The Universe & Guanas

By now, we all know that doshas are an integral part of Ayurveda. Whether your dominant dosha is vata, kapha or pitta can have a profound effect on different aspect of your lifestyle including diet, exercise, hygiene and sleep. However, today we’re going to be discussing another important part of Ayurveda- guanas!

According to Hinduism, the universe is made up of an energy called Prakriti. Within this energy is emerges three qualities known as guanas. Sattva, raja and tama, are these three qualities which not only make up everything in our universe, but our entire wellbeing as well. These qualities are major factors in our spiritual growth along with our physical and mental health.

Sattva

The first major quality is sattva. This guana is responsible for making up our minds, including qualities such as intelligence, virtue and balance. Sattva is light in nature which helps give us stability for our mental health. Developing the balance of sattva is an integral part of practicing Ayurveda.

This can easily be achieved through diet. Sattva relies on foods that are fresh juicy and light, therefore your diet should include organic fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes. For more information about the sattvic diet, you can check out our previous blog here. While sattva can be a very positive quality, when it’s in excess, it can be harmful and become clingy. This can result in an inflated ego and delusions.

Raja

If Sattva relates to the mind, then raja is all about vitality!

This guana relates to energy which can eventually cause imbalance. Raja is associated with change and turbulence. However it’s also a strong force of passion which can cause us to become too focused on achieving our goals and losing sight of the one thing that’s important: our true selves.  

A raja pacifying diet is made up of highly caffeinated foods such as coffee and soft drinks as well as spicy foods.

Tama

Tama is mostly associated with the body. When mixed with raja, tama can cause disharmony throughout the self. Feelings of darkness, heaviness and ignorance is heavily associated with raja which can then cause a lack of both sleep and awareness.

Tasmic foods are the ones which should not be making their way to your plate! As well as avoiding inactivity, you should also be avoiding any overly processed foods and heavy meets.

Each of these qualities have their own specific place within the universe and ourselves!

By understanding how each of these guanas make up our world and ourselves, we can do our best to live our lives in the most balanced and positive way as possible!

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