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Saturday, 12 November 2011

Rest and Restore

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Sadie NardiniSadie Nardini
International yoga teacher and blog superstar keeps you centered. More Yoga Journal Blogs

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Archives October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 « Finding Your Sutras | Blog HomePage | An Office Twist »

Rest and Restore

This weekend at the Vancouver Yoga Conference, I taught for 14 hours. I feel good, but I can tell I've really expended some energy.

I can remember when a two-hour workshop seemed massive to me. I didn't know how in the world I would fill all that time. Now I regularly teach for six hours a day, immersing people in Core Strength principles of anatomy and alignment. It's no walk in the park energetically. I have to be present every second.

As a yoga instructor, I promote Self-centering at every turn. This weekend reminded me that it's not possible for every day to exist in perfect balance with the amount of energy we give out equaling the nourishment we give back to ourselves. Balance isn't perfect, like a square. It's wild; it moves in a living flow that may seem chaotic to the outsider, but actually has it's own beautiful purpose. Living in balance, one of the ultimate goals of yoga practice, means that sometimes you give a lot--to a work project, for example, or to a friend in need. Other days you're able to rest and restore and do what's necessary for your health and happiness.

Of course, we aim to do some of both every day. But it's natural for waves of output and input to wash through our lives. The self-aware yogi creates a plan for making sure that there is always a moment of rejuvenation waiting around the corner. I purposefully said "no" to almost all commitments this week so that between now and my next weekend teaching in Manhattan, I can collect myself, have someone else teach me yoga, and follow my natural rhythms for a few days.

Whenever possible, we must preempt the busy times we know will come by creating boundaries around our peace. If we don't, who will? Rather than waiting until we burn out, how about starting today to set dates with yourself--moments that are untouchable, such as a night a week, one weekend day a month, whatever it takes to ensure that no matter how stormy life gets, there is always an oasis waiting right around the corner.

Core Pose: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) Variation with Block

This is a powerful restorative posture that releases tension from the belly and lower back muscles, while bringing your sacrum and lumber spine into a gentle traction that frees you up on all levels by promoting deeper relaxation, detoxification, circulation and energy flow.

Come into a Bridge Pose preparation on your back, knees bent, heels under knees, with a block off to the side. Inhale here. Exhale to lengthen your tailbone and lift your hips with support from the firming lower back and abdominal muscles.

Place the block the long way (not wide across your hips) under the sacrum, with the top of the block at the top, center of your pelvis, and the rest of the block under your sacrum and tailbone. If the block goes up into your lower spine, it's too high.

In this position, the block will gently massage the sacral muscles and press the sacrum into a natural curve. Your lumbar vertebrae will pour down off the block like a waterfall. The shoulder blades, shoulders, and back of your head will all rest into the earth. Now, walk your feet as wide as your mat, and let your knees release toward one another. They don't have to touch, but this position will encourage a healthy widening across the low back and sacrum, two areas that tend to get compressed in our daily lives.

Reach your arms out to the sides, palms up, and take a few minutes to rest here. Breathe without effort and receive the benefits of such an open and restful pose.
10_5_sacrum_stretch.jpg 








Posted by on October 5, 2010 11:59 AM | |

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Comments

I just read this latest Core Values and it made me smile! I am taking the day off work, feeling on the precipice of being totally run down! I was starting to feel guilty about not being completely ill & not going to work, but your article made me feel much better! Yoga has helped me understand the signs my body gives me, but sometime life is too busy to pay attention! Love this article as it brought me back to the core! Bridge pose is one of my faves too...thanks!

Posted by: Pru | October 5, 2010 6:26 PM

Good advice, Sadie. I like this line: "Whenever possible, we must preempt the busy times we know will come by creating boundaries around our peace. If we don't, who will?"

Bob W. http://YogaDemystified.com

Posted by: Bob Weisenberg | October 6, 2010 7:37 AM

Hi Sadie, I reckon it has a lot to do with how we decide to live our lives. The madness of the world is hard to resist. Quite often people ask me if I am 'busy' as if it is a positive thing. I tell them that I try not to be! I have just spent time feeding the ducks by a beautiful lake. I had to resist the temptation to 'get it done fast' and just be. It seems to me it is all about choices and 'managing your state' and that revolves around simplicity, stillness and presence.
Quite hard in NYC where everyone seems to be condensing 5 lives into one.
Thanks sadie once again

Posted by: Martin | October 6, 2010 9:23 AM

I love this line:
Balance isn't perfect, like a square. It's wild; it moves in a living flow that may seem chaotic to the outsider, but actually has it's own beautiful purpose.

Posted by: Ana Melikian | October 6, 2010 9:38 AM

Hi all,
I'm reading each of your comments, and I just wanted to say thank you for your heartfelt insights. It's wonderful to know you're reading, and also so helpful to see how you deal with this same issue of striking a work-live balance. I'm inspired by you as well.

Hope to hear more from you, and all of you--soon!
Namaste,
Sadie

Posted by: Sadie Nardini | October 6, 2010 9:44 AM

Great post, Sadie! I love this pose; it's like giving yourself a hug. We run around in circles trying to keep up with life, constantly giving to others when sometimes, the one who needs the most and who could benefit the most is ourselves. Just taking a few minutes each day to do this can do wonders. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by: Nicole | October 6, 2010 3:21 PM

Great post, Sadie! I love this pose; it's like giving yourself a hug. We run around in circles trying to keep up with life, constantly giving to others when sometimes, the one who needs the most and who could benefit the most is ourselves. Just taking a few minutes each day to do this can do wonders. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by: Nicole | October 6, 2010 3:22 PM

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