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The Point Of Yoga: The Three Gunas.

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Okay, so I guess you can say there are many points of yoga, Danielle!  Sure there are!  Tons and tons.  But today, I am writing about one that I think is the most important.

Besides stretching, exercising, getting those endorphins going, relaxing the nervous system, breathingYoga is about finding peace.  Maybe that sounds a bit too spiritual for some of you, but it’s the truth.  It’s all of our goals.  Finding peace, finding happiness.

Have you ever left a yoga class feeling pure bliss?  Just so much happier than you did before you started the class.

In Indian and yoga philosophy, there are three qualities known as gunas, which describe the natural tendencies of the mind and emotions.  We all have emotions, some have more of one emotion than another, but this is what gives us our self-identity.  A big part of yoga is finding that balance between emotions that come up when things happen in our life.  Our practice gives us a place to find that balance, stability and peace so then we are done with Savasana, we are not done with yoga.  We can take our yoga into the rest of our day and week.

That way you don’t start crying when you go to work because your dog ate your favorite new pair of shoes!  Thank god this hasn’t happened to me…YET!

 

We have THREE GUNAS, different emotions, that we can learn to balance and be mindful of.

Three Gunas.

Three Gunas.

The Three Gunas

1. Sattva:

Literally meaning “pure”, this is a calm and clear state of mind.  A sense of being complete and fulfilled.  When in this state you are more thoughtful towards yourself and others.  In yoga philosophy, this is known as our natural state of mind.  Our mental balance is not dependent on something external, our inner environment is at peace and happy.  *This is the state we want to achieve in yoga.

2. Rajas:

Driven by desire, needing or losing something.  Obsession often gets brought up in this state.  Rajas includes a lot of fear, anxiety and/or expectation about how things might turn out.

3. Tamas:

Confused state.  Often indecisive, lethargic, self-destructive and harmful to others. In this state, one often doesn’t know what he or she is feeling or wants.  However, this state also is the state that allows us to calm down when it is time to sleep.

 

If you ask me, I’d like to be Sattva all the time!  However, we are a mix of these gunas, playing out at different times of the day.  We need all three…Without Rajas we wouldn’t be driven and without Tamas we wouldn’t sleep!  The GOAL is to find balance between all three and find Sattva as much as possible.  AND YOGA DOES JUST THAT!  It allows us to tap into Sattva perfectly to calm the mind and body, to find that peaceful state that allows us to react to the world and ourselves in a loving and happy-hearted way.  AND THAT is that post-yoga feeling we all love and the reason we continue to come back for more.

Namaste.

Danielle Cuccio, RYT

Danielle Cuccio, RYT is an LA-based Registered Private Yoga Teacher, Certified Yoga Booty Ballet Instructor, Ayurveda Practitioner, Aesthetician and Owner of Cuccio Somatology. Danielle is dedicated to making her clients feel and look more beautiful, inside and out, through yoga, nutrition advice and overall well being. Danielle practices and teaches in Los Angeles, CA, teaching group classes and private yoga sessions. Follow Danielle's YouTube channel for yoga instruction, nutrition tips and more!

Danielle Cuccio, RYT

Danielle Cuccio, RYT is an LA-based Registered Private Yoga Teacher, Certified Yoga Booty Ballet Instructor, Ayurveda Practitioner, Aesthetician and Owner of Cuccio Somatology. Danielle is dedicated to making her clients feel and look more beautiful, inside and out, through yoga, nutrition advice and overall well being. Danielle practices and teaches in Los Angeles, CA, teaching group classes and private yoga sessions. Follow Danielle's YouTube channel for yoga instruction, nutrition tips and more!

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Adrienne Gill
Adrienne Gill 5pts

Yes, this is very true in the west. It is very difficult to discover true information. And I live a solitary life away from civilization. This is my journey. I feel I know these things to be true but do not have words for them. I am trying to put it all together. Thank you Manoj K Shinh

Manoj K Shinh
Manoj K Shinh 5pts

Understanding Yoga:Yoga is the Hindu practice of physical (body), mental (mind), and spiritual (the spirit) discipline, originating in ancient India.The goal of yoga is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility by use of Hatha Yoga Postures (asanas), Bandhas (Body Locks), Pranayam (correct breathing), mudras (hand gestures), mantra chanting (jaapa), meditation(Pratyahara, dharana and dhyana)and mental visualisation techniques.Yoga, thus is a state of union between two opposites (end of duality), the body and mind; individual and universal consciousness; a process of uniting the opposing forces in the body and mind in order to achieve supreme awareness and enlightenment.There are six main Yoga paths, not only physical exercises (as known and most often incorrectly or incompletely practiced in western world). :-Jnana Yoga – where the practitioner pursues enlightenment by the path of knowledge, studies and meditations.Bhakti Yoga – this is a path of devotion and prayers on worshipping a god or goddess, a deity or a living or non living guru.Karma Yoga – A path to enlightenment based on selfless action, that of pure love and compassion, without any reward.Mantra Yoga – A path based on the repetitions of sacred sound or sounds.Raja Yoga (Astangha Yoga) – an eight step path to enlightenment based on posture, breath control, meditation and withdrawal of the senses, that of this illusory world.Hatha Yoga – It is based on physical postures, breathing exercises, cleaning and purifying the nadis (veins) and mindful awareness. However, this is extremely intense and advanced hatha yoga practises can hardly be done by the ordinary person. Kriyas (completed actions of this yoga) include neti, nauli, tratak, kapalbhati, dhauti and basti, hardly taught in western yoga schools.

Manoj K Shinh
Manoj K Shinh 5pts

to attain perfect sync of mind body and soul - yoga, all 24 entities need to be present and work in sync. not just any 3 gunas.

Manoj K Shinh
Manoj K Shinh 5pts

a human life is a mere harmony of visible and invisible entities, yet every humans nature, behavior and deeds semm to vary vastly.the reason for this is the the 3 gunas ( properties ) of nature. , hence a human being is not just the union of 5 base elements, 5 entities, 5 gyanendiyaas and 5 karamendriyaas and 3 gunas. these total 23. in order for a human to function, he needs energy ( intellect + consciousness )for these 23 entities + energy ( total 24) is calkled creation/ human being

Adrienne Gill
Adrienne Gill 5pts

Thank you for your response Manoj K Shinh. I will do this!

Manoj K Shinh
Manoj K Shinh 5pts

Adrienne - Firstly, please google on the three gunas and read and educate yourself as much as is possible. First understand what gunas are in depth. If i were to explain it would take a day or two but i can sum it up for you , but only after you know the basics. It is a very deep topic.

Adrienne Gill
Adrienne Gill 5pts

Manoj K Shinh. What is a reliable source of information on this?

Manoj K Shinh
Manoj K Shinh 5pts

i am sorry to state, that as a matter of fact, the author does not have great knowledge of the subject matter and what the gunas are really.the mind is ignorant. I am not surprised to see many likes, borne of lack of knowledge or ignorance.