Understanding the Gunas

the three gunas

The three energetic qualities that make up all of life can help you find balance and insight. We are all born with a certain allocation and distribution of these three energetic qualities, the gunas.

When we think about energy, we don’t think of gunas. It’s easy to identify when these energies are lagging, and most of the time we know how to replenish or balance them: We eat healthy foods, rest, get out into nature, connect with the people we love, commit to a consistent spiritual practice, or let go of some questionable habits.

But energy is more than what fuels the body or the mind. Many ancient traditions, such as yoga, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism — plus modern physics — teach that everything in the universe is energy. A table, a computer, and a bicycle are all forms of energy; each one vibrates at a speed that allows you to see, touch, and use it. Every thought, feeling, and experience you have also has a unique energy vibration that is imprinted into the body in the form of physical sensations and then hopefully released on the wave of the breath. This non-tangible energy can best be understood by delving into the balance of the subtle body — the gunas.

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