Tag Archives: yoga

Radical Rest + Joy in the Heart

Photo by Justin Winslow

Most of the yoga classes I offer involve laying down for long periods of time. Yoga nidra and restorative yoga are the two practices that I needed most along my healing journey, and because they were so crucial to my journey, I continue to offer them to others.

Last Sunday, I offered a Reiki and Restorative class in person–and everyone in the room dropped into resting so deeply that the stillness in the room was palpable. I didn’t want to move them. So, I didn’t. I let them stay in restorative postures longer and class run over (a manageable amount) because the rest felt more important. The collective pause, required.

Earlier today I sat down and started to write an entirely different newsletter. The words rushed out but didn’t feel authentic because I felt tired. It doesn’t even matter why–I just was tired at 1 pm on a Thursday. Truth be told, I woke up feeling tired and was tired yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. 

So, instead of finishing that newsletter, I closed the tab on my computer. I closed my laptop and stepped away. I listened to the recurring voice strongly circulating a realization I had years ago: If you want to feel rested, you have to rest.

I did something radical. I listened. I listened to my body and my needs and laid down to rest. It didn’t take long before I was in a deep dream state. Sure, I have the ability to do this on a Thursday afternoon because of how my life is currently structured and many do not. Resting shouldn’t be a privilege though. It needs to be something that is reclaimed and the tendency so many have (myself included) is that when that restlessness of exhaustion seeps in, we keep going. See it as a waste of time. Keep piling on, become even more tired. For a whole host of reasons.

How do we break this energy collectively? Individually?

By feeding the opposite. By actually resting. Taking a restorative class, or listening to a guided yoga nidra (a practice that can replace up to 6 hours of sleep in 20 minutes!). How does that sound? To nourish ourselves with rest? To “perfect” shavasana–and let it be longer than a minute or two.  (If you want to learn more, you can also check out my short read, Yoga Nidra for Everyday Life!)

I’m still sleepy, but now that I took care, I feel more at ease. I can touch the rest that has now been built up in my body and know it’s there. My heart feels lighter and able to give and receive. To write now from a place of authenticity, dreaming, and love.

Which makes me smile, because the other part of this restfullness is tending to the heart in an easy, delightful, joyful way. Maybe there has been a moment of light or ease in your day or week? It feels especially important to find these moments right now.

For me, I was so touched yesterday that Dreaming with Goldenrod received its first review–and that it was the very first book review ever by Michelle Yarah, who has a dream of becoming a book reviewer. Based on how beautifully she crafted this piece, I envision wonderful things for her! Seeing someone I’ve never met stepping into her dream, brings lightness to my heart. 

That Mason Hutchison thought to introduce Michelle and I a couple of weeks ago when she reached out to him, brings me joy. (As does the podcast, he and I co-created).

To see the Dreaming with the Plants Series page now exists upon Amazon–so you can see the whole collection of twenty-one books in one spot also brings me so much joy. 

Teaching and offering reiki in person again = joy!

It reminds me of how energizing joy can be. Sometimes it’s the balm to my feelings of lethargy. I remember how much joy I felt the first time I did a headstand at the wall!  The opposite of resting–the active inversion–adding and bringing about a different energy.

There are so many ways to recover what we need. The trick is learning which one to cultivate in which moment. That, for me, is part of the practice. Part of listening to myself, understanding my tendencies, and finding ways to introduce the opposite energy into my body (and thoughts).

Trusting that whatever I choose is the right thing. To cultivate, feed, and grow the energy that I have avoided for so long (like resting in the middle of the day), so that I can come back into my center over and over again. Knowing all the extremes of living in this body at this time, it’s immensely helpful to learn how to find my way back.

May everyone discover what abundance to cultivate in the face of lack, so that we can all know what it feels like to be in the center of our own knowing and, in the center of living.