This week in my classes we are talking about the Three Gunas and Sattva Yoga. Or, in my language, Yoga of Not Being a Dumbass. That’s some ancient Indian wisdom right there, isn’t it? But in all seriousness, leading a sattvic lifestyle and incorporating sattva into your yoga practice can be a huge challenge. The three gunas are characteristics of the human condition. Rajas is the quality of fire. Of overdoing it. Of too much power. Type “A”, if you will. Tamas is the complete opposite. It is the quality of laziness, sloth-like behavior, and apathy. More along the lines of Type “B”. Sattva is the one in the middle. Sattva is moderation. For many of us, instead of aiming for sattva we go hard in one direction and then the other; we have times of being too rajasic and too tamasic. We eat ALL of the pizza on Friday night, so we only eat a salad on Saturday. We beat ourselves up in the gym or on our yoga mat one day, so we lay on the couch watching Netflix all day the next. This is our way of “making up for” what we have done to ourselves. Ideally, we want to aim for something in the middle. That’s not to say you shouldn’t find your edge or at times, push yourself beyond what you think you are capable of. After all, where the magic happens is always outside of your comfort zone, right? But that’s not to say that we should give it 110 percent 100 percent of the time. That, my friends, is insane and that is exactly what leads to overindulgence, burnout, injury, and exhaustion. Yes, too much of a good thing certainly exists. The key is figuring out your “edge”, and having the personal wisdom to know when it is appropriate for you to push right up to it, when to push a little past it, and when it’s time to cool your jets. We live in a society that not only values, but actually glorifies being busy. Since when is it not ok to have time to take care of yourself and fulfill your own needs? Why must you burn your candle at both ends? On the flip side, we know that being a lazy bum, laying on the couch eating potato chips all day everyday is not good for our wellness. If we are going to lead lives like the aforementioned busy people that we are, we NEED down time. We need time to rest. To sleep in. To skip our workouts. To enjoy a donut. To lay out on the back deck in the summer time with a really shitty romance novel and a glass (or 2!) of wine. We need time to rest, heal, and recharge our batteries. So take a moment, close your eyes. Meditate on this for 5 minutes (and if you don’t have 5 minutes to meditate, then you need to take 10 minutes…), and begin to notice how you feel, what you need, and what could make you feel better. Do you need more? Less? Are you feeling pretty good? Sometimes we don’t even know what we need because we don’t even take the time to turn our attention inward for a few moments and question how we feel. So try it–five minutes a day, for about a week. Ask yourself how you feel and what you need to bring balance and sattva into your life.