The Rhythms of Action and Rest

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Rest is mostly overlooked as a sound business strategy.

We push and pull and rush until we quite literally collapse.

So many of us resist our need for quiet and stillness. I know I have fallen into the busy trap more often than I would care to admit.

Without the cloak of busy-ness, we are frequently uncomfortable.

And, let’s face it - there is always too much to do. No time for restoration.

But what about nature’s need — our need — for deep winter? For the time of quiet and dark that nourishes the seed of new beginnings?

Dark and light. Yin and yang. Hot and cold.

States cannot exist without their opposite.

Rest is not a moral failing, but a requirement of our humanity. Stillness is part of our rhythmic connection with the seasons and the universe at large. Our work has the same requirements for sustainability and health. And when we are the heart of our business? Periods of rest are a necessity.

The end of yoga practice calls for rest in Savasana.

After the activity of practice, the pose of savasana is the counterbalance. After asking our bodies to expand into the limits of movement, we are able to come to stillness more easily.

Savasana is difficult because it is not a pose to “be done”. It is a posture of receptivity. We are exposed – our soft bellies being breathed.

In Savasana we surrender to the earth. We feel the ground rise up beneath our prone bodies, supporting us fully.

Our hearts beat, our bodies hum with delight, as the breath rises and falls.

There is nothing more delicious, or challenging. And, it is often what we need most.

All we are required to do is receive the gift of our lives in the moment.

Our body welcomes us home.

In these short days of winter in the northern hemisphere, when we are expected to rev our engines and go even faster, it is a radical act to make space for restoration and reflection. Can you make time for your own need for stillness?

Your body will thank you. Your business will bless you. People around you will marvel at the sight of a well-rested you.

Whether you practice yoga or not, savasana is a practice for every body. And if you are a yoga practitioner, chances are that you haven’t had time for your regular class or practice during the holiday season.

Can you make five, or even ten minutes each day?

Practicing Savasana

Drop to the floor and lie in a comfortable position, on your back. Line up your spine and allow your hands to face upward, in a gesture of receptivity. Let your legs open from the hips, so your feet roll out to the side. Close your eyes and let them be soft. Let the tongue drop from the roof of the mouth as the muscles of the face soften. Notice how your belly rises and falls with the each breath. Notice your heart beat. Feel the muscles and fascia sinking toward the earth as you give yourself over to gravity.

Listen to your body in all its gloriousness. {Would you like a guided version of a savasana with some relaxing breath? Download it here.}

Rest, and receive yourSelf in this moment.

Let a smile play across your lips, knowing that by honoring your natural rhythms of activity and restoration, you are plugging in to a greater source. In connecting to that source, you are creating space for magic in your life, your business – and beyond.

May you find time for rest and stillness in the coming weeks, as the calendar turns from one year to the next. May your commitment to honor the rhythms of activity and rest inspire you in the coming year.

If you seek support to honor your rhythms and you are ready to gift yourself seasonal energetic and practical support, HELD offers earth medicine, community connection and monthly visioning workshops to help you grow your beautiful work. Registration closes December 17th.

I would love to hold you, and your desires, in 2019.

xo.nona

 

12 comments

Helen Crosbie Jan 2, 2013 07:21pm

Another very timely reminder for me! I've been so hard on myself recently and not rested properly. Savasana is my favourite Yoga position - I can so easily just slip into meditation. I tried to get my parents to try yoga but they were insistent that they "wouldn't be able to do it" so I showed them a picture of somebody in Savasana - they had no arguments left!Resting really is considered a radical thing to do in this day and age, and wrongly so! Thank you so much!

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Rebecca Cohen Dec 31, 2012 04:26am

I've done some delicious unwinding the last two weeks that has prompted some very specific heart-centered action. Your post is a wonderful reminder that I still have shavasana and my meditation and that moment in between breaths to pause when the world tries to wind me back up with it on Jan 2nd! Thanks for this!

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Rest certainly is a practice, Sue Ann - here IS to honoring those rhythms in the New Year. XO

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Rebecca, I love how stillness and unwinding leads to clear action that is so aligned with what is in our hearts. You are welcome - and I can't wait to see what comes of your period of rest!

xoxo.nona

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Inga Deksne Jan 4, 2013 09:44am

great article! Every time I go to the yoga class I'm looking forward to Savasana. It didn't occur to me that I can practice it at home as a separate activity.

Thanks for the description, I really need to make it a regular part of my day.

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Karen Ribeiro Jan 2, 2013 07:23pm

What resonates so deeply about your post is the word RECEIVE. I do a short yoga routine every morning and have the hardest time getting on my mat when I most need it! It is natural to give. We have to work at receiving the gifts all around -- and within!

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Lisa Claudia Briggs Jan 2, 2013 06:34pm

Hi Nona and happy happy new year first of all. As you know I adore rituals.. thrive on them, build my work around them..I also believe in rhythm and as Nature as my perfect teacher.. the sun rises and sets, the tides come in and out. I waited a little too long to allow for the deep level of rest that I needed after a year that depleted me at every level. This past month I allowed for it.. with great stillness and a disciplined clearing of my calender towards the end. Plus more yoga (even at home!). I feel better.. I knew better but at the time I was most desperate for true rest I couldn't let it come. Sometimes when we are fragile or grieving deeply, as I have been.. it's too frightening to go into such quiet and stillness.. and yet we suffer if we push past it for too long.So I greatly appreciate and agree with your writings, as always. Timely and beautiful. Love and blessings, Lisa

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Stillness is indeed one heck-of-a business strategy!! I find myself fighting to "be productive" but stillness and just being is part of that! And oh delicious Savasana!!! I feel peaceful and relaxed just thinking about it...Off I go to hit the floor for a bit. Thank you for this lovely post!! :)

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Leah Shapiro Jan 4, 2013 09:20pm

Rest is such a brilliant business strategy but I resist it. I've been thinking about it a lot lately as I'm in the middle of enrolling my next round of Unleash Yourself! and I'm feeling the need to Do,Do,Do.......when in reality everything has already been done and I'd probably be better served by Being. Thanks for the lovely reminder!

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Sue Ann Gleason Dec 31, 2012 03:37pm

You know how I feel about this one! It a practice, yes? And one I must re-commit to every time I start pretending to be my old self again. Beautiful post, Nona. Thank you. Here's to honoring those inner rhythms of activity and stillness.

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Amanda Krill Jan 3, 2013 05:21pm

Rest is something I fully resist on a regular basis. I have trouble shutting my mind off - and I stay busy virtually all the time. The holidays are usually very stressful for me - overplanning + trying to work + kids off school = a nightmare. This year, though, I actually didn't work. (I did sneak in about 3 hours, but that was it). And it was the BEST holiday I've had in 20 years.

I will definitely be finding more ways to rest.

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Nona Jordan | the Business Yogini Jan 2, 2013 06:39pm

Lisa, I really feel what you said about not wanting to go into the quiet space, even when we desperately need it. I'm so glad that you were able to take the rest you needed and honor your rhythms. Happy New Year...

XO

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