WORTHY OF REST | Source Yoga

July 2023

“You do not have to do just one more thing before you will be worthy of the refuge that is rest…You were born. You breathe. The first inhale certified you as worthy of rest.”   

~ Octavia Raheem   


Octavia Raheem is a Restorative Yoga Teacher and author of Pause, Rest, Be (please check her out!) and a contemporary voice of deep wisdom. In fact, as soon as you finish reading this newsletter, you should go read some of the divinely inspired words she shares. Even in little snippets, I find her words a valuable reminder – that we don’t need to earn rest through our productivity, but we are worthy of rest as we are.   

In simplified terms, our nervous system has two main modes: our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) fosters our relaxation, rest, digestion, and reproduction. Our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) protects us through our fight/flight/freeze response to a threat. Each is an essential part of our whole self, and we would not survive without them both.  

What you may not know is that when our nervous system is functioning optimally, we spend most of our time in the more restful state (PNS) and the more active state (SNS) kicks in when we are facing something stressful or threatening, OR when we are engaging with something we are excited or passionate about. Note that excitement and fear can look and feel an awful lot like each other.  

In the culture most of us live in today (and the culture and family systems we were born into), our body and mind have been trained to believe that we are usually under some degree of threat. We end up spending most of our time in our sympathetic nervous system, ready to defend, fight, protect, run, or hide. Or for many of us, SNS activation looks like making sure we work hard enough and are productive enough to keep all the balls in the air at all times. In this state, we end up relating to even minor stressors as big threats, and even when we are in relaxed circumstances, we find that we have trouble letting go, relaxing, and allowing ourselves to settle into deep rest.   

With the high degree of stress most of us live with, how do we allow ourselves to reside in our more restful state? First, it might be helpful to remember (as Octavia Raheem reminds us) that our rest is not something we have to earn.   

This can take frequent reminders and practice. I often find that I have a long to-do list and don’t let myself truly rest unless I feel I have checked enough things off at the end of the day. I sometimes forget that I am worthy of rest not because I have been productive enough, but because I am. We are worthy of rest because we are in this human body. Because we breathe, because we move, because we are.   

Let us remember – rest is our natural state and our birthright. We only need to remember, and then we need to practice, even just for a few moments at a time. Can we gift ourselves spaces of pause throughout our day? Can we take moments where we remind ourselves that we don’t need to earn our rest? That we are worthy of rest as we are?  

We have a beautiful opportunity to experience deep rest coming up – Source Yoga instructor Lori Ferry will be offering a lovely one day retreat up in her neck of the woods later in August – at Fleurish Lavender Farm near Sequim, Washington. Take a day (or a weekend) in this beautiful setting to rest, restore, move, breathe, walk, and slow down with the expert guidance of Lori. Learn more here.   


May you find many moments of rest in this season of summer, 

Erin Joosse | she/her 
Source Yoga | studio director 


Yoga For Everyday People

Source Yoga is a place to simply be, accept ourselves as we are in this moment, and connect with our innate wisdom.

Through the cultivation of present moment awareness through yoga and mindfulness practices, we discover and nurture our inner resources for self-care, ease, peace of mind, and compassion.

We welcome students of all ages and abilities. Join our warm, welcoming community in a supportive and non-intimidating environment.