This week, we focus on POSTURE and BREATHING, things that affect our nervous, circulatory, muscle and other systems, our stress levels, and our communication skills!
Let’s do this!
First – The PODCAST
For this episode ?on posture and breathing, I interviewed Dr. Nadine Kelly. Dr. Kelly, or Nadine, as she likes to be called, is a retired medical doctor, a yoga teacher, and a podcaster! (Wow, right?)
Nadine and I met and became friends when we were both students in Seth Godin’s Podcasting Fellowship. (We also both earned black belts in taekwondo, something I didn’t know about her until recently when she sent me her bio!)
Nadine is the perfect person to advise us on how to use breathing and posture to optimize our communication. She knows human physiology from the perspective of BOTH a medical doctor and a yoga instructor. And she knows communication – her podcast is called YogiMD, which is targeted to mature women, or as she calls them, Wise Women.
Whether you qualify as a Wise Woman or not, I encourage you to listen to Nadine’s insights and advice:
- Proper, diaphragmatic breathing means belly breathing. (Nadine has words for us about how we tend to suck in our bellies…)
- Proper posture means aligning or stacking our joints, thinking length, not locking our knees, and how we can think of our pelvis as a bucket. (Yes, a bucket.)
- Why mouth breathing is not nearly as healthy as nasal breathing. (“Your mouth is for eating and speaking, and your nose is for breathing.”
- Differences between the parasympathetic (rest & digest) phase vs. the sympathetic (fight or flight) phase, the latter of which is what we feel when we’re nervous or stressed (like when we are ready to give a big presentation!)
Throughout the episode, you will hear Nadine reference a few important meta-learnings, including:
- the fact that everything is interconnected – our breathing and our posture, as well as our nervous, circulatory and other systems, not to mention what’s going on in our heads!
- the significance of being self-aware – that is, breathing and using posture with intent.
- Growth is uncomfortable. Change is uncomfortable. But it’s this discomfort that means we’re making positive change in our bodies.
Since that conversation with Nadine, I’ve definitely been more self-aware, breathing with intent and being conscious of my posture.
THANK YOU NADINE!
? Enjoy the podcast!
5 RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
Are you stressed out at work? Perhaps someone is pushing you “too far”? Or maybe you are nervous about an upcoming presentation?
Here are 5 relaxation techniques that Dr. Nadine Kelly recommends:
1️⃣ Slowly and FULLY inhale and fully exhale. It sounds simple, but it works. Focus on slowing your breath and fully inhaling & exhaling.
2️⃣Place your hands on your ABDOMEN and feel your belly rising and falling. It is your belly (as opposed to just your chest cavity) that should expand when you inhale. Otherwise you are not fully expanding your lungs.
3️⃣Extend the exhale to inhale RATIO to 2:1. Start even, counting to 4 for both the exhale and the inhale. Then extend the exhale to 5, then 6, then 7, and 8.
4️⃣Combine a MANTRA with breathing. For example, inhale the word can, exhale the word can’t.
5️⃣Try ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING. Wait – what?!?
I hadn’t heard of “alternate nostril breathing” either! So Nadine taught me how – right in the middle of the interview:
- Put your right hand in a peace sign ✌️with your palm facing you.
- Put your two fingertips in the middle of your forehead.
- Use your ring finger and your thumb to press on alternating nostrils.
- Inhale on the right, and exhale on the left.
- Do that five to nine times on one side, then do the other side.
?Go on – Try it! ?
Before the interview with Dr. Nadine Kelly, I asked her about the “Posture Aids” that I have seen online lately. (Perhaps because I was doing online research on posture, so those firms were smartly targeting me? Do you think?!? ?)
Here is Nadine’s take:
- If these devices work for you, then great!
- These devices may succeed in encouraging you to pay more attention to your posture.
- But there’s a cheaper way to do the same thing: just be aware of your body!
Nadine also shared this yogi’s version of these fancy posture aids:
- Wrap a yoga belt (or a martial arts belt!) across your back, under your arms, and over your shoulders.
- Then cross it behind your back and pull it around to your waist.
- Tie it comfortably.
Wear this when you’re at home, whether doing housework or sitting and relaxing. It will pull your shoulders back and down. More importantly, it will make you more aware of your posture!
Thank you again, Nadine!
That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoy the ? posture & breathing podcast. Please let me know what you think! Email me anytime with topic suggestions, feedback, or just to talk! And join us in the Talk About Talk private Facebook group, where this month we are focused on INTERVIEWING – as in being in the hot seat…
Have a great week!
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
Chief Talker & Communication Coach
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