“You are a being of light in physical body.”
You. Are a being. Of divine light. Living in a physical body.
Whether it’s too much for you to grasp, wrap your mind around or see yourself as, it’s true. You are not your physical body. You are not your mind. You are not your clothes, your car, your job, your relationship, your accomplishments, your setbacks.
Heavy concept, right?
It’s the blindingly beautiful Truth that my incredible YogaWorks Teacher Trainers, and mentors, Melanie Salvatore-August and Mynx Inatsugu are instilling in me. For this lifesaving knowledge I will be forever grateful. The evolution of my writing on this blog is also highly impacted by this new wisdom that’s being passed on to me. What I’m about to convey is directly passed on from my recent learnings in yoga teacher training. I attribute all of this incredible information to Melanie Salvatore-August and Mynx Inatsugu.
When I say I’m being given “lifesaving” knowledge, I mean that to my very core. I am a sensitive spirit who has been tormented by the belief that I am my physical body. That I am my mind. Learning otherwise has been revolutionary for me. For my awareness.
I am not my body. I am not my mind. I am a being of divine light. I simply live in a physical body. I simply perceive the world of Prakriti through the lens of my mind, through the experience of my body.
Remember the world of Prakriti is that of changeability. Things that change. Think about that…that’s most of what’s important to us, right?
My mind and body are simply tools through which to experience the world of Prakriti, the changing world. Life, physicality, jobs, relationships, possessions, experiences of the senses…
When the mind and body are seen as tools, as instruments through which Purusha (that divine light that is your True Self) sees and is experienced…things just feel lighter. I just feel a weight lifted off of my shoulders.
Granted, twenty minutes later, I’m fidgeting with my hair pining after the girl next to me’s bracelet.
Practice. This takes constant attention, dedication. It will take a lifetime of practice.
I honestly don’t know at this point, in my novice stage, if I will ever fully stop caring what my body looks like. I hope so. I am passionate about health and wellness, so a healthy physical body is a manifestation of that passion (Universe willing). But will it ever just be healthy and well without my being attached to it? Will I ever let stop gaining satisfaction from or feeling torment over my physical form? I hope so. I am dedicated to this practice of yoga. I trust that I will always remain at least aware that this is my cross to bear, in this life, the work of not identifying with my body. I may always care, it may always be work, but at least I know it’s not who I am.
Think of how liberating that is! Our physical bodies can be damaged, broken; we die. We are more than just a body. We are light, there is light in our eyes, a divine being inside the body.
The subtle body is our energy system. Hatha Yoga is the yoking of the sun and the moon. The moon being represented by Ida, the creative more feminine energy. The sun being represented by Pingala, the analytical more masculine energy. The balance of Ida and Pingala are what create clear, clean, flowing Prana. Prana is our power, our divine energy, our life force.
The practice of yoga is the bringing of Siva and Shakti to balance.
We are governed by a sophisticated energy system. This energy system can be seen in traditional Western Medicine models, Chinese Medicine, acupuncture points, and the like. The energy centers throughout the body are known as chakras.
Chakras are where our emotions and thoughts meet our physical body energetically. What we think and feel creates our physical body.
There are seven chakras in the body:
So what causes one to identify with one’s body or mind? Or both? It’s different for all of us. Today my teacher explained to us that we harbor energy from experiences that happened to us sometimes longer ago than we can comprehend. At age 2, perhaps, even as an infant. From the moment we are born, the energy in our physical body is active. Our chakras are there. The energy systems are in place.
Imbalances in certain chakras manifest as disease. These imbalances can evolve from past experiences, some beyond our conscious recollection. These blockages can manifest as attachment to either the body or the mind.
I wonder what exactly happened in my past to manifest my body image issues. The experience I had as a teen, my eating disorder, was me identifying with my mind and body. It was disease manifested in my physical body by an imbalance in my line of energy.
This is heavy stuff for some, I know. But, for me, it’s the lightest of light that there has ever been. I have always identified with an inner energy, a deeper sense of being, and this is it. I’ve been introduced to the world of subtle body, and my life will never be the same.
My life will never be the same now that I have this knowledge.
Subtle body is just one kosha. Koshas are the layers of our beings. “Sheaths,” if you will. Such an incredible world of study that I am only just delving into…
How can I possibly know all this and still believe I am my body? How could I still believe I am my mind? I don’t. I simply don’t. It doesn’t mean I won’t still be overcome with grief at times, it doesn’t mean I won’t still suffer from attachment to my physical body, to the world of Prakriti. But that is where the practice of yoga comes in.
The lifesaving practice of yoga.
Images via http://www.swamij.com/koshas.htm and http://www.layogamagazine.com/issue21/feature/energy.htm