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Bridging That Mind-Body Connection

Written by: Liz Jones, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

I remember the first yoga class I did. My mind was buzzing, and I was constantly looking around the room for some guidance on each move. There was definitely a level of excitement. But, sadly, I was doing it more out of obligation.


How often do you do something because you know you should? Or because you know that it is good for you?

Well, by doing something that was good for me, I opened the door to a stronger mind and body connection. One that actually helped me with my physical training as well as within my professional career.


A connection that you can have too, simply through connecting breath and body.


Ever since I started training, I knew that breathing was essential to your performance. I’m sure you have experienced it too, how quick fast breaths only cause you to become short of breath and not able to push so hard. Just like timing your breath with the push or exertion can enable greater strength.


But how do you connect your mind with your body without the need for physical activity or exercise?


What if I told you there is a simple exercise you can do, anywhere and any time, that does not require huge amounts of space and time?


I know what you are thinking.


“It is hard”

“I don’t enjoy it”

“I don’t see the results now”

“Really?!”


But really! Your breath is the link to connect your body and your mind for peak performance – in all situations.


From workouts, training sessions, and yoga practice, I found a way to focus my thoughts and clear away stress or anxiety so I can always teach a lesson and sound confident. An exercise that anyone can take advantage of.


Yes, there are simple things you can do with any presentation or meeting, such as having a comfortable opening routine or introduction. But that calmness and clarity comes from what you do before you walk into the room.


Wouldn’t it be great to be able to relax any physical tension, or ease those nervous shakes, prior to a big meeting?


Well, let me share it with you in a few simple steps:

  1. Find a space (seated, standing, or lying – you choose) and close your eyes if it feels comfortable;

  2. Picture in your mind a balloon. Pick a colour if you wish;

  3. Take a deep inhale and imagine you are inflating that balloon;

  4. Once the balloon is as big as you can make it, slowly deflate it – all the way out, so much that you flatten the balloon;

  5. Then repeat at least 5 times.

So, why does this actually work?


Well, the calming breaths are filling you with oxygen, which your body needs, especially for brain functioning. Have you ever noticed that when you get out of breath it becomes harder to think?


It also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) to promote a state of calm within you. The PNS will conserve energy to be used later, and therefore help you maintain an even energy level throughout. More importantly to note, it helps avoid those energy crashes.


Through visualising the balloon, you are giving yourself something to focus on, and this helps channel your thoughts. Or rather, calm the chatter that might be going on in your mind.


Next time you feel yourself getting a little overwhelmed, find your quiet space to take 5 minutes to give this a try.


Follow Liz on Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter and visit her website for more info.


 

Liz Jones, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Liz Jones is a Wellness Coach, Yoga Teacher, and Fitness Professional with over 10 years of experience, with numerous qualifications and recognized accreditations. Having worked in a wide range of environments, Liz has helped professionals, celebrities, and business leaders from around the world to transform their lives and become addicted to living that healthy lifestyle. Liz is the Founder of Mind Body House, where the aim is to help others to 'Live the healthy lifestyle they love.' She is the host of the "Ladies Go Live" talk show and podcast, aiming to connect the value of great wellbeing and your professional success.

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