The Three Qualities of Yoga (and Life)

It is often said that everything comes in threes. From the strongest geometrical symbol (the triangle) to the number of lights in a traffic light; from the Hanson brothers to Destiny’s child to Freud’s theory of the personality (id, ego, superego). There is something undoubtedly resonant about the number three. It strikes us as a strong, and perhaps complete, number. Christians are not the only religious tradition to speak of a trinity of deities. Most with even a cursory knowledge of Hinduism will have heard of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma is referred to as the god of creation. Vishnu is the god of preservation, and Shiva is the god of destruction. Every deity in the Hindu tradition has a nirgun, or formless, expression (without attributes or characteristics) and a sagun, a formed, expression (with attributes and characteristics). The images that you see in artistic renderings is the sagun, while t

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