CBP #1 - Cathy Gamba

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Cerebellum Podcast - Hosted by Daniel Hardie

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Episode #1 - Cathy Gamba

On this episode I speak with the woman who introduced me into mindfulness and meditation; Cathy Gamba. Cathy is a Yoga teacher, Mindfulness advocate, owns the most beautiful yoga studio one could imagine (called Pause Yoga) and has a passion for human anatomy and psychology. This was a lengthy, content filled conversation and even still Cathy emailed me wanting to add some more information which I've added below.

 You can find out more about Cathy and her studio by clicking the links below.

 

Show notes

Video times stamps/Audio time stamps

00:09:00/ 00:12:00 - Running

00:13:00/00:16:00- Mindfulness

00:22:00/00:25:00 - Tiffany Cruikshank

00:41:00/00:44:00 - The breath

00:42:00/00:45:00 - Default mode network

00:46:00/00:49:00 - Mindfulness Teacher

00:54:00/00:57:00 - Back injury

00:58:00/1:01:00 - Hydrating discs

00:1:02:/1:05:00 - Self study

1:08:00/1:11:00 - Meditation summarised

1:12:00/1:15:00 - Pain

1:15:00/1:18:00 - Beliefs

1:22:00/1:25:00 - The Mind

1:28:00/1:31:00 - Spongebob

1:29:00/1:32:00 - Stretching

1:51:00/1:54:00 - Vagus nerve

1:52:00/1:55:00 - 4/8 Breathing

1:59:00/2:02:00 - Questions

 

Extras from Cathy

***

I explained what mindfulness is not but I didn't get to touch on what I think it involves:
  1. It is a secular practice to train your brain to focus on what's happening in your life right in this very moment. It helps you get out of this constant fog we all get trapped in most of the time.
  2. The repeated returning of attention is the training of awareness. So every time you get distracted and remember to disengage from the distraction and return to the breath, tell yourself you are doing it just right. You are doing a rep for your brain.
  3. It's a never ending learning road - prepare yourself for that and be okay with it
  4. Why is it important? Well, it is quite simple, it is because it is about living your life as if it really mattered, moment by moment by moment by moment. So that when you are on your death bed, you know that you have been totally engaged in this one life of yours, totally present in the thick and thin, not absent or on auto-pilote for half of it. I do believe that we are not destined to respond the same way emotionally to the same old triggers and that with a little mind training, we can chart new pathways. With neuroplasticity, you can change how you respond emotionally to the ups and downs of life. And this is where I think it links to the practice of meditation in yoga.
Jon Kabat-Zinn defines it as the following: " Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment non-judgementally." and I would add with immense kindness, patience and respect towards yourself.
I also didn't get to talk about "HRV", which is heart rate variability which means the healthy fluctuation in beat-to-beat intervals of heart rate. Higher HRV is associated with stronger Vagus nerve function (remember the vagus nerve is the nerve that releases Acetylcholine, the chief neurotransmitter of the Parasympathetic nervous system to sort of give your body a shot of wave of relaxation and acts as a tranquilizer for the body by causing the heart rate to slow down, by dilating blood vessels, increase the digestive functions, increase production of saliva and tears)
During the inhalation phase of a breathing, the Sympathetic nervous system (SNS) facilitates an acceleration of heart rate. During exhalation, the vagus nerve secretes a transmitter substance called Acetylcholine which causes deceleration within beat-to-beat intervals via the PNS.
Now higher HRV is associated with stronger vagus nerve function, lower chronic stress levels, better overall health and improved cognition. I'll just repeat that again: higher HRV (meaning the robustness of someone's vagus nerve response and vagal tone) is associated with stronger vagus nerve function, lower chronic stress levels and better overall health and improved cognition. You can work on your HRV by lengthening your exhales, this is as simple as that.
And lastly, these are the five books you want to take with you to your trip to Mars: 
"Running with the mind of meditation" by Sakyong Mipham
"Meditation is not what you think" by Jon Kabat-Zinn
"Wherever you go, there you are" by Jon Kabat-Zinn
"Falling awake" by Jon Kabat-Zinn
"Scar tissue" by Anthony Kiedis :)
All these books are written in plain english and are super straight forward. No fluff, no mambo-jumbo especially the last one :)
The real question is: “How are you going to be in relationship to whatever is unfolding in any particular moment that always turns out to be this one?
 
This is not from me, it's from Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book "falling awake".
 
***

Cerebellum Podcast - Hosted by Daniel Hardie

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This resource is entirely supporter funded. No ads, no click bait, no paywall. Click here to make a one off donation, or monthly subscription to Dan's project.