For the yogi, the means to the goal of health is to become freed from the predominant forces

of suffering, these forces arise from the Gunas. The Gunas are three naturally arising forces.

They are philosophical concepts of the mind. These three states are called Satva, Rajas, and Tamas.

I have already briefly mentioned the Gunas in the article about the Sattvic Diet, where we also define food by its effect on the Gunas. Let’s get more into details. 

balance asana

Sattva is the state of Harmony & Balance.

Tamas

Tamas refers to the darkness, ignorance, and lazy nature of the mind or body. This is the force that tells us to take a break and relax when we are near to completing a project whose deadline is approaching.

Procrastination? Sounds familiar? Yep, Tamas is active! 

Attributes of Tamas

Inertia, inactivity, laziness, disgust, attachment, depression, helplessness, doubt, guilt, shame, boredom, addiction, hurt, sadness, apathy, confusion, grief, dependency, and ignorance.

How to reduce Tamas? 

To reduce tamas, avoid tamasic foods, oversleeping, overeating, inactivity, passivity, and fearful situations. Tamasic foods include heavy meats and spoiled, chemically treated, processed, or refined foods.

A daily Yoga-Asana practice, Pranayama, and Meditation – increase your overall physical and mental activity. 

Don’t try to make all of the adjustments at once. Give yourself the time to adjust and make small changes, step by step. 

Rajas

Individuals tend to identify themselves with their actions, their roles in life,

or the praise received from others. It is a mental state in which someone identifies with his actions and seeks to gain the rewards of a full life. When Rajas dominates, we have the urge to get satisfaction by acknowledgment and want to be seen for what we do. We tend to identify our values by action and the recognition of such. This leads only to a short-term state of happiness. We then seek more and more of this. 

Too many rajas can lead to desire, distortion, stress, exhaustion, anger, and emotional upset.

re your normal state of restlessness, and you always feel like you have to move, to do something, you can not sit still or just relax? Rajas are active! 

Attributes of Rajas

Energy, change, movement, anger, euphoria, anxiety, fear, irritation, worry, restlessness, stress, courage, rumination, determination, and chaos.

How to reduce Rajas? 

To reduce rajas, avoid rajasic foods, over-exercising, overwork, loud music, excessive thinking, and consuming excessive material goods. Rajasic foods include fried foods, spicy foods, and stimulants.

You can minimize or eliminate vinyasa and sun salutation type sequences, and include more restorative poses in your Yogasana practice, to begin with, maybe one Sun Salutation per practice. Check out my Yin-Yoga Classes or the studios in your city. 

Practicing 10-15 minutes a day of calming pranayama will be an effective way to clear out the hyperactivity. Enjoy calming meditation in a seated or lying position. Try mantra meditation or Yoga Nidra. 

Slow down, do less, and catch up with sleep and rest. Avoid busy and stimulating environments—instead, seek out nature and find places that promote serenity, contemplation, and introspection,

Sattva

The main goal of yoga therapy is to reach the state of Sattva, which means balance, harmony, peace, and tranquility. 

In Sattva, one experiences liberation, which reduces Rajas and Tamas and brings us back into balance.

Qualities of Sattva

Joy, Intelligence, delight, happiness, peace, wellness, freedom, love, compassion, equanimity, empathy, friendliness, focus, self-control, satisfaction, trust, fulfillment, calmness, bliss, cheerfulness, gratitude, fearlessness, and selflessness.

How to promote Sattva? 

To promote Sattva, you must reduce Rajas and Tamas and enjoy the Sattvic Diet – in my opinion, moderation will do! This is my personal experience – I have been restricting myself for a very long time, it has not been a fun period, and I believe in reaching the full joy of life; you should also allow yourself things that are not being categorized as super-food, or other fancy hashtag qualified descriptions for food. It is food, it is supposed to nourish you, and it may make you happy! After researching the Sattvic diet, I believe a mainly plant-based diet will similarly affect you as following the rules of a sattvic diet. Sattvic foods include whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruits and vegetables growing above the ground. 

However, the yogi theory is the Sattvic diet (I would like to stick to “a balanced, mainly plant-based diet”) that will increase the Sattva. Besides this, do things that bring you, be active, take care of yourself, educate yourself, get enough rest, and think positively.