Trigunas (The Three Gunas)

Qualities around us,

Qualities in us


Tri: Three
Gunas: qualities, energies, states of mind



An understanding of the trigunas, the three qualities in nature, helps us to better understand ourselves and the world around us.

1. Tamas (तमस्) inertia, stillness, resistance to action

Tamas manifests in positive and negative ways. In the positive form, tamas is strength and stability. In the negative form, tamas is and dullness, inactivity, laziness.

Can we notice tamas in the world around us and within us? Where, when and how do we experience tamas?


2. Rajas (रजस्) action, change, movement
Rajas is the Guna, or quality of activity, dynamism and the impetus to change, to do, to create.

In the positive form, rajas is energy, positive action, enthusiasm and enterprise. In the negative form, rajas is domineering, negative action, loud and destructive.

When rajas is in balance, we make progress, achieve great results and feel in flow with life. When rajas is out of balance, we lack focus, become scattered and our energies are caught up in struggles and obstacles.

Can we notice rajas in the world around us?

Are we able to recognize these aspects of rajas within us? Notice rajas within and ask, “Am I making good use of my energies or is something out of balance? Am I managing my energy or is my energy managing me?” Where, when and how do you experience rajas?


3. Sattva (सत्त्व) purity, light, harmony, balance
Sattva is the guna, or quality of light, harmony, balance and purity. When we experience these qualities, we are sattvic.

When there is equilibrium intamas and rajas, sattva naturally manifests.

Give space for sattva to emerge. Sattva may manifest as a feeling, a thought, a state of being, as an attitude or an outlook on life. When we recognize even the tiniest glimpses of sattva, we have the potential for purity, harmony and balance to become a dominant part of our life experience.

The gunas explain fundamental qualities we experience internally and externally. An understanding of these three forces in life helps us to better understand ourselves and our place in the world. As we continue to recognize the manifestation of the trigunas, we are better able to identify true harmony. As we continue our transformation in making steps towards and living our highest potential, in this way, we live our yoga.

Hari Om Tat Sat!

© Copyright 2012 – All Elements Yoga – Gail Seckrettar

By | 2013-02-15T12:54:58+00:00 December 4th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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