stillpoint yoga

yoga meditation and philosophy with Lynn Fraser
in the Himalayan Tradition of H.H. Sri Swami Rama


Himalayan Tradition

Swami Rama

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Off the Mat – taking yoga philosophy into daily life


Three Gunasrajas, tamas and sattva

The three gunas are properties that are present in everything manifest.  Food has these qualities as do our bodies. We can see it in our emotions and our regular habits.  As we refine our habits, we become more sattvic.  Knowing about the gunas isn’t meant to be a way to judge ourselves – it is another tool to help in our observation and awareness practices.  All matter has all three gunas and we need all three gunas in proper balance. We’re not trying to get rid of anything, merely to observe the ever-changing flow and balance in our lives. 

Rajas is active energy. It gets things moving. When unbalanced, it can also have a  frantic, aggressive or agitated quality.  Heavy driving rock music or someone screaming at another driver are examples of this.  Hot spicy food is rajasic.

Tamas is stability which can also manifest as sluggishness and inertia. We need a balance so that stability doesn’t become stagnant.  Food becomes tamasic when left in the fridge for a few days. Meat is heavy and tamasic.  Emotionally it includes depression, sloth, boredom, hopelessness and ‘don’t care at all’.

Sattva is light and pure energy.  Milk and fruits are naturally sattvic. Love, kindness and compassion are light and pure.  Moments of calm awareness in the mind are sattvic.

See also Personality.

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