dawn1 2Not sure how many of you saw Gaiam’s May 7th message (Gaiam, the yoga mat and yoga video company), and whether you share my astonishment at their sentiment.

If you didn’t see it, it read as follows: “Do you feel run down amidst the ever-increasing pace of life? Many times the last thing we feel like doing when we’re tired is moving more. But with these yoga asanas, you can bust through your stagnation.” I don’t know about you, but that suggestion, borne from our culture of never-ending productivity pressure, strikes me as the opposite of balance, health and well-being. Frankly, it completely misses the point of yoga asana and their direction to look and listen inwardly.

In contrast to the suggestion to “bust through,” the wisdom traditions encourage us to take a deep breath and restore ourselves, maybe even rest. Below are a few quick ideas to consider when you’re tired. You won’t be surprised to see that none of the offerings is to run around doing more power yoga.

If your body/mind/spirit is tired, then try REST :
1. R: Restorative Yoga (for example, legs up the wall, or bolster under your shoulder blades to open your heart—PM me if you want more details).
2. E: Easy mini-meditation, just a few minutes of eyes closed and focus on breath or a simple phrase.
3. S: Sleep, as in a 15-20 minute nap and/or
4. T: Ten-minute session of breathing consciously, belly breath using diaphragm and emphasizing a longer exhale.
Each of these activities encourages us to trust our body’s communication more, trust the process more, and trust our body’s own inner wisdom. Isn’t this where true power is found? In that intersection of the busyness of our lives with the commitment to stay in touch with our intuition and our internal guidance.

Maybe you’ve tried some of these suggestions and you find you’re still persistently exhausted. In that case, it may be time to reevaluate. After all, if the way we’re spending our days leaves us consistently depleted, what’s the point? Don’t we lead these full lives so that we can feel fulfilled and satisfied? Delegating or sharing responsibilities, saying NO!, or pausing mid-stream, may be just what the doctor ordered – and possibly easier than you initially imagined.

Practicing power yoga poses when your body craves rest is messed up on so many levels, including being a perfect recipe for injury. So, please, if you’re tired, give yourself permission to rest. Practicing kindness towards yourself may be the most powerful posture of all.