Fab Four Friday: August
In this month's Fab Four, I reflect on those things I have been finding inspiring and useful this August.
Despite the chaos of the past eighteen months, I was extremely impressed with the Olympic Games this year and the achievement of our Olympians has been even more astounding given the disruption they've experienced. As has sometimes been the case in the past, the Paralympics can seem like a bit of an after thought. However, over the past few Games, the increased coverage of the Paralympics and Paralympian achievements has been noticeable (and long overdue!). Personally, I still feel more could be done to shine the spotlight fairly on these amazing sports women and men, so let's hope steps continue to be taken in the right direction for equality of the Games. I think few people would deny, these athletes provide a huge inspiration for us all.
At one time or another, many of us have been in a position where we have felt physically vulnerable or threatened: perhaps when we have been walking home alone or when we have found ourselves in an unfamiliar environment. Of course, in any situation where you feel in immediate danger it is important to call 999 and request for help. However, where the circumstance is uncomfortable rather than dangerous and you don't have immediate access to call friends or family, Jake Goodman MD and social media influencer has come up with a useful solution to help us feel a bit safer or get out of an uneasy situation. Since the start of this year, Jake has created numerous 'fake phone call' safety videos on TikTok and Instagram. During these videos, Jake and members of his family simulate a phone conversation, which focus on helping the 'caller' to remove themselves from the uncomfortable situation. Although primarily created for an American audience, many of these 'calls' can work just as well in the UK and may just be an important lifeline for a daughter/son, a friend or even ourselves. To find and save Jake's safety videos, head over to TikTok @jakegoodmanmd or Instagram jakegoodmanmd.
As a Yoga teacher in training, I am currently devouring any books I can find that might help develop my teaching practice. As part of my research, I have recently read 'Breath The New Science of a Lost Art' by James Nestor.
In this book, Nestor, a journalist and author, investigates how humans have become the worst breathers in the animal kingdom. On this journey he undertakes an experiment into the effects of mouth breathing on the body. He also learns from scientists and doctors about how a soft diet alters the formation of our jaw and the consequences of facial underdevelopment as a result. Nestor even takes part in a variety of breathing exercises to find out how and why breathing correctly can have a profound impact on our physical and mental health. As a bonus, the exercises described in the book are included in the appendix as a practical guide!
Every Second Counts
During the past year, I have spent a lot of my time on Zoom. Most of us will be aware of the familiar 'Zoom fatigue,' by now and trying to keep online calls or meetings fresh can certainly be quite a challenge. When taking a longer Zoom call or meeting, breaks are a necessity and I have found using a relaxing count down timer video during breaks in the meeting to be a welcomed addition. These timers can be set to countdown from the beginning of the break and shared on the Zoom screen so all participants can see exactly when the break starts and ends. In addition, there is a peaceful back drop video and relaxing music to help create a Zen atmosphere! Of course, these timers don't have to just be used for meetings, but can be great for meditation and relaxation as well. There are a wealth of these videos available free on YouTube at different time lengths to suit your needs. To search and find a countdown clock head over to YouTube.com, search 'relaxing timer' and enjoy!
Have a lovely bank holiday weekend!