The Gunas, Yoga Philosphy and Your Yoga Practice


What Do The Gunas Have To Do With Your Yoga Practice? 

Yoga philosphy says that all of creation is made up of three energies or the three Gunas. We can see these energies at work in the ways in which we approach our practice and life.

The three energies are Tamas (heavy energy), Rajas (fiery energy) and Sattvas (balanced energy).

The yogi should avoid the fearful attitude of the Tamasic nature, and demanding attitude of the Rajasic nature. The third Guna however is the serene Sattvic nature in which  you are showing up in your yoga practice and in your life doing your best, and then letting go of the results.

Is it with fear? Doubt? Complacency?

The attitudes with which we approach our yoga practice are the same attitudes that show up in our life.

What can you learn from your yoga practice about the ways in which you are moving through your life?

Do you notice a pattern of liking only the things that you feel you are good at, or do you gravitate to things that are really hard all the time?

Are you the type that as my friend Marysia says “When the going gets tough, you take child’s pose“, or are you on the opposite side of the equation and you like to push, punish and muscle your way through every yoga practice trying to grasp the next pose?

Somewhere in the middle there is a balance between the two.

All of creation is made up of three energies or the three Gunas.

The three energies are Tamas, Rajas and Sattvas.

The yogi should avoid the fearful attitude of the Tamasic nature, and demanding attitude of the Rajasic nature. The third Guna however is the serene Sattvic nature in which  you are showing up in your yoga practice and in your life doing your best, and then letting go of the results.

What do you most look forward to in your yoga practice?

What do you find yourself dreading?

Do you love the heart-quickening Sun Salutes, yet loathe letting go in Savasana?

These realizations can offer deep insight into what is happening beyond just the yoga poses.

I like inversions the best, because they require a level of faith that is exhilarating and helps me believe in the limitless potential inside of me.

It wasn’t always that way however. I was absolutely terrified of going upside down. I told myself that I didn’t want to. In truth, didn’t believe I was capable.

I approached my practice with fear, shame, and a feeling that I wasn’t worthy.

Inversions were for people stronger than me.

Does any of this sound familiar?

As in,”since I think I will suck at this and completely embarrass myself, I will decide to not even try?” I think we all have done that once or twice.

It’s sad. It crams us into a tiny box of limited potential.

We clip our own wings so nobody else has to.

It took me four years and a good kick in the sitting bones from the people at the Yogaworks TT to get me upside down the first time.

It was scary. I wanted to cry. Too late.Two other girls beat me to the waterworks. Since crying seemed played out at that point I sucked it up and kicked up into my first handstand.

I did it!

I felt limitless!

A strength began to grow inside me.

If I had the courage to do handstand,  who knew what else I was capable of?!

Probably just about anything I figured as I dangled upside down, seeing things literally and figuratively from a whole new perspective.

So here is a little push from me to take the leap out of your comfort zone and see what happens.

Approach your yoga practice with curiosity, and then watch what happens in your life.

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2 thoughts on “The Gunas, Yoga Philosphy and Your Yoga Practice

    1. Thanks Lo, I am thrilled that I make it look easy these days. It is true though that it took me 4 yrs! I was so scared the first time I thought I was almost going to cry, but another girl in the TT beat me too it! I was a classic ‘bendy-body’ and I had no core strength whatsoever, I mean plank pose was a struggle. Thank God for yoga!

      Now I am on a mission to help others conquer their fears and obstacles as well, one handstand and plank at a time 🙂

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