The systems make us hard. Rest keeps us tender. There is power in our collective rest and care.
-The Nap Ministry

Welcome to our August newsletter series. We are grateful for this opportunity to take rest as a community. Each week will provide resources and wisdom about a key component of rest and care, providing you with guidance and support as we collectively work to deprogram, decolonize, and unravel ourselves from the busy nature of capitalism.

This first week, we are focusing on Rest as Resistance, a framework popularized by The Nap Ministry, an organization founded by Tricia Hersey promoting rest as a tool for liberation and healing from the experience of a Black woman suffering from generational exhaustion and trauma. 

“I took to rest and naps and slowing down as a way to save my life, resist the systems telling me to do more and most importantly as a remembrance to my Ancestors who had their DreamSpace stolen from them,” wrote Tricia Hersey. “This is about more than naps… Rest pushes back and disrupts a system that views human bodies as a tool for production and labor. It is a counter narrative. We know that we are not machines. We are divine.” Read more here

We take inspiration from Tricia Hersey’s words and ask: how can we rest to remember we are already divine? 

Weekly Intention

This week, I will rest without thinking I am being selfish, without judging myself. If I recognize any signs of tiredness, exhaustion, or burnout, I will not ignore them. I will not succumb to self-imposed negative talk nor will I push myself harder. Instead, I will deeply rest both my body and my mind. I will take time each day, even if it is thirty minutes to an hour, to simply rest. I will listen to my instincts and give my physical self and emotional self time to recuperate.

Weekly Staff Recommendation

“I have been practicing Bhakti or Devotional Yoga for the past 8 years. Kirtan, the practice of chanting mantras, is used in Bhakti Yoga to enhance one’s practice. Through chanting, I channel my emotions into my external voice. I allow wounds to heal and submerged emotions to surface. For this week, I recommend you listen to my favorite mantra: Deva Premal’s Moola Mantra. This mantra is relaxing, soothing, and peaceful. Chanting it will make you feel liberated from many, if not all, the stressors of this week. Click HERE to listen on Spotify!”

-Amelia, Executive Assistant at Magnolia Yoga Studio

Weekly Activity

Try Yin Yoga! Many of you may be familiar with Yin Yoga from Ilyssa’s Vinyasa & Yin classes at Magnolia. In Yin, we hold postures for a prolonged period of time, helping you deepend and unwind fascia (the connective tissue within muscles which can build up to cause stress and tightness). To try Yin Yoga on your own:

  • Set up your mat in a restful space. Get creative – you can bring pillows, light a candle, or play soothing music.
  • Choose 3-5 of your favorite restful postures.
  • Set a timer and hold each posture for 1-3 minutes each, taking deep breaths.
  • Close with 5-10 deep breaths in savasana or a meditative seat.

Welcome to Week 2 of our August series focused on the elements of rest. This week, we are focusing on intuition and how rest helps us tap into truth and self-knowledge. Intuition is defined as a keen sense of the obvious; it is a compass that lives in our hearts. Intuition is the essence of our spirit or higher self, which we can access through Yoga, quiet time, and resting. By creating restful moments and spaces in our lives, we are able to quiet the noise of external sources (media, society, family, work, etc.) so that we can learn to hear our inner voice. With time and practice, we can learn to ask ourselves what we need and give ourselves permission to seek it out.

A strong connection to your intuition will create more rest and clarity for your body, mind, and soul, allowing you to look within instead of spending unnecessary energy looking to external sources for answers that you already know. As you learn to listen to yourself, be patient. Intuition takes practice to feel, as well as setting clear, energetic boundaries, and safe spaces which allow you to connect to yourself. Intuition is all about honesty & trust; it is about searching for the truth within yourself. Be willing to ask for anything that feels true to you and to stand by it.

Weekly Intention

This week, I will create time and space to listen to myself. I will listen to my heart and be open to hearing and trusting what it says without judgment or self-doubt. Intuition is seeing with the soul, and my soul is ready to learn from within. If I feel sad, scared, or angry, I will quiet my mind so I can listen to my intuition, for it is wise. From now on, I will wholeheartedly trust my intuition, because it will always tell me what is right for me.

Weekly Activity

  • Carve out 5-10 minutes out of your schedule and find a seat or stand in a place where you feel safe.
  • Look around and notice three (3) things.
  • Close your eyes and take three (3) deep breaths in through the nose. Exhale out the mouth.
  • Keeping your eyes closed, notice three (3) sensations that you feel inside of yourself.
  • With your eyes closed, take three (3) deep breaths in through the nose, breathing all the way down to your feet. Exhale and release as you slide into awareness.
  • Smile! Life is beautiful, and so are you.

Staff Recommendation

1 in 5 Americans are diagnosed with mental illness every year. Suicide is the second most common cause of death in the US for youth aged 15-24, and kills over 48,300 in the US and 800,000 people globally per year. Drug overdose kills 81,000 in the US annually. The autoimmune disorder epidemic affects 24 million people in the US alone. What is going on? The interconnected epidemics of anxiety, chronic illness and substance abuse are, according to Dr. Gabor Maté, normal – but not in the way you might think. This week, I invite you to watch “The Wisdom of Trauma,” a riveting documentary that will show you the endless possibilities once we trust our intuition and what it’s telling us about our traumas. Ultimately, most things in life can be healed from the inside. Click HERE to watch the documentary!”

Ajax Jackson, Owner of & Lead Instructor at Magnolia Yoga

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Over the month of August, we invite you to join us in the collective reading of Breathe by James Nestor. This book is riveting, funny, easy to read, and filled with compelling cross-cultural studies, stories and science, all to strengthen your understanding and practice of the Art & Science of Breathing.

Click HERE to access a free PDF version of the book!

On Saturday, August 27, we will meet via Zoom to discuss the book and what we learned from it. We hope you will join us!