Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Interview with Sadie Nardini

Tell us about your favorite yoga outfit. What do you love about it?

I admit that these days (blissfully filled with workworkwork), my usual focus on style takes a backseat to just barely getting some actual yoga clothes on and remembering to bring my mat and housekeys to class.

When I do take the time to rock it, however, I'm wearing the Obi One by Sarah Reilly from her new line, Play. This dress-thing, that seriously sticks like glue during Down Dog, is also the softest thing I've worn in a long time. Olive green is my pick, paired with some Dude Girl Hollyhock Leggings I found at Whole Foods in Austin. I wear them every day. Different pairs, of course...

Why do you wear so much black?

You know, red hair isn't as easy to match as it might seem. I keep trying to bust out the new, lighter, brighter Sadie, with the occasional pastel hues, but my students can't handle it, and black really just looks the best on me.

That, and I could wear the same outfit every day for a week and no one would know (see "workworkwork", above). Not that I do.

I love your yoga blog where you talk about yoga in everyday life. What's the most challenging part for you about applying yoga to life?

Wow, great question. I'm trying to think hard about a part of life, at least mine, that ISN'T challenging to apply yoga to. That leads me to ponder why I don't just zone out instead of Zen out and lead a life of leisure, never thinking about yoga, and getting my exercise from normal things like hiking or step class.

But alas, I'm committed to the challenge of living at Center, which ultimately is much more powerful and free. But I have to work for that freedom. And that's not an issue for me. I find that all goes pretty well when I'm on the mat and can control my environment, more or less but when I step off of it, I'm completely irritated to find that no one else seems overly interested in helping me practice maintaining my peace. Even my teachers are done with me after an hour and a half.

Dissolving that expectation, that just because I'm trying to live from Center that everyone around me should be serving my goal as a first priority, and never getting in my way, is tough. I'm not sure why I even think it any more.

I used to tell cabbies in NYC who were getting frustrated at the crawl of traffic "Hey—why don't you assume that you're NEVER going to move, and then when you do, it will feel like a blessing and you'll be happy, or at least neutral, most of the time, instead of expecting this to be the Autobahn and being consistently enraged?"

Practicing that, assuming that I'm in my own process and that people outside of me have their own agendas for living (which they do), helps me to make the challenge of navigating externals a little easier. Then, I know I'm responsible for my own inner experience, and whenever someone else harmonizes with that, it's a pleasant surprise. And when someone flips me the bird because they don't like how I drive, it doesn't ruin my day, either.

Is there a yama or niyama you struggle with more than the others?

My lifelong nemesis is Brahmacharya, at least the aspect of it I understand to be retaining our life force, and then focusing it only on those things that truly help manifest our ultimate goals.

Hugging in is something I have to remember to do on a daily basis. I'm a healer and a giver and an intuitive gal, and I think that everything matters. It's always been hard for me to say no, to skip returning emails when I know people are out there waiting or hoping for a response, or to disappoint people by not being able to be there for them as much as they would like.

However, I need to sleep. Taking care of myself so I'm full enough to give fully when I choose to give is a great feeling. Plus it makes me a better teacher, woman, and friend. So now I practice my conscious "no" right alongside my enthusiastic "yeses", and life has gotten a lot more enjoyable for me, and all the people that have to be around me a lot.

What's your secret to keeping calm amidst all the chaos of city living, busy schedules, and never-ending to-do lists?

Well, I'm completely enlightened, so that helps.


No, actually, it's a lot more concrete than that. I remember to look at the big picture whenever the tunnel vision of stress, fear, doubt and Gmail threatens to engulf me. I remember that, in the end, my main goal is not to answer everyone by 5 pm and make sure my blogs are done before the deadline. My big vision for my life is to enjoy it, to revel in each day; to be passionate and creative and in love with every moment that I can.

I don't wait to do this until the Outbox is full and the Inbox is empty. (Ain't never gonna happen.) I do it now, with bills left to pay and people getting on my nerves and a whole stack of responsibilities sitting in my lap. Sometimes, I just walk away from it all, and go play, because I'll be damned if I die tomorrow, and the day before I didn't laugh out loud once...but I got a whole lot of emails returned.

Tell us what inspires you so we can be inspired, too?

What inspires me is finally owning the things that light my fire, geeky things, like Ninja movies and sappy, maudlin movies that I know are designed to make me cry, and so I do. Yes, I believe in soul mates and I like speaking my truth to whomever shows up at my workshops to listen. I swoon over ridiculous Vampire love stories and you'll often catch me driving while belting out terrible versions of classic rock tunes, and balancing my healthy diet with hot chocolates from Starbucks.

What's super exciting is that I don't care any longer what people think of my inspirations, or my truths: They're mine, and once I stepped into my own skin around what makes me feel alive and happy, honest and real, I was more able to encourage others to seek and find their own core voices, too. And they do. That's inspiring.

Fun Facts
Favorite Pose?
Ninjasana a core pose created by Leslie Kaminoff and named by me, then taken and run with, also by me, into every Hatha pose. You'll have to come to a workshop and see it sometime! Second fave: Handstand. Ever since I stopped going to the restroom every time the teacher called it out, and learned the thing, I can't get enough.

Favorite Color? See question #2 above

Favorite Book? The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield. Tiny book...big message.

Favorite Movie? Baraka. This movie has no words, and it doesn't need them to paint an incredible picture of a gorgeous, energetically unified, yet brilliantly diverse world.