Christian Yogi’s Perspective on Niyamas Pt. 1: Saucha

Today, we start a 5-part series on Niyamas which is sanskrit for “observances.”  The five Niyamas are qualities to practice in our personal lives for not just the betterment of ourselves, but it also serves as a way to get closer to experiencing our authentic selves.  The first Niyama is Saucha (pronounced “sowcha”) which means “purity.”  I’ve heard people also define saucha as “cleanliness,” but I feel that purity is a much more accurate definition.  Cleanliness generally refers to our outer bodies, decluttering our living spaces and anything on the outer parts of an object.  Purity on the other hand, refers to cleanliness as well as something deeper.  Purity can refer to one’s mind, one’s internal body systems, emotions, and even one’s soul.

“Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish,
and then the outside also will be clean.”

Matthew 23:26

The scriptures are clear on the importance of having a pure heart:

“The way of the guilty is crooked,
but the conduct of the pure is upright.”
Proverbs 21:8
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
1 Timothy 1:5
“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,”
1 Peter 1:22

So how does one practically practice Saucha?


Purity of the body includes cleansing techniques such as Jala Neti (also known as nasal irrigation), a short-term detox diet and fasting to get rid of any toxins that you have accumulated throughout a span of time.  I think it goes without saying, that keeping the outside of your body (your skin) clean is also important, but without purifying the inside of your body from time to time, the toxin-buildup will start to come out through the pores of your body by creating odors and skin issues.

I started a modified intermittent fasting about a month ago.  I eat for 8 hours, and for 16 hours, I fast.  I also fast from solid foods once a month, but that’s more for spiritual reasons (which I will talk about towards the end of this blog).  One of the reasons I started intermittent fasting is because I noticed that as a woman in her mid-40’s, I’ve been experiencing a change in my body composition.  It is much easier to accumulate fat in my midsection, and I was finding myself feeling bloated more often than I wanted to admit.  I have gotten a food allergy test before, and other than being lactose-sensitive, I don’t have any food allergies.  I eat a plant-based diet, and for the past 5-6 months, I’ve been eating more of a vegan diet.  I generally don’t eat a lot of junk food, but ever since I started my intermittent fasting, I don’t have junk food cravings.  I feel a lot cleaner on the inside with less bloating, so it helps my mind to be more onboard with observing Saucha of the heart and mind.


There are so many layers to the purity of the heart and mind, but for today, I will only focus on one aspect:  Seeing the world through the eyes of a child.

Children are awesome.  They laugh unapologetically when something is funny, they don’t hold back tears when something makes them sad, and they forgive quickly and literally forget what they were mad about.  They’re able to live this way because they haven’t yet been tainted by the toxins of life.  When they play, they are fully in that moment.

How great would our lives be if we were willing to let go of insecurities, bitterness and anything else which are preventing us from living a life of freedom to be in the moment without any cares and worries of the next minute?  I know this is so much easier said than done, but God has blessed us with many ways of chipping off these layers that we build around ourselves that prevent our hearts and minds from experiencing complete purity.  Some of the ways that I’ve personally utilized for heart and mind purification are counseling, yoga, (biblical) meditation, life coaching, and of course, reading the Bible and praying.

“Live as free men, but do not use your freedom to cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.”
1 Peter 2:16


Purity of the Spirit can not be achieved by human effort.  There is nothing we can physically do to obtain a pure spirit.  This is only possible with Christ.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10

We don’t achieve purity from obeying the Word of God (as in, we can’t make ourselves pure); We become pure by the God’s grace and mercy.  He purifies our spirit; however, in order to stay on the path of purity, we must live in obedience to God’s word (the Bible).

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  By living according to your word.”
Psalm 119:9

Of course, there are so many other facets of Saucha that I did not cover in this blog because that could literally take an entire book to write about… but I hope you were able to at least get a glimpse of Saucha from a Christian Yogi’s perspective.


With Gratitude,
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Christian Yogi’s Perspective on Yama Pt. 5: Aparigraha

As we finish up the last of the 5 Yamas in Patanjali’s “Eight Limbs of Yoga,” let’s do this quick breathing exercise together:

Keep your shoulders relaxed, sitting with spine in neutral.
Take a deep breath in.
Let the breath out.

Now, breathe in again; but this time,
notice how the breath feels as you fill up your lungs with air.
Then breathe out, letting that breath go.

How did that feel?  Pretty good, I’m sure.  🙂

Aparigraha is sanskrit for Non-Possessiveness.  This covers everything from materialism, hoarding, unhealthy habits… basically, anything that causes attachments outside of God.  Why is practicing Aparigraha so important?  I will break my response into two parts: During and After.


During the Practice of Aparigraha

One of the greatest challenges of practicing non-possessiveness during this COVID-19 Pandemic is all the online shopping that is practically being shoved in front of our faces. When I checked my e-mail yesterday afternoon, I had 73 Unread messages, and almost all of them were e-mails from retailers notifying me of a sale, a coupon code, or a new promotional item.  I think I’ve only shopped from maybe 7-8 of those retailers, and I generally delete those e-mails; but once in a while, an e-mail subject line will catch my eye if it mentions a 50%-75% off sale.  I will click on the e-mail and start browsing on their online store, feeling the temptation to buy the leggings or the eyeshadow palette just because they’re on sale.  I may even add them to my cart, but in the end, I delete them out of the cart because I know that I don’t really need another pair of leggings or another palette of eyeshadow.  Part of what helps me is going back to what the logic part of my brain — the frontal lobe — is telling me.

When we’re practicing non-possessiveness, we allow ourselves to receive the enjoyment and the nourishment of the object/people/situations but we don’t become attached and/or addicted to it.  We begin to understand that we can not look at tangible things the same way that we look at non-tangible things.  Tangible things are temporary, whereas non-tangible things are eternal.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthian 4:18

After the Practice of Aparigraha

Another thing I’ve been seeing a lot online is ads for weight-loss and fitness programs.  Most of these ads show the “Before” and “After” photos of people that have successfully lost weight or gained muscle-definition using their program.  Just like how the “After” photos show the benefits of the program, you see the benefits of practicing non-possessiveness after you actually practice it.  By not buying things that you don’t really need, you will have money in your bank account, you won’t have a credit card bill at the end of the month (which would included a monthly interest rate that you will have to pay), you will actually enjoy the things that you already have, and you won’t have to worry about somehow making more room in your home for the things you just bought.  You may even notice that you feel happier from not being ruled by a life of excess.  You’re able to make space in your heart and your soul for more experiences, more freedom, and more joy.  This brings about a sense of empowerment to move forward without dragging a big, heavy load of things that will only slow you down from your ultimate, divine purpose in your life.

In the beginning this blog, I invited you to do a breathing exercise.  The air that you breathed in nourished your body and kept you alive; but what would’ve happened if you held on to that breath and not let it out?   That very breath which was meant to nourish you would have become toxic to your body.  Just like the breath, the tangible things in this world are not necessarily bad; but if we don’t learn to enjoy them and then let them go, they will end up become toxic to our spiritual growths.

Each of the five Yamas that I have spoken in these past five weeks — Ahimsa (Non-Violence), Satya (Truthfulness), Asteya (Non-Stealing), Brahmachaya (Non-Excess), and Aparigraha (Non-Possessiveness) — make up the restraints and moral codes that build on the previous Yama.  Next week, I will begin the topic of the second limb of Yoga which is Niyamas.

With Gratitude,
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The third Yama referenced in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is Asteya, which means Non-stealing.  When I hear word, “non-stealing,” my first thought is theft of an object; but non-stealing covers so many more areas than just a materialistic theft.  The following is just a three of many aspects of non-stealing from a Christian Yogi’s perspective:

Stealing from Others

This one seems pretty obvious, right?  Stealing from others includes possessions, time, energy, and anything else that does not belong to you.  When I was in elementary school, I used to go to my friends’ houses after school quite often because I was a latchkey kid.  One time, my friend was showing me a box full of jewelry that her mom had given her.  I had never seen so many jewelry in one room, in my whole entire life of 10 years.  As we were rummaging through all the jewelry, a pair of colorful earrings caught my eye.  I kept looking at them and admiring them even after we had moved on to playing with her toy kitchen set.  At some point that afternoon, I was alone in her room for about 5 minutes; by then, my admiration for those colorful earrings turned into envy. Within that 5 minutes, my envy turned into the actual act of stealing.  I quickly put the earrings in my pocket and then left her house shortly afterwards.  According to Exodus 20:1-17, the seventh of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not steal.”  Period.  No if’s, and’s or but’s.  I would like to tell you that my guilty conscience forced me to do the right thing by giving the earrings back to her and apologizing for my poor choice… but to my shame, that is not what happened.  I realized that I could never wear those earrings outside of my house because then she would know that I had stolen them from her.  I knew I couldn’t lie and say that my parents bought them for me because they were unique and unlike any other earrings that were being sold at stores (after all, this was before the internet and online shopping).  So instead of coming clean, I just sneaked them back into the drawer the next time I went to her house.  She never knew they were missing, but because I knew, I felt a sense of guilt every time I saw her.

Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
Proverbs 20:17

The problem with stealing — in addition to the fact that God commands us to not steal — is that we are taking something that does not belong to us.  Stealing violates the spiritual, emotional, and mental (and sometimes physical) connection we have with others.

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”
― Martin Luther King Jr. 

We also steal from others in several different ways:

1.  Stealing time by showing up to appointments late or taking up more time than the mutually agreed length. (For example, as a Yoga Teacher, I do my best to start and end my classes on time so that I can respect everyone’s schedules.)

2.  Stealing energy by expecting others to initiate conversations with you or just constantly being negative around others. (I’m sure you have been around a few “energy suckers” in your lifetime; These are the people that after spending time with them, you feel completely drained and wiped out emotionally and mentally.)

When we steal from others, we’re also stealing from ourselves.

Stealing from Ourselves

We live in a world that so desperately desires individuality.  It’s true that we are all unique and special in our own ways, but we as a society have forgotten the importance of community and the concept of oneness.

“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.”
―  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Whenever we steal from others, we lose a little bit of integrity each time.  God has allowed us to be born with some  wonderful talents, character, and passions.  In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  It has always been God’s plan to give us hope and a future worth experiencing; but in our limited understanding, we think He should just hand over prosperity, protection, hope and future.  He wants us to have these things, but we must first be ready (in our character and heart) to handle such a life.  When we give into our fleshly desires and temporary pleasures that last only for a moment, we begin to tear down the excellence and beauty of who God has created us to be.  We rob ourselves of the fruits of the Spirit:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Galatians 5:22-23a

Who wouldn’t want to be more loving, joyful, peaceful, forgiving, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled?  These are available to us as long as we’re willing to plant the seeds, nurture them and grow them so that they can produce these fruits of the Spirit.  By taking a short cut, an easy way out or just dismissing that inner voice prompting us to do the right thing, we rob ourselves of God’s promises for our lives.

Stealing from God

This one can be a touchy subject.  The scripture that talks about stealing from God is Malachi 3:8 where God says, “Will a man rob God?  Yet you have robbed Me!  But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.”  (Check out this article on for more on this scripture.)  But there are more ways we can be stealing from God.

1.  We can be stealing from God by taking the credit for what He has done.  In Judges 7, the Israelites experienced victory over the Midianites with just 300 fighting men. (The Midianites had 12,000 fighting men.)  Initially, there were 32,000 Israelites, but God told Gideon, the leader of the army,

The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’
Judges 7:2

We steal from God when we take credit for something that was meant for God’s glory.

2.  We can be stealing from God by becoming a hindrance for others in their relationship with God.  In the book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, the author Francis Chan writes, “From start to finish, this movie is obviously about God. He is the main character. How is is possible that we live as though it is about us?”  The movie that he’s referring to is LIFE.  When we try to be the main character of this movie, we create road blocks and distractions for others to focus on the main character, God.

Throughout the week, I invite you to pause and ask yourself, “Am I practicing Asteya in my heart, mind and actions?”

With Gratitude,
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Christian Yogi’s Perspective on Yama Pt. 2: Satya

Satya (pronounced suht-yaa) — which means Truthfulness — is the second Yama which can be found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  As a Christian who uses Yoga and its philosophy as a tool to enhance her relationship with God, truthfulness is completely in line with the Bible.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” 
Ephesians 4:15

So often, we approach truth and honesty without consideration and love towards the person we’re speaking the truth to.  I’ve heard people say things like, “I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings, but I’m just being honest,” or “What, you’d rather me lie to you?”  The first Yama, Ahimsa — which we talked about last week — is all about non-violence.  Ahimsa and Satya go hand in hand because truth must be spoken in a non-violent (loving) way.

“Love and truth are two sides of the same coin.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

In order to mature and grow to be fully aligned with the Self (aka the authentic YOU that God has created you to be) as well as to be united with Christ, we must speak the truth that is saturated with love.  The love from our truthfulness must be so evident that the words that we speak serves them and not our egos.  Any other way results in words being used as a personal weapon to destroy others.  In addition, in order to speak the truth in love to others, we must also be speaking the truth in love to ourselves as well; but how about if we don’t really know the truth?

One of my favorite phrases is “self-awareness.”  I love this phrase because in order to be self-aware, you must first be still, take a step back, and then examine yourself from the most unbiased way possible.  That last part — unbiased self-examination — determines whether you are self-aware or self-unaware.  Unbiased self-examination can not happen without Satya.

“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
James 1:25

Having an unchanging standard is essential for unbiased self-examination.  The Bible does not change, so if I’m examining myself and examining the Bible to make the two match up, I must be the one to change.  My self-awareness comes from comparing my truth to Biblical truth.  Whenever I find myself feeling stuck or unsure of where I am in this journey of life, I know I have the Word of God to steer me back — like a compass — on the path that is already paved for me by Jesus.

Although being truthful takes courage, it has some great rewards.  Mark Twain is known to have said, “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”  One time in my younger years, I decided to accept an invitation to spend time with a guy that my friend and I both liked.  She felt a bit insecure and jealous about my friendship with him; and instead of turning down his invitation or just being honest with her, I lied to her and said that I was helping my mom with some chores.  Granted, nothing inappropriate happened between us, but because I lied to her, I made up several other lies to cover up that lie.  It became exhausting to remember all the lies I told just to cover up that one lie!  Had I just been honest with her, there wouldn’t have been tension in our friendship and I wouldn’t have had to waste brainpower just to remember all the lies.  In the end, I confessed to her and I apologized.  She was more hurt about me lying to her than the fact that I spent time with him.  It took some time, but our friendship proved to be stronger than the guy who ended up exiting our lives later that year.  Part of John 8:31-32 reads, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   There is so much freedom in living out Satya! 🙌

Come back next week as I discuss the third Yama, Asteya (Non-Stealing).

With Gratitude,
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Christian Yogi’s Perspective on Yama Pt. 1: Ahimsa

Ahimsa is Sanskrit which translates to Non-Violence.  This is the first of five Yamas, which is one of the eight limbs of Yoga found in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  You may be thinking, “Wait, I thought you’re a Christian.  Isn’t that book (and other ancient yogic texts) part of the Hindu religion?”  In the famous words of one of my great teachers Nikki Myers, “It depends.”  As I’ve explained in my previous blogs, Yoga itself is not a religion; it’s a tool to help you get closer to meeting your Self, which is the core of your authenticity by God’s design.  If you’re a Hindu and use the Yoga and its texts as part of your belief, then yes, it is a part of the Hindu religion.  But that could be said of any religious beliefs and faiths.  If you’re Buddhist and use the same practices and texts to enhance your Buddhist faith, then it is absolutely a part of the Buddhist religion.  You see where I’m going with this, right?  When I use Yoga and its philosophies as a tool in my walk with God, it becomes a Christian practice because I’m a Christian who is practicing Yoga.  Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get back to the subject for today’s blog.  😉

Ahimsa, aka Non-Violence, refers to actions, thoughts, words, feelings… basically, everything.  Romans 12:17 reads,  “Do not repay evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  Ahimsa towards those who you feel like don’t deserve kindness, grace and mercy.  Ahimsa towards that person who cut you off and then flipped you off.  Ahimsa towards that person that backstabbed you or spread rumors about you.  Yoga Philosophy advises the Yogi to practice Ahimsa; The Bible shows you how.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Luke 6:31

Another aspect of Ahimsa is Non-Violence toward yourself.  This goes beyond physical self-harm.  When was the last time you said something negative about yourself out loud or in your mind?  Comments such as, “Ugh, I’m so fat,” “I wish I was as pretty as her,” “I’m so stupid,” create negativity in our hearts and minds… and ultimately, it effects our spirit.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reads, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.”  We are spiritual beings that have been gifted this human body to reside in while we’re here on earth.  Our bodies are a gift from God, so when we speak negatively about His gift, it breaks His heart.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:13-14
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
Psalm 139:16

A Japanese Scientist named Masaru Emoto conducted a research on how the human consciousness and intentions can effect the molecular structure of water.  He did several experiments observing the physical effect of words, prayers, music and environment on the structure of water. He hired photographers to take pictures of water after  exposing them the various words and phrases (some positive like “Thank you” and some negative like, “You make me sick”) and froze them until they formed crystalline structures.  The photos that were taken showed that the water that was exposed to positive words and phrases formed beautiful, symmetrical crystals; however, the water that was exposed to negative words and phrases formed jagged, disturbing, asymmetrical crystals.  An adult human body is made of approximately 60% water; and the heart and the brain is composed of approximately 73% water.  So if Dr. Emoto’s theories are true (which I personally believe they are), the words we speak to ourselves and others have the potential to change the way a person thinks, feels and acts.

I pray that through positive words and displaying unconditional kindness to ourselves and others, we will live out Ahimsa throughout our lives.  Stay tuned for my blog next week on the second Yama, Satya (truthfulness).


With Gratitude,
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A Christian Yogi’s Perspective on Yoga Philosophy: Introduction

In the past several months, I have been writing mostly about my journey in completing a 300-Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training as well as the lessons I learned along the way.  For the rest of this year, I will be diving deeper into a topic of Yoga Philosophy that every Yoga Teacher learns about in their teacher training: The Eight Limbs of Yoga.  As a Yogi that follows the scriptures written in the Bible, I will be writing about the Eight Limbs from a Christian’s perspective.

Just to tell you more about me beyond what my bio says on this website, I come from a Buddhist lineage.  As a young child in Seoul, South Korea, we used to go to a Buddhist temple a few times a year, and we used to observe “jesa” which is a ceremony to honor and invoke the presence of deceased ancestors spirits on the anniversary of their death.  We weren’t super strict Buddhists, but these things that we did were part of our ancestral tradition that were handed down for many generations.  When we moved to the United States in 1983, I started going to a church with my neighborhood friends for social reasons.  Even though my reason to going to church was purely selfish, the seeds of faith were planted but stayed dormant throughout my teen years.

As a sophomore at California State University in Northridge in 1994, I asked a few of my Christian friends to teach me what I needed to know to become a true, committed disciple of Jesus Christ.  The more I learned about God’s plans for me through the Bible, the more I felt compelled to walk away from everything that was holding me back from living a life full of hope, love and a “peace that transcends all understanding.”

Fast forward to the beginning of 2013: I enrolled in a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training that ended up transforming my life with God completely.  I learned techniques that helped me to become still so that I can hear God’s whispers, and I went through a self-inquiry that helped me to understand my tendencies toward godly things as well as my tendencies toward self-destruction.  I received some push-back from well-intentioned Christians for practicing and teaching Yoga, but surprisingly, these encounters helped me to become more secure in my “unique” methods of connecting with God.  I put the word “unique” in quotations because they’re really not unique at all:  Meditation is mentioned throughout the Bible, and — depending on your intentions — the Yoga poses themselves could mean nothing, or they could mean everything.

Fast forward to 2020:  My family and I have moved back to Texas after living in North Carolina for 4½ years, and I am still learning and growing as a student and a teacher of Yoga and Meditation… and this growth helps me to get closer and closer to the authentic, pure essence of who God has created me to be.  There are some things in Yoga Philosophy that I disagree with; but guess what?  There isn’t one school of thought or philosophy in Yoga!  When I come across any Yoga philosophy that does not align with the Bible, I choose to not let that be part of what I practice.  This does not make me less of a Yogi just like practicing and teaching Yoga does not make me less of a Christian.  Yoga is a tool to help enhance one’s faith and belief system.  Contrary to popular belief, Yoga does not belong to one single religion.  The Eight Limbs of Yoga that I will be elaborating on for the remainder of the year are as follows:

  1. Yama – “Moral Code/Guidelines” toward external environment
  2. Niyama – “Personal Code/Guidelines” toward oneself
  3. Asana – Physical postures
  4. Pranayama – Breath Control
  5. Pratyahara – Sense Withdrawal
  6. Dharana – Concentration
  7. Dhyana – Meditation
  8. Samadhi – Union with God or Complete Integration

Next week, I will begin a deep-dive on the first aspect of Yama, which is Ahimsa (Non-Violence).

With Gratitude,
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My Personality Type

Do you ever feel like you were going full speed ahead toward the light at the end of the tunnel for a while; and then when you get to that light, you come out of the tunnel, not knowing what to do next?  Well, this is how I felt last week.  This entire summer, I had been turning down pool time with friends and other weekday activities so that I can focus on completing my 300-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (AYTT).  Last week, I found myself trying to fill my schedule with back to back things because that’s what I had gotten used to doing prior to graduating from the AYTT program.  I took on two more weekly vitual classes, and I got busy with researching for and booking our upcoming family vacation in December.  I also started catching up on some FaceTime chats with friends, took time to read a book, take a walk around the neighborhood, and taught a couple of virtual meditation classes for a healthcare company in North Carolina.  By the end of the week, I felt exhausted!

It is in my nature to just go, go, go.  It is also in my nature to be extremely lazy.  I tend to be an extremist, so balance is something I’m constantly working on.  So to create more self-awareness and balance in my life, I do what I always do:  I spent more time in meditation, prayer, and looking over at my bookshelves.  On my left bookshelf, I have my Christian Faith books as well as books on natural health, nutrition and fitness; on my right bookshelf, I have my yoga-related books which includes books on asanas (physical postures), meditation, and yoga philosophy as well as books on neuroscience and energy science.  Whenever I start to feel an imbalance coming on, I usually pick up one (or more) of these books and read either the entire book or use it as a reference to help inspire or ignite something in me that helps me feel refreshed.  Anyway, I had been glancing at my book on Enneagrams for several days, so I finally went online and took a quiz.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but my Enneagram Type is Four, “The Individualist.”  It was really interesting how accurate it was, but the struggles of a Type Four were humbling.  According to Enneagram Institute, Type Fours feel different from everyone (that’s me), and they struggle with the fear of having no identity or personal significance (also me).  There are many other accurate things on that list, but I am grateful that through my faith and my purpose in life (which I discovered during my journey in Yoga and Meditation), I don’t struggle as much with other things on the list such as low self-esteem and negative self-image.  Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle from time to time with my physical appearance just like anyone, but I have — for the most part — learned to accept and love the way that God has created me.

It is so important to take time out for self-assessment.  More than ever, it is so important that we stay connected with how we feel, what we think, and who we truly are.

What’s your Enneagram Type?  I’d love to hear from you!


With Gratitude,
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I did it!

At 4:30pm on Friday, 8/7/2020, I clicked on the [SUBMIT] button for the very last video exam of my 300-Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (AYTT) program!  When this journey first began 10 weeks prior (on 6/1/2020), and it definitely has been full of self-discoveries and life lessons!  Of the countless amount of lessons I learned/re-learned, here are the Top 5 Lessons that will stay with me throughout my journey in life and self-realization:


I have a competitive spirit.  I didn’t play competitive sports growing up because I hated losing.  I think that’s why I loved the performing arts so much.  Of course, there is a competitive aspect in performing arts, but I’ve always felt that a performer expressing their art can not be objectively judged (which is also why I am not a big fan of awards shows for movies, music, television series, etc.).  When I was a dancer in Los Angeles, I did strive to be a “better dancer than everyone else,” but when it came down to it, I danced because it made my spirit feel alive.   In the beginning of the AYTT program, I found myself wanting to finish the program faster just because I saw others finishing the program in a month, a month and a half, etc.  But then somewhere along the way (I think in between week 2 and week 3), I reminded myself to enjoy the journey and learn for the pure love of learning and growing instead of trying to finish before someone that started at the same time as I did.


I knew I would eventually complete a 300-hour AYTT program, but I didn’t know how or when.  First of all, most AYTT programs cost anywhere from $2,300 to $5,000; secondly, there was an AYTT near me that I felt was a good fit for me.  While I was living in Charlotte, NC, I looked into a program in Asheville which was a little over 2 hours away as well as one in Winstom-Salem which was only slightly over an hour away.  When this pandemic hit the US earlier this year and everyone went into social distancing and quarantine mode, Yoga Alliance decided to temporarily allow Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) to offer their programs virtually.  So after a lot of research, I found a program that was affordable, flexible, and very unique… So I signed up on June 1st to complete my 300 hours with ULU Yoga in Thailand!  I planned out my study schedule for each week, and I made sure I stuck to it with some wiggle room in case of unexpected things happened (check out all 9 blogs from the previous weeks for those “unexpected events”).  I loved checking off each task and seeing myself getting closer and closer to achieving a dream of mine while learning and growing.


Like I mentioned above,  there were things that happened during the last 10 weeks that I could not control.  In fact, there have always been things in my life that I could not control (can I get an amen?).  I used to get upset that I couldn’t control everything (like changing somebody’s mind, outcome of situations, etc.); but through this AYTT experience, I was reminded to focus on controlling myself and just leave alone the other things outside of my control.  There’s a sense of freedom that comes with surrender and just putting any desire for improvement to be placed on self-improvement.


Let’s face it, we live in a world where we expect results right away.  If our Google results don’t pop up within .01 second, we get impatient.  We try to find the quickest way to get things done.  I admit, I’m guilty of choosing the easier and faster way of accomplishing things (like using my sewing machine over hand-sewing my face masks), but it is so good for our hearts and our souls to work hard at something that doesn’t come quickly or easy to us.  James 1:4 reads, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  It takes perseverance to build character, and if we constantly choose the easy way out, we won’t grow in our authenticity.  There were days that I wanted to binge-watch Netflix or just sleep in until Noon (although I don’t think I can physically sleep until Noon); but I knew that in order to finish my AYTT by August, I needed to stay on task and enjoy each moment of the training — which leads us to #5:


Going through the AYTT program allowed me to be a better Yoga Teacher for the virtual classes that I’ve been teaching.  In my book, “Be Still: The Power of Biblical Meditation,” I talked about how in order to be a good teacher, you must be a good student.  I find that I’m a better teacher when I’m going through some type of learning, whether it be a certification course or reading a book on Christian discipleship, self-improvement, yoga, ayurveda, or energy science.  When I’m learning, I fully there physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Lately, I’ve been reminding my yoga students that because we are bound by this thing called “Time,” we can not live in the past or the future; So if we’re constantly focusing on the past or the future — and the only place we can live in is the present — we have to ask ourselves, “Are we truly living?”

Show up.  Every time.  Every moment.


With Gratitude,
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In the beginning of last week, I felt determined to finish the remainder of my 300-Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (AYTT) strong.  The way I had planned my schedule, I saw that I had 2 1/2 weeks worth of studying and submitting tests and homework, and I got excited!  I didn’t feel like I was losing steam or getting burned out, so I was determined more than ever to stay on task until I got to the finish line; but somehow, I was able to really focus and get some serious studying hours in last week, and now, I’m only about a week away from completing my AYTT!

On Monday and Tuesday, I was “in the zone” which helped me to stay focused and studying for hours and hours without feeling mentally drained!  so by the time Friday came around, I was able to give myself a little more breathing room and enjoy the day by spending an extended lunch time with one of my best friends.  Last week was full of happy moments, but it was had a moment that really tested my character… and I’m so grateful it did!

Early last week, a friend had posted a question on a group chat thread that we’ve had going for a long time.  I responded, with the intention to speaking my belief on a certain topic and didn’t think too much about it.  But apparently, this created a miscommunication between me and the friend that posted the original question, and the reply I got in that thread from that friend left me feeling accused and misunderstood.  I must admit, my initial reaction was to get really worked up and confront that person and throw my own accusations.  But instead, I took a step back from the situation to assess it, choosing to give the benefit of the doubt and to think the best of my friend who I felt hurt by.  I forced myself to choose humility because I knew that if I responded any way other than out of humility, it would be out of my desire to feel justified, understood, and validated.  This told me that a non-humble response would’ve been out of my insecurities and pride.  So yes, I chose humility and publicly apologized (in the message thread) because I had to remember that in the grad scheme of life and universe, it didn’t matter who was right.

It was really encouraging to my heart to see that because I had humility constantly in my mind lately because of my AYTT program.  A lot of the questions on the Yoga Philosophy quizzes were questions about how we relate to various yogic principles, and in order to answer authentically and honestly, I had to constantly draw deep within from a place of humility.  So here are some thoughts about humility that I would like to live by:



If I tried to fight every battle that comes my way, I will be too tired to fight the battles that really matter.  And the battles worth fighting will not come in the form of arguments.



Peace doesn’t just happen.  It has never just “happened” in the history of man, so I can’t expect it to be any different in my situation. Things like LOVE and PEACE always comes at a cost.



It’s human nature to want to be right.  We somehow think that if we admit we’re wrong, people will know that we’re not always right… which means they will know we’re not perfect.  The thing is though, they already know that we’re not perfect.



Instead of reacting, try responding from a place of security and humility.  Whenever I know that my desire to defend or justify my words or actions is coming from a place of insecurities or pride, I force myself to be silent and go back to remembering who I am at the core of my authentic self.  At the core, I know who I am, so I don’t need to justify or defend myself.  This place of security brings about so much peace.



Being respectful isn’t about the person you’re showing respect to; it’s about who you are in your character.  Whether you realize it or not, we’re all connected in one way shape or form, so being respect to everyone unconditionally ultimately brings that respect back to you.  With that said, our motivation to unconditionally respect everyone must not be based on whether or not we think they “deserve” our respect; but rather, it need to be based on the fact that we’re choosing to have a respectful heart which has little to do with them and a lot to do with your soul.


I’m so excited to start (hopefully) my final week of AYTT!  I’ve been at this since we moved into our new house in a new state, so I look forward to getting some R&R after this week!


With Gratitude,
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300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training – Week Four

Initially when I started on May 1st, I had plans to be finished with the 300-Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (AYTT) by the end of July.  I thought I could put in 7.5 hours of studying from Monday to Friday every week so that I can finish in two months.  The goal was quite ambitious, and by the end of week one, it became very clear that I would not be able to study from 7AM to 3:30PM (with two 30 minute breaks in between).  The second week, I let go of the rigid schedule a little too much and barely got anything done.  I started to doubt whether or not I could stay disciplined to finish the program.  I also started to feel insecure about the video exams that I would have to submit (two 75-minute videos each module as well as a video recording of me lecturing on a Yoga-related topic).  By week three, I found a good balance of planning but expecting disruptions which really helped me to approach this AYTT with discipline and grace.  Last week was a great week of progress even though I had more distractions and disruptions than the first three weeks.

My daughter started her summer job as a life guard last week.  Being that she gets scheduled at various locations, I’ve had to schedule my yoga practices and studying around when I had to drive her.  So when I wasn’t chauffeuring her around or teaching virtual classes/private sessions and an hour-long hangout with a friend, I was in my home office/yoga studio studying, listening and watching lectures on Anatomy and Asanas (yoga poses), I found it challenging to stay engaged through all the lectures, but I committed to listening, watching and paying attention for some potential nuggets of information/wisdom that would spark a “Wow” moment within me… and it happened with this quote:


This quote really got me thinking.  I started to think about how when we are not mentally/emotionally/spiritually in our bodies, we begin to experience regrets (thinking about the past) and fears (thinking about the future) which cause us to experience a neurochemical imbalance, which then leads to the body experiencing stress.  How often do you find yourself not living in the moment?  How many moments do you remember from each day?  Do you find that your Monday bleeds into your Tuesday… and then before you know it, it’s Sunday evening and you don’t know where the week went?  I ask these questions because I have personally experienced all those scenarios.  I do find myself not being aware when I’m worrying or stressing out about the what-ifs of the future.  When I catch myself letting my mind drift this way, I immediately bring myself back to my body and mind by doing the following pranayama (breath control) practice:

  1. Stand or sit still, with both feel firmly planted into the ground.
  2. Either close your eyes or allow your gaze to become fixed on one non-moving object (do not try this while driving).
  3. If you’re standing, become aware of the ground underneath your feet.  Notice how the ground feels on your feet.
  4. Become aware of your breath going in and out through your nostrils.
  5. Feel the belly rise and fall with each breath.
  6. Notice any sounds that you hear.
  7. Notice the scenery that you see.
  8. Take a moment to smile and give thanks to God for that very moment.

I encourage you to try the awareness exercise and comment below about your experience!  🙏

With Gratitude,
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