Tamas Guna

By Angela Glaz

500 Hour E-RYT and Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor


The three gunas: sattva, rajas, tamas, are the primary qualities of nature. They show our mental and spiritual state, through which we can measure our propensity for psychological problems.

The tamas guna is the lowest of the three gunas and represents stillness and stability. While stillness and stability can be good for resting when we are sick or calming feelings of anxiousness, too much stillness can cause a state of being that is heavy, stagnant lazy, ignorant, insensitive, depressed, helpless, and lonely.  

If we are living in a consistent state of tamas, we are closing ourselves off to life, we are making ourselves ignorant and falling prey to the heaviness that causes inaction when action is required.

If we compare the tamas guna to the doshas, we can see that it holds similar qualities to the kapha dosha. When our mind is in a tamasic state of being, it is most likely that the kapha dosha is also imbalanced.

Therefore, to move out of a tamasic state of being, we will need to balance the kapha dosha and increase the qualities related to both the rajas and the sattva guna, as the more we are exposed to a guna, the more that guna will grow in our mind. While we strive for a sattvic state of being, we can’t get to the top floor from the bottom floor without the stairs and we can’t climb the stairs without movement, which is rajas.

For more on the the other two gunas and how to find your way to a sattvic state of being: 

The Gunas are the tip of the ice berg when it comes to using Ayurveda to cultivate a more balanced state of being. Ayurveda focuses on all aspects of our being; body, mind, and spirit, to help us cultivate the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves. If you want to learn more about Ayurveda and how you can start incorporating it into your everyday life to live more fully, check out our online course: Foundations of Ayurveda!

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