As a professional seminar speaker, teacher trainer, and workshop leader, for over 30 years, Stick Yoga® is the tool I use to raise my energy and set the tone as a passionate and enthusiastic speaker. As one of the elements of preparation and warm-up exercises, Stick Yoga®,addresses posture, self image, confidence, and the physical/mental energy necessary to deliver a high energy presentation.
Stick Yoga® is an intentional hybrid of traditional yoga poses and my creative, educated approach to stretching, strengthening, and balance.
This process teaches how to stand comfortably, confidently, full of energy, and with perfect open posture, so that the speaker can deliver whatever speech, interview, or performance one chooses from a place of relaxation, that is positive, confident, passionate, and enthusiastic. This will allow one to project a voice volume that is appropriate for the audience and room with clear self assured expression.
Before picking up the Yoga Stick, the speaker will stand in neutral position (feet hip width apart and facing forward with knees slightly bent, and the pelvis tucked), physically relaxed and comfortable. (Picture 1)
Allow yourself to gently shake the wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles and the whole body to get really loose and let go of any tension.
Then focus on your breathing by making sounds. These are very important to free yourself from voice or throat tension. Sounds can include ~ Ha! Ha! Ha! Ho! Ho! Ho! Just getting the tension out and opening up the diaphragm with forced air out and deep breathing helps relax the entire voice and respiratory systems.
Preparation With Stick Yoga®:
In preparing my body, I stand tall and apply certain stretching routines, which immediately opens up my chest, shoulders, and creates perfect posture. I incorporate a self-aligning visualization (going inside to align my outside), and conscious deep breathing.
Next, while still in this neutral position, I pick up the Yoga Stick, and place it behind my back, supported by my elbows. (See Picture 2). This opens up my chest and rib cage, then I slowly begin to make circles, and figure 8’s clockwise and counter clockwise with natural deep breathing into my heart.
Once we feel more relaxed and warmed up, the speaker can take another position with the Yoga Stick and start creating larger ranges of motion in diagonal, horizontal, vertical and circular directions. These motions will open up a greater physical space in the body, which also includes increased awareness into the legs, hips, knees, and ankles. Once we start to build heat, and turn up the energy, we now begin to feel more integrated, present, and capable for what is to follow.
The main goal of this protocol is to get the speaker into present time mentally and physically. Once we are present by warming ourselves up, engaging our hands and fingers using the elements of touch and pressure, we are waking up the brain.
Once someone has developed these qualities it is much easier to include humor, jokes, and personal stories, which help build rapport. When the presenter is full of energy, passion and radiates a posture of confidence, strength, and charisma, they are much more credible. These elements of preparation for a speech will help to optimize your performance and results.
To maintain the energy level during the presentation, it is helpful to include using ones hands and arms in ways of animating our story or information. This animation using the whole body adds to the aliveness. Walk and move. This is energizing as the presentation is delivered.
Stick Yoga® prepares my body to be present, enlivened, aerated, circulated, and well articulated, so that I can move gracefully, confidently with full strength in my communication. How long of a warm-up? I usually prepare for 5 to 10 minutes to get focused, present, mindful and conscious of my intention to give the best of my abilities in this presentation.
Make a Great First Impression with Stick Yoga®:
The first impression is visual, before you even speak. How you look standing and walking are equally important. Stick Yoga® is a tool to enhance personal presence. Using your hands with the Yoga Stick, you learn skills to increase your energy and get your body prepared for peak performance.
A Final Step ~ Quiet the Mind:
So after we have prepared our physical body, we then want to quiet our mind. We go into an active silent mediation, by sitting still, watching the breath, and feeling our heart beat. My message is really about being honest, sincere and transparent from my heart. I speak from a loving, empowered place that is here to serve the group, the audience, and provide what is next for people to learn and grow.