Sunday, August 21, 2011

A little Hindu knowledge for the day . . .The 3 Gunas

So I'll be honest, I don't know much about Hinduism, but I do enjoy Yoga class. The teacher at my gym adds a little bit of meditation and reflective though in often, and I liked what she taught about this past Saturday.

The 3 Gunas

All material nature is made up the interplay of three energies or "gunas". 
The gunas are a great map for navigating your way through life. When you can recognize which of these energies is at play in your life, it makes it so much easier to bring about a state of balance. 

Tamas - the power of darkness, inertia, form and materiality.
Tamas is dull, insensible, gloomy and dark energy. The Sanskrit word literally means "darkness, dark-blue, black"People that are tamasic are gloomy, sluggish, dull and blinded by greed. Sometimes people who are tamasic can be characterized as lazy and slothful. If you spend the night drinking tequila in Margaritaville, the next morning you will find yourself deep in the heart of Tamasicville On the darker end of the tamasic scale, they can be unconscious of the needs others, dark and destructive. '

In Yoga this would be like "phoning in" your workout, you're hunched over in the pose but you're not mindful or working at it. 

Rajas - the power of energy, action, change and movement. 

Generally: is a passionate, frenetic, creative, tumultuous energy. People that are rajasic are full of desire, thirsting for worldly enjoyment, and even at more extreme ends of the scale, fueled by competition and ambitiousness. The Sanskrit root means "impure". It is also related to the root rakta, "redness". And raga, "passion." If you think of living in a bright red room or a woman wearing a red dress, you can feel the energy of Rajas.

In Yoga this is more like "running in place," you're expending a lot of energy worrying about being better than the person next to you, thinking about work, etc. and not actually focusing on your practice.

Sattva  the power of harmony, balance, light and intelligence; higher spiritual potential.

Sattva is a calm, peaceful and clear energy. The Sanskrit word is based on the principle "Sat" or "being, as it should be, perfect". People that are Sattvic are calm, centered, compassionate and unselfish.

In Yoga this of course is the ideal place to be, moving forward.

--Overall I found this very interesting because I think I spend most of my time after work switching back and forth from being Rajistic (overthinking everything) to Tamastic (turning off my brain and watching TV). Understanding that I could hopefully move toward Sattvic tendencies.

Bonus-check out this website from Vancouver Yoga for a description of how the 3 Gunas relate to Star Wars :)

No comments: