It Be­gins and Ends with the Breath

with Poppy Jamie

Athleisure - - Contents - @Pop­pyJamie PHO­TOS COUR­TESY | Poppy Jamie+ Happy Not Per­fect

We caught up with TV Pre­sen­ter/Host, Co-Founder/De­signer of ac­ces­sory brand - Pop and Suki, Founder of app/life­style brand Happy Not Per­fect and breath­ing in­struc­tor, Poppy Jamie. She shares the im­por­tance of mind­ful­ness and breath­ing as well as how she launched her ca­reer.

This time of year, there are a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties that are push­ing for our at­ten­tion. There are no­ti­fi­ca­tions on our phones, mak­ing var­i­ous ap­point­ments, check­ing that we're not miss­ing stu­dio time at yoga as well as get­ting our nails done. There are times where you for­get to eat or even to breathe! Breath­ing is one of our most vi­tal tasks and as much as we do it, many of us are not do­ing it right! We took a mo­ment to chat with Poppy Jamie, Breath­ing In­struc­tor and en­thu­si­ast, TV pre­sen­ter, Co-Founder/ De­signer of Pop and Suki and Founder of Happy Not Per­fect, a new app and life­style brand that re­cently launched to find out what a breath­ing work­shop is, how we do it and what led her to this ca­reer!

ATHLEIURE MAG: Where did the year go? How is it al­most Christ­mas.

POPPY JAMIE: I know right, I mean I was just telling my­self, where did the year go and how can it be the end of the year al­ready? At least we have the hol­i­days to look for­ward to!

AM: You cover a num­ber of ar­eas so in look­ing at your back­ground, how did you get into do­ing TV, have a suc­cess­ful line – Pop & Suki (ac­ces­sory line cre­ated by best friends Poppy and ac­tress and model Suki Wa­ter­house), your app/life­style brand, Happy Not Per­fect as well as be­ing a breath en­thu­si­ast?

PJ: Well re­ally, I was in­spired I sup­pose by my up­bring­ing. My mum is a hyp­nother­a­pist and my dad is an en­tre­pre­neur. When we were grow­ing up, we spoke about the mind at the age of 8 and it was so nor­mal to talk about emo­tions, how you process them, how you man­age your mind, med­i­ta­tion, breath­ing. These were all things that were just as nor­mal as brush­ing your teeth, wash­ing your face and go­ing out for a walk. Men­tal health has been such a part of the way that I was brought up and in my DNA.

I al­ways knew that I wanted to be a TV

pre­sen­ter. Ever since I knew I could talk, I wanted to be able to com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple be­cause I just found it so in­cred­i­ble how you could share a con­ver­sa­tion and sto­ry­telling and that re­ally led me to my first ca­reer as a TV pre­sen­ter and host. While I was a TV host, that was the thing that re­ally gave me in­sight into this so­cial set­ting and made me an­a­lyze what peo­ple were look­ing at and how they were re­act­ing to things. When I launched my show on SnapChat, Pil­lowTalk (the first show to air on SnapChat), I would see hun­dreds of thou­sands of mes­sages of peo­ple just re­act­ing about what they were think­ing, feel­ing and go­ing through. At that mo­ment, it was my up­bring­ing and where I was in my ca­reer that came to­gether. I would start to call up my mum and I would ask her ad­vice on how I should re­spond to these ques­tions that in­cluded peo­ple that were strug­gling at work/school or feel­ing stressed about their re­la­tion­ship. In that mo­ment I re­al­ized how lit­tle we know about the mind and how for­tu­nate I was to have a mum that would teach me about the mind and these sort of things. I be­gan to won­der how I could go about shar­ing my mum and putting her into an app and to give her to ev­ery­one. It wouldn’t mat­ter where you were or what time of day it was – it’s about the thought process. It’s re­ally what a great ther­a­pist does – they help you process your thoughts and find a new per­spec­tive by us­ing dif­fer­ent tools such as breath­ing and jour­nal­ing. It’s funny that my ca­reer has gone in so many dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions, but it all hap­pened to go into the cre­ation of Happy Not Per­fect.

At the time, I was liv­ing in LA with my best friend and that’s how the hand­bags started. My best friend and I are two of the most dis­or­ga­nized girls that you could ever meet as we’re al­ways los­ing things and we thought that if we could de­sign hand­bags, we’d be less dis­or­ga­nized. It’s been a re­ally crazy 3 years and I couldn’t be hap­pier work­ing on these things that I now are re­ally help­ing peo­ple. We have so many mes­sages a day where peo­ple are like, “Oh my God this is re­ally help­ing me.” Peo­ple thank­ing us on teach­ing them how to breathe and those who were feel­ing low be­fore Happy Not Per­fect and now after us­ing it they feel less anx­ious. I love how I am do­ing my part into what I should be do­ing.

AM: I love how con­nected it is and how the app also has an ex­ten­sion as a life­style brand with prod­ucts that are at­tached to it as well – cor­rect?

PJ: Ex­actly! We found that in our fo­cus groups that peo­ple re­ally strug­gled with deal­ing with things and that Mil­lenials are some of the most stressed out peo­ple that ever lived. It showed through our qual­i­ta­tive re­search in Amer­ica, Europe and Aus­tralia that we did. I won­dered what we should do and how could we as­sist in manag­ing their stress lev­els and peo­ple were silent about it. That’s when I learned that peo­ple weren’t so sure on what they could do to man­age their men­tal well be­ing. Peo­ple wanted to know what they could use! This holds true for why there is prod­uct in Happy Not Per­fect as well as why I was in­trigued to work with Breathe Right Strips. Even a sim­ple thing like putting the strip on your nose, you can sleep bet­ter be­cause you are get­ting more air and it’s an up­ward spi­ral. Sud­denly you have a clearer mind in the morn­ing and it’s a sim­ple thing that can help you feel bet­ter. We found that with the site and life­style com­po­nents that ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit from these items.

AM: We were un­able to at­tend the breath work­shop which was un­for­tu­nate, but how did this part­ner­ship be­tween your­self and Breathe Right Strips come about as we un­der­stand the nat­u­ral syn­ergy here.

PJ: I’ve been us­ing Breathe Right for years and it has been a bit of my se­cret

hack! When I trained as a breath­ing in­struc­tor and when I would do my classes in Lon­don, NY and LA af­ter­wards I would say, if you guys are strug­gling with breath­ing at night when you’re try­ing to sleep, you should use these strips. Some­one then said, “I know them – you should con­nect with them.” I was be­ing their big­gest ad­vo­cate even be­fore they knew me be­cause I loved them. Then we were con­nected and I was so happy about that be­cause I love the nat­u­ral way that you can just be help your­self and be a lit­tle more re­laxed and have a clearer mind. It’s about some­times hav­ing the sim­plest thing like a breath­ing strip and learn­ing how to breathe into your belly that will have a for­ma­tive af­fect on your men­tal and your phys­i­cal health.

AM: I heard that you have a 24kt gold Breathe Right Strip – is this true?

PJ: I do and I’m very ex­cited about my it and hon­estly, it’s one of my fa­vorite beau­ti­ful man­tle pieces! I mean I never ever thought that I would have a 24kt gold ba­si­cally nose statue! Now I do! I was trav­el­ing back from NY to Lon­don be­cause my par­ents were so ex­cited to see this and it is the coolest thing. I car­ried it in my hand lug­gage and when I went through se­cu­rity, no­body could be­lieve my gold karat nose and it has now trav­eled half­way across the coun­try and it is now very close to my heart.

AM: What’s it like go­ing through a breath­ing work­shop and how do you guide peo­ple through their proper breathe?

PJ: A breath­ing work­shop be­gins with teach­ing peo­ple how to breathe. When I first started out as a breath­ing in­struc­tor un­der Dr. Belisa Vranich, who is one of the lead­ing ex­perts in the world, she is the au­thor of Breathe and she is one of the most cru­cial women that I have ever met. I couldn’t be­lieve it when she said that 9 out of 10 peo­ple breathe in­cor­rectly! It’s un­be­liev­able. We all breathe, but when you re­al­ize that we pick up bad breath­ing habits from the age of 5 be­cause we go to school and be­gin to hunch over ta bles and we start breath­ing too much air and we start to do shal­low mouth breath­ing. This is a forced habit from the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem it pumps up our stress level and makes us feel like we’re in dan­ger and we have that fight or flight feel­ing. But when you start en­gag­ing in belly breath­ing and slowly in­hale through your nose and slowly ex­hale with lower body breath, it em­u­lates your vega nerve and takes you out of that fight or flight state.

This is a calm­ing breath that al­lows you to have a pretty in­stan­ta­neous mo­ment of clar­ity. You make bet­ter de­ci­sions and it re­duces your nerves. So the breath­ing teach­ing and the breath­ing work­shop teaches you the power of learn­ing how to re­lax your ner­vous sys­tem when you need to and the best way to do that is through nose/belly breath­ing, and then once you kind of learn that, we can prac­tice by putting weight on our bel­lies to prac­tice bring­ing that weight up and bring­ing it back down, as that is help­ful. A great trick to do this is to do so when you’re in bed and you can’t get your­self to sleep, you can put a heavy book on your belly to breathe the book up and to breathe it back down (ed­i­tor’s note: this is an ex­er­cise to calm you down to be able to sleep as the book is only for the breath­ing prac­tice). It’s a great trick and if you have friends who are a bit anx­ious or stressed out, teach them to lie down, put a book on their belly to breathe it up and down as it is re­ally calm­ing and re­lax­ing. I re­ally like to teach peo­ple tools that they can share with their friends and fam­ily. And then, we go into a kind of breath work med­i­ta­tion which uses the breath to sink into a med­i­ta­tive state and dur­ing the breath work­shop that we did a few weeks back at the event, we did a Love and Kind­ness Med­i­ta­tion, which is one

of the sci­en­tif­i­cally backed med­i­ta­tions that re­ally help to nur­ture kind­ness and com­pas­sion not only for our­selves, but for those around us and after ex­pe­ri­enc­ing that, we come out of med­i­ta­tion which lasts at about half an hour or 45 min­utes in terms of the ed­u­ca­tion, the prac­tic­ing and the med­i­ta­tion. Hope­fully ev­ery­one leaves feel­ing a lit­tle bit hap­pier and calmer and a lot less stressed.

AM: That sounds fan­tas­tic. With a new year com­ing up, there is a lot of stress and anx­i­ety that peo­ple will have in want­ing to do res­o­lu­tions and things that are dif­fer­ent, but also com­ing down from a busy hol­i­day sea­son – how can breath work help with this so that they can calm down and do what they need to dur­ing the day?

PJ: This is why I love breath­ing! It doesn’t mean that you have to med­i­tate for 20 min­utes if you don’t have time. The hol­i­days are so busy and you have loads of fam­ily around. So the belly breath which I ac­tu­ally do this while I am talk­ing with some­one or per­haps in a stress­ful meet­ing, I lightly put my hands on my belly and I start breath­ing slowly into my nose and out through my nose into my belly. I con­sciously have this hack know­ing that I have it when­ever I need it is pow­er­ful.

Even if you want to just take a cou­ple of mo­ments in the morn­ing to just lie down on your back and to just fo­cus on your breath­ing through your nose and down for a cou­ple of min­utes as it re­ally just sets your ner­vous sys­tem. Dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son, it’s so hec­tic be­cause peo­ple are buy­ing their presents and you need these short ef­fec­tive tricks for your ner­vous sys­tem and belly breath­ing is def­i­nitely one of them and any­one can do it which is fan­tas­tic!

AM: You’re based in NYC where would we find you grab­bing a drink/meal and work­ing out?

PJ: Oh my gosh my new fa­vorite place is abcV the new ve­gan place that I am newly ob­sessed with that! I have to say that no one can't beat The Bow­ery Ho­tel! It's re­ally mag­i­cal and fun and I al­ways have a lot of friends there. I like to think that well­ness is a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. It’s not only about look­ing after your mind, but it doesn’t mean de­priv­ing your­self of other things. It’s a bit of ev­ery­thing. My fa­vorite yoga stu­dio is Yoga Vida and I love this yoga in­struc­tor named Will Schnei­der who is my fa­vorite. I also love danc­ing as it’s in­cred­i­ble for your men­tal health and great for a mood boost that makes you feel good. If I am in a re­ally ded­i­cated mood, I love SLT which is in­cred­i­ble, but danc­ing and yoga are re­ally my thing as I find yoga is re­ally great for the mind and to stretch the body, you need to re­lax the mind. This ex­er­cise in­cor­po­rated med­i­ta­tion and I’m a big yoga fan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.