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Episode #121: Managing Through a Crisis, with Neha Saxena

Grad Conn

April 26, 2021  •  32 min read

India is currently struggling with a serious COVID outbreak. Sprinklr has offices and employees located throughout India, so this issue is hitting us on a very personal level. Today, Neha and I talk about the crisis, explore how leaders can support their teams, and offer some ways you can help.

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PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Grad 
All right, it’s Monday. And it’s the CXM Experience. I’m Grad Conn, CXO at Sprinklr. I’m here with Neha, the breath Yogi. Hi Neha. So today we’re going to start off with some pretty serious stuff to kind of get the ball rolling because it’s just impossible to ignore the events in India. And so, I want to talk about that a little bit. And talk a little bit about what we’re doing for our employees in India, in due course, a really important part of the Sprinklr family. We’re going to talk a little bit about challenge of leadership in these kinds of times. And then I think we want to get some inspiration and some thinking about how people can work through these very challenging times.

So, for those of you who may not know, India is in the midst of a COVID crisis like no other country has ever seen. They’ve just posted a world record number of COVID cases and oxygen is running out in most of the major cities as of this Reuter’s article from April 22, so this was a few days ago, the tally was 314,000 infections on the Thursday the 22nd. So more than 300,000 infections a day. And that’s what they’re measuring. It’s probably four times that because they’re obviously not testing everybody. Hospitals are full, they’re running out of oxygen. Doctors are advising patients to stay at home, crematoriums are building funeral pyres in their parking lots and running 24/7. There are no beds, no oxygen. And it’s a very, very challenging time for all our friends in India. A very important part of our company is in India and some great friends of mine and some fantastic Sprinklrites are there. So, our hearts go out to them. And we feel for them. We’re here for them.

At Sprinklr, we believe that we operate as a family. So, we definitely are in family mode for sure. I’m not going to go into details in the public forum. But we had an emergency Town Hall this morning for all the employees in the affected area and the whole Executive Leadership Team was on. And we talked through a bunch of measures to help our employees help work with them. But a big part of it was how do we support each other? And how do we help each other through these times. And Neha, you just taught me a few minutes ago about something called leadership in VUCA, volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times. And certainly, this is one of them. India’s COVID rate had kind of spiked, and like everybody else’s, it had gone way down. There’s a really amazing chart, which obviously we can’t show on the podcast. But if you look at last April, there are almost no cases. By October, they sort of spiked around 100,000 a day and that had declined and by early 2021, they were almost at Spring 2020 levels, so they were under 20, 25,000 cases a day. And suddenly, almost out of nowhere, really like literally since the beginning of April, so in the last 20 days, it’s gone from that low level, which looked like they had it under control to more than 300,000 cases a day and rising, which is terrifying to see. The spike is literally three times the size of the highest spike at the point where we thought COVID was at its worst. So, this is very challenging and it’s going to be very challenging in the country and it’s very challenging for the country. It’s got an overburdened healthcare system already that’s obviously getting a shock to the system that’s not really possible to manage. So, let’s talk about that. And Neha, you’ve obviously got a lot of close ties there. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. How are you thinking about it? And then what can we do and how do we talk about managing in a situation like this?

Neha Saxena 
Thanks for talking about this because this is definitely top of mind for all of us. And, you know, my heart goes out to all our Sprinklr family and my other family, so it’s a very, very challenging time and definitely something unprecedented. So yeah, there’s this concept in leadership that we talk about leading through challenging times which are highly volatile. There’s uncertainty. You don’t know whether you’re going to find a bed or not find a bed. When is the situation getting over? It’s very complex. I was just scrolling through the Slack channel, and just seeing all the messages. I don’t know if you’re on that channel, Grad. Yeah, just going through those messages was a little overwhelming. And I can’t imagine the people in this situation, what they must be going through. And it definitely is very ubiquitous. The shortages of vaccines and vaccines being sold on the black market, so to speak, and the shortage of oxygen…so, it’s a very, very challenging time.

Grad 
And what I’m also hearing is that the vaccines that are available in India, because they don’t have … they’re using the AstraZeneca and I think there’s another one I’m not familiar with, but they’re an older version of the vaccine, like using part of the virus, the classic way vaccines are made, and they’re not using the mRNA versions that Pfizer and Moderna invented. And I heard that the COVID strains that are running through India right now, the vaccine is not effective against them, which makes this even worse.

Neha Saxena 
I’m not an expert on that. So, what I heard from my brother, who’s a pulmonologist, he’s a lung specialist in India, his patients, in his observation, people who are vaccinated are recovering faster. And people who have a good, active lifestyle, and have good breathwork practice. Their lungs, their respiratory system is in good shape are recovering faster. But of course, the high-risk population, the old age, you know, people who are older with a lot of comorbidities, that gets exacerbated. And then what he said was, even when the infection is cured, so you tackle COVID, the lung tissues are getting scarred. So that is a complexity. So now, it’s not a COVID issue, it becomes a lung problem, right? And you need breath. You need to be able to have a healthy set of lungs to be able to be alive. So yeah, it’s very challenging, and it’s not easy, I think, even harder than being in that situation is watching someone go through it. Right, like, watching a…

Grad 
There’s a sense of helplessness, right? Yeah, you want to help but we can’t go there, they can’t come here. I can’t send stuff there. Obviously, all these lockdowns and border shutdowns and stuff makes it really difficult to lean in and help. I mean, you can help with money. That’s still moving around. But otherwise, it’s very difficult. And it is interesting, COVID is such a breathing disease. And as the breath Yogi, it must be on your mind. Do you think that there are exercises that people could and should be doing to help them be in a better spot in the unfortunate case where they might get COVID? How do you think about that? And how do you talk to customers or clients about that?

Neha Saxena 
Absolutely. And you don’t go to a dentist only when you have a cavity, or you don’t brush your teeth when you have a cavity. You brush your teeth every day so that the cavity doesn’t happen. Right? On an average, a human being is barely using 30% of their lung capacity. We’re not breathing well. I highly recommend everybody who’s listening to this and even you, Grad, I don’t know if you’ve read it. There’s a book that was recently published by this author called James Nestor; it’s called Breath. And he’s done a lot of…he’s a journalist and he went through the world. He’s done ten years of research and breathing practices. His doctor sent him to the workshop that I teach, the Sky Breath Workshop, and it helped him get better and then he got so intrigued by it and this is his quote… He’s like, “No matter how much exercise you do, no matter how much organic food you eat, if you’re not breathing well, you’re missing out on having great health. So absolutely, there are plenty of breathwork exercises, which I think, if I had the power, I would be like, it’s like brushing your teeth. You know, you don’t brush your teeth and be like, oh, maybe I should brush my teeth, like, come on. It’s, it’s what’s keeping you alive, taking anywhere between five to 25 minutes to do your practice. It’s like, think of it as compound interest. If your lungs are in good shape, they’re going to serve you well into your old age.

Grad 
Yeah, it’s actually called, Breath, the New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor. Elizabeth Gilbert, who’s the author of Big Magic and Eat Pray Love has got a quote. And she goes, “a fascinating scientific, cultural, spiritual and evolutionary history of the way humans breathe, and how we’ve been doing it wrong for a long, long time”. Wow.

Neha Saxena 
The quality of our breath is dependent on our ability to exhale well.

Grad 
Interesting, okay.

Neha Saxena 
So, if you’re exhaling well, the inhalation automatically happens. But absolutely you’ve got to exercise those muscles. Not only is it going to help you with COVID. But you know, the basic mechanism by which we get energy on a cellular level is metabolism. It’s like cellular respiration. And we need oxygen for that. We need to exhale the carbon dioxide. 60% of our toxins are excreted through the breath. So it’s a very, very potent modality. And you’re doing it all the time. I don’t understand, sometimes it actually baffles me, right? People, when they tell me, some of my really, really busy clients, they’re like, “Oh, no, no, no, I just have like, ten minutes today. I’m like, “okay, at least you’re doing 10 minutes”. But the days I get the text, “I’m going to have to miss today”. I’m like, ‘okay, you don’t have five, ten minutes to breathe? Like, come on. You’re already breathing’.

Grad 
Good one.

Neha Saxena 
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, no, very important.

Grad 
So, so how are you? How are you interacting with people you know in India right now? You’re talking to them? What else? What else you doing?  How are you thinking about that?

Neha Saxena 
I’m glad you asked that question. Because I was actually before the session was putting together a presentation for a team leader who reached out to me, so I’m doing a session for his team tomorrow morning. And I was thinking about it, you know there’s so much content that we can put in it. And as I start to think about it, I was like, you know, I don’t want to give them a training, I want…..In my opinion, a hallmark of a good leader is authenticity. And I think it takes a lot of tremendous amounts of courage to be authentic. This situation calls for us to first be real. It’s not about how you can be strong. Let’s acknowledge and accept that it’s a really, really hard place to be. But I’m curious to hear from you, Grad, if you were in India at this time and if you were managing a team, what would you do? What kind of support would you need?

Grad 
That’s a tricky question. I have to be careful with that. Because you know, I’m not there right now. And I don’t want to….and Pavitar, who is there and who is managing that team, is doing an amazing job. So let me talk a little bit about what Pavitar is doing, I will talk a little bit about some of my leadership beliefs in times like this. And, you know, everyone has a different way of dealing with this kind of stuff. And I don’t think there’s a right or wrong. There are just different styles. And I have a style that works for me, that many people who worked for me, or with me, have enjoyed, but I’m sure some don’t. And there are other styles out there, which you know, kind of probably work in different ways. Right? So, I’ll get to that in a second. But I mean, let me just kind of credit Pavitar for a second. So, Pavitar Singh, I don’t know if I’ve talked about Pavitar extensively, but Pavitar is our CTO at Sprinklr. He’s been at Sprinklr for eight years, almost since its’ inception, and has been working sort of hand in glove with Ragy Thomas, our founder from the very beginning or nearly the very beginning. And Pavitar is one of those rare sort of genius CTOs. Very, very…..I mean, I don’t even know how Ragy found him. But I would say, actually Ragy would say, forget about what I would say, who cares what I would say. Raji, would say, that a big part, if not most of the part of Sprinklr’s success is attributable to Pavitar. And I’ve had a chance to work with him very closely now for the last three years, and obviously knew him somewhat for years previously as a customer. And, and he is that unusual, and brilliant character. And what I think is really genius about him is he’s got this very unusual combination of very, very innovative engineering insight and thinking. So, he’s a brilliant engineer, an exceptional, brilliant engineer. But he’s also able to talk to customers, in a very compelling and very effective way. He’s a great people leader, and he’s grown in his people leadership, he would say that, but he learns. He very consistently wants to learn about it. And he is fantastic at execution and getting things done and making things happen.

Grad
And that’s an unusual mix; often you’ll see a brilliant engineering thinker, but maybe that’s not the person you want to get things done with, or you see a brilliant engineering thinker, and you know, gosh, don’t put that person in front of a customer, or you see a brilliant engineering thinker and it’s iy, ya, ya, ya yiy, make sure they don’t manage people, right? That’s classic, things are always true, right? And yet Pavitar is somehow able to cross all four of those unusual streams so he’s a singularly talented individual. And it’s been interesting for me – interesting may not be quite the right word – it’s been a good learning experience, probably a better way to put it to, for me to watch the way that Pavitar has been very consistently escalating the situation in India, advocating for his team, advocating for his people, doing some incredible things, I’m not sure I can even say what he’s doing. I just say, making calls to important people, let’s just put it that way. Okay. But like really important people. And, and he has actually a lot of really interesting connections inside the Indian government and the Indian political spectrum. And so, he’s pulling every string he can and reaching in everywhere he can reach and he is like, all over this thing thirty ways to Sunday, and he’s doing it in a calm way. He’s not freaking out or panicking, but he’s consistently just on it 24/7, pushing all of us on the ELT, and we didn’t need a ton of pushing, but he was very like, as soon as things started to get bad, as soon as the first glimmers of this is different this time started, he started learning us probably about two weeks, two and a half weeks ago. He said, “Hey, we’ve got a problem here and it’s going to become worse”. So we actually had time, as an ELT, to get ready for this and think about it and have plans in place, which we wouldn’t have had if we had a less engaged person than Pavitar, so a tip of the hat and full kudos to Pavitar, I’m in awe of what he’s doing and how he’s doing it. And, in whatever small way I can, I want to try to help and support him as much as I can. And actually, one of the things I’m enjoying about watching Pavitar work is that I feel it’s reasonably consistent with my own theory, which is, and I’ll talk a little bit about kind of how I handled COVID in the early stages, when it occurred a year ago with my team, which is…..As a leader, I think it’s very important to remember that you’re always on stage. You’re very, very heavily watched. I tried to lead with positivity, I tried to lead with humor, I tried to lead by being relaxed and you know, not freaking out and not ringing the bell and saying the Doom is here. I actually modeled behavior by – I traveled, I went places I was out and about; I mean, I wore a mask and I use Purell; I know how to take care of myself, but I tried not to go so deeply into it that people would freak out by seeing my own behavior. And I had a number of people on my team comment that, “you know, you may not realize how much it’s appreciated that you are behaving the way you are, that you’re calm, that you’re taking these things in stride”. And whereas there’s other leaders and other leadership philosophies, which is, you know, when things get like this, you’ll freak out, and you know, spend a ton of energy. And that’s like a thing. That can work too, I guess. But that’s not for me, that doesn’t work for me. And I try to model myself in a different way. I see Pavitar doing that; I see Pavitar calmly leading his team, he’s not like losing his mind over it. And he’s doing everything he can to help his team and get in there and trying to make a make a difference. And, and I think, as this philosophy of being a family comes to life, you know, these are times when you really test that family philosophy. And I feel like we’re, at this moment, we’re passing that test really well. So that’s kind of a bit more of a longer answer than you may think you would be getting but that sort of embodies some of the thinking I have around leadership, particularly in crisis, which is never let that crisis be something that affects you.

Neha Saxena 
Yeah, no. And it’s, you know, when we talk about that, leading through VUCA times, one of the most essential skills is not only being authentic and aware, but having very high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes being emotionally aware of what’s going on, and what’s happening within and then having the ability to emotionally regulate. I’m sure, it’s not that people don’t have feelings, it’s just that they have that high degree of awareness, where they’re then able to intervene before the thought becomes a feeling and be able to regulate that. I don’t know if you saw this World Economic Forum, they released this report about the top skills that are needed for 2025 and emotional quotient is one of them. And when you were talking about Pavitar, the two things that stand out to me, about Pavitar are one, his ability to be vulnerable. He is such a champion for mental health. He’s been on my panel; he talks openly about it. He’s such an advocate, he’s really a very self-confident, courageous leader. And the second thing is his EQ is very high. He’s perceptive, and he doesn’t shy away from calling it what it is. So, you know, and getting back to your question about what my sort of proposed solution is, I think of three things, the first thing is mindset. The second is a set of tools. And the third is community. So having the mindset, which is, like, be human, it’s okay, if you’re feeling sad, your colleague is in the hospital, it’s going to affect you.

Grad 
Ragy actually said to everybody, “don’t worry about work, worry about you, worry about your family, worry about your friends, worry about your colleagues, connect with each other – work will be fine. We’ll figure it out. We’ll get to that when we get to that. But right now, it’s important that you take care of yourself’. That was great. That was great leadership as well. And a great guy.

Neha Saxena 
I think so too. I think so too. And just him saying that, I’m sure gave permission to a lot of people because I don’t want to give out any details, but they were questions this morning, in the Town Hall where I think people were like, “Okay, if I take vacation, is it going to affect my overall vacation and stuff. So, I’m so glad that he did right out the gate, sort of give everyone that permission and champion that.

Grad 
Diane did a great job, too. Diane did a really nice job of saying, “Hey, we’re going to figure all this out. And we’re going to do it in a way that’s consistent with Sprinklr values. And what’s great about having a culture like Sprinklr’s culture, and, you know, we’ve been on a little bit of a journey with that over the last five years, but we’ve really got in an amazing spot right now. And what’s great about that is that when Diane says, just in case, sorry, Diane Adams is our Chief Culture and Talent officer. Ragy Thomas is our CEO. Pavitar Singh is our CTO but when Diane says, ‘we’re going to do it in a way that’s consistent with the Sprinklr culture’, the culture is now so strong, that people are able to like….that people don’t need to know the details anymore. Yeah, like okay, okay. I will at some point need to know the details. But I don’t need to worry about the details. Because I know this is going to be done in a way that’s fair, there’s just a whole bunch of things that are embodied in saying it’s going to be done by the Sprinklr way, that makes people know that there’ll be treated correctly, they’ll be treated like family, and they’ll be treated in a way that’ll be whatever the situation requires. And that’s very compelling. Yeah, it’s a great spot to be in because people are always suspicious all the time. But we’ve got a culture now where we’ve consistently behaved in a way that people know how we’re going to behave the next time, which is a little bit to my philosophy. Like you want to be consistent enough as a leader, that people can start to predict how you’re going to react. And I have that all the time. People say to me, “I know you’re going to say”, but I’m going to say, anyway, that’s a good thing. I think it’s a really good thing that people know what you’re going to say, because it shows that you’ve got some consistency, and they’re not like, “Oh, my God, what’s going to happen this time?” It’s very hard for people to always sit on tenterhooks, yeah.

Neha Saxena 
I can’t emphasize the importance of that. And that all of this uncertainty, at least something is certain – what’s our approach going to be and Diane, oh, my God, like, she’s one of my, like, she, she embodies…..

Grad
She’s the rock star of rock stars.

Neha Saxena 
Like, really, oh, my God, like, through all the things that she’s personally been through, just displaying, embracing that vulnerability, and also self-compassion and compassion, right? So, I was talking about the mindset, so, be human vulnerability, compassion for yourself, and for others. It’s okay to be sad. And then the tool – so breathwork – absolutely. And really taking this scope of what’s in my control and what’s not, right, we can’t, I don’t know if how much control we have over making new hospitals, and you know, all of that kind of infrastructure. But we do control, I think one of the things that I do want to stress is taking responsibility for yourself, right? Like, just like how you go in an airline, and they say, in the case of a crash, you wear your mask first. So, right, like, so please, like the five principles, hydrate, sleep enough, get enough rest, eat proper light, digestible, nutritious meals, oxygenate, do some breath work, do some movement, and then watch your thoughts. Because, you know, thoughts make you feel a certain way, which kind of changes the chemical balance. So, getting grounded in the reality of life is, you know, a yogic principle and very sort of cornerstone, yogic way of living is, what is the reality of life? You know, the good times don’t last forever. And the bad times also do not last forever. It’s literally, like, look back at our own life, you know, they’ve been so many crises, and, like, I don’t want to name them, but it seemed so hard. But, you know, that’s the one thing about human race, adversity makes us reach a whole new level. So, at the same time, you know, even the hard times don’t last forever. So it’s hard, but staying grounded and watching our thoughts. Okay, what is always coming back, like, what’s in my control and what’s not.

Grad 
You made a comment a few minutes ago about compassion. And I’m not sure you contrasted it, but there’s pity and there’s compassion. Would you mind spending like, two minutes on that like, because I think people go to pity very quickly. And I think there’s a big difference between pity and compassion. Could you just expand on that a little bit? Tell me how you think about those different elements.

Neha Saxena 
And in fact, it’s one of the cornerstones of yoga. Yoga is a system of high vitality living, so you’re friends with the people who are happy, you have compassion for people who are going through hard times. And the difference between compassion and pity, in my opinion, is pity comes with this notion of ‘Oh, poor thing’. It’s a little disempowering, like ‘Oh, poor thing, what’s going to happen to you’. Compassion comes with the thing that I know it’s hard, but I also know you can go through it. You’ve got this. It’s like watching a butterfly being birthed. So you know, you’re going through the metamorphosis. It’s not pleasant, but you know, they’re going to turn into a butterfly. So like, it’s hard, but I know you’re grounded in the reality of life that this is not all what it is, this is going to change because everything changes. Change is the one constant. So, coming from that space of ‘Oh, okay, this is going to change. And if this person is facing this challenge, then they absolutely have the ability to face it and overcome it’. So, then it’s almost like how when the child is trying to study and crying like, “I don’t understand,” and the mother is like, “you can do it, continue, you can do it. Come on, keep going”. So, it’s a little bit of an encouragement, but at the same time, you’re not, not acknowledging their feelings. It’s hard. Does that make sense? Does that explain the difference?

Grad 
Yeah, I like that a lot actually. It’s really neat. So, let’s talk a little bit about next steps. There is a PM Cares site in India. I don’t know if you’ve seen that or not. So, it’s the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund which was aimed at strengthening the fight against COVID-19. and research. And so, it’s Modi saying, “hey, let’s donate here”. And so, you can donate as a citizen – domestic donations, they also will take foreign donations on credit and debit cards. And they’ll take foreign donations in wire transfers and Swift payments. This feels like the right place to donate, this sort of goes to the top of the pyramid. And they’ve got kind of an app on COVID-19 tracking and citizen volunteers and a whole bunch of other stuff. So, you know, I’m going to throw some money against that today. But what else? What else would you recommend in terms of: you’ve got people in India that you care about, people that you want to help? What would you also recommend people do?

Neha Saxena 
Yeah, I would say like, the three things: acknowledge it’s hard, you don’t have to pretend you have to have it together, it’s a hard time. And then, please take responsibility for yourself, it’s not selfish. Just you know, it’s actually the most responsible thing to do. And reach out, lean in, cannot, like, you don’t have to do this alone. We may not have a magic wand that, you know, can make all the problems go away but that’s the beauty of the human experience, we go through it together, we will get through it together. So you’re not alone. And those would be my three things. Yeah, knowledge, accept, take responsibility, do the things that you can do specially to take care of yourself, and then what you can do to help others and, and that would also, in itself, help a lot with the spread, right? Like, don’t put yourself in harm’s way and lean in on the community, be there for someone, reach out to someone if you need, even if you just want to talk about stuff, sometimes it just helps to share the burden.

Grad 
All right. Okay. Well, Neha, that was great, an important episode. And, you know, I think we had an interesting discussion around leadership, the challenges that India is facing, obviously that’s a leadership issue as well for India. And we’ll be watching closely. If you can donate to PM Cares, do that. If you want to help in other ways, and you’ve got some ideas that we don’t have right now, please send them our way. You can ping us on any channel that we’re on and I’m on all of them. But just you know, probably DM me on Twitter is probably the best way which is @Grad Conn – g r a d c o n n. And, Neha, any last thoughts? Do you do want to end on a breath thought of some kind? Let’s do that.

Neha Saxena 
Absolutely. Absolutely. So, let’s do the full abdominal breath. Let’s do the full abdominal breath. You can do it lying down if you’re tired of sitting or you can do it sitting.

Grad
It’s been a long day, I’ll stay sitting. If I lie down, who knows what’s going to happen?

Neha Saxena 
Okay. Well, no, I hope not another surgery. That’s a bad joke.

Grad 
Yeah. No more surgeries today. I’m holding off. I got my MRI the other day. It was disastrous. Oh my god. My knee is a complete mess. I’ll have to read my MRI. I’ll do that in one of my upcoming episodes. I’m going to read my MRI results.

Neha Saxena 
The one you just had surgery on?

Grad 
No, that one is fine. No, the right knee is just like an absolute…like it’s a…It’s…oh my gosh, it’s like a hornet’s nest inside there. Yeah, so I’m surprised I’m walking on it actually. But yeah, it’s pretty compelling.

Neha Saxena 
You’re doing so much Pilates and stuff.

Grad 
And I’m fine. You know, I’ve learned how to isolate the pain of it. And you know, I have a separate drawer, and I keep that door shut most of the time. But I couldn’t help but share it with my girlfriend and she like, instantly started treating me nicer. So I got some pity out of the gate, which is great. Anyway, let’s do that. So I’m going to stay sitting but if you’re going to lie down, lie down.

Neha Saxena 
Okay, so let’s close the eyes if you’re comfortable. And if you want to keep your eyes open, then just, you know, like 30 degrees. Fix your gaze at an object about 30 degrees in front of you. and place your palms on your thighs. Bring your attention inwards. And let’s just start with a quick check-in. How are you breathing right now? How’s the breathing – is it short? is it shallow? are you breathing deeply? is the breath choppy? is it smooth? there’s no judgment, we’re just simply becoming aware. Notice how much – what’s the movement in the chest? And take a normal breath in. Exhale, relax in for the abdominal breath. Bring your right palm, place it on your stomach and you can take your left palm and place it on your chest. And now we’ll breathe in and as you breathe in, let the air expand the waist fully in all directions. Imagine like making your waist broader. And then you breathe into the chest expanding the chest in all directions. And you breathe ‘til your collarbones lift up. And then you exhale, pull the navel in and imagine you have a belt around your waist and it’s making your waist tiny. So you’re squeezing the air out of your lower lobes and then squeeze the air out of your chest. Breathe out fully ‘til you can breathe out no more. And then we’ll do this a few times. So let’s get started. Palms in position right down on your belly. Left arm on your chest and for the abdominal breath through the nose. Breathe in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; hold the breath. Let the air expand the belly, the chest, and as you breathe out, pull the navel in, make your waist tiny, squeeze the air out of your lungs. Breathe out fully. And breathe in, 2, continue, let the air expand the waist fully forward, sideways. Breathe into the chest, expand it forward. Breathe ‘til your collarbones lift up. And as you exhale, strong contraction in the belly, pull it in. Make your waist tiny and squeeze the air out of your lungs. Breathe out fully. And let’s continue. Breathe in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 out 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10; breathe in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ‘til the collarbones lift up, exhale 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10; breathe in 2, 3, 4 til the collarbones lift up, exhale 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10; in 2, 3, 4 out 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10; last two – breath in 2, 3, 4 ‘til your collarbones lift up, exhale, strong contraction in the navel, pull the belly button and make your waist tiny. Squeeze that last bit of air out. Last one, breathe in, 2, 3, 4, out 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. And relax. Keep your eyes closed for a moment, you can relax the palms, place them on your thighs. And now notice the quality of your breath. Notice, maybe the breath is a little bit more deeper, a little bit more fuller, then a little bit less.

Neha Saxena 
Notice the state of your mind. Just bring your attention inwards and let’s just send some positive energy to everybody in India. May everybody have the strength to go through these challenging times. May they find the resources, the support, the courage, and may they be at ease. Take a deep breath in. Then as you exhale, bring your palms together, rub them gently, generate some heat and place them on your eyes. Let the eyes absorb the heat. And when you’re ready, you can slowly open the eyes.

Grad 
That’s amazing.

Neha Saxena 
Are you breathing a little bit deeper?

Grad 
Yeah. Well, I mean, Pilates helps a lot because it’s a very breathing oriented thing. But yeah, that was good. I think by the end of the day of 12 hours of Zoom meetings, it’s probably a good idea to have a reminder on how to breathe. Alright, so, Neha that was a good episode today. Our thoughts go out, our feelings go out, and our hearts go out to everyone in India, and particularly our fellow Sprinklrites. And if you need help, or if you need anything, please hit me up on Slack or any other channel that you want to. I’m here. And I’m sure the same is true for you, Neha. And we will check in in a week. For everyone else listening. Have a great week. Breathe and…

Neha Saxena
Breathe. Yes, please. Yes, yes.

Grad 
…and be thankful for the amazing lives that you lead. All right, for the CXM Experience, I’m Grad Conn. Goodbye Neha, see you next week. And I will see you…next time.

Unified-CXM Experience
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Grad Conn

Chief Experience Officer, Sprinklr

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