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#2 Yoga off the mat

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

I am reading and studying “Light on Life” by BKS Iyengar and writing this post from his book’s perspective as I understand it.

In yoga philosophy we are taught that there are 3 Gunas in the nature of things;

Tamas - Inertia (slow, heavy)

Rajas - Vibrancy (fast, motion)

Sattva - Light (balance)

Within the body, inertia (Tamas) is the dominant quality due to the heaviness of the bones, muscles and organs. It takes energy to get the body moving like a bike going uphill (which is obviously why it can be so hard to get up in the morning!). The mind is the opposite, the mind is quick (Rajas) which is probably why we have sayings like “think fast” and “gather your thoughts”. Asana creates a balance between the body and mind to help us to be relaxed while still alert (Sattva).

“You are like an artist with 3 basic pigments on his palette forever reminiscing and blending them in order to form the right colour.”

Finding strength, flexibility and balance within the poses helps us to become courageous and determined in our lives whilst remaining composed and tolerant. According to B.K.S Iyengar the 8 limbs of yoga help us to control our emotions so that we are a master not a slave to them, we develop our bodies to work with us, not against us.

The regular practice of yoga (Tapas) “clears the inner energetic channels allowing prana to flow freely. " If you imagine blockages in the arteries and the negative effect that this has on our bodies, you can understand to some extent that there will be a similar outcome from blockages in our energy channels.

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