Do you feel guilty when and if you rest? Do you feel guilty to rest before you feeling tired?

In a capitalistic society where we deeply value Productivity and Busyness, I see the struggle to reclaim time to rest, restore or to give ourselves time to make the next step. Our intellectual mind thinks that we can’t be forever in an endless summer, full of energy and always at the peak of our strength, concentration and productivity. Deep in our heart we know very well that our Mind, Body and Soul are craving and screaming for a different type of society, working environment and relationships.

Like Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer say:

Certainly, at this time in history, the deep visitation for Winter is the thing that most of us deeply long for and need, whether we know it or not. Like a land that has been over-farmed and monopolised for production, our souls are thirsting – longing to lie fallow and drink in the nourishment of stillness and unhurried languor. (Wild Power – Discover the Magic of your menstrual Cycle and Awaken the Feminine Power).

I saw the pattern of hyper productivity during my 20′, as something to be very proud of, a status symbol. I consider the idea to slow down, take a break and spend time to nourish and reset as a waste of time and something not for me. Unfortunately I see this patterns in so many passion-driven and strong women: the focus is always outward, there is a denial of physical, mental and emotional needs and a believe that, if we stop and let it go for a while, everything will fall apart.

An overachiever mind/approach

If you are reading this it’s likely probable that you are a strong, ambitious woman, who has a lot of goals in her professional and personal life. A woman who strives to excellence, hard worker with a big heart. But let’s see together if you can relate to the following:

  • Your to-do list is very long and full with unrealistic goals
  • You love to schedule your day/week including your Yoga/Self Care- Nourishment time
  • You struggle to finish one program, as you are always ready to jump on a new project or juggle a lot of things at the same time
  • You feel anxious because you don’t know how you will going to handle all the things you have in your plate
  • The idea of resting makes you feel guilty and uneasy

Sounds familiar? To me, this would be my life if I don’t truly pay attention.I had to learn it the hard way, with burn outS and a lot of therapy and inner work.

–> Said that, I am not a therapist and I am not trying to replace one: I am sharing my experience with you and what Yoga taught me along the way. If you feel intense emotions coming up while you read this, please reach out to a counsellor or therapist in your area <—

The shift

from Guilt to Gratitude

If I look back, my schedule was always very full, with not a lot of white space, or a more a soothing and relaxing practice.

The truth? I felt incredible guilty of not producing and not doing enough, because as I said many other times, I connected my core value with my productivity and having results. I felt tensions in my shoulders building up and a sense of anxiety in my heart in the minute I decided to stop, stay, be still, be in silence. I couldn’t – I didn’t deserve it. I felt restlessness.

I was also nervous because in the minute I decided to rest and restore, difficult emotions would come up and crash me. My response? Putting even more work, social life and goals in my to do list. To be sure that they would never come up to the surface again. Deep inside my heart I knew that I couldn’t go on like that: my approach to Life was not sustainable in long term and that I need a shift, a change in the direction of my wind.

What completely shifted my perception of resting and restoring time was a shift in the language I was using (from guilt to gratitude) and the profound understating of the importance of the resting phases on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. I decided that slowly I would add moments and hours in my calendar to fully rest, white spaces where I allowed myself to do less and practice more Yin, Restorative, Breath Work and Meditation. Let’s dive deep in each single shift of prospective.

1. Shift of language: how I talk to my self can shift 180° the perception of my experience – from guilt to gratitude.

During these practices or right before doing them, I would shift from:

“I can’t rest now, I have work to do” to “I am grateful to have 10 minutes where I can rest” , “I am grateful to this Yin/Restorative Practice to support me, restore me and cuddle me” , “I am grateful to my body that is doing the work: restore my system”

By repeating in silence these affirmations I would feel peaceful, relax and expended in my body. Since I started shifting from guilt to gratitude regarding rest, the quality of my life improved a lot. Without doubts I am living a more balanced personal and professional life, and this is what I am passionate about to share here in Corpo Giardino – Yoga Practices: listen to our needs, find a way to meet them. With time, therapy and a huge pile of journals, I also learned how to deal with difficult emotions in an healthier way. Feeling them before they explode.This is not about being perfect, but it’s about being real and start somewhere. It’s about being aware that if we don’t act now – allowing ourselves to rest – we will somehow pay the price in the future, as the cost of having our system (body/mind/heart) always working is too high.

2. Profound understating of the importance of the resting phases on a physical, emotional and spiritual level

As our Planet needs Winter, we need pauses, fertile void and moment of stillness. The problem is that we are extremely terrified from these moments, as they force us to face our inner critic, shadows and unhealed wounds. The magic starts to happen when we decided to learn from these moments instead of fighting against them: when we learn how to listen to our inner critics and observe our shadows in a different way, we learn how to grow, to heal old wounds and move forwards.

Pauses and Resting Phases are also essential to our wellbeing, to restore our body and mind deeply. It’s the journey to re-learn how to listen and prioritise our needs, see and take care of ourselves daily.

Implement Rest in your Life

If this Blog Post made you reflect on the importance of the resting phases, I prepared two gift for you:

1. Free series of 4 evening Yoga Practices (Yin Yoga, Restorative and Yoga Nidra) for you, click here and have a look:

2.Join our upcoming 3 days fee Yoga CirclePress Pause & Embrace Rest (Nov. 30 – Dec 2nd) 3 days Yoga Circle for strong and passion driven women who want to restore body&mind and learn how to befriend and embrace the pauses and resting phases, as empowering moment of our feminine cyclical way of living. Click HERE to join!

I truly hope this post spoke to you and made you reflect on the way you approach rest and guilt. I am curious about your experience: do you feel guilty when you rest? Does Yoga help or it’s becoming part of the problem? Share with us your experience in the comment section below or in Facebook tagging us at

With love and gratitude