Updated: Sep 16, 2022
Have you ever wondered why your mind constantly shifts between activity, inactivity, and stillness? Picture this - you start your day off with a clear mindset and feel ready to accomplish your goals for the day! Then, as the day progresses you find that you're dragging, tired, and begin to stagger; feeling unproductive, confused what to do next and begin blaming self or others for not following through. What do you do when you feel uninspired, restless, and unmotivated? Does your consciousness tell you to meditate, stretch, or go for a walk in nature, or take extra caffeine, eat mindlessly and do any other task besides the one you intended to complete? How do you feel after a meal that is light or after a meal that is heavy? Notice when your mind is agitated - your energy is all over the place and feel there is not enough time to finish everything. Now, notice how when your mind is calm - your energy is focused and you can accomplish the tasks set forth with ease, even your meals digest more easily.
These are a few questions to explore on why the mind oscillates between the three emotional energy qualities of the body and mind known as the Gunas - Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva. The gunas describe our behavior, thinking, mood, and impact our overall health. When the three interconnect positively then your outlook on life is unobstructed and focus is clear; you function in harmony with your environment. The three attributes of energy are present in every person in different proportions - Rajas is more dynamic in nature, Tamas is with relaxed nature, and Sattva has very inspiring qualities.
The Lens of the Life through the 3 Gunas:
Rajas - the tendencies are activity, movement, change, attachment, grasping. Rajas qualities of the mind attract you to seek pleasures with person, place, or thing in a way, if not with awareness, that is controlling, fearful, frustrated, stressed, and excessive chaos. A passive activity like walking early in the morning or in the evening in nature and restorative yoga practice is helpful to balance the tendency. A plate filled with mildly seasoned fresh food is ideal.
Tamas - the tendencies are inactivity, unmotivated, heightened confusion, dependency, addiction, guilt, self-doubt, increased laziness, irritation, depression. An active movement yoga like vinyasa or exercise like jogging is beneficial. A plate filled with fresh, added spices, and lighter food is ideal.
Sattva - the tendencies are stillness of the mind, harmony with self and the environment, joy, and spiritual intelligence. A visionary outlook that is focused on contentment, peace, positivity and easeful existence. A plate filled with light, nourishing, and fresh food eaten with blessings first.
The functioning of the Gunas:
Rajas creates and moves energy, Sattva preserves and conforms, Tamas dismantles and diffuses.