Yogi’s Guide to the Three Gunas
Yoga is a holistic practice which helps create unity between your mind, body, and spirit to live a peaceful life. There are numerous yoga poses which help you develop excellent physical health. However, there is another important aspect of this sacred art – Yoga Philosophy.
Yoga philosophy offers you a blueprint to follow which helps you enjoy a peaceful and happy life. Deeper understanding of yoga philosophy helps you achieve inner mental, physical, and emotional harmony.
What Does Yoga Philosophy Say About These 3 Gunas?
According to the yogic philosophy, the entire universe is divided into two categories namely Prakriti (Illusion) and Purusha (Reality).
As per this philosophy, everything that is changeable and temporary is a part of Prakriti. On the other hand, Purusha is the only reality and the only unchangeable element of the universe.
Now, everything within Prakriti is comprised of three gunas namely – Sattva (Purity), Rajas (Activity), and Tamas (Darkness, Destruction). Each of these gunas are present in everything to one degree or another.
The only reality is your soul whereas Prakriti is just a temporary construct. The problem arises when you try to differ real from the unreal. It is the goal of every yoga practice – to help you see beyond the illusion and realize the reality.
One of these Gunas is always more present or dominant than the other two. You should enroll in a certified RYT 200 program to know everything about these three elements.
Can I Influence These Three Gunas?
Yes! As a yoga practitioner, you have the power to influence the levels of all three gunas in body and mind. It can be done by taking charge of presence and influence of external objects, lifestyle, eating habits, and thoughts. Moreover, you need to enroll in a certified yoga school to learn yoga under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.
The Three Gunas
Keep in mind that whichever Guna is predominant will impact how you behave and act. For example, if the Tamasic guna is predominant you develop a negative and destructive mindset.
That said, let us now understand all these three in detail.
1. Sattva – Guna of Purity & Harmony
Sattva manifests in the form of purity, harmony, and knowledge. This guna is free of fear, violence, malice, and wrath. It is the guna you have to increase to reach the final stage of enlightenment or Samadhi.
You can increase this guna by decreasing Rajas and Tamas in your body and mind. Follow a diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Moreover, you should keep a note on the type of people present in your life.
2. Rajas – Guna of Passion & Manipulation
Rajas guna represents passion, action, motion, and energy. It is characterized by feelings of attachment, and a longing for desire and satisfaction. If you want to decrease the amount of Rajas in body and mind, avoid the intake of spicy or fried food, and caffeine. Join the RYT 200 program to learn the yoga techniques to bring this guna under control.
3. Tamas – Guna of Negativity & Destruction
Tamas manifests in the form of laziness, impurity, and darkness. This guna is a result of ignorance which prevents you from seeing the ultimate reality. For you to decrease this guna in body and mind, yoga experts recommend that you avoid consumption of tamasic food items like alcohol, meat, and processed food. At the same time, you should avoid indulging in activities like overeating and oversleeping.
To make things easier for you, yoga professionals have come up with a few interesting FAQs about these 3 gunas.
The Three Gunas FAQs
1. Gunas are Everywhere
Yes! The 3 gunas are present in every part of the illusionary world. They are present in day, night, seasons, food, thoughts, and action. For example, Sattva is dominant in early morning while afternoon has Rajas and night has Tamas.
2. How Do Gunas Affect Us?
All three gunas impact us deeply. These impact your thoughts, actions, habits, and even character. For example, if you have a predominant Tamas guna, you will have negative thoughts and habits. The RYT 200 helps you learn and practice the techniques to bring all three gunas under control.
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3. How Can I Improve a Guna?
After you identified the predominant guna, you can follow the right yoga practice to get rid of the lower guna and improve it to a higher level until you become Sattvic.
Yes! These three gunas do influence your overall thinking and personality to a large extent. However, you can enroll in a certified RYT 200 to learn and practice the right yoga technique to get rid of the negative guna and become truly Sattvic.
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