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Yoga & Wellness Advocate

 |  Published in Yoga Lifestyle

Yoga & Wellness Advocate

JUDIT TOROK

A regular visitor to Tokyo, New York City- based yoga instructor and interculturalist Judit Torok shares her techniques for alleviating big city stress.

Fight Off Stress with Your Breath

Imagine you have an acquaintance, a person you've known for a long time - perhaps as long as you can remember. He comes to you house any time, uninvited, and stays for as long as he wants. Rude and inconsiderate, he imposes his presence on your life, makes a mess and doesn’t leave. You try to be nice at first and reason with him, but he only gets more annoying with time. You try to ignore him or even pick a fight, but he comes right back again and again. This unwelcome and annoying acquaintance is called stress.

Warrior for Confidence

 |  Published in Yoga Lifestyle

Yoga & Wellness Advocate

JUDIT TOROK

A regular visitor to Tokyo, New York City- based yoga instructor and interculturalist Judit Torok shares her techniques for alleviating big city stress.

Warrior for Confidence

Body language and non-verbal communication have a profound effect on not just how others perceive us, but on how we feel about ourselves.

I N a TED talk (a platform for discussing technology, entertainment and design), titled “Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School associate professor and social psychologist, describes her research on the effects of physical poses for regulating our emotions. She claims that a person’s level of confidence, self-esteem and determination, all of which are closely linked with higher levels of testosterone (competition hormone) and lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone), depends on what body shape or posture a person habitually holds. The way we shape our bodies communicates non-verbally to others and, more importantly to ourselves, how we feel. Cuddy explains that holding a pose for as little as two minutes can radically change our self-perception and lead to significant life outcomes. So to feel more empowered, we should shape our body into a pose that promotes confidence. While it might be “pretend” at first, the more often we shape our bodies into powerful poses the more likely we will become confident people over time.

These ideas seem very powerful, but how do they relate to yoga?

Time-Outs

Written by  |  Published in Parenting

Time-Outs

Parents have long used “time-outs” as a technique to stop unacceptable behavior; however, time-outs are not just an effective punishment. They also give children an opportunity to calm down and gain self-control.

タイムアウト(今いる場所から強制的に退去させ、別の場所で一定 時間過ごさせること)」は、子供の容認できない行動をやめさせる ために以前から用いられている手法です。単なる“お仕置き”で はなく、気持ちを落ち着かせ自制心を養うチャンスを子供に与えるという 効果があります。

GLOBAL EDUCATOR DAVID NUNAN

Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

World-acclaimed linguist and language educator Dr. David Nunan shares his own personal learning experiences from his 30 years in the classroom.

Only connect

ONE of the joys of being an English language teacher for non-native English speakers is the opportunity to meet a diversity of individuals from different cultures and walks of life. Over the years, I have taught (and learned from) thousands of students of all ages and backgrounds. Occasionally I bump into former students and listen eagerly to the stories they tell me about their lives, from their successes and failures to their triumphs and tragedies. Once or twice at the end of a conversation, a former student has said, “Thank you for teaching me. You changed my life.” Hyperbole, perhaps, but for a teacher nothing is more rewarding than that from a former student.

GLOBAL EDUCATOR DAVID NUNAN

Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

Educating Sanjay

ALL of the tables in the coffee shop were taken. I looked around and saw an Indian man in his early thirties at a large table near the entrance. I raised an eyebrow, and he smiled and nodded, so I slid my tray onto the table and took the seat opposite him. A large handbag was hooked over the edge of the table. He noticed me looking at it and laughed.

“No,” he said, “it’s not a man-bag. It belongs to my wife.”

“Oh, I hope I’m not…”

“No,” he said. “She’s gone to pick up my son from the school bus.”

He introduced himself as Kapil, as in Kapil Dev, the great Indian cricketer. “But call me Kap. Everybody does,” he said. He told me he was a banker, adding that he is ”between jobs.” That’s like a lot of bankers in Hong Kong during the global financial crisis that never seemed to end. He had a British accent of indeterminate provenance, and I asked him where he was from. “Harrow,’ he said. “Just outside London. I was born and raised there but have spent most of my working life in Asia – Singapore, Tokyo and now Hong Kong.”

I finished my coffee and was about to depart when Kap’s wife appeared with their four-year-old son. The boy rushed to his dad for a cuddle, and then produced a painting from his backpack. He pushed it across the table for Kap’s approval.

Nelson Mandela

Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

Mandela Reveals the World’s Most Powerful Weapon

By Dr. David Nunan

SOME of the best teachers are not professional educators. On the surface, this statement might seem a paradox. Educators are defined by their work as teachers. I’m not trying to suggest that the many people who make their livings as educators aren’t great teachers. It is that some of the most instructive lessons I have learned about living and learning haven’t come from people with formal teaching qualifications nor from people who have worked as teachers, but from people who have nevertheless changed the world. One such person is Nelson Mandela: a great teacher, a great leader and one of the most powerful people of the modern era. Mandela valued education above all else. He once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” In an interview, when asked what is the single greatest problem facing the world right now, he replied at once, “Poverty and lack of education – these two problems combined. It is important for us to ensure that education reaches everyone.” (Interview in the Reader’s Digest, July 29, 2013.)

Dispelling Myths

Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

Dispelling Myths

By Dr. David Nunan

ONE of the things that I enjoy doing is dispelling myths. My chosen field, TESOL, abounds with myths such as “You can only boast that you speak a language if you sound like a native speaker” or “You can never learn to speak a language to a high level of proficiency if you don’t start learning at an early age.”

The myth that I want to dispel here is common in Japan, and one that I come across time and time again. This is the notion that Japanese are somehow genetically predisposed not to be able to speak languages other than their own with any degree of proficiency. A related belief is that foreigners can’t learn Japanese.

My Language Creates Me

Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

My Language Creates Me

By David Nunan

I’VE never met Costica Bradatan, but I would like to. I recently came across a newspaper article he wrote in the International Herald Tribune. I like the International Herald Tribune even though I usually only get to read it when I come across a copy left in a coffee shop or when it is distributed for free on an international flight.

On this occasion, I was flying from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. The flight attendant handed me a copy of the International Herald Tribune and I began leafing through it while waiting for the in-flight movie to begin. But then I came across an article by this man I’d never met or heard of and I immediately forgot about the movie. The article was called “Born Again in a Second Language.” In it, Bradatan talks about what it is like to write in a second language. He begins his article by quoting a French philosopher, activist and writer who wrote: “For any man [or woman] a change of religion is as dangerous a thing as a change of language is for a writer. It may turn out to be a success, but it can also have disastrous consequences.” He goes on to argue that a language is a way of experiencing the world. “The world reveals itself in a certain manner to the Japanese writer, and in quite another to the one who writes in Finnish.” A writer’s language is more than just a tool. It’s a part of who they are. The implication here is that in order to write in another language you have to become a different person.

How I Speak is Who I Am

Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

How I Speak is Who I Am

EVERY now and then, I have a conversation that goes something like this:

New Acquaintance: So, where are you from?
Me: Australia.
New Acquaintance: And How long have you lived in Hong Kong?
Me: Around 20 years.
New Acquaintance: Wow! And you haven't lost your Australian accent.

I'm never quite sure how to respond.

GLOBAL EDUCATOR DAVID NUNAN

Written by  |  Published in Language & Education

Transforming Education Through the Virtual Classroom

"...learning can, and does, occur wherever we happen to be."

THE title of this column is "David Nunan's Global Classroom." But what does this really mean? How can a classroom be “global?” Before we address this question, we need to decide what the word “classroom” really means. To paraphrase the dictionary definition, it refers to a room, typically in a school, in which a group of students are taught. If this is the case, then adding the adjective “global” before “classroom” would seem odd, or even downright contradictory. In this article, I want to argue why we can no longer think of a classroom in the traditional sense as a space simply defined by four walls, a ceiling and a floor, inhabited by a teacher and students, and created for the purposes of acquiring knowledge.



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