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?
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
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.
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.
- 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.
“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
Welcome to Week 3 of our August Newsletters focused on the elements of rest. As a reminder, the studio will be closed until August 31st. We will return on September 1st with a full schedule, exciting events, and new promotions!
This week, we will focus on organization: planning out our daily schedules and tasks in order for us to be able to concentrate on what needs to get done. Sometimes, we overextend ourselves and spend too much time on school, work, etc. We forget about prioritizing our physical and mental health because other things seem more important. Organizing ourselves is important so that we can spend time with friends and family, unwind alone, and ensure we are getting enough sleep, among others.
If organization is something that doesn’t come easily to you, don’t give up! There are many ways to start small in order to ensure that in a few months, organizing yourself becomes second nature. Here are a few ideas to start with:
- Create an “Essentials Space”: Pick a spot in your home to put your keys, wallet, and anything else you need on a daily basis.
- Make a To-do List: Write down everything you need to do in the morning. Don’t make the list too long or complicated, just write down the essentials.
- Try Out an App: Using apps like Google Calendar helps you keep a digital copy of your obligations and appointments.
- Make Adjustments: Try your new routine for a couple of weeks. If it’s working for you, great! If not, readjust the routine until your days run more smoothly.
This week, I will do my best to organize myself and my home. I will make time to write down my priorities and tasks for the week. If my routine deviates for any reason, I will not be upset. I will find fun and dynamic ways to make my days run smoothly.
Activity of the Week:
- Carve out 15-30 minutes before your first commitment of the day.
- Take out a piece of paper or a fresh page of a journal.
- Write down three (3) things you are grateful for. Below it, write three (3) things you want to accomplish this week. After you are finished, take three (3) deep breaths.
- Place the journal or piece of paper somewhere you will see it throughout the day.
- Carve out some time at the end of your day to revisit your list. Take three (3) deep breaths.
Welcome to our last newsletter of the month! This week, we will focus on nourishment and consumption. Across cultures, food is seen as a very powerful aspect of the human experience. Food is fundamental to our well being for many reasons: it feeds our bodies, provides comfort, connects us with friends, family, and loved ones, and can also serve as a creative outlet. Nourishment comes from food but also from a variety of different sources that include, but are not limited to: vitamins, sun exposure, hydration, and media consumption.
Vitamins are essential for rest and stress relief.The COVID-19 pandemic has taught some of us, and reminded others, of the infinite power of vitamins. Our favorite vitamins are:
- Magnesium: an important vitamin for bone and heart health! It has also been shown to help with brain functions that naturally reduce anxiety.
- Ashwaganda: an adaptogenic herb native to India good for lowering stress levels, elevating mood, and lowering cortisol levels.
- B vitamins: the eight B vitamins, collectively known as B complex vitamins, may improve mood and reduce stress.
- Potassium: a vitamin that can help lower blood pressure and relieve tension. It has also been attributed to helping people sleep better.
Did you know that getting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face 2-3 times a week is enough to enjoy the vitamin D-boosting benefits of the sun? Healthy sun exposure builds strong bones, may prevent chronic illnesses, regulates sleep patterns, and increases serotonin levels. Of course, we recommend you wear sunscreen on a daily basis, especially if you are prone to allergies and/or if you have dry skin.
Please make sure to stay hydrated during the summer and all year round! The more time you spend in hot weather, the greater your body’s need for fluid replenishment will be. To stay hydrated in the hot weather, carry fluids with you. For most people, drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated. Other options include drinking tea/coffee and eating water-rich fruits such as cantaloupe, strawberries, and peaches.
Your media diet, or the information you like to “consume” on a daily basis can also have a huge impact on your nourishment. Sometimes, it is very difficult to stay aware of what is happening in the world without becoming overwhelmed by increasingly negative and anxiety-inducing news. We can limit our exposure to negative social media outlets by limiting the amount of news we consume every day. For instance, set a time to read the news and scroll through social media. We recommend keeping certain parts of the day, specifically when you first wake up and right before you go to bed, as sacred times free from stressful news or social media.
This week, I will prioritize nourishment in all its forms. I will feed my mind and body equally. I will let intuition guide my consumption. I will trust my body to tell me what I need.
Activity of the Week
- Find a healthy recipe you have been wanting to try.
- Set a date on your calendar when you would like to prepare it.
- Set a time on your calendar to shop for ingredients.
- As you eat, see if you can set your screens aside and enjoy your meal.
- Thank the food for nourishing you. Thank yourself for preparing the meal and choosing to nourish yourself.
Weekly Staff Recommendation
“This week, Id’ like to recommend you watch HEAL, a documentary by director Kelly Noonan. This documentary will take you on a scientific and spiritual journey and show you that our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions have a huge impact on our health and ability to heal.
We have more control over our health and life than we have been taught to believe. This film will empower you with a new understanding of the miraculous nature of the human body and the extraordinary healer within us all.
HEAL not only taps into the brilliant minds of leading scientists and spiritual teachers but follows three people on actual high-stakes healing journeys. I hope you enjoy watching it!”
Ilyssa Galloway, Warm Vinyasa & Yin Instructor at Magnolia Yoga Studio
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!