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Vanessa: Hi!
I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.
Let's have a real English conversation.
Today I have something super special to share with you.
I'm going to share with you a real conversation that I had with a local yoga instructor here
in my city.
She also teaches yoga on YouTube, so you can check out the link to her channel in the description.
Here you're going to meet Gayle.
Vanessa: Gayle teaches yoga, and she talks about her journey, getting into yoga, and
just what it means to her life.
I'm sure you also have hobbies and passions and interests, so it's a good way to hear
how she talks about it, and to try to imitate that style of speaking, because we all want
to talk about our passions and share them with other people.
Vanessa: Throughout the conversation you're going to see little subtitles pop up.
These are for vocabulary expressions, phrasal verbs, and also some special pronunciation.
After the conversation with Gayle, you're going to also have a vocabulary lesson today.
Wow!
You're going to see my husband, Dan, and I explain these vocabulary expressions in detail.
This is a really great way to engrain them in your memory, and I know a lot of you have
difficulties with remembering words after you've learned them.
So, hearing them in the conversation with Gayle is a good first step, but it's also
great to hear us talk about it later, give examples, make it more vivid in your mind.
Vanessa: So, you're going to watch that vocabulary lesson, and then you're going to watch a phrasal
verb lesson.
This grammar lesson is super helpful for helping you sound like a native speaker, because we
use phrasal verbs all the time.
Vanessa: Finally, we're going to practice some in-depth pronunciation so that you can
speak exactly the way that Gayle and I did in our conversation.
Are you ready to hear a real English conversation?
If you enjoy this lesson today I hope that you can join the Fearless Fluency Club, which
is my monthly course.
You'll get information and lessons like this every month.
This is just a short clip from it.
About half of the material, or actually less than half, maybe a third of the material,
but you'll get an even longer lesson sent every month when you join the course.
Vanessa: Alright!
Let's meet Gayle and learn real English.
Vanessa: Hi, everyone!
I'm here today with Gayle.
Gayle: Hi.
Vanessa: We're going to talk about yoga and all of your experience with that, and really
anything that comes up along the way.
Gayle: Sounds great.
Vanessa: Yeah.
So, can we start at the very beginning?
When did you first start with yoga?
Then we'll go on to what's happening now.
Gayle: Well, that's interesting.
I was living in New York City at the time, pursuing a career as a professional freelance
photographer.
Vanessa: Oh!
Quite different from yoga.
Gayle: Yeah.
Although, you know, everything kind of ... It's a lot about your vision and being mindful
and exploring.
And so, they kind of weave together in some ways.
Vanessa: I could see that.
Gayle: But anyway!
I just dabbled in it.
One thing that I always remember, and, I think, one of the funniest things, is my first class
when the teacher said, "Pay attention to your breath.
Like, focus on your breath."
I thought, "That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
Like, I'm here to move and do some cool poses.
Like, why would I think about my breath?
I'm breathing."
Right!
So, let's get to the good stuff.
You know?
Gayle: Then as I progressed in my yoga, I just realized like, breath is everything.
Breath is so key.
So, now I focus on that, or I try to focus on that, more than anything.
It's really a powerful healing mechanism.
Yeah.
We do it all the time.
It's part of our sympathetic nervous system, so we'll breathe.
I mean, if we tried to stop breathing we'd pass out and then we'd breathe again.
Vanessa: Your body wants to breathe.
Gayle: Right.
But still, there's ways of like, breathing more fully, breathing more mindfully, that
can, you know, help your overall health.
Vanessa: That's funny that at the beginning you thought, "What is she talking about?"
Gayle: I thought it was ridiculous.
Vanessa: Especially if you've never heard that kind of phrasing before.
Gayle: Yeah!
Vanessa: Everyone breathes.
I feel like, for me, whenever they talk about breathing in yoga class, I realize, "Oh, I
have been breathing all this time, all day, and haven't been thinking about it."
Then when you start to think about it maybe it's just that physical element, but I kind
of ... It clears my mind a little bit.
Once you focus on breathing it's not hypnotic, but I almost feel like I'm in the zone or
like, when you're thinking about your breath you can focus more on what's going on, at
least for me.
Gayle: No.
That's totally it.
Here's the thing.
Yoga is about union, and the union of opposites complementing each other.
So, the breath is composed of two opposites, right?
The exhale and the exhale, and it's kind of got an ebb and flow.
So, like, if you sit by the ocean or by a waterfall when you have that kind of constant
repeating noise, it really relaxes you.
So, when you turn into your breath, it's kind of the same thing.
Gayle: A lot of the times when you pay attention to your breath, you might realize that your
inhale is stronger than your exhale.
What we're really trying to do is balance the breath, because the inhale is more energetic
and the exhale is more relaxing and soothing.
So, if you're like, feeling stressed out or anything like that, if you just take moment,
focus on the breath, and really letting that exhale draw out, it's amazing how much it
can calm you.
Gayle: You're like, totally right on there.
Vanessa: This seems like a simple thing, but it could do a lot.
Gayle: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Vanessa: So, I'm curious what happened after that.
First, you were at class, you thought, "What in the world is she talking about?
Breath?
Okay."
Did you just go in full force after that, or was there just a slow progression?
Because you've been doing yoga for ... Gayle: A long time.
Vanessa: A long time.
Gayle: It was like ... I dabbled.
You know, when I was in New York City I dabbled.
Like, sometimes I would go to class, but I never completely committed like I did later
on.
So, I dabbled in New York, and then I moved from New York to Bryson City, North Carolina
and got into white water paddling.
Gayle: So, occasionally ... I knew how to do sun salutations and occasionally I would
do some yoga.
I was teaching kayaking at that point, also white water kayaking.
So, occasionally I'd lead people through a little bit of yoga but not that often.
But then when I left Bryson City and moved to Asheville, that's when I really committed,
and I found a class I liked.
It was just like, Tuesday night, that's what I was doing.
Yoga.
Gayle: I did that class religiously for two years.
Vanessa: Oh!
That's dedication.
Gayle: Yeah.
Then the yoga teacher started offering yoga teacher trainings.
So, I thought, "Oh, I'll do that.
You know, I don't know if I want to teach but, you know, I'll just ... Why not?"
I wanted to learn more.
Vanessa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Gayle: And so, that helped to grow it more.
So, I got to the point where instead of like, waiting for what the teacher was going to
say, I could do my own poses.
Vanessa: You had that confidence to just branch out yourself.
Gayle: And so, then after that I stopped going to yoga classes because I'm like, "I want
to breathe how I want to breathe.
And I want to take as long in a pose as I want to take, and not just be dictated to
all the time."
I learned a lot of poses, I understood them more.
So, I started more of my own practice.
Gayle: But then, unfortunately, I got this tech job where I was sitting at a desk, and
I was sitting, and sitting, and sitting.
I had never sat so much in my whole life.
Vanessa: It takes a toll on you.
Gayle: Oh!
I knew it was.
But I just thought, "I've got to do this."
Vanessa: Sure.
Gayle: But it did take a toll on me, and actually, I had a habit, which I wasn't even aware of,
but I would lean on my left elbow, put my chin, and stare at the screen, and then, you
know, use the mouse here.
I had meanwhile, had kind of lapsed in my yoga, hadn't really done yoga in a while.
Like, a while.
Gayle: Then I went to a yoga class, and I couldn't reach my arms, lying down to the
floor.
I couldn't do dolphin pose, and I was like, "What's up with my shoulders?"
My left shoulder had lost all this range of motion from doing this thing.
Sitting like that for hours at a time.
Vanessa: That can make a big difference.
Gayle: Yeah.
Vanessa: That's just an unconscious movement that you're making.
Gayle: Right.
I thought, "What happened?
I didn't fall on my shoulder.
Like, why would it be like this?"
As soon as I thought, "I'll observe myself," which is one of the things that yoga teaches
you, also, is to observe yourself and to get to know yourself better, even though you think,
"Well, of course I know myself.
I'm myself."
Vanessa: I know I'm breathing all the time!
Gayle: Yeah.
So, as soon as I saw that, I knew that's what it was because I was rounding forward, stretching
this, weakening this.
And so, it took me like, a year to rehab.
But it was yoga that kind of showed me, and that's what yoga will do.
It'll show you your limitations.
It can show you where you're injured.
It can show you like, the good stuff and the bad stuff, essentially.
Gayle: Then it's up to you to pay more attention, to deal with it, and to not be ... not like,
get too wound up in self criticism.
You know, because you realize like, "Well, I'm not very strong or I'm really limited."
Yeah.
Exactly.
So, that was like, a whole journey.
Then I decided to teach yoga.
Vanessa: Oh!
Gayle: Yeah.
Then I really got into it, and I started off teaching in businesses around Asheville, did
that for a while.
Vanessa: So, the businesses would just hire a yoga teacher to come in and like, teach
their employees?
Gayle: Yeah.
I mean ... Vanessa: That's amazing.
Gayle: All businesses should do that.
Bring yoga to your business.
Vanessa: That's a great idea.
Gayle: Yeah.
So, I had a couple places like Volvo and Liberty Bikes, and, you know, a couple other offices
that would bring me in.
A lot of times the company would pay.
Sometimes the people would pay.
So, that was good.
But then that kind of dried up a little bit.
And so, then I got into teaching more public classes, and teaching privates.
Gayle: That's what I really like, is teaching privates.
Because it was one on one.
I could focus on that person and what they need.
It's interesting.
In a class people are trying to cue to the common issue, but there's other people that
are going to get ignored.
If they don't understand like, how to pay attention to their body, the cues might not
even be the best cues for them.
Vanessa: Like, what the teacher is suggesting.
Gayle: Yes.
And as I've gone through the years it's like, things that I thought or was taught years
ago, I'm questioning now.
I'm realizing that things are changing.
20 years ago people didn't think fascia was important.
Like, when they would cut up a cadaver it's just like, "Get this wrapping paper out of
the way."
You know?
Now it's like, we realize the fascia is this big connected network that connects everything
in our body.
Gayle: So, even though our muscles have points of origin and insertion, really the whole
muscle's connected via the fascia to all like, our whole body.
So, if I like, pulled on my shirt, you know, this hole ... There's going to be a whole
thread that's going to feel that tug.
Vanessa: Yeah.
It's all connected in some way.
Gayle: Yeah.
That brings us back to yoga is about connection.
So, in a way, the last pose that you almost always do in a yoga practice is called [shavasana
00:11:05].
It literally translates to corpse pose.
So, in a way, it's like practicing our own death and letting go, because death is the
ultimate letting go.
Just can we let go, and can you relax in savasana?
For some people it's the hardest pose.
Gayle: They just want to jump up and run and start doing things again.
You know, their mind is so busy.
But can you relax your mind, relax your body, and the two are very connected, so that when
your body's relaxed it is easier to relax your mind.
If you've been focusing on your breath the whole time doing your yoga practice, you will
feel more centered, because you haven't been thinking about all the other stuff that's
driving you crazy.
Right?
Vanessa: Yeah.
Gayle: So, you know, it's like, a whole really interesting system.
Then you can come into the whole thing of what is yoga.
Vanessa: Yeah.
What is yoga?
Gayle: You know, is it just mindfulness?
Mindful action?
Being aware of your thoughts?
You know, they say your thoughts become words, and your words become actions, and your actions
becomes your life.
We oftentimes, you know, myself, very much so.
You think about all this negativity and don't realize like, that has a lot of implications
down the road.
Vanessa: I think that's been pretty proven that your thoughts have a physical effect
on your life, whether it's just your mental health or your body's physical health.
Gayle: Right.
Vanessa: Like, what you think is really important, and if yoga can help you to kind of calm down
those anxious thoughts or whatever else is going on, that's great.
It's also good exercise, but it works for your mind.
That's really awesome.
Gayle: Right.
We just, you know ... There's different types of yoga, different styles, and some yoga can
be more rigorous, vigorous.
Some is more relaxing.
But I think we need to balance it, because yoga's also about balance.
How do we balance opposite actions, opposite energies?
Like, the breath, the inhale, the exhale.
There's a rising up, kind of an energizing on the inhale, then there's a relaxing, settling
down, connecting to the earth on the exhale.
Gayle: And so, in every yoga pose ... Like, the asanas, the poses, are really a way of
bringing things up for you, and noticing like, are you impatient?
Do you have a lot of negative self talk?
Are you distracted?
Are you just like, thinking, "I just want to get this done," but meanwhile you're thinking
about what you're going to eat after class.
Vanessa: Yep!
Gayle: But if you can be fully present in the moment, in this moment, then that's when
your mind starts to relax.
You do have that sense of ... At the end of yoga class, it's really interesting how people
will feel very relaxed, but also have energy.
But it's not that crazy kind of energy that just like, you know ...
Vanessa: It's not chaotic.
Gayle: Yeah.
It's like, really getting your nervous system all wound up.
It's a more like, you know, I'm ready for whatever life presents kind of energy, and
I have energy to do things, and I feel inspired.
Vanessa: That's the kind of energy you want.
Gayle: Yeah.
People think it's all about flexibility.
Well, it's about balance.
It's about building strength and flexibility, and trying to have the two be more or less
equal, so one isn't overpowering the other.
And also to have different muscle groups balanced, so, you know ... For example, oftentimes our
quads are really strong, but the hamstrings are weak.
That's like, really common.
Gayle: So, you know, a good practice, which takes some thought and takes some like, kind
of understanding what's going on, is to try and balance those two energies.
But the more ... That's why it's nice to have a home practice too, because you might discover
something in a yoga class that was brought up, and then you can practice on, you know,
practice that at home.
Vanessa: Yeah.
Taking care of yourself in the way that you need to do, not just what the teacher has
prepared for the day, which is kind of like, learning English.
You know, maybe go to a class and the teacher says, "Hey, we're going to talk about this
today," but you want to learn that and other things.
You know, taking charge of your own education or exercise is always going to be a recipe
for success.
Vanessa: How did you enjoy that conversation with Gayle?
Was it a little fast?
Was it a little tricky?
Did you understand everything?
What we're going to do now is we're going to go on to the vocabulary lesson.
You're going to see my husband, Dan, and I, going back and explaining some vocabulary
expressions that we used in that conversation.
You're going to see a short clip from the conversation with Gayle, so that you can remember,
"Oh, yeah.
That's what she said."
Vanessa: Alright.
Let's go on to the vocabulary lesson.
The first expression we're going to talk about today is vision.
Dan: Vision.
Vanessa: What does this literally mean, and then we're going to talk about it in the figurative
sense.
Dan: Well, it literally just means your sight.
Vanessa: Yeah.
To see.
Dan: Yes.
My vision is seeing the room.
Vanessa: Yeah.
So, do you have good vision?
Poor vision?
Dan: Oh.
So, my real vision is very bad.
I have to go to the eye doctor and get classes and contacts.
Right now I'm wearing contacts.
They kind of hurt my eyes.
Vanessa: Yeah.
Your prescription is pretty strong because you have poor vision.
Dan: Yes.
I have poor vision.
Vanessa: Yes.
Dan: It's a general way to describe sight.
Vanessa: Mm-hmm (affirmative), but if we want to talk about this in a figurative way, you
can kind of imagine your mind or your heart seeing in the future.
It's kind of your plan or goal for the future.
Dan: Yes.
Vanessa: What is your vision for the future?
You might even use this for English.
"I have a vision for my English studies.
I'm going to become a fluent English speaker.
I'm going to speak confidently and make a lot of friends around the world."
That's my vision.
It's kind of your dream.
Dan: I think it is more emotional than plan or goal, because essentially it's a plan or
a goal but when you say it's a vision you're picturing yourself in that moment, how you're
going to feel, what's your vision for your English lessons?
Are you envisioning going to America and meeting all the new people, meeting Vanessa and speaking
perfect English?
Vanessa: Whoa!
Dan: That's your vision.
Vanessa: So, you can tell there's a lot of emotion behind this, a lot of passion behind
it.
It's your vision, and that's pretty much how Gayle used it in the conversation.
Dan: Yes.
Vanessa: When she talked about her vision.
I think that you'll see that in the clip in just a moment.
Are you ready to watch it?
Dan: I'm ready.
Vanessa: Alright.
Let's watch.
Gayle: Yeah.
Although, you know, everything kind of ... It's a lot about your vision and being mindful
and exploring.
And so, they kind of weave together in some ways.
Gayle: It's a lot about your vision and being mindful.
Gayle: It's a lot about your vision and being mindful.
Dan: The next expression is a casual expression, and it is to dabble in something.
And this basically just means to try something.
But it means try something not seriously.
So, "I dabbled in baking."
Actually over this last holiday I baked some waffles.
It was Belgian waffles, really sweet dessert waffles.
I would say I just dabble in baking, because I only make that every now and then.
Vanessa: Yeah.
You don't bake every week or every day, just every couple months you make these amazing
Belgian waffles.
But it's just, you know, casually, not so seriously, every now and then.
Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Vanessa: So, you can use this for really any hobby that you do that's not so serious.
So, that's how Gayle used it.
She said that, "I dabbled in yoga."
Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Vanessa: I did it occasionally, maybe once a month, maybe once every couple months.
It wasn't a big important part of her life.
Dan: Yeah.
When I've heard this used it's usually when somebody asked you if you do something, and
you just say, "Eh.
I dabble."
Vanessa: Oh.
So, you don't want to show them, "I'm so serious about this."
Dan: Yeah.
Vanessa: You just want to say, "Oh, it's not so serious.
Oh, yeah.
I dabbled in art for a while.
I dabbled in painting, but, you know, it wasn't anything serious."
Dan: Right.
Vanessa: So, you're kind of being modest.
You're not really saying, "I love this!"
Dan: Yeah.
"I do it all the time!"
Vanessa: Oh, yeah!
Instead it's a little more casual than that.
So, I hope that you'll be able to see that from the conversation with Gayle.
Let's watch it.
Gayle: I just dabbled in it.
One thing that I always remember ... Gayle: I just dabbled in it.
Gayle: I just dabbled in it.
Vanessa: The next expression is to be mindful.
Dan: Mindful.
Vanessa: Mindful.
Your mind is your brain.
So, you can kind of imagine here that you are aware.
You are intentional.
You're not doing something by accident.
You are intentional.
You're doing it consciously.
You are aware.
You are mindful.
This is a word that's often linked with yoga, because you are not just doing say, boxing,
where you're punching.
No.
Vanessa: Instead you're thinking about each muscle.
It's kind of slow and careful.
So, you're in your mind, you're thinking about each movement, you are mindful.
You're careful and intentional.
Dan: Yes.
Vanessa: With each movement.
We can use that for other activities as well.
So, what about for you?
How would you use mindful?
Dan: Well, I think this has become a pretty popular thing in modern society.
Actually, we have a whole extra term, which is mindfulness.
Vanessa: Mmm.
Dan: So, this is the art of being mindful.
I assume that probably, you know, 100 years ago, everybody was being mindful at some point,
because they had more time.
Vanessa: And they didn't have too many things to distract them, like screens.
Dan: Yeah.
Not as many distractions.
But now you have to say, "I practice mindfulness."
Vanessa: Mmm.
Dan: So, that just means at some point in the day I stop and I think about my body,
my thoughts ... Vanessa: My life.
Dan: What's just going on in my mind?
I'm not looking at my phone.
I'm not watching a TV show.
I'm being mindful.
Vanessa: Yeah.
I think that that's actually a really good New Year's Resolution that a lot of people
make, is, "I'm going to be mindful every day."
It could just be, "Okay, I'm going to sit down for 10 seconds, and just sit down and
breathe, and think about nothing, or think about, 'Oh, what was my posture like?
How do I feel today?'"
Dan: Let the emotions hit you right, left, anger, sorrow!
Vanessa: And really just [crosstalk 00:20:49] conscious about that, being mindful about
it.
Or we can use this same idea and talk about more of a concrete situation.
So, for example, if you are a teacher and you have a classroom, you have to be mindful
of all of the students' behavior.
This means aware of their behavior.
Just like I'm mindful of myself, I'm aware of my own thoughts and feelings, you can be
mindful of the students, and kind of aware of that situation?
Vanessa: What about the verb to mind?
Dan: Yeah.
Just to mind something.
Vanessa: How would you use that?
Dan: I mean, it's basically the same thing, be aware, but it's almost like, be careful.
Like, mind the puddle.
Vanessa: It's usually used as some kind of warning.
Like, "Mind the puddle!"
That might be a little bit ... Dan: Don't step in the puddle.
Vanessa: Old English, maybe?
Dan: It's not super common.
Vanessa: I feel like there's a phrase where we definitely use it.
Dan: Yeah.
What's that?
Vanessa: Mind your manners.
Dan: Oh, that's right.
Of course.
Vanessa: I know that parents say this all the time.
If you were a kid and you were at the dinner table, you just had your hands everywhere,
and you're eating, your parents would probably say, "Mind your manners."
Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Vanessa: This means be careful of your manners.
Don't put your hands all over the table.
Be kind of more responsible and mature.
Mind your manners.
Dan: Yeah.
This is also definitely an old term, but it's carried over into modern popular culture.
Vanessa: Yes.
Have you ever visited London and seen this expression?
Do you remember where this is in London?
Dan: Mind the gap?
Vanessa: Mind the gap!
Yes.
If you go on the subway or the underground, or they call it the tube, everywhere there's
signs that say, "Mind the gap."
The gap is the space between the platform and the train.
Don't fall there.
It's dangerous.
So, they're saying, "Watch out!"
Dan: Remember.
Vanessa: Be careful.
Dan: Look.
Vanessa: Of the gap.
But it's a really polite way of saying, "Mind the gap.
Be careful."
So, if you go to London you might see that expression everywhere.
You might even hear the announcer say, "Mind the gap as you get on the train."
Dan: But would you say, "Be mindful of the gap?"
Vanessa: You could.
It makes sense.
Dan: Technically, it's right.
Vanessa: It's a little bit weird.
Dan: It's strong.
Vanessa: Yeah.
It's like, a little bit too strong.
Dan: Be mindful of is like, really watch.
You can work with this thing.
You can't really work with a hole in the ground.
You're just trying to miss it.
Vanessa: Yeah.
Avoid the gap in the ground.
Just step over it.
Yeah.
So, I feel like if you say, "Be mindful of something," it's more, "Be thoughtful about
it.
Think about it."
Kind of more than inner feeling like, with yoga.
Vanessa: Alright.
Let's watch the clip so that you can see how it was used.
Gayle: But still, there's ways of like, breathing more fully, breathing more mindfully, that
can, you know, help your overall health.
Gayle: There's ways of like, breathing more fully, breathing more mindfully.
Gayle: There's ways of like, breathing more fully, breathing more mindfully.
Dan: The next expression is to clear your mind.
This is a pretty self explanatory expression.
It just means to forget, usually, your problems.
Vanessa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Yes.
We can imagine you're erasing the problems, you're clearing the problems from your mind.
Dan: Yeah.
It might not even just be problems.
Maybe you're just doing a lot of things.
Maybe there's a lot of noise around you.
So, you need to go outside.
I would say usually it's going outside to clear your mind.
Vanessa: Yes.
I this was something that happened to us a couple months ago over Christmas break.
We went to Dan's parents' house.
There were a lot of people there.
Every day there was so much going on, especially when we were running after our toddler.
It was just so busy.
Every day it was like, "Okay, we need to get outside, clear our minds."
So, every day we went for a walk, we went to the park, and it was kind of necessary,
because in that busy environment we're not really worried or, you know, stressed.
It's just a lot going on.
Vanessa: So, it's nice to step outside, and clear your mind.
Dan: Yeah.
I definitely would say though, it is mostly associated with stress.
So, if you're ... Vanessa: It was a little bit stressful with
lots of people and a toddler.
Dan: It was.
Yes.
So, like, if you're in an argument with somebody, and you just need to walk away because you
can't solve the problem now, you might need to say, "I just need to go and clear my mind.
We'll come back to this problem."
Vanessa: That's a very responsible thing to say.
"Go clear my mind, and then we'll get back to this."
Vanessa: Just to let you know, a quick grammar about this, make sure that our possessive
pronoun, clear my mind, clear his mind ... Make sure that it matches with the subject.
You can't say, "I need to clear his mind."
Dan: No.
Vanessa: I, his.
It doesn't really work.
You can only clear your mind.
Dan: That sounds like a threat.
Vanessa: I need to clear his mind!
Kind of like you're going to erase his memory.
So, instead, make sure that your subject matches that possessive pronoun.
He needs to clear his mind.
She needs to clear her mind.
I need to clear my mind.
Vanessa: Alright.
Let's watch the clip.
Vanessa: Then when you start to think about it maybe it's just that physical element,
but I kind of ... It clears my mind a little bit.
Vanessa: It clears my mind a little bit.
Vanessa: It clears my mind a little bit.
Vanessa: The next expression is one that I love.
It's to be in the zone.
We can kind of imagine here, this thing that Dan's doing with his hands.
In the zone.
You're completely focused.
You're not looking at other things.
You're not distracted.
You're so focused, you are in the zone.
We can kind of imagine that mental thing that's happening where your mind is blocking out
other things.
You are in the zone.
Dan: Yeah.
You're not thinking about anything else.
Vanessa: Yes.
I mentioned this in the conversation with Gayle.
This happens to me in yoga class sometimes, if I really concentrate on breathing, and
then also my emotions, I am thinking about my breathing, I am thinking about my emotions.
There's not space in my brain to think about other things.
So, I kind of forget what's for dinner.
I forget what else I was doing.
I can just focus.
I can be in the zone.
It's kind of a great place to be.
Vanessa: You feel relaxed.
You're blocking out other distractions, as long as that's okay.
So, what about for you?
When have you been in the zone?
Dan: Yeah.
I definitely used this term for sports.
So, when I play hockey I get in the zone.
I'm not thinking about anything else.
But I would also say for sports, when we say, "in the zone," that also means you're playing
very well.
Vanessa: Oh, right.
Dan: Like, if you said, "he's in the zone," that means that he is scoring goals.
He's playing really well.
He's not making many mistakes.
Vanessa: He's not distracted by other things.
He's doing well.
You're in the zone.
Vanessa: So, I want to know for you.
You can even use this when you're studying English.
When you're studying English, are you so focused, you're so into it, your brain is tuning out
other things, your brain is ... You're clearing your mind of other things, and you're in the
zone, and studying English.
Vanessa: I want to know if that has ever happened to you?
Maybe there's a lot going on in your house, where it's not so possible ...
Dan: Yes.
I think they call it a flow state, as well.
Vanessa: Oh.
Sure.
Your brain is just flowing, and you're just going.
Dan: In the flow.
Vanessa: In the flow.
That's another great way to say this.
In the zone.
In the flow.
It means you're just going, and going, and going.
You're really on the ball.
Oh, so many good expressions.
Dan: On the ball too!
Vanessa: Yeah.
You're on the ball, you're really just focused.
So, I hope that all of these expressions, in the zone, on the ball ...
Dan: In the flow.
Vanessa: In the flow.
I hope that all of those are useful to you.
To me, the similar thing of focused.
Vanessa: Alright.
Let's watch the clip.
Vanessa: I almost feel like I'm in the zone or like, when you're thinking about your breath
you can ... Vanessa: I almost feel like I'm in the zone
or ... Vanessa: I almost feel like I'm in the zone
or ... Dan: The next expressions is religiously.
This just means to have full commitment to something.
Vanessa: Yes.
Dan: Almost in like, a spiritual way.
I would say nine times out of 10, you're going to use this as a joke or as hyperbole.
Vanessa: Exaggeration.
Dan: Yes.
So, "I eat pizza religiously."
Vanessa: It doesn't mean that three times a day you eat pizza.
That would be literally religiously.
Dan: Well, it would also mean you go to the pizza and you worship the pizza.
Vanessa: It's not that.
Dan: No.
You don't pray to pizza.
You just love pizza so much, and you eat it very often, and very regularly.
Vanessa: Yeah.
But it doesn't mean actually that you treat it like a religious.
So, in this way it's a hyperbole, which is a great way of saying an exaggeration.
Dan: Yeah, and I mean, technically, you could use this in a religious, a true religious
sense.
Like, "I go to church religiously."
Vanessa: Oh.
It actually is religion.
Dan: Yeah.
Vanessa: But you mean the same thing.
You do it often.
You're committed.
You treat it seriously.
Dan: Or if you say, "I prayed at church religiously," that doesn't really make sense, because it's
a given.
You're at church.
Vanessa: Of course, you're going to be doing it religiously.
Dan: Of course, it's religion.
Right.
Vanessa: So, I want to know for you, is there anything that you do religiously?
I know I can think of one thing.
Dan: Oh, no.
You can?
Vanessa: Yes.
Drink coffee!
Dan: Oh!
That's true!
I do drink coffee religiously.
Vanessa: Yes.
If Dan ... Dan: I maybe do pray to it too.
Vanessa: Secretly.
Dan: Thank you.
Vanessa: If you don't have coffee in a day, I'm pretty surprised.
Like, it happens every day religiously.
You're committed to it.
It happens every single day.
You can kind of see it's a little bit of a joke.
Dan: It's funny.
Vanessa: It's funny because ... Dan: I'm committed to coffee.
Vanessa: You're committed to coffee.
Dan: I'm following coffee.
Vanessa: Yes.
Dan: To my grave.
Vanessa: Yes.
So, I want to know, for you, what is something that you do religiously?
It can be a little bit of an exaggeration.
That's fine.
Or something silly like coffee.
Do you drink coffee religiously?
Vanessa: I would say I drink tea, but I don't drink tea religiously.
I don't drink tea absolutely every single day, and if I don't have it there's a problem.
Dan: You don't do very many things religiously.
Vanessa: Oh, yeah?
Dan: Yeah.
It's just chaos.
Vanessa: Just chaos!
Dan: Clearly.
Vanessa: I, especially with teaching English, there's a lot of things that I do religiously.
Dan: We hope you religiously watch Vanessa's videos.
Vanessa: Oh!
That means that you are committed.
Dan: Pray to Vanessa.
Vanessa: It doesn't mean that.
Dan: Worship Vanessa.
Vanessa: It doesn't mean that.
It means that you are doing it consistently.
Dan: That's what I do.
Vanessa: I hope that it's something that's a part of your daily life, at least learning
English is.
Vanessa: Alright.
Let's watch the clip, so that you can see how it was used.
Gayle: I did that class religiously for two years.
Vanessa: Oh!
That's dedication.
Gayle: I did that class religiously for two years.
Gayle: I did that class religiously for two years.
Vanessa: The next expression is a great idiom, to take a toll or to take its toll.
Dan: Take its toll.
Vanessa: Both of these are the exact same thing.
We had a long discussion about what's the difference between these two, and in the end
we came to the conclusion that they're exactly the same.
So, good news!
You get two for one.
Dan: Yeah.
Do you know where it came from?
The term?
Vanessa: A toll?
Do you know what a toll is?
It's like, when you're driving and you have to pay ...
Dan: Yes.
Vanessa: To pass to another road.
It's a toll.
Dan: It's a road or a bridge that you have to pay to cross.
Vanessa: Oh.
Dan: So, that's the original meaning.
I was actually looking this up.
In ancient times, sometimes the toll on the road was a lot.
Vanessa: Oh.
Dan: It was a lot of money, or you had to give like, your cattle or something.
Vanessa: Something really valuable.
Dan: Yeah.
People would really make the toll expensive, to go across a bridge.
Vanessa: Oh.
Dan: Maybe there's only one bridge and you're like, "Hey, cross this bridge, but give me
your cow."
Vanessa: So, in this sense, back in the day, it was quite expensive to pay the toll.
Nowadays it's like, a dollar.
Dan: Yeah, there are roads and transport everywhere.
Vanessa: Yeah.
So, you don't really have to pay that much nowadays, but this meaning, it kind of seems
to go back to that original meaning of toll, to take a toll.
It means that something has gradually, over time, weakened something.
Dan: Yes.
Vanessa: So, let me give you a quick example.
You might say that, "I drove my car 60 miles every day, and it took a toll on my car."
Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Vanessa: That means that driving my car 60 miles every day, that's like, 60 kilometers,
we could say.
60 kilometers every day took a toll on my car.
It's a lot of driving.
So, my car gradually weakened because of that.
It took a toll.
Vanessa: What's another way that we could say take a toll or take its toll?
Dan: Yeah You often use this with just your body.
Vanessa: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dan: So, maybe your job has taken its toll on you?
Or your job took a toll on your body?
So, if you stand a lot or you sit a lot, or maybe you're working with machinery, it can
take a toll.
Maybe you get injured, just over time, or you're 40 years old and all of a sudden, "Oh!
My arm.
I can barely move this arm."
Right?
Vanessa: Sure.
Dan: Or in the most general sense, you can even just say, "Life takes its toll."
Vanessa: That's quite dark.
Dan: Yep.
Vanessa: It's true!
Over time ... Dan: As time goes on you just get older and
weaker, and life is taking its toll.
Vanessa: Yeah.
That happens to everybody.
It's nothing to be ashamed of.
Vanessa: So, when you use this expression it's implying that something is weakening
over time.
We could say my car is weakening over time.
We have kind of a cause and effect.
Driving my car 60 miles took its toll on my car.
The cause is driving 60 miles, and its effecting my car, or maybe sitting down every day for
eight hours at my office took its toll on my body.
We have this ... Dan: Parenthood ...
Vanessa: Cause and effect.
Oh!
Dan: Is taking is toll on my mental well being.
Vanessa: Maybe that's ... Dan: That's a little strong.
Vanessa: Maybe that's just having a toddler.
Vanessa: So, maybe there's something in your life that is, over time ... The first time
it happens, maybe the second time or third time, it doesn't really effect you, but gradually
over time something has weakened you.
Maybe that's you physically, or maybe that's mentally, or it could be something else in
your life, like your car ... It's taking its toll.
So, I recommend checking out the lesson guide so that you can get a couple more sample sentences
for this.
This is an excellent idiom that we use in daily conversation.
So, make sure that you're familiar with it.
Vanessa: Alright.
Let's watch the clip.
Gayle: I had never sat so much in my whole life.
Vanessa: It takes a toll on you.
Gayle: Oh!
I knew it was.
Vanessa: It takes a toll on you.
Vanessa: It takes a toll on you.
Dan: The next expression is an idiom, down the road.
This is not literally down a road.
This just means down in the future ... Vanessa: Some time in the future.
Dan: Or up in the future.
Some time in the future.
It doesn't mean tomorrow.
It means in a later date, probably over a year, I'd say.
Vanessa: Yeah.
It's kind of vague.
If you don't want to say exactly when something will happen, you might say, "Oh, I'd like
to go to Japan down the road," or, "Some day down the road I hope to be fluent in English."
This just means in the future.
We can kind of imagine the road of life, and somewhere down the road of life you will go
to Japan, or you will be fluent in English.
Dan: It's obviously very non-specific and non-committal.
Maybe it will never happen.
Vanessa: Yeah.
So, you don't want to use this if someone says, "Hey, can you help me to clean the floor?"
"Oh, I'll do it down the road."
That's not a good way to use this.
Dan: Some day down the road I'll clean the floor for you, honey.
Vanessa: That means maybe next year.
So, we want to use this in situations where it's pretty far in the future, or just some
unknown time in the future.
Maybe some kind of goals you have for your life, or you have a vision for something that
will happen in the future, and you say, "Oh, down the road I would like this to happen."
Dan: Gayle actually used it in a negative way.