It's hard to believe how quickly time is flying, that I've already been here for a month, and that it's already time for the weekly update!
This past week has been really good. We had our final exams for the 200 hour portion of the course on Monday, and our graduation ceremony on Tuesday. Everyone did really well and the ceremony was lovely. There was chanting and a fire pit that we threw herbs in, saying "swaha" as we did, to represent letting go of the old and welcoming the new. The same day as our ceremony was the Hindu new year, as well as a new moon. All symbolic notes to end one course on and begin anew!
No one else who completed the 200 hour course is staying for the additional 300 hour one, so I've been saying "farewell" to all of my new friends since Tuesday evening. Some of them are staying in the area for a little while longer, which is nice. And the new group of students will arrive here by the 2nd, when the next round starts. I'm looking forward to meeting new people, but I already miss my first friends here so much!
In the meantime, I am one of the only ones on campus for a couple of days and I have my room completely to myself. As much as I adore Ieva, it's really nice after an intense month full of people at all hours of the day, during every activity, to have a little space and quiet time to myself.
I was very social last month, and for the next half of my course I'd like to be a little more introverted and focused. Since I'd already completed a 200 hour course a few years ago and I've been teaching since, educationally the past month for me was a lot of overview and just a good refresher. I didn't have to study in order to excel. The next half will be more of a challenge though, and one I'm looking forward to.
Not too much has really happened since last week. Ieva's birthday celebration was really nice. We bought a cake for her and several of us had dinner out. The next day, one of my yoga classes took a field trip down to the river and we did our class on the beach and then went swimming in the river. It was gorgeous!
On Sunday we had a group outing to a waterfall, and that was very nice! We hiked up to it and although the water was cold, it was great for swimming. It was really a beautiful day! The weather has been consistently hot and sunny, which is my favorite! Even at dusk, it's still above 95 degrees.
Today was the first day that didn't have much going on, as Ieva and several of the girls I normally hang out with relocated to a hotel across the bridge yesterday. I visited them this morning, then had lunch with my friend Charmaine from New Zealand, and relaxed a lot after that. Now I'm getting ready for bed and I don't have much planned for tomorrow, either. I did speak to the chef here though, and asked if he could give me an Indian cooking lesson since the kitchen will have a little break from cooking for the masses over the next few days. He happily agreed, so tomorrow after breakfast I will be learning how to make my favorite Indian dish, chana masala. It's chickpeas in an amazing, spicy, tomato-based sauce. It's something that is never served at school because it's not considered sattvic.
"Sattva" is one of three "gunas" that foods and even personality types can be classified under according to Ayurveda. If something is sattvic it is considered pure. A sattvic diet is vegetarian, as organic, locally produced, and fresh as possible, and the food should even be prepared with love.
Chana masala would be considered "rajasic" which is heating and possibly aggression-inducing. Rajas is anything full of passion, and has the qualities of activity and change. Salt, chocolate, caffeine, spicy, and acidic foods are all rajasic (all of my favorite foods belong in that category!)
The final guna is "tamas." If something is tamasic, it means something is of a heavy, dull quality. Tamas is toxic by nature. Dairy, meat, and alcohol are tamasic, as well leftover food.
By this time next week I will have started my next phase of the course and I'm sure I will have lots to share.
You are each in my thoughts and prayers and I hope all is well with you.
Lots of love,
w e l c o m e