As it relates to our practice, the goal is to achieve balance both within the individual energy centers & holistically overall. The three gunas, translated as thread or rope, are the qualities of nature. Together, they intertwine in varying ratios & proportions to create all of nature. Everything we perceive, including the concept of “everything” & human consciousness itself, is comprised of the three gunas. We practice cultivating our awareness by feeling how they intertwine in the present moment. These may be integrate in different practices in different ways through our physical, mental, & emotional bodies both through our felt interpretation & expressed authenticity.
In any given practice, limb of yoga, or energy center, balance remains the goal. Balancing our body, mind, & soul is a dynamic practice that requires our responsiveness awareness to the present moment. Sometimes a rajastic energy must be applied (in the case where the energy is lacking) & sometimes a tamastic energy must be applied (in the case where the energy is overly active). The practice that is needed is dictated by what is lacking or overly active. This evaluation is based on & specific to the energy practitioner.
Personally, I like to think of the spectrum of raja, sattva, & tamas as volume controls. To turn up the energy, we apply rajastic heat, movement, activity, & strength postures. To turn down the energy, we apply tamastic heaviness & inertia. To achieve holistic balance, sattva, is the goal. These apply to both mental & physical energies.
The Taoist concept of yin & yang explores complimentary, yet opposite, forces in nature. In our asana practice, we practice hot yoga as the yang (rajastic), physical practice & yin yoga as the tamastic physical practice. Within each of these, balance, sattva, is attained by working towards the complimentary opposite of the dominating energy in our mental & emotional practice.