Last week we introduced another approach to energy called the Gunas. The three gunas are another tool in our yoga toolbox. They help us examine how the inputs the mind is receiving influence our emotions, our physical body, the foods we eat, our environment, and our energy levels. Today, we’re exploring tamas in more depth.
The key features of tamas are dark, heavy, opaque, inert, and downward-moving.
When we’re in this place of tamasic energy, we feel like a sloth — we sleep quite a bit. We tend to eat heavy foods full of preservatives that induce more sleep. Our bodies feel stiff and immobile. Emotionally we lack enthusiasm, we might be clingy or stubborn, or we might feel hopeless. It’s possible that our environment is dark in nature, unclean, depressing, and sloth-like (we’re not hating on sloths, we promise). In the mind, we experience obscured, cloudy thinking. Basically, life is dull, dark, and heavy.
Infertility has the tendency to make us feel this way. When we’re in the upward swing of hope, our sloth like tendencies turn into hopping bunny rabbits (did you catch our innuendo?). Sloth-mode returns when we’ve received another negative result. Repeat cycles of this emotional roller coaster drive us deeper into feeling complete despair. On occasion, we might find ourselves shifting into rajas (we’ll cover that one in detail next week).
Keeping with this animal theme, rajas can be like a hamster running endlessly in a hamster wheel. It’s a constant going in circles with no end in sight. When in the midst of trying to get pregnant, we might find ourselves toggling back and forth between those two states until something gives. That is unless we can learn to pay attention to our state of mind and choose differently.
It’s important to note that we need all three mental states for different reasons. With that said, we’re not designed to get stuck or stay in any one of them for an extended period of time. We’re meant to find a balance between all three states (think a moderate amount of sloth–ing, a moderate amount of hamster wheel turning, and a moderate amount of joy and peace).
Noticing which state you’re currently in and checking back in with yourself frequently will help you move onto more productive, restful, or joyful experiences. This is why we’re asking you this next question.
A quick check-in: How would you describe your mental state right now?