Gunas: My journey towards becoming more sattvic

by Jie Zhong, 200 hours YYT, September 2017

As I have come to realize through meditation, poses and through looking inside of me and taking on the role of an observer – I have always been a person with very high rajas.

I have always had a fiery character, am very passionate, impatient and I am certainly (hyper-)active to the extent that I have a very short attention span, take on too many things at a time and end up wasting a lot of time doodling around. I have difficulties in accepting things the way they are, to be understanding, serene and to just enjoy the moment.

It would of course be an over-simplification to say that my whole life and character are dominated by rajas only. Sometimes, tamas prevails and sometimes I enjoy the state of sattva. There is an inter-play of all three gunas and each one of them is always present to some degree. Nevertheless, rajas is the one that has been dominating my life, since the day I was born.

For some time now I have taken very conscious steps to become more sattvic. I teach myself to notice my periods of high contentment and to move towards them whenever I feel imbalanced or too much influenced by rajas. I now consciously live through my sattvic moments and make a mental note of them whenever I experience them. Whenever I feel too agitated, I remember and place these states of mind into my consciousness and consciously move towards them.

An important factor in my journey towards becoming more sattvic is the food that I eat. Listening to my body tells me which types of food change my dosha in which way. I now avoid spicy and strongly flavoured food as much as possible. The same goes for salty and sweet food. Instead, I eat freshly prepared vegetables, fruits and drink juices. And I try to avoid too much garlic and onions as they are tamasic.

By listening to my body and by becoming more observant, I established that through my food intake I can quite easily limit the tamasic and rajasic parts of my dosha to strive towards sattva. And of course I reinforce my good eating habits by meditation and by yoga poses.