Lesson Plan on Sattvic Energy
This is a yoga class plan that focuses on our Sattvic Energy. Please use this class to your full creative potential. It is just a starting point for you to get inspired and flowing.
Class Classic Theme Relationship(s) – Yogic Philosophy
This class introduces the yogic philosophy of the three gunas or tendencies of our nature and how they apply to our practice on the mat and in our lives. The class strives to cultivate Sattvic Energy or Pure Energy through purifying practice or tapas.
Sattvic Energy Class Reading/Discussion
Our yoga practice is constantly changing – everyday is a different experience and offers new ways to grow. This change is often a result of our moods, disciplines and intentions. Being mindful of our state of being as we move into a formal mat practice is important, and the classical yogic philosophy of the gunas can help in our discovery journey in all areas of our life.
Both the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita talk about our three gunas or literally three “strands” that interweave to make the material forces of our nature. Within us, the gunas manifest as three parts to our personalities and temperaments. These three parts are rajas, tamas, and sattva.
In many ways Rajas and Tamas are very much opposites. Rajas is activity, passion and desire which is often driven by a strong attachment to results that results in negative emotions such as greed, pride, restlessness, competition and jealousy. While Tamas is inertia, darkness and sloth. It binds us with ignorance and holds us down with stagnation, dullness and confusion. Sattva, on the other hand, is pure truth, light and wisdom. Its spiritual essence is intelligence and consciousness, but this too can be binding through attachment to joy or to knowledge.
We strive first off to be more sattvic in our intentions on and off our mats. To be motivated purely by love, light and wisdom. Happy to do our work with no expectations for the results – fueled by the pure energy that comes from a sattvic mindset. But there is even more to this! The Bhagavad Gita points out that we should even be able to transcend the gunas completely (including Sattva) and free ourselves of all wanting being centered in the true Self.
BG 2:45 “The Vedas discuss the three gunas. Transcend the three gunas and you will be free of the pairs of opposites – ever-balanced, free of wanting to get or keep anything, and centered in your true Self.”11The Living Gita by Sri Swami Satchidananda, 1988 Satchidanada Ashram – Yogaville
Our Yoga Practice Intention
Today we strive to come into postures from a sattvic state of mind – with pure intentions. We are embracing the purifying discipline of the practice which leads us closer to our Purusha – our absolute, true self which is found not by force, but through transcendence during the practice.
Discussion or Inner Meditation: What guna is dominant in us today? What are our intentions for our practice today?
You can choose to discuss this as a class, or you can just contemplate the answers silently in meditation time.
Affirmation for the Practice
Use this afirmation to begin class and remind your students to come back to all or part of it as they move through their physical practice and their meditation.
“I am light. I am truth. I am pure energy.”
Beginning Meditation and Pranayama- Breath of Fire
One of the most purifying breath practices is Breath of Fire. Use it to open up your Sattvic Energy.
Asanas for Sattvic Energy
During the class, focus on the pure essence of each posture using words such as pure, fire, blaze, heat, authentic, bright, clear, complete, lucid, natural, simple, real, transparent, true, unclouded, undiluted, absolve, purify, clarify, clean, cleanse, clear, filter, redeem, refine, sanctify, wash, glow, luminosity, spark, zeal, ardor, splendor, spirited, energy, enthusiasm, excitement, exhilaration, fervency, fervor, gusto, heartiness, life, light, liveliness, luster, passion, pep, radiance, sparkle, splendor, verve, vim, virtuosity, vivacity, zeal
For example, “Through this pose, you are coming into the awareness that you are pure energy and your inner light shines brightly.” “In Ukatasana (chair pose) we can feel the process of purifying heat or tapas in the body. Let the posture work on the body and sink into the mind…”
Now, create two more cues to use in your class.
This Savasana is a guided meditation written by the Hyp-Yoga team. Read it slow and in your low voice register. Make sure your music is meditative, with no words.
Full Body Relaxation:
Find a comfortable position and begin to slow your breath. Place your arms about a foot away from your body with your palms facing up. Place your feet about two feet apart and let your toes relax out to the sides. Just let yourself begin to drift easily, and let my voice be your guide to a wonderful place of calm.
Everything is easy, you do not have to do anything just drift, …easily and slowly. As you lie here I will count from 10 to 1. With each number that I say you will feel yourself become more and more relaxed. Every part of your body will just feel as though it is sinking into this amazing place of deep relaxation. Let’s begin,10, feel yourself relaxing, 9 deeper down, 8… just letting go now, 7, 6 relaxing even more deeply…5 feeling so completely calm and easy, 4 even deeper now.. 3, 2 so deeply relaxed, mind is open and feeling so good…. and finally 1. Completely relaxed, mind is open and ready for this journey today.
Guided Meditation: “Pure Energy”
I would like you to use your wonderful vivid imagination and see yourself sitting in a beach chair near the ocean. This is the most comfortable chair and you feel so relaxed in this place. You look around and you see the sun is shining and the sky is so blue. There is a very blue sky and a gentle breeze is blowing and you hear the rustle of the leaves of a palm tree very near you. There is only beauty around you. Just take it all in and let yourself sink into this comfortable chair.
As you sit here in this deep wonderful state of relaxation look out in front of you and notice the light from the sun. Think of all of the heat and energy that is provided to us by the sun. Look around and see a palm tree. Now notice how the sun’s light hits the surface of the palms and how there are also shadows. See how the light affects everything. We have always understood that the sun is light and energy and it affects our world.
Now look down and see your body as the light touches it. Now realize that we too, are all energy. We are all light and our physical bodies are just the pieces and parts between that light. Our strong beautiful spirit is light, it is energy and it is everything we are inside. From the constant beat of our heart, to the blood pulsing through our veins we are energy. Your spirit makes it all alive and constantly moving and changing.
Think of how you have used your strength and your energy to accomplish great things in your life. You have done so many wonderful things, and now think about all of those people around you that you have affected. You are an amazing person and you now see that you can change anything by using your strong energy and spirit. There is no goal you cannot reach, no mountain you cannot climb, and no obstacle you cannot overcome. You are light, and your body is the vessel for your light.
From this moment on you will feel how strong your inner light is shining and you will radiate joy and happiness to others… You will inspire others with your tremendous energy and positive attitude. You will be sensitive to your own emotional well being and you will only participate in thoughts or activities that bring you even more joy and more energy. Your thoughts will guide you in your journey and you will now be more aware of your thoughts and let go of any old self-limiting messages you may have said to yourself.
Staying in a place of well being is now your main focus. You will be more attuned to your body than ever before. You will notice your body’s need for hydration, nutrition, exercise and sleep. You will listen to your body… it has been telling you things for years and you may have ignored it. Your body will respond to anything that you ask of it because it functions in response to your energy and spirit. You now know that you can move easily and freely through this life by caring for your body and your spirit. Now just let yourself relax even more, just breathe and let go. Give your body this time to rejuvenate….
End with silent meditation in Savasana.