At first glance, the Gunas may appear to be a theoretical or philosophical viewpoint of the qualities the elements of nature. Within an individual the Gunas may be viewed as a way of labelling the way we feel, both energetically and how the mind feels. At different times specific parts of the body may feel heavy or light. At times the mind may feel foggy, at other times the mind may seem clear. As a practitioner starts to watch themselves within a consistent and regular practice, they discover that these feelings can change. They discover that through a practice how they feel can be influenced and even changed. Through practice, a practitioner can also use a study of the Gunas to develop their understanding of specific Asana.
Watch the following video for a perspective on how Asana can be studied by reflecting on the Gunas.
The following extract from Discourse on Yoga by Bernard Bouanchaud give some different viewpoint on the Gunas.
Consider an Asana that you find energetically challenging and think about why you find you it challenging. An example may be Virabhadrasana 2, which may be particularly heavy or strenuous through the front leg. Consider a way you might practice this asana that may change the energetic feeling of the Asana. For the example of Virabhadrasana 2, this might be grounding the back heal against a wall to increase the stability and density of the back leg. Or practicing in front of the kitchen bench with the outstretched arms supported by the bench to help lift the torso.
Write a paragraph to describe your asana, why it is energetically challenging, and how you might practice to investigate or even change these energetics. Enter your observations in the Quiz following
Submit Week 9 & 10 Practice Logs here