On October 5-6, the inimitable Sadie Nardini will be gracing the stage of the MINDBODY BOLD Conference in Los Angeles. Such a deliciously idiosyncratic yogini. Think Sid Vicious meets the Dalai Lama…in female form. Sadie marches to the beat of her own (punk) drummer and looks at yoga and life (isn’t yoga life afterall?) in a way that is intelligent, open, and totally accessible.
I had the honor of interviewing this maverick of the yoga mat and I know you will be as blown away and inspired by her responses at I am.
- You have a unique story about how you came to yoga. Can you tell me a bit about the circumstances that led you to yoga and how it helped you heal?
When I was a teenager, I was standing in the shallow end of a public swimming pool, and a big guy cannonball-jumped on my head from the side of the pool. It dislocated my spine in 3 places seriously and caused damage to my spinal cord. For a few years I was partially paralyzed, unable to control my breathing, and weak as hell. I had to fight for 10 years just to be a viable member of society, and yoga helped me to overcome the diagnosis doctors gave me, which was to invest in a wheelchair, because I was too far gone to probably ever heal.
- You use food and diet as tools to empower your life. What are the cornerstones of the diet that you follow?
Well, I’m French, Italian and Native American by heritage, so I tend towards a whole-food version of those cultures. Some yogis are shocked when I say I love red meat and drink wine, and then of course, there are the fries…and butter….but most of my tribe of yoga and music lovers know that I recommend that whatever one is eating, they keep it clean. All of the most long-living, healthy populations in the world eat a balanced, local, fresh and mostly organic or naturally-grown diet including meat, cheese, wine, veggies, fruits, nuts and some grains.
But for me, when people ask me what my diet type is, I say “Sadietarian”. We all have something called ‘biochemical individuality’, and most people know deep down what diet is best for them uniquely. The problem is, we have often developed this ‘yogier-than-thou” attitude in the yoga community that tries to use individual ideas of morality to tell everyone else how they should eat, how they should practice yoga, how they should (or mostly, shouldn’t) be “yogic”. I say, hey–whatever gets you through this life with a little more conscious behavior, and tries to help the world while also helping and healing yourself is a pretty good balance to strike. Even if that way contains tofu. I don’t judge.
- I always say, no matter what the question, the answer is core. How do you define core for your Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga?
Haha! Love it. I also think that all roads lead to the core. But what the core is tends to be an area of partial knowledge for many yoga practitioners, including me, 10 years ago! So I studied for a decade with some of the top anatomy and biomechanics of yoga masters, and discovered a whole new world of what we now know is the whole body Core. Almost no yoga student or even teacher knows what it is, or can instruct through it in order, so I bring that teaching to people of any yoga style! It’s amazing to illuminate it for them, and have people realize that the way they have been craving to move in yoga but weren’t taught to, is actually the way we are born to move!
PS: On another, equally as important Core note, I’m at my local LA restaurant right now, having a Pinot Grigio and seltzer (separately), and the bartender and I are talking about relationships, and how she has been through a lot of toxic interactions and disappointment lately around them. I asked her, “what part of your own inner relationship is still toxic and disappointing?” and she knew the answers right away. I invited her to move into a period of time, at least 40 days, where she allowed no one else to try and fix her, but that she refocus on having a fun, creative and more healthful love affair with herself. Because once we learn to respect, love and honor ourselves within the Core Relationship, all others will transform as if by magic. I know. I met my soulmate and married him, but only after I righted my own Self, from the core, out.
- It’s clear that you take a comprehensive mind-body approach to health and wellness. If you had to choose one “tool” to help people to get past their mental blocks and challenges, what would it be?
Honestly? I would recognize that the mind makes an awesome secretary, but a horrible boss. I ignore most of what my mind says, if it’s making me anxious. I use another part of me, in place of my mind, called the Witness. Here’s how I get there:
My Sitting in Steve Meditation:
There’s a calm, quiet, place inside of you, and if you:
1) Close your eyes, and imagine you’re sitting in a comfy chair (I named mine Steve…no idea why), in a comfy, safe room, just chilling, and
2) Outside the door, your thoughts are happening, and other people’s choices are going on, and your emotions are flowing in and out like the tide, but that’s all outside your peaceful room, then
3) You can find and more easily sink into that Witness place, into your comfy chair, whenever you, or your mind lies to you and tells you that there’s anything to lose, or anything to be afraid of. Remember all your clarity and potential, and make your decisions from a clear and loving heart and core.
- You have dedicated your practice to inspiring others to positively change their minds, bodies and lives. So, what inspires you to be your best every day?
Suffering inspires me. I don’t like to do it, and I don’t like to see other people doing it, either. That’s pretty much it.
- You’ll be talking about business and leadership success at the upcoming BOLD Conference in Los Angeles. Can you give me a quick sneak peak at one or two of your strategies for building a successful yoga business?
I won’t share any of the 10 Core Strategies to Success, because they each build on one another, and so they don’t make sense except in relationship, however, I can tell you that all successful business–and abundance in any way in life, relationship, finances, creativity and health– comes from the Core of a Leader, or individual who creates anything out into the world–and I will be inviting the leaders (and we all are one, in our own ways), to investigate where they are resonating off alignment with their stated goals, since we know that true success can’t come to people if they are not participating in it between them and themselves…and how to get back on track, fast. I look forward to expanding more on this with the attendees of the MINDBODY Bold conference.
Want to catch Sadie at the BOLD (oh…and Deepak Chopra and Jillian Michaels, too)? Please visit https://www.mindbodyonline.com/bold-mindbody-conference for registration and more information. See you there!