Tamas, Raja and Sattva. The three levels of energy.
In the Book of Yoga, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, we find clear instructions on the path of Yoga, the way out of suffering, each step guiding us towards self realization. Patanjali explains about 3 levels of the pool of energy we exist in, at all times:
Just like three different radio stations can project three different programs at the same time, without distracting each other’s wavelength, three different people can perceive the same situation or message completely differently, based on their own ability to receive and their own levels of energy.
From Tamas towards Sattva the vibrations increase, become more subtle and fine.
Tamas is muddy, thick, reactive, dense, dark, like the sound of the bass guitar or drums. Tribal. Survival. Intense on the physical level. It feels very real and often painful, tight in our body.
Raja is vibrant, passionate, flavourful, impulsive, exciting, sensual. Intense on the emotional level. It feels very real in our senses. Like the sound of a Spanish guitar.
Sattva is refined, gentle, quiet, subtle and smooth. Intense on the spiritual level. It feels very real in our soul. Sounds like the harp, and chimes.
The goal of yoga practice is to reach and maintain the level of Sattva, where we recognize our true essential nature. According to the Rishis, everything that ever existed manifests on one of these three levels.
A dinner for example can be tamasic (to serve our survival, fill our stomachs. We eat it for instant gratification, without thinking too much about it. Like a fast food burger, or a piece of toast in the morning.)
A dinner can also be rajasic (a beautifully presented, nourishing meal, full of tastes and spices, to satisfy our senses and to maintain survival.)
A sattvic dinner would be a very small portion of something highly nutritious, perhaps still carrying abundant life energy, such as raw food, or something juicy and fulfilling for the soul. It is still flavourful, assures our survival and also increases our vibration.
Just like food, everything else manifests through these 3 layers. Friends, words, thoughts, relationships. You always know what level they are, when you listen to the barometer of your own body. How do you feel when you eat this, hear that, meet her, think that?
Most people live their life in the state of Tamas. Sluggish, reactive, impulsive, emotional. Or sometimes reach as high as Raja, and feel passionate, excited, joyous, high and low, satisfied, or needy. (is fact most people mistake some aspects of this level of energy with “happiness” )
In a Sattvic energetic state every experience is hightened and intensified. We are completely present, our body feels light and pain free. Our mind is still functioning, but not “in charge” of our reactions, our pace, our words, or our stillness. We absorb this amazing reality we choose to live in, and take full responsibility for it. Doing so, we become conscious creators of our life. In the state of Sattva. Some day, after healing your body and mind with regular practice, that is what you will find in Savasana at the end of class. Stay walking the path.
On this journey I’m with you and therefore I’m grateful.
Flow Yoga School