miércoles, 8 de julio de 2015

Talking point: Mind and body

This week's talking point is mind and body. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas flow more easily when you meet up with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
  • Put these health problems in order of seriousness, giving your reasons: feeling exhausted all the time / feeling that your shoulders are stiff / having high levels of cholesterol / having a bad back
  • What do you have to do if you feel you are putting on a lot of weight?
  • What do you have to do if you intend to run a marathon?
  • What do you do to look after your body and your health?
  • What advice would you give to someone who wants to give up smoking?
  • What advice would you give to someone who is very stressed and wants to relax?
  • What advice would you give to an elderly person who wants to get fit?
  • How important is the body image to you?
  • Do you know anyone who is obsessed with their body image?
To illustrate the point you can watch this video on Michael Fukumura, who went from being a government lawyer in Washington, D.C. to a yoga instructor and surfing fanatic in San Diego.

Yoga Surfer from Charles Schwab on Vimeo.

I was born in Japan, Tokyo. In Japanese culture the parents have a very strong influence on their children. Punishment was going to be by the belt, so I studied hard and I played the piano and I did all these things sort of conforming to what my parents set of expectations were.
I went into law almost like a default. I didn’t love the law, I looked up to my father and so a lot of it was about wanting to please him. After graduating from law school I went to ATF. We had a very strict dress code. It was shirt, tie, dress shoes, dress pants. My hair was very, very short. I looked like everyone else, very much fit in to the urban lifestyle of Washington DC.
At the same time I wasn’t fulfilled. I felt there was a big missing piece because I wasn’t in my heart of hearts feeling I was being of great service.
I resisted, but my wife was really adamant about leaving. First time in my entire life where I had no plan. We literally drove cross country with all our possessions and decided hey this is going to be our new life. My parents, by the way, were shocked because I didn’t even have a job, I didn’t have a place. I started surfing. It turned me deeper towards where I’d not been focused on, which is spirit. I started having right shoulder issues. I hear that yoga is good for injuries. I started doing yoga. What had been like a whisper now became like a real deep calling. All of a sudden things clicked.
The more I did it the more I just started feeling a sense of well-being. It was this realization that, wow, there is something about this place that created a… awaking if you will. So now through teaching public classes, teaching one on one, teaching in many different settings, I have a way of giving back where I feel passionate about. So my students, when I see them start to make a shift, perhaps in a relationship, perhaps even they haven’t got a job that is serving them and find something that really wakes them up and they’re passionate about just like I did. That’s really satisfying to me. From that perspective I feel I’m being of service.