Thursday, April 5, 2012

Calming Spring's Rajas

Well even in the midwest, spring has sprung. Nature is welcoming rajo guna into it's evolutionary process and we too are emerging into a state of action. Since all of nature is connected, I'm sure you may have noticed a bit more rajas (excitement, action) in your life. Perhaps a little more 'spring' in your step, a feeling of increased energy as you come out of winter's tamas (inertia). 

Without discipline, rajas can cause havoc in our mind's. A rajasic mind is said have a strong pull towards control and power and often indulges in objects of the senses. It is said to be filled with judgements, lust, passion, etc. It is reflected as a distracted mind, where it is difficult to focus. If you have noticed any of these qualities within, you are not alone as it is the predominant guna of the season.  :)

Thankfully, sattva (purity, peace) more easily culminates from the fire of rajas than the mud of tamas.

Here are three basic tips to calming the fire of rajas and increasing the peaceful ways of sattva:

1. Increase your asana and pranayama practice by 15-30 minutes each day you practice. If you do not have the time to increase, then shorten your practice but aim for every day. Remember 10 minutes a day is better than 3 hours once a week. Suggested practice? At least 60 minutes daily of asana, pranayama, and meditation, in this order. Focus on cooling asanas like moon salutations, simple back bends and spinal twists. Embody calmness, serenity and peacefulness.

2. Try to be in bed before 10pm, the beginning time for rajo guna. While lying down on your back in bed take 5-10 deep, slow conscious breaths. This calms the central nervous system and cools rajas, encouraging deeper rest. Be sure to surrender, let go. Breathe in "let" and breathe out "go." Then just rest in the silence and stillness.

3. Eat more natural, organic and whole foods. Reduce consumption of spicy, fried, processed foods, especially those containing onions and garlic. Increase cooling foods like cucumbers, steamed greens, mung beans and basmati rice.

If you would like to learn more about the universal cosmic energies "Three Gunas" (sattva, rajas, tamas) please read this article written by my Guru, Swami Sivananda. While surfing the web, I also found this informational articleTo learn more about calming rajas (or pitta), visit the Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Center's amazing website.

Blessings on your journey towards wholeness.

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