★FitStars: Sadie Nardini Talks Yoga Misconceptions, Confesses Her Fitness Sins

Sadie Nardini infuses her yoga with a hip yet down-to-earth mix of Eastern and Western techniques and pop culture.

Who’s up for some inspiration and laughs? Because today we’ve got it for you. We recently got to chat with yoga rockstar Sadie Nardini, the founder of Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga and the host of a daily yoga and lifestyle hour on Veria TV. She’s also the creator of the best-selling Total Transformation yoga DVDs, and she currently leads original workouts on BeFit Yoga. And, guys, she’s so an FBG…

Interview with Yogi Star Sadie Nardini

  • FBG: How did you get into yoga?
  • NS: I used yoga as a way to fight my way back into health after contracting a debilitating central nervous system virus as a teen. I was just a wet noodle for about two years—panic attacks, total-body weakness, the whole nine yucky yards. Doctors doubted whether I’d ever move normally again, much less be rocking handstands and becoming a leader in the wellness/fitness world. They told me to invest in a wheelchair. Instead, I invested in yoga, whole food and simple mind-centering, stress-busting techniques. Using these tools, I did what the medical world told me was not possible: totally transformed myself from sick to strong…and never looked back. These days, I want only to share the tools I used to re-shape my body, mind and life, so that others can experience the fierceness, fitness, fabulousness and financial freedom of living from their core. To do this, I travel, but also love to create fun, effective core-strengthening flows for anyone to use (for free!) to shift their strength, balance and flexibility to that next level. I’ll share a few free video workouts from my latest project, a series of nine free 10-minute videos with Lionsgate’s BeFit YouTube Channel. To really strengthen your whole body and core, try my Yoga for Weight Loss.
  • FBG: We have been doing “fitness confessions” lately. What would your three fitness confessions be?
  • NS: One: I’m a busy city girl, and I don’t always have the right clothes with me when the urge strikes to do a yoga class. Many a teacher has remarked “Wow, Sadie, you’re so humble, being in the back of the class, and not having to show off in the front row.” Well, I do try to be a student whenever I’m in class and respect the teacher as my teacher, but once in a while, I’m just back there so no one will see the Hanky Panties through my inappropriately thin tights. Two, sometimes even I can get sick of yoga/exercise. I do it all the time, so it can get a little monotonous if I’m not careful. Once in a while, I feel like my world would be a better place if I never had to do another Down Dog. Of course, this feeling doesn’t last, but that’s because I make it not last by shaking things up. I find an inspiring teacher, watch something online that jazzes me to try it, create a totally new, body/mind-blowing pose like Charlie’s Angels Pose (see it here: http://youtu.be/vDWDYZo3PXk) or just take a dance break for a day or two where I do the Yoga of Booty Shaking instead. Sure enough, I start to crave that Dog again, and when I revisit it, it’s fresher and more interesting. Which leads me to my next confession…Three, often, my yoga practice includes me plus Beyonce droppin’ it like it’s hot to “Survivor.” I’m sure I can’t dance as well as I think I can, and I should have left some of those moves (The Sprinkler, an entire Bullfighting re-enactment—cape and horns and all) waaaaay back at my high school prom. I really want to remain the Yoga Rockstar in people’s eyes, but you have to know: do not, ever, invite me to your dance party. (But, I can help you be a yoga Rockstar here: http://youtu.be/dLum0wMn_2Q.)
  • FBG: How has doing yoga and living a healthy lifestyle changed your life?
  • NS: Beyond completely changing my health issues, yoga helped me redo my body composition so I’m leaner, more flexible and fit at 40 than I was at 20. Also, the mindfulness techniques I adopted as part of my yoga practice caused me to be way less reactive and anxious, and more able to chill and take actions that are supporting—not sabotaging me. Doing yoga for 20 years made me sensitive enough about what my body’s telling me that I figured out I was not doing well eating wheat and gluten, so I removed it from my diet—and lost 20 pounds of inflammation in one month—then another 20 in a few months. Now I’m right where I belong—looking AND feeling my best. Thanks, yoga!
  • FBG: What’s the No. 1 misconception people have about yoga?
  • NS: I’ll give you the top three, because I can’t choose: That it’s only for flexible people, people who only eat vegetables and those who don’t like to break a sweat. How are you going to get more flexible if you don’t bust some stretching moves? But you don’t have to be Gumby incarnate to begin. Yoga meets you right where you are. You’ll be fine. Some yoga teachers believe a vegetarian or vegan diet is the only way to go if you’re practicing yoga. I think everyone’s diet needs to be different, according to their needs. I’m all for adding more whole foods and removing processed ones from your eating lifestyle. It’s just good sense. But I am not a fan of never eating a whole food group ever again, if it’s something you need to stay fit and healthy. People ask me what my diet is like. I say “I’m a Sadie-tarian.” I aim to eat mindfully for myself and the earth, and strike a balance somewhere in-between. Yoga can be one of the most challenging workouts there are, but you have to find the right style. I created a style, Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga, based on new, safer anatomy and alignment cues, to activate more muscles and give you more results—calorie burn, strength, flexibility and calming—in less time spent on the mat. Here’s a quick 10-minute Strong Body Yoga video of mine online, and see what I’m talking about. Strap a heart monitor on, too—and tell me that’s not cardio!
  • FBG: What’s playing on your iPod?
  • NS: “Brown Sugar” by D’Angelo for mellowing, “The Weight” by Aretha Franklin for attitude and “Together” by The Kin for inspiration. If you haven’t yet heard their melodic indie rock…it’s time!
  • FBG: What’s the best advice you could give our readers about their health and fitness?
  • NS: That life will never make you the time to take care of yourself. It doesn’t really care if you were able to get to your yoga class or eat well today or not. Life is a void that wants to be filled with something, and if you’re not vigilant, you’ll just get sucked in to a whole lot of things that don’t matter, that don’t move you closer to your ultimate goals, or that spend a lot of your energy on other people. You can’t wait, or you’ll always be waiting. So begin right now, today, to eke out a little time, whether it’s five minutes in the morning to make a power smoothie (I wait longer in line for a crappy coffee than to create a nutrition-packed smoothie—see me make it here or to do a five-minute wake-up yoga practice.)You’ll notice that when you turn your attention toward creating space for your own self-nourishment—the core of any happy, truly successful life—that more space almost magically appears. It’s all up to you.
  • FBG: Anything else?
  • NS: If people want more information, free yoga and lifestyle tips, they can go to www.SadieNardini.com or www.Facebook.com/SadieYoga and see more of the free videos from BeFit on their new channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BeFit.

From her wicked bullfighting dance moves to her take on healthy eating (we’re probably classified as Sadie-tarians, too!), Sadie is definitely rockin’ the FBG way of life. A big thanks to this yoga rockstar for a fun and honest interview. Love, love, love the tips!

Any Sadie Nardini fans out there? Let’s hear what your favorite yoga rockstar workout is!—Jenn



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