Rajas Guna

Definition - What does Rajas Guna mean?

Rajas guna is the second, or middle, of the three qualities (gunas) of the universe. The name comes from the Sanskrit, rajas, meaning “passion,” and guna, meaning “quality” or “attribute.” Rajas guna is the quality of energy, movement, activity, ambition, action and change.

Higher rajasic energy is useful for athletes and for motivation, but people who have too much rajas guna tend to be filled with so much energy that it leads to anxiety, over-thinking, pushiness, aggressiveness and hyperactivity.

Yogapedia explains Rajas Guna

All three gunas are present in everyone, but one of the gunas may dominate. For mental, spiritual and physical health, the gunas must be balanced. In addition to rajas guna, the other two gunas and their qualities are:

  • Sattva guna – knowledge, light and harmony
  • Tamas guna – darkness, ignorance and illusion

The energy of rajas guna may move toward tamas, in which case it heightens ignorance, or toward sattva, which increases spiritual knowledge.

To balance rajas guna, the yogi should add more calming activities. Yoga asana practice should avoid vinyasas, hold poses longer and add a restorative pose each day. Forward folds and side bends are also calming. Pranayama should including cooling, calming breaths, while the stillness of seated meditation will help calm the mind.

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