We recently held an ‘Ask Me Anything’ community event where DoYouYoga readers were given a chance to ask rocker yogi Sadie Nardini any questions they had about yoga and fitness, and the 14-Day Yoga Shred Challenge.
For all those who missed out on the event, don’t fret! Here are some of the questions from the community, paraphrased and simplified. Check them out in case some of them echo yours as well!
1. Can you give any suggestions on good yoga moves or an entire practice for sore muscles?
Submitted by @farrflan
Sadie: If you have soreness, it means your muscles are still in repair mode, and you will want to wait a day before doing any more strenuous exercise. Your fascia, or coverings to the muscles, and interwebbing, need heat to be able to stretch, and this is caused by working out, something you do not want to do while still in muscle teardown.
I would suggest a restorative or Yin Yoga practice that targets breathing, passive inversions (hips on a block, legs up the wall), twists, and any other passive poses that gently stimulate the connective tissues (not the muscles) and keep the body cleansing out and building lean muscle mass.
2. I have issues with my wrists. They don’t hurt, they are just weak (or inflexible, I'm not sure) and it negatively impacts any inversions. How do I go about fixing this issue?
Submitted by @warriorscholar
Sadie: Try using your fingertips MUCH more anytime your hands are down, and plant the outer ring of your palms down evenly (not relying on the heel of your hands or outer hands). This will all help build your wrist strength.
3. What are your favorite poses to combat the winter blues and to get warmer in the cold weather?
Submitted by @brittrockshair
Sadie: Any yoga or Shred moves that warm you are great for the winter. My favorite thing is to add my Belly Bonfire Breath. It will heat any practice from the inside more completely–and work your low belly and pelvic muscles too. You’ll learn it in my free 14-Day Yoga Shred Challenge here!
4. What would be a good way to open up the shoulders for flipping the grip on things like Bow pose?
Submitted by @yojhinna
Sadie: You need external rotation for that, so after a warming practice, lie down on your belly, arms out like a T, palms down. bend your knees and try to slowly roll over one arm like you’d be in Bridge pose with one funky arm underneath you. Stop wherever your flexibility stops you, and breathe.
Also, Bridge pose, or standing at the wall with one arm out to a T at shoulder height, palm on the wall, then turning away from that arm until you feel a stretch can be helpful.
5. I enjoy your yoga workouts, question is—will this challenge be calorie-torching?
Submitted by @lorraineazzi
Sadie: Oh gosh, yes! Perhaps my best, fastest program ever. And we in the fitness works know it is no longer about how many calories you torch in the exercise session, but what your body does for 2-3 days after. With my Yoga Shred, you will be burning more calories and building more lean muscle for 48-72 HOURS instead of doing an hour workout, and that’s all you get. It is amazing.
6. Do you always squeeze your butt when doing a lunge or warrior pose? I never know if I should or not.
Submitted by @sarajonn
Sadie: I don’t squeeze my butt in any poses except some of the Shred moves where I direct you to. When you activate a pose properly, you may have a natural tone occurring in the glutes but it’s not necessary–and can compress the lower back and sacrum if you force it to tighten unnecessarily during other poses.
7. I can get into Crow pose, but am only able to hold it for about 5 seconds. Do you have any pointers on how I can improve and be able to hold it longer?
Submitted by @juliembrim
Sadie: Make sure you slide your elbows forward over your wrists (or use foam wedges under your wrists if this strains your wrists). Push down thru hands, squeeze shoulders into knees and knees into arms and round way up through your back. Look forward, not down, and keep your butt lower.
8. I’ve been practicing yoga for a good 6 years, but recently I’ve been having some knee trouble. Will I be able to do the shred and should I get a good stretch in before?
Submitted by @freedennygurl
Sadie: Do not stretch your knee joint–or anything–before warming up. Tissues do not stretch when cold and will just pull at the joints and inflame them further. There are many Shred moves that can pressure the knee, so you will have to use my alignment cues, modify the poses, or do alternate movements than the ones I suggest if they don’t feel right for your knee.
The yoga sequences should be fine, and will strengthen you…but do let me know if you are having issues with any moves and I can help you modify here.
9. I was in a car wreck and it broke my neck and injured my whole spine, and now I have severe fibromyalgia. Do you have any mild yet still toning yoga workouts I can do on my bad pain days? Or maybe some yoga poses I should avoid on bad days?
Submitted by @lovetheyoga26
Sadie: I had a neck injury too–almost broken, and I spent 10 good years fighting back from it. I understand your pain, literally. When your body is having a pain response are the days to do Yin Yoga and restorative poses with breath. You do not want to confront an already hyper-reactive CNS by doing muscle exercise. On the other days, do mellow but workout yoga. I have all those types in my Yoga Shred. I hope they help, and much love to you!
10. How did you find your sense of purpose in your career, as well as in life?
Submitted by @jennagus
Sadie: GREAT question. I actually didn’t look for an external career purpose. I asked myself ‘what do you want to do each day that makes you happy?” My answers were ‘love myself and be loved by others, seek close, healthy relationships, write, move my body, eat and drink well, adventure and travel, and share what I’m learning with others.”
Once I knew HOW I wanted to be, I said yes only to the moments and opportunities that allowed me to DO what I wanted to be. It all added up to what you see now. Hope this helps, sister!
**Some questions have been edited for brevity and clarity.