The saying, “Third time’s a charm” definitely fits how last week went with the Virtual 300-Hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (AYTT) that I started on June 1st. I was extremely rigid and strict with my study schedule the first week which led to some unnecessary stress, so I decided to go the totally opposite direction on the second week with being unstructured which resulted in barely getting anything done. I knew I needed to find a balance between the two extreme approaches. So last week (Week Three), I decided to somehow marry both approaches and here is what happened:
I started the week by creating a schedule but working around some social appointments that I decided to add in (FaceTiming with one of my best friends in North Carolina, having lunch with another best friend here in Texas, etc.). I made sure that I was getting an average of 5 hours of studying per day, so on the days that I was teaching a class or meeting with clients (all virtually), I did not schedule any social appointments. I made a checklist on my dry erase board and checked off the tasks as I finished them. I decided to take Monday off from studying so that I can spend the day with my daughter since I knew she would be gone all day from Tuesday-Friday due to Lifeguard Training and Testing.
My schedule felt more balanced, but I still found myself having to protect my study times; a friend of mine wanted me to meet her and some other friends at the pool on Friday, and part of me felt bad saying no two weeks in a row. I tried to compromise and agreed to stop by for 30 minutes which ended up not happening anyway because one of my private clients had to reschedule her appointment to Friday morning. Speaking of clients, I’m always encouraging my private clients to not be apologetic about protecting their schedules, whether it be due to family, school, home business, etc. Most of us who are homeschool moms, stay-at-home moms, small business owner or working from home can relate with each other on having to protect their schedules. But the reason why I decided to compromise initially is because it’s also important to know when you’re being too strict or rigid with your schedule (which was my case the first week of my AYTT studies).
LESSON LEARNED DURING WEEK THREE: FAITH & GUNAS
One of the topics from Yoga Philosophy was about gunas. Gunas are three basic qualities of nature and energy that are present in all things under God’s universe. They are the original elements which are behind all existing beings with life in them.
Tamas represents the element of heaviness and rigidness, Rajas represents hyperactive energy, and Sattva represents harmony and equilibrium.
These elements are available for anyone to harness, although tamas and rajas are not the qualities one would benefit from having. There are many articles and books that explain the gunas in detail (you can find a great 5-minute read on Yoga International), but for today, I’m going to focus only on how it’s related to one’s faith.
A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Having a tamasic faith causes one to struggle in keeping their faith when obstacles come. In Matthew 13:20-21 reads, “The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.”
One with a rajasic faith uses their faith for selfish gains and is motivated by recognition and/or rewards. In the next verse in Matthew (13:22) it reads, “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.”
Sattvic faith, which causes one to use their faith selflessly by sharing their faith, hope and contentment with others, is the kind of faith that will last. In Matthew 13:23, Jesus says, “But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
There are various factors that play into raising your sattva element, but one way to create a sattvic state is in your food choices. If you eat foods that tend to be heavy such as fast foods and processed foods, you will experience more tamasic qualities (stubborness and unwillingness to compromise). If you eat foods that cause spikes in energy such as caffeine and sugar (even smoking is in this category), you will notice that you struggle more with staying still mentally and physically, and you will find yourself becoming hyperactive and get distracted easily. In order to experience the sattvic state, it will be beneficial to eat healthy foods that cause lightness such as fresh organic fruits and vegetables as well as non-processed foods. So grab that organic apple and take a nice bite and smile, knowing that you just did your body, mind and faith a lot of good! 🍏❤️
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