There are three qualities of energy in yoga, which are known as the ‘guna ’. These are called tamas, rajas , and sattva.
Tamas or inertia, is a state where you feel heavy and slow - your body feels lazy and making any decisions is difficult.
Rajas or motion, is a state where you experience a lot of mental activity and your body wants action. If you’ve ever struggled to get to sleep because your mind was whirling with ideas or worries or excitement, then this is rajas .
Sattva, or equilibrium, is a state where you feel clarity and spaciousness; happiness and wisdom can then develop.
Through practising yoga we are aiming to bring the interplay of the guna into balance. It’s natural to feel heavy when it‘s bed-time or when your mind/body need to rest after a lot of activity or work. It‘s natural and necessary to be active when you need to get a job or project done. But it’s common in our culture to get stuck in the mind states of either tamas or raja s, and then the contentment and happiness associated with sattva elude us.
In my own yoga practice there are some mornings when I feel sluggish. I lie on my mat and think nothing is going to happen in my practice. As I begin the slow movements of the warm-up I feel my energy begins to lift, then in no time I’m having the best practice and my whole day is transformed.