The Three Gunas
Posted on May 25th, 2017
Prakriti is the source of all matter in yoga philosophy. Through Prakriti the three gunas (qualities) are created. The gunas, known as sattva, rajas and tamas, are fundamental forces that manifest in different forms.
Knowledge of the gunas gives us insight into how our habits, thoughts, environments and the people we associate with can alter our state of being. When we understand how subtle energy operates, we can take action to prevent lingering toxins from building and festering in our body. So what exact do the three gunas mean?
Sattva means balance, purity and peace. When your mind is Sattvic you feel content with life’s turbulent waters. The mind is clear and perceives situations exactly as they are. Envision Sattva as a bright shining light that fills each of your cells with a healthy glow. In a Sattvic environment, you feel energized, recharged and happy. The same principle can be applied to food. Certain foods leave you feeling good while others, like a big mac, leave you feeling depleted and down.
Rajas represents activity. As most of us are always on the go, we tend to live in a rajasic state. Unlike Sattva, a rajasic mind is hectic, stimulated and tends to be more egotistic. This doesn’t mean that rajas is bad, however. Rajas is responsible for making us driven, creative, ambitious and dynamic. Enjoy rajasic energy but always come back to a sattvic place of ease and equilibrium.
Then we have tamas. This force is the quality of heaviness, destruction, sluggishness and anxiety. Tamasic energy can be felt after a long day at work in a cubicle, staring at a screen. This guna fogs our vision and prevents us from seeing things in a clear light. Like Rajas, Tamas isn’t completely bad, as it is needed to help us sleep properly. A more positive way to view Tamas is that it’s like recycling. It exists to so that we transform dull energy into something positive. Bringing past traumas, stresses or negativity into the current moment is bad for us. Let things go for the sake of your wellness.
Understanding the three gunas enhances navigational life skills. It helps us stay in tune with our being rather than let toxins from negative life experience build up. You are the major of your body. Take control and don’t allow subtle energy drains go unnoticed. Over time, these negatives will accumulate and stagnate in your body. Speak to your cells through breath, body and mind work that you are going to achieve equilibrium and live the happy life you deserve!