Archives for December 2013 | Monthly InSpirations by Fiona

InSpire - December 2013

The Three Gunas

My theme for this month is to focus on the 3 Gunas or qualities. “Qualities are limitations; when you remove them, the illusory appearance of a thing disappears. If you have a “real” building, made of walls, foundation, and roof, and you remove those qualities, you are left with nothing. The building disappears. Without the qualities of the building, the building cannot exist. All aspects of material reality can be categorized according to the following three qualities or gunas” (Jivamukti Yoga):

  1. Sattva (the illuminating, pure or good quality), which leads to clarity and mental serenity. Sattva: lightness, purity, tranquility, goodness, balance. Sattva binds with attachment to happiness or pleasure.
  2. Rajas (the quality of mobility or activity), which makes a person active and energetic, tense and willful. Rajas: activity, passion, growth, change, evolution. Rajas binds with attachment to activity.
  3. Tamas (the dark and restraining quality), which obstructs and counteracts the tendency of rajas to work and of sattva to reveal. Tamas: darkness, inertia, heaviness, resistance, involution. Tamas binds with attachment to delusion, ignorance.

“Patanjali’s eight-limbed system is predominantly a maryada marga, an effortful path, but the last two limbs - dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (enlightenment) - cannot be attained through effort. They are the result of grace. Yet it is only through intense effort that we can prepare ourselves to receive such grace.” Jivamukti yoga

What are we practicing on and off our mat this month?
Read, absorb and digest what the Gunas are.
Feel these qualities within ourselves on the mat. How can we find balance in our practice, and embody this in our daily lives? The mat is a wonderful place to see how these energies express themselves, and how we increase or feed into one or the other.
Take time to be still....