My Yoga Manifesto – Part I – REST

Manifesto: a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization (or in this case, yoga teacher).



I believe in resting a lot in yoga class. Sometimes I lay down flat on my back like a pancake, sometimes in constructive rest, and other times I rest with my forehead on the floor in child’s pose. Sometimes I sit on a block and drink water while looking at the shapes other people make with their bodies.  [So beautiful, the human body, all those different shapes and sizes, lines and angles…]

Why do I rest? Partly because I work so hard doing everything else in my life and I’m tired.

I rest partly because I’ve had excellent teachers that remind me to rest when I’m tired or to not push past my edge.  [ BIG THANKS to the teachers at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento for teaching me this lesson!]

I rest partly because it feels good once you get past the weird ego thing of ‘I’m in yoga class and I must do everything better than everyone else.‘ Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

At this point, I consider my resting  in yoga class a public service.

I rest so that all those people that might want to rest can look at me and think “Oh thank god, someone else is resting, I can rest too.”

I know this happens because it used to happen to me. A lot. I’d want to come out of a pose, but I didn’t want everyone to know I needed to rest so I just powered through it.

One day something clicked in my head and I decided it was my mission to make people feel ok about resting.  By being the first to rest, I am modeling the behavior I would like to see in others.  Now when I see people listening to their inner voices telling them to rest and they actually do, I feel I’ve done my work here.

We keep joking in my teacher training class that I should open a studio someday that only offers 90 minutes classes of Savasana. I know I’d want to come to the class where rest is not only ok, but encouraged, so maybe other people would too.

If you are one of those people that doesn’t think they need to rest (I know about your kind….) I think you should rest too.

You’ll thank me later.

16 thoughts on “My Yoga Manifesto – Part I – REST

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  2. I hope to take your class someday, Tami! I must have been channeling you because tonight I felt so incredibly weary. I had a vigorous practice (with pigeon pose) this morning and tonight I am just barely keeping my eyes open. So it’s not yet 10 and I’m going to bed. Thanks for this fabulous reminder! When will you guest post on our blog?:)

    • @hollee: it would be wonderful to have you in class someday =)

      rest is such an undervalued necessity. i’m hoping people get the message that life doesn’t have to be so hard. just stop running and you’ll be less tired.

      i just sent you an email about the guest post.

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  5. I love this quality about YOU! You first said something similar during our first TT weekend… and honestly, when you are in attendance with me in class and I’m feeling like my edge is exploding… I privately scan over for permission to lower to my knees or ease back. Thanks for the permission to rest :)

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  7. Yes, I tend to be one of “those people”, and know exactly what you’re talking about. Next class we’re in together… I’m going to set my mat up next to you and follow your lead.

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