The Three Gunas
Understanding the three gunas helps us understand the qualities leading to health and diseases. There are three qualities in nature, called Gunas:
- Tamas is the quality of inertia, darkness and ignorance. If the mind is tamasic the person will be lazy, depressed, and negative. Tamasic food and tamasic lifestyle lead to diseases and blockages in the flow of prana.
- Rajas is the quality of activity, passion, action, egoism, and indulgence. If the mind is rajasic, the person will be passionate, competitive, busy with self centered activities, and full of desires. Among other causes, excess Rajas causes stress. Rajasic food and rajasic lifestyle can also bring disharmony and diseases that come from the disturbances of the flow of prana.
- Sattva is a quality of purity, balance, knowledge, wisdom and discipline. The sattvic mind is clear, focused, harmonious and connected (with self and others). Sattvic food, sattvic company, and sattvic environments bring about health.
A healthy body, mind and spirit are sattvic. Yoga life brings Sattva to body mind and spirit. Yoga practice brings clarity, concentration, connectedness, calmness, harmony, and intuition, and, ultimately, health.
Practicing the five points of Yoga will increase Sattva, remove Tamas, and calm down Rajas so our life will not alternate up and down.
Tamas is like a thick veil over our consciousness.
Rajas is like a constant projection of ideas that create fragmentation, division, separation, and conflict.
Sattva is like a clear lake in which you can see a true reflection of yourself.