More than a physical practice

“I can’t do Yoga because I can’t touch my toes”, “Can you do /teach me how to do headstand, handstand, pincha, scorpion, crow” etc. These are some common statements that pops up whenever someone ask me about Yoga, which somehow revolves around the physical (asana) practice.

Contrary to modern yoga practice, it is more than just a physical practice. After weeks of delving deeper into Yoga as a subject, I learnt that Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices / disciplines. In the yoga philosophy, I learnt about the 3 Gunas – Sattva, Rajas and Tamas – which are essentially the 3 fundamental aspects of Nature. The gunas cannot be separated or removed but can be consciously acted on to encourage their increase or decrease. A guna can be increased or decreased through the interaction and influence of external objects, lifestyle practices and thoughts. Being aware of these 3 Gunas, it acts as a signpost – guide that indicate where one is and where one wants to be.

Sattva – a state of harmony, balance and contentment

Rajas – a state of energy, action and change

Tamas – a state of darkness, dullness, inertia and illusion

The Tamasic practice is interesting because the traits associated with it is the opposite of Sattva. However, the difference does not mean that it is not able to achieve the same end goal of a Sattvic practice. A tamasic practice can go so deeply into the darkness, into all things unthinkable to mortals that one comes into the light. 

Light and darkness. This and that. There is no wrong / right / perfect practice but find one that works for you and keep seeking the light.