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Teresa Kennedy: Total health includes physical AND mental fitness

Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy. Photo Credit: Dwayne Watkins

Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy. Photo Credit: Dwayne Watkins

What excites you the most about your job?
As Pres­i­dent of Power Liv­ing Enter­prises, it excites me that we are improv­ing people’s lives through our mind-body train­ing, coach­ing and con­sult­ing ser­vices, as well as the con­tent we create.

Please tell us about your inter­est in applied brain sci­ence. What areas are you most inter­ested in? What moti­vated you to pur­sue work in your field? 
The brain has always been fas­ci­nat­ing to me. I’m approach­ing it from the mind-body train­ing and con­tent stand­point. I have an MBA from Har­vard and also founded the first yoga stu­dio in Harlem 12 years ago. I blend the two now by train­ing exec­u­tives in mind­ful­ness, lead­er­ship and wellness.

What is one impor­tant thing you are work­ing on now and where can peo­ple learn more about it?
A mind-body sys­tem called Breathe & Burn– which inte­grates yoga, breath, med­i­ta­tion and mind­ful­ness. It’s focused on both phys­i­cal and brain fit­ness. I would love to inte­grate mon­i­tor­ing tech­nol­ogy with it. I’m also writ­ing the biog­ra­phy of 95-year-old yoga mas­ter Tao Porchon-Lynch. Best place to learn more is Here.

What are 1–2 key things you’d like every per­son to under­stand regard­ing his/ her own brain and mind that you think is com­monly mis­rep­re­sented or not addressed in the pop­u­lar media? 
1) Total health includes phys­i­cal AND men­tal fit­ness. 2) We have the power to change our brain though our lifestyle habits.

Where do you see clear “low-hanging fruit” to enhance behav­ioral and brain health based on neu­ro­science and inno­va­tion? 
I see clear poten­tial in the inte­gra­tion of low-tech tools such as med­i­ta­tion with higher-tech tools such as heart and brain mon­i­tor­ing for con­sumer use.

What sur­prised you the most at the 2013 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit?  
The com­mon theme of stress man­age­ment and lifestyle. Even when we were talk­ing about tech­nol­ogy, the dis­cus­sion fre­quently built on sim­ple things such as exer­cise and med­i­ta­tion. I was also delighted to hear the reported effi­cacy of the Kir­tan Kriya technique.

Finally, what do YOU do to stay sharp?
Yoga, med­i­ta­tion, veg­e­tar­ian diet, walk­ing, nature, travel/new expe­ri­ences, brush­ing up on my for­eign lan­guage skills.

2013 SharpBrains Summit—This con­ver­sa­tion is part of the inter­view series with Speak­ers and Par­tic­i­pants in the 2013 Sharp­Brains Vir­tual Sum­mit (Sep­tem­ber 19-20th). Pre­vi­ous inter­views include:

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