the Bodies and their defintions
For the purpose of our practice and understanding of Yoga and the spiritual evolution of the practitioner, we dive deeper into how human being is viewed in spiritual anatomy.
There are many definitions and names given in the many world spiritual traditions and within the field of Yoga / Hatha Yoga teachings alone you can find definitions of 3 up to 7 or 10 bodies. The definitions and their purpose vary and I will only go into the one that I use in the YM Method and teachings.
Everything is Energy. We move between dense and subtle energies. All matter is an expression of a more solid, dense form of energy (including our physical bodies which matter greatly ;-) ) …whereas our Aura or individual energy field is an expression of our subtle energy just to give an example.
See also the Scroll on Aura.
Here are the 5 Bodies.
The Physical Body is the one we see and sense and know best perhaps. A part of this is the Etheric body that is closest in our Aura to our physical body, just off the boundaries of the physical. We shall consider this one Body. Physical /Etheric.
The Astral Body is the next Auric layer about 10 centimetres off of the physical body. This layer is almost identical to the Physical but exists only in a subtle energy dimension. This Astral dimension holds the code or DNA of our unique being blueprint, what makes you look like you and not someone else. It also contains our Karmic DNA. It also holds the all important, for the purposes of Yoga and spiritual evolution, subtle energy body that continuously communicates with the physical and vice-versa. This body has the Astral Nervous System know as the Nadis. Almost an identical map to our physical Nerves but not all the way the same.
See Scrolls on Nadis and Chakras and Anatomy sections.
Many methods of healing address the Astral Body.
The Emotional Body comes next followed by the Mental Body. These two energetic fields and bodies are also some we are quite familiar with as we are often in the mental realms of thought, ideas, imagination etc and in our emotional realms of experiencing anger, joy, anxiety, enthusiasm and so on. These two bodies can be much further out in our Aura in position compared to our physical bodies. They have a great reach. We can send our thoughts and emotions far beyond our physical boundary. People can, for better or worse, ‘’feel’’ us a mile off sometimes :-D. We can ‘’project’’ thought far, far beyond our physical limits.
Then there is Spiritual or Spirit Body which is the outermost layer but as Spirit is the most subtle it is also part of all the layers of the Aura. Everything is Spiritual. It is all a matter of the density of the Energy and the proportions of spirit/subtle energy to gross/matter in any living particle. This body layer is the Lightest of them all.
The whole aura can be measured as an Energy Field about 1 meter surrounding a human. Let us call this your personal space :-D. In this realm our interactions with others, lifestyles, diet, environment affects our energy field and consequently how we feel, think, be, have. Likewise we receive interaction from our subtle bodies that express consequences in this physical realm. It is this knowing that we are many bodies that makes living such a dynamic, spontaneous sport. To master our energy we need to train ourselves in skills we are rarely taught at school. Here the spiritual sciences have a lot to offer. Scroll also my definitions for Balance.
Please note that I make a difference between our Feeling Sense and our Emotional Body. See the Scroll on Listen Feel Allow for further reading.
Gathering ourself, Centering, Focusing, Grounding involves actions and practices that affect one or more of the bodies and bringing them into harmony with one another.
Body as One Unit in YM refers to the all our Body layers moving as one unit, in harmony.
Further related Scrolls coming soon.