise, it can lead to changes in brain development or plasticity. Therefore, avoid poor dietary choices (whole plant-based diet highly recommended to help your microbiome thrive), radiation or chemotherapy treatment, antibiotics, etc. Increasing your intake of probiotic foods, like kombucha, or prebiotic foods, like cabbage, asparagus, oats, and legumes, will certainly help. Prebiotic foods contain indigestible fibers that are fermented by the bacteria generating useful chemicals, like polyphenols with antioxidant power.
At Seek North Kombucha we recently introduced some new flavors such as clarity, harmony, immunity, and vitality. What do these words mean to you?
Ram: Clarity of mind is one of the first signs of purity of consciousness. More advanced techniques of yoga are designed to improve clarity. Fundamental to this process is your ethical development (i.e. how you relate to yourself and others). Therefore, the first two steps or limbs in yoga involve ethics (Yama and Niyama described in detail in “Voyage from Human to God”).
Throughout this transpersonal development, you will at some point achieve harmony, immunity, and greater vitality. However, this state must be maintained through your own willpower and development of the right environment, habits, practices, and mindset. Certainly, diet plays a key role, as would something like kombucha. Internal resources, however, are the most important.
This is all so fascinating to hear and I can talk about kombucha all day but I do want to get on to some other topics. It sounds like you have a lot of experience with the true benefits of kombucha. Do you talk about kombucha at all in your books?
Ram: In my book, “The Art of Stress-Free Living”, you can definitely read more about the benefits of kombucha.
Perfect, I can’t speak for all our readers but I can tell you that I along with many others will be jumping to that chapter first!
Dr. Ramos on Yoga
You mentioned meditation and yoga earlier. Let’s dive into yoga some. You’re a true yoga master with more than 20 years of practice under your belt. Can you tell me more about the importance yoga and what role that plays in your day-to-day life?
Ram: Yoga provides an experiential methodology for supreme transpersonal development that leads not only to a bounty of health and wellbeing but also to the realization of who you really are, which cannot be measured by thoughts, forms, or accomplishments. The goal of life is Self-Realization not a bigger bank account, pride, prestige, a bigger house, etc. All those are nice commodities to have but cannot be taken with you at the moment of bodily death. Therefore, daily I practice advanced techniques, not taught in exercise-focused yoga studios, for powerful genetic transformations and cultivation of spiritual wealth and bodily health beyond measure. I teach many of these techniques in my programs and to my close peers.
When did you start practicing yoga and why?
Ram: This may sound strange, but I have been practicing yoga for many lifetimes. I have been a guru many times before and thus in this lifetime I have come back to continue the work we began centuries ago to expand yogic knowledge worldwide as one of the antidotes to heal mankind and bring it back to a higher state of consciousness. It was not an accident that I was born in Puerto Rico and began practicing Yoga in my early 20’s. I discovered the true meaning of what it is to be a bodhisattva and worship life by serving all of God’s forms with playfulness, freedom, and joy.
I practice a form used by Himalayan yogis that is mainly focused on Self-Realization but produces other important benefits such a radiant health, mental clarity and stillness, and concentration that unleashes latent or dormant powers hidden in the subconscious realm.
We have become obsessed with challenging yogic postures. However, yoga asana (the physical postures) is a small component that was designed mainly to make the body more subtle and fluid and more responsive to higher practices. If we remain at this level, we keep yoga as an exercise form and not as a driver of spiritual, social, and transpersonal evolution that will heal and illuminate not just you but mankind and the globe as a whole.
Can I ask what your favorite yoga pose is?
Ram: The one I practice the most is forearm stand (pincha mayurasana). The inversion has many wonderful benefits, such as delaying the aging process by reversing the effects of gravity on the skin and cardiovascular, enhancing blood, lymph, and prana flow to upper and nervous regions, and inducing a state of relaxation and focus when practiced with the right breathing practices, muscle contractions, and concentration techniques that I teach my more advanced students or clients.
For those of us that are not actively practicing yoga- what advice can you give?
Ram: If I could do it, so can anyone. If you are not actively practicing yoga, start simple. Join a class near you even if mainly focused on posture work. The practice of yoga, even at the outermost level can be a very helpful antidote to heal your body and mind at various levels. I actually spent some time in my early days with yoga DVDs practicing at home.
The beauty of yoga is that it does not require anything other than the will to do so. Do not let your lack of practice be a hindrance to your growth. Invest in yourself and work with a teacher near you, if you can, or travel and take a training with myself or someone else. Yoga masters do not grow on trees but they can be found and so can their writings. Much of what I have learned in the past came from a serious study and subsequent practice of teachings contained within books of masters of yore. If anyone needs suggestions, please reach out to me on Instagram and I will gladly be of service.
You are an advocate on how yoga can free people from stress and fear which you talk about in your book, “The Art of Stress-Free Living”. Can you talk more about how this is possible?
Ram: One key element to reduce stress is to learn how to breathe in a way that relaxes, energizes, and focuses you. In addition, there are a number of inversions I describe that can trigger a reflex loop relaxing your brain and lowering your stress hormone levels. Of course there are other stress reducing techniques, like meditation. However, their objective is not to reduce stress, but to develop sufficient concentration to awaken you from your slumber and realize who you really are.
I wanted to share your Youtube channel, Ramas Rooted Tree. It's a great resource to learn more about some of these techniques you mentioned above in your book, correct?
Ram: Yes, definitely check it out if you want to learn more about these techniques. With regards to fear, I will mention that yoga can help you to rediscover your True Self, which exists independent of body, thoughts or form, and thus will free you from any worry or fear, especially as it relates to bodily death. If you know you are eternal, then why feel so rushed to accomplish everything all at once before your time runs out in this lifetime? Why worry over the trivialities of life? Why not enjoy every moment with peace and serenity in your heart? Lastly, why not build wealth that you can take with you and can help you transition from bodily death?
Yoga, as a holistic system for transpersonal growth, acts at every level of your being if taught and practiced the way it is intended. Therefore, it will provide a myriad of benefits. The most important being that you grow in love to the point where you care for yourself and then for others like Mother Nature has done for millennia. If you practice yoga as a service onto others, then the bounty is greater. Do this as your main form of worship and with complete detachment to the fruits of your labors.
It can be intimidating doing yoga for the first time. What advice can you give someone who wants to try yoga but feels intimidated or clueless how to even start?
Ram: Accept where you are. Otherwise, you will run into greater obstacles. Yoga is not about doing fancy or difficult poses. I remember years ago going to a gym for the first time. It was very similar to this (how much weight I could bear).
Besides not focusing on where others are, there are many other challenges, such as stiffness, pain, difficulty balancing or concentrating etc. Therefore, accept where you are and build off small successes. Remember that if you do not take the shot you will forever remain at 0%. Getting to 100% is possible but it will not happen overnight.
Enjoy the class, become a part of a community you believe in and are passionate about and that is focused on making a difference. Yoga is not just about going to a studio. It should be integrated into everything you do. I have mastered the art of integrating my practices throughout the day and remaining centered and focused, and so can you.
Dr. Ramos On The Art Of Stress-Free Living:
Your book is called the "Art of Stress-free Living”. Can you give us a little preview of what this book is about?
Ram: The book was written with my wife in mind, who has long struggled, as a working mother and business owner, with stress, anxiety, and imbalance. However, this book is the best in the genre as it is supported by not just knowledge of the research, but actual years of practice to master and live the techniques and suggestions included.
In the book, I include a variety of different approaches to mental and physical health with an emphasis in decreasing stress and anxiety, and keeping you in mental and physical balance. In addition, I include many suggestions on how to integrate these practices into your daily routine. What I wanted was for someone to use it as a resource to refer back to as he or she learned how to integrate it into every area of their life to sustain a state of balance and wellbeing.
My next book on this subject will focus more on how to achieve a disease-free state by activating the right genetic programs and the right protein combinations.
What message do you want people to get out of your book?
Ram: You can achieve a state completely (100%) free of stress and disease. I was not always like this, but I am living proof that this is possible. Just imagine if disease was not even a thought in your mind and you lived ever joyful and free? What would that be worth?
That is one of the reason I am here: to teach others how to live the life that they deserve, free of unnecessary obstacles that we have taken as the norm. You can age better and sustain your energy levels and sex-drive well into your later years. With increased vitality, concentration, health, and power, you can focus your more energy reserves to discover where you come from, why you are here, and where you are going after bodily death.
You deserve to fulfill your life’s mission and not just to survive, pay bills, or make a living, only to retire, more often than not, without awakening to your greater purpose. The first step in this process is achieving radiant mental and physical health. Otherwise, discovering the spiritual dimensions becomes near impossible to sustain.
Most of us deal with stress on a day-to-day basis. What is the most valuable advice you can give someone to live a more stress-free life?
Ram: Stress originates within you. Your response is what matters. You have complete control, if you so choose. In “The Art of Stress-Free Living” I give many suggestions to reclaim that control, to learn how to enjoy being without so much doing, and how to de-stress when still in the learning process. I am constantly using many of the techniques and suggestions described to reclaim a balanced energetic state and to empower my being to remain above the dense cloud of disease, pain, and suffering. It is a true privilege and honor to be able to share these secrets and tips with others. I hope that it can help many a person.
In your book, you talk about stress-relieving practices and habits that one can do throughout the day and even at work. Can you tell us about one of those easy practices we can do at work to help deal with stress?
Ram: The best and easiest resource is to learn how to breathe. Most of people say: “But I know how to breathe!” However, most people breathe passively like an animal would, without the power of your own consciousness. You can bring greater awareness, willpower, and energy to the breathing process to awaken powerful subtle processes that impact your entire being at multiple dimensions of consciousness.
The breath helps to anchor you in the present where you can then bring about powerful healing transformations. Therefore, a simple suggestion for a beginner is to keep bringing your awareness as much as possible back to the breath as much as possible throughout the day, making it slow, deep, and steady, like during sleep. Retain your breath, if you need to energize, and lengthen your exhale to relax.
There is more to pranayama (yogic breath control), but it is not ideal to be taught in writing. I will be doing a video in the near future on YouTube related to the breath and its relationship to mental control, power, health, etc., and how to empower this process consciously and avoid disease altogether. This is not a myth but a truth that I have tested by inoculating myself with pathogens that have sent others to the hospital and they cannot even touch me. That can be you as well, 100% no doubt about it.
Where can we find/purchase this book? Is it available on Amazon or somewhere online?
Ram: Currently, it is only available as an ebook at https://amazon.com/dp/B07K8ZDFPK. It has recently been picked up by a NY publisher, Morgan James Publishing. Hopefully it will be in bookstores by the end of the year and on Audible.
On your website you also offer your book free for download, “download here”. Why did you choose to provide this book for free to the public?
Ram: The book is not intended to make money but to reach and serve as many people as possible and to offer my services and coaching, if needed as part of my flagship 66-day program, my DNA Hacker Mastermind, or year-long programs. I know that often people do not read a book at all or in its entirety. Therefore, I make myself available to serve in other ways, whether it is YouTube, social media,and retreats. Any money from Amazon sales goes to charitable causes that meet the company’s mission.
Do you have any upcoming retreats planned?
Ram: I actually have an exclusive retreat coming up in June in a villa in Miami’s art district.
Dr. Brian P. Ramos On RAMA’S Rooted Tree:
You also started Rama’s Rooted Tree, can you tell us what it is and why you started this business?
Ram: I started Rama’s Rooted Tree as a Healing Center with the goal of creating a truly holistic center. We provide education, training, and access to Rama’s DNA Reprogramming Blueprint to heal human consciousness and free your body, mind, and spirit to achieve your greatest potential in a real and tangible way in the HERE and NOW. This involves a DNA Hacking method developed and tested by myself. This is based on over two decades of research started at Yale Medical School and, more importantly, on practice and direct experience that has nurtured a deep understanding of how stress and disease are allowed to manifest at a physical level. Yes, we create the disease state that makes us vulnerable to other peoples diseases.
What is the mission of Ramas Rooted Tree?
Ram: The mission is to show others that you can live 100% stress-free and disease-free. We also seek to enhance your connection to nature and its many holistic benefits, such as aesthetic, spiritual, and healing. We teach clients how to tap into the ancient wisdom of nature with its side-effect-free remedies, treatments, and supplements. We are committed to serving, honoring, and protecting Mother Nature with all its diversity and life.
To heal the planet, we must first begin by healing ourselves. We are looking for those who want to become truly awakened Siddhas and Buddhas ready to serve all of creation and provide the bountiful beauty and bliss that will soon overflow their being. To do this, we first heal the individual of physical, mental, spiritual, and existential maladies and turn on the ideal genetic programs and protein combinations (proteome) for power, creativity, radiant health, and spiritual illumination.
Your healing center is focused on reprogramming your (our) DNA. Can you break this down to the simplest way to describe what this means?
Ram: You are not fixed by your own DNA or your family history nor does it determine your future. You can activate your genes in a way that stimulates a pattern of protein expression associated with balance, health, happiness, wellbeing, etc. DNA reprogramming involves using your inherited DNA in an active and dynamic way; consciously turning one the right pattern of genes expression and protein combinations by working from without and within. It involves a process of self-care and self-discovery. Changing habits, diet, behaviors, and thought/emotion patterns to activate the right pattern of expression. More importantly, I teach specific techniques to empower, vitalize, and energize your entire being (mainly breathing and concentration exercises, and activation of specific brain regions currently running autonomously for most).
And finally, how can others find and connect with you? Do you have an Instagram and website you can share with our fans?