In yoga philosophy, everything in the manifest world is composed of gunas, or “qualities” of existence. The gunas are only three in number – tamas (inertia), rajas (dynamism) and sattwa (purity).
Their variation in different objects and different life forms results in varying patterns of behavior. For example, even though a rock contains all three gunas it has a predominance of tamas. It is heavy, inert and stays where it is placed. On the other hand, a hummingbird can exemplify rajas. It is tiny, light and always moving.
The gunas are constantly in play within us. Sometimes one predominates but we are continually under the influence of all three. That influence can fluctuate and be mixed. We may feel physically tamasic due to the rajasic nature of our minds. Overthinking can exhaust us and immobilize us to the point we don’t want to move.
And not only do the gunas influence us from within, we come under the influence of the gunas and the energy they project through our relationships with others, our work, the environment and even the food we eat. Remember, everything that exists is comprised of the gunas and as a microcosm of the macrocosm we cannot escape this influence.
However, by better understanding the gunas we can begin to make the small changes in our lives that are necessary to create lasting change.
Join me on New Year’s Day to further explore the gunas and methods that will begin to change the quality of your life.