Naoko Matsumoto & Liz Clifton Interview Transcription:
Liz Clifton: And welcome it is my absolute great pleasure and honor to introduce you to the amazing, the wonderful Naoko Posture Coach and Alexander Technique certified Teacher. Welcome.
Naoko Matsumoto: Thank you so much for having me I'm so excited.
Liz Clifton: Oh, okay. And first off. I have to say congratulations on your book. I'm so pleased, so proud of you.
Naoko Matsumoto: Thank you so much. Yeah. Thank you.
Liz Clifton: Okay. And so to begin with self-care what does self-care mean to you?
Naoko Matsumoto: Yeah, self-care is, well, we can also say self love. So it's combination of kind of controlling, but at the same time, just to free yourself up. So that combination for me, is the self-care. Yeah.
Liz Clifton: I love that. And do you have like a set self-care routine that you do on a daily basis?
Naoko Matsumoto: Yes. Yes. So since I am a posture teacher, so always, I love to think about my body. Especially when I have tension, I always want to release as soon as possible. So yeah, it's really daily, but I don't have, okay. You know, seven, 7:00 AM I going to do this. Okay, you know, before I go to sleep because I'm lazy person, I do love myself. But I do want to tell myself, but, in a way I just, yeah, when I notice daily, I just release my body. That's my routine.
Liz Clifton: Oh, that's beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. And when you're thinking of self-care and self-love, do you find also that sort of over time over the week maybe, you're checking in like emotionally, mentally, physically, as you said, you're aware of the tension, and also spiritually?
Naoko Matsumoto: Yeah, definitely. Yes. Sometime it's more than, it's interesting though. I'm very, body side, physical side person. I have dancer background too, but, that was kind of tool because I am super emotional person. But I felt that it's bad thing. My mom said don't cry that much don't get angry that much. But for me it was, you know, natural. But the, I spread the kind of, down my emotion for a long time. So when I release my body, I finally could say, then say hello to my real emotions. So definitely I can say it's spiritual too. And definitely it's like a daily life, my body, good friend. So as much as I got to say, as soon as possible, when I pick up my some emotion, then I just try to express or I just, listen. So, at least I don't want to ignore any type of my emotion. So that's yeah. My thing.
Liz Clifton: I love that and say it's like a physical expression and release of any tension and emotion.
Naoko Matsumoto: I'm hard to separate from here is my emotion from here is my physical. So that's the kind of fun, mysterious part though. It's yeah. Everybody know and say, yeah, emotion the mind body is connected. So definitely. Yeah. We can separate that. But at the same time it's yeah. It's it's my study too. Yeah.
Liz Clifton: And so, we mentioned, you know, that your book is doing really brilliantly. And how do you celebrate your wins and your accomplishments?
Naoko Matsumoto: This time I really have to celebrate. And this is my new thing. Like good practice, because emotionally I was a super happy. But, you know what, I was so afraid to show it. And share first because maybe that person is not happy with me. Or maybe I going to be just, maybe it looks stupid if I'm too happy with my win or, you know, my achievements. But I just expressed did a selfie photo. Like I was like, I like to release my hair now, you know, bun. But the, just that I was like, I shake my head and then I kind of do the big movement as like, take a selfie, you know a timer. Then I quickly put it on internet, that's how I celebrated this happy emotion. And some, yeah, some people give me a good feedback. Wow. You look very free. The liberation then. Yeah. That's nice. Yeah I invite people to, yeah celebrate. So let's be playful. That was my thing. Yeah.
Liz Clifton: I love it. It's so beautiful. And it is it's again, it's that freedom that releasing your emotion and that sort of physical and creative way.
Naoko Matsumoto: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. They, sometime when I was, I was also teaching with dancers a long time ago. Then sometimes people just don't know how to release the emotion or attention to his body or how to express, you know, their freedom. Observed them. Like they think too much, okay. Go how to do it, how to do it. So I admired that very, yeah, good attitude. Okay. How I can practice this, then I can be free. But we are free as we born because you know, little kids never asked us, okay, how can I scream. So yeah, when they become adults, remember our body knows how to be free. So that's why just be playful or be messy. Don't think she, so that's how, yeah. I talked to people recently.
Liz Clifton: Beautiful and say for somebody who is in their head a lot, and they're just coming to self care , and freeing themselves for that first time, how would you suggest that they start?
Naoko Matsumoto: Yeah. That's great. Great question. I love the question. So here, I want to itroduce as someone is to meet you. Well, everybody has this inside, then one little point part of the body help us instantly to be free. So yeah. I want to take time where it is maybe your shoulder or belly or eyes or whichever. So everybody watching us just, I want to think just, yeah, just to be playful. Okay. Which part of the body helped me the most to be free or maybe which part is always of attention. And it's kind of bother me to be free. So both are very important then it's depends on people. But today I want to introduce the basic. We can release this from everywhere. But there is main switch, main switch. Which is actually our neck this part. And also for self care, being a beautiful posture. Naoko Matsumoto: If we talk about the beauty side to. Being a beautiful, it's a self-care too. Because we enjoy it right. We are beautiful. So even for a look, if, we have, released the neck. Your line, looks so beautiful. The line gonna be so beautiful. A lot of what people think of, okay, my chest or my spine, or suck my belly in. That kind of thing you know. But today. I want to introduce. That how, where is our neck first of all. Cause so usually we, we, we see ourselves in the mirror or in a photo picture. So another thing like, we always see this part about of our neck here. Yeah. That's true. Yeah. This is neck, but today. So yeah. Don't be scared. I'm going to open head.
Naoko Matsumoto: Okay. So I've got to my finger here, here, right and if we go to bone. The bone, neck, then open. It's still half way. It's still half way see like that. So a lot of, people actually missing this part and use as head which mean very rigid as a head. Right. So easy way. So let's see this guy. It's almost, I want you to remember, it's almost behind your nose is the top of your neck. So, image is helping it's big. So instead of, if you think this is the top of your neck, then you are going to be like this, but there is a very, very useful joint here. So movable jointed the space between the bone, right. So it's supposed to use a disc spot to justice said, hello, hello. Then you can breathe. And then you can create a nice line. Naoko Matsumoto: And it's actually like, so maybe you guys can go like from here into top of your neck, then look side to side to nose. Right. And if we try to move like that to each below, like this, chin line. Then if we use that part as thinking, okay, two inches lower then movement then going to be a little different. Yeah. So, yeah, all the head coming, down. So we kind of scoop is how to squeeze our neck. But yeah, it's happening because of this part is always using like a computer going this side and that side. And then drinking the tea you know. Daily, I always releasing my neck when I, you know, these things happen then. Oh, okay. Wait a second. Here is the my, like, okay. Allow, allow my neck to be free. That's the word. That's the line. Not okay straight your neck. That gives us tension. It's like a scary teacher. So let's say you started with the word, allow, allow your neck to be free and lengthen. So that kind of mantra. And now, you know, okay, this movable joint, it's a right to behind your nose. There is always a nice space here. Then when you bring your cup, say it like that.
Naoko Matsumoto: Yeah. And then when you, reached to, yeah, note book like this then. Oh, okay. Okay. Okay. My neck. Allow my neck to be free and you still can see it. Not like this. So that's how I, as a basic recommend to free your neck first. Then, the last three, there is interesting story. The mini story, neck and then shoulder, this area has a nickname nickname. And then this muscle called startled muscle. Startled muscle. So when we get emergency situation. Or that side of the car coming in, or someone yell or all of a sudden surprise and startled. Then universally, universally, everybody as a human being, what we going to do is shorten our neck. So if we, our body experience this tightness or shortness here, then our bodies go "Oh, my , this is emergency situation. Come on body let's pause right now.
Naoko Matsumoto: So it's all the tension. So unconsciously, if we have shorten neck with tension, our body can be also tense. Then if we reverse that, story every day, when you notice, just allow my neck to be free. I no where is the top. Yeah, and now I can breathe, actually. So then our whole body, whole system understand. Oh, we are so safe to be free because neck is a happy right now. Neck is easy now. So then though our shoulder back legs to everybody can be free. So that's why we call it. This main switch like electrical, like main switch. So yeah, scientifically it's also have that kind of story. So, first of all, yeah, I recommend just check up your neck daily, whenever you notice. Or you can put the timer if you cannot, notice. Yeah. I'm sure your neck is doing something funky.
Liz Clifton: Wow. That's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing that. And yeah, the same. I'd never thought about that extra section actually being part of my neck. And just as you were doing that, it just, yeah. You feel so much freer.
Naoko Matsumoto: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. It's like ascending air going up. We don't wanna. Because since I said, I'm Posture Teacher, everybody's tense and says oh, I have to be correct in front of Naoko. Then I was like, no, no, no. Yeah. You don't want to tense your neck. It's always the freedom inside. So I recommend, I want you to practice just think something, moving. Like air going up or champagne bubbles going up usually. Yeah. I recommend that nice image. It's movement inside outside. That gives you a fun feeling for sure.
Liz Clifton: That's beautiful. And as you were saying, the champagne, I could see your dance, your creative coming out. Yeah.
Naoko Matsumoto: Yeah. Everybody has that inside. Yeah. Yeah.
Liz Clifton: Beautiful. So what is your absolute kind of favorite self expression. What do you do in those moments to really express yourself?
Naoko Matsumoto: It's dancing. But, why I took moment was I haven't danced for a while. So I really want to go back to dance, but I'm so happy right now. You said my movement is like a dancing. So you made me feel no matter whether like I'm on the stage or off stage, I'm dancing. Then I feel like I'm expressing. So yeah. Thank you Liz. In that the movement the dancing always physically, emotionally, just me balance me out. And, feeling it's not about the shape or technique just the sensation is definitely my favorite way to express my thing. Yeah.
Liz Clifton: That's beautiful. And maybe there's room in your day where you can just have, even if it's like three or five minutes and you can just do a dance, you can take that, that self-care for you?
Naoko Matsumoto: Good. Yeah. So see, this is a kind of, I needed a more playfulness place. Because I have professional depth of background then the, my mind it logic. Oh, if we want to dance, then first stretch, second warm up and what kind of music? So that's true so yeah. Three minutes I can just dance around. I'll take, note.
Liz Clifton: I love it. And I will check back, I'm going to hold you accountable.
Naoko Matsumoto: Sure. This is great. Thank you.
Liz Clifton: You're so welcome. But yet you get your heart gets to sing every day. And from how you were just speaking about the dance. Yeah. You get to dance every day. Beautiful. Dancing lady.
Naoko Matsumoto: Wow. Thank you.
Liz Clifton: Oh, you are so welcome. And thank you so much for your words of wisdom and for sharing, you knew about that main switch. Because we all have that tension. absolutely. And to understand why that's what's happening is amazing. So thank you so much for sharing that with us.
Naoko Matsumoto: Sure thank you.
Liz Clifton: Thank you again so much for your time.
Naoko Matsumoto: Sure my pleasure my pleasure. Thank you.