Wk. 70 COMPACT – Gunas – Rajas
This Practice will focus on Rajas Guna which is the energy of change, movement and activity. It is distinguished by passion, desire, effort, drive, determination and energy as it is quite stimulating. In the extreme state, it creates turbulence, agitation, instability, restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, anger, jealousy, competitiveness, intolerance and other you may or may not relate with. A Rajasic state gives rise to emotional fluctuations of attraction and repulsion, acting out in fear and desire, love and hate.
Rajas is the Positive active forces that initiates change and outward motion. Its negative active forces can dry us up and burn us out. It can’t hold it’s own condition for long because it lacks stability and consistency.
Physically, Rajas is associated with Acute disease like an illness, infection, inflammation, trauma, headaches, fractures or pain. It is the movement either from health to disease or disease to health.
Mentally, Rajas is the middle density of ignorance. It creates our ability to involve ourselves in imagination, visions and fantasies. Obsessively this energy leads to more extremes of illusions, delusions, hallucinations, speculations, entanglement, complications and endless mental activity.
Type of People who are characterised as Rajasic are usually very active, A-Type, “Super achievers,” goal orientated and willing to “do something” about life, investing in being seen as a “human-doing,” producing and consuming more. The become limited by the ego which becomes attached to drawing on self-worth only by what is tangibly produced. Rajas creates the pain that binds us to the attachment of the fruits of action and to yearning for more sensory pleasures of every kind.
SO! Yoga poses that are Rajasic are those that extend the spine, that move toward back bending. Inversions, arm balancing and dynamic poses. When we are working with trying to balance Rajas, we need to meet the energy where it is. To tell yourself to be still and quiet when you are in a Rajasic state will just cause more pain and suffering. Rajas wants MORE movement, harder poses, challenging feats to tick the boxes of validation.
So in practice I would suggest starting off engaging Rajas with some dynamic and stimulating poses, standing twists then move towards forward bending, longer holds without strain, emphasising longer exhales to calm, ground and sooth the Rajasic urges.
Your practice should open up some things to ponder. Ask yourself, after practice,
- Do you feel excited about life,
- Do you have more insight into yourself, sustainable energy to create and spend more time enjoying life as it is?
- Do you have a clear path to follow today?
- Do you feel centred, content, focused and yet grounded to make healthier decisions?
- Does your asana force you to adapt and navigate change utilising some of that energy?
- If you make a mistake or are not able to do a pose can you still be nice and kind to yourself?
- Do you really believe you are enough as you are, even if you struggle with the practice?
- Does your practice leave you less restricted, stiff and more flexible (in more ways than one)?