As a breathwork coach and founder of SISUU Life, Emma shares about growing a community and movement to live life wilder, go deeper and feel the power of nature; helping others to ignite their souls, passions and potential. We have been so inspired by this beauty, and we are sure you will be too!
Emma can you tell us about your background and how SISUU came about?
It would be a pleasure.
I am based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, and am a Performance Breath Coach, passionate surfer, skier, ocean lover and Founder of SISUU.
I was fortunate to grow up in an adventurous family. With holidays, weekends and afternoons, mostly spent in nature or exploring new parts of the world. I have always been curious to explore different cultures, concepts and philosophies and constant learning about what makes us our best selves.
This experiences helped spark the creation of SISUU, along diving into the power of breathwork.
I found not only did it help my surfing but also there is so so much more that comes with it.
I decided with my father, to host a “Wim Hof” Christmas party, at the end of 2019 for our closest friends and family, instead of a usual Christmas BBQ. Over this 4 hours, it was incredible to see everyone come back to themselves, be grateful, calm and grounded, in a usually very busy time of the year. Having the ability to share that and see them walk out the door, and step into the next year, in a different frame of mind, was truly special.
Since then I combined this passion of breath, ice and time spent moving in nature to form SISUU.
What does SISUU incorporate ?
SISUU brings together different elements of health and wellness, to make you feel your best you. So that you can make better decisions, trailblaze a new path and light up your life. But in a new back to the roots way.
It brings together the different pillars of breathing, ice bathing, forest bathing, saunas and moving in nature. It makes it experiential, so that you realise the power and are drawn to the power, and start to incorporate this into your daily habits. As those daily habits, is what determines your day, week, month and year.
This may be doing a breathing exercise first thing in the morning, having shot of Sisuu tonic or attending one of the weekend retreats, to deep dive into the science and practices behind these different elements.
What’s the SISUU Philosophy?
I was actually reading Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris and came across the word “Sisu” Pronounced – [See-su] , which is defined as
“Extraordinary determination, courage and resolutions in the face of extreme adversity. An action mindset which enables individuals to see beyond their limitations and into what might be. Taking actions against all odds and reaching beyond observed capabilities.”
It really resonated with me, to why I jump in the ice bath, or take time to train to surf a bigger wave. So this concept inspired the Sisuu philosophy – a way of living that ignites you to live life longer, with passion, purpose and impact.
What are the benefits of Breathing and cold water immersion?
Ohh so many, but the best part is that you feel alive, clear minded and lionhearted.
But some of the other benefits of breathing & cold water immersion are;
- To have the lung capacity of a whale, surf bigger waves and spend more time underwater with sea life
- Increase your immune system naturally
- Perform better, recover faster
- Increase your cardio strength
- Make better decisions under stress and see the “Bigger picture”
- Improve your central nervous system & sleep quality
- Limit inflammatory response
- Train your vagus nerve & parasympathetic system
- Awaken the mind and soul
If you are to do one thing today, start breathing through your nose, all day every day. This is our human design, yet over last centuries this has become phased out. James Nestor, the incredible author of Breath – and he goes into all the mind blowing benefits.
The cold water presents a very unique opportunity for our sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight & freeze). When you step into the ice bath you must be wholly focused on your mind set and breathing. This response to stress is a muscle, and can become stronger and stronger. You are then able to carry this with throughout your day and other challenges in life.
When was your first experience with cold water immersion, and has it become easier!?
Growing up with a Canadian mum, sometimes I used to jump in the ocean over there during winter, when I was a child. But my first Ice Bath, was doing the Wim Hof workshop with my family. Not going to lie, its freaking cold, it kinda hurts and the seconds feels like minutes. But after spending two minutes in there (the optimal time for benefits) you come out and feel recharged.
I now have my own deep chest freezer/icebath, that I use in summer, a few times a week. The more you do it, the easier it becomes comes. You are training your muscle to cope with stress, naturally and the best way. Now during the winter, I jump in the ocean first thing and crave that cold water time.
Trust me, your morning coffee tastes that much better.
Tell us about your SISUU Tonic!
Oh that spicy SISUU Tonic is really courage in a bottle!
Over the years, I have done a lot of reading into nutrition and testing of morning routines. So SISUU Tonic was developed due to that passion and to compliment the adventures in me with strong health. I truly believe if you win your morning, you win your day.
SISUU Tonic brings together a beautiful combination of anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and gut nourishing, herbs and spices, that have been brewed with organic apple cider vinegar, to create a fire tonic. You have it first thing in the morning, or if you feel as though you are getting run down, about to embark on a big adventure, after a cold plunge or need a little spice in your life.
What is involved in your Valla Beach Retreat?
Ohh such a magic powerful weekend. I am still trying to find the right word, as retreat doesn’t quite sum it up, as it was designed for people that LOVE a challenge, throw themselves in the deep end and come back feeling like they had been on an adventure.
Over the three days, we dove into movement and mobility training. Practiced and unpacked different breathing techniques and sessions. Jumped in ice baths, hiked up mountains and “rewilded”, by spending time staying at a beautiful off the grid space in valla. It was incredible to see the group reconnect with themselves, sit around the camp fire, disconnect from the white noise and stresses of life.
Where can we sign up, what do we need to know?
What does an average day in the life of Emma look like?
I feel very fortunate for my how my average day is looking right now. I start my mornings by getting up with or before the sun and meditating. I find it so much more powerful before you look at your phone or start the day plan.
Then I breathe, doing either box breathing, or a morning breath routine that I have over a Sisuu.life.
Then I have my SISUU Tonic (as a shot ) and a big glass of water.
Usually the night before I have looked at the forecast, so if there are waves, I usually head to Freshwater or Manly to surf, or link up with a couple of friends to go spearfishing, ocean swimming or trail running. There aren’t many days that I don’t get in the ocean before my coffee.
The remainder of the day I spend planing experiences, making SISUU Tonic, putting together content or getting to collaborate with lovely ladies like yourself.
I am pretty obsessed right now with mango and avocado salad, so I tend to have one of those for lunch.
At the end of the day, I love to either move in nature again, or walk my golden retriever Nahla, and use this time to listen to podcast or reflect.
My family is really close, so we usually cook dinner together and spend the rest of the evening either finishing off work, reading, painting, stretching or watching adventure documentaries.
What quote is inspiring you at the moment?
A good friend recently shared this quote with me and it really resonated with me.
“Perfection of character – to live your last day, every day, without frenzy, sloth or pretence.” – Marcus Aurelius // Meditations, Book 7 #69
What content do you consume or who do you look to for inspiration?
Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton, have been trailblazing in their creation of XPT. Their podcast The Gabby Reece Show, and their way of living is really front of of the research whilst being back to the roots.
Nam Baldwin is another breathing and life coach, who has shaped how I live my life and my decision making process. His podcast on the Stand Out of Life Show, is incredible and I have shared it many times.
Having worked and still working part time for Patagonia, Kimi Werner is an incredible ocean woman and is a big inspiration. Her connection and understanding of the ocean is incredible and she is shedding a new light on how to consume and sustainably eat seafood. Her YouTube channel is great!