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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 <