A Yoga Manifesto:: Part 1 ~ Rest

For the next three days, I am honored and excited to share a three part Yoga Manifesto with you from Tami Hackbarth of  Teacher Goes Back to School who is a restorative yoga teacher and champion (she is also my partner in The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher program— Lucky Me!).  Enjoy!


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.

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8 responses to “A Yoga Manifesto:: Part 1 ~ Rest”

  1. Chris E

    You are so right!! I have powered my way through poses only to hurt myself and not be able to do any yoga for months. Rest is good!!

  2. JJ

    Your post is really interesting to me. I do yoga to cultivate a different relationship with my body after putting myself on crutches for four months from working out too hard (and not eating enough…). So I am definitely going to yoga to listen to my body and be nice to it. But how that works out specifically in a class gets dicey for me, because it seems like the classes I go to are designed to push our edge. I’m not sure what a person is supposed to do in a class like that, who for personal reasons has a different goal. And then I encounter this interesting phenomenon that half the poses in a class make me want to cry so I’m trying to sort out how to respond to that. Thanks for providing a counterbalancing encouragement towards rest!

  3. Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School)

    Chris: For the longest time, I powered through everything in life and ended up with so much recovery time. Going slower is not my natural state of being, so it’s a practice for me. BUT I have learned that slower is better for me in the long run.

  4. Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School)


    Thank you for your comment. There is so much in there, I’m excited to talk about each part!

    For me, it took some serious studio hopping/class shopping until I found some teachers that are philosophically in line with where I am. I am happy to report they are out there. I was lucky and found a few teachers in the same studio very close to my house. I was referred there by a friend who knew I needed less push to the limit and more heart healing quiet.

    One resource is Curvy certified teachers – who are all around the country. I have no idea if you are a “curvy” person, but these teachers are trained to teach yoga to EVERY body. The idea behind Curvy Yoga is that yoga is accessible for EVERY body using props and modifications. There is usually an emphasis on self-acceptance and self-love and making friends with who we are in the body we are in. http://www.curvyyoga.com/location-select/

    You may also want to find a class in your area specializing in gentle yoga or a class designed for beginners. My friend, Madeleine Lohman, teaches a 6 week class at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, CA and her folks keep coming back for more. It probably helps she was written up as the Best Yogi to Teach You Kindness – http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/best-of-shops-services/content?oid=7736317

    Another option might be to do a couple of private sessions with a teacher you’ve connected with and to practice at home on your own.

    And crying in yoga – I hear you. I wrote a post a couple years ago about my experience. http://teachergoesbacktoschool.org/2009/09/27/it-could-happen-to-you/

    I hope this was helpful and you find the right teacher for you. Please contact me if you want to talk more.

  5. JJ

    Thanks for your reply and ideas. Loved your post about crying in yoga!!

  6. Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School)

    JJ: So glad you got the response!

    Yeah, that crying in yoga thing is crazytown. It happens to everyone and yet we all seem to think we’re the only one. I’m glad to know I’m not alone.

    Here’s a new post from my friend Anna at Curvy Yoga about finding a teacher that is right for you. http://www.curvyyoga.com/ftcm/how-do-you-find-a-yoga-teacher-you-like/

  7. JJ

    Thanks for the encouragement to find the right teacher–it had never crossed my mind to find a class that fit ME, I just assumed I was the problem. Hmmmm, go figure. Well, thanks so much!

    1. Tami (Teacher Goes Back to School)

      I know what you mean, my default is to think it is me too.

      I’m hoping you find your right teacher, JJ. Good luck and keep looking!

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