By Savitree Kaur
It’s exciting to think about the fact that we have more than just one body.
According to Kundalini Yoga, we have ten. One might think that this complicates things. I think it simplifies and allows us to bite-size our wellness efforts.
While we have separate parts that make up our physical body, and while each body part and organ has its specialized function, they all work together to create a holistic system.
Similarly, the ten bodies work together as a system that affect who we are and how we experience life. They affect one another, and when we feel unbalanced in some way, there is a place to start. I really like that.
The 10 Bodies:
- Soul Body
- Negative Mind
- Positive Mind
- Neutral Mind
- Physical Body
- Auric Body
- Pranic Body
- Subtle Body
- Radiant Body
The two that I like to pay particular attention to are the pranic and auric bodies. They are closely tied to our physical and mental health in a way in which most of us are familiar, and in many ways, are our first lines of defense.
The Pranic Body, our 8th body, is directly associated with lung capacity, endurance, health and vitality. Without a strong pranic body, our physical body suffers. It carries and circulates life force, without which, we feel like a plant desperately in need of water. When our pranic body is strong, our breath is deep and we are relaxed. It allows us to move forward and navigate our world with confidence in who we are, undeterred.
How fearful or fearless we are has to do with the health of our pranic body. When it is weak, we may experience anxiety and chronic fatigue, and we are prone to sickness. This body resides around our heart and lungs. It is associated with our Sat Nam, or our Truth (related to the heart) and our capacity to walk the marathon that is our life in our own authentic shoes (related to the lungs).
As breathwork regulates the pranic body, pranayam strengthens it. Any pranayam will do. If you want to work on fearlessness, try one that includes suspension of breath like the Calm Heart Meditation or Sodarshan Chakra Kriya.
The Auric Body is our magnetic field that extends beyond our physical body. It is our protective shield. When it is large and dense, it guards against negative energy and depression. When it is small and thin, we feel vulnerable and easily penetrated by the external world. A strong auric body is like a good gatekeeper. And as with the Earth’s magnetic field, we want to protect it so that it may protect us from weakening external forces.
Our aura is also our projective medium. It projects out what is going on inside. And because the health of our aura reflects the health of our inner world, what we feed our inner world matters: our thoughts, what we consume, our level of gratitude, the depth of our breath. These choices affect how we resonate at the cellular level, and our resonance affects our aura.
Pranayam, mantra, eating wholesome foods and wearing white or light colored clothing helps to expand the aura. In an auric emergency, try doing the Ego Eradicator from 3 to 31 minutes. I used to do this for 15 minutes before class when I first started teaching because I was so nervous; I had to get my self-deprecating thoughts out of the way and connect with something much much greater.
A strong auric body sustains the health of the pranic body. And it is the health of the pranic body that allows the auric body to emanate out as a magnificent force field to be reckoned with. The two together keep our physical body and immune system strong and allow us to walk and work fearlessly as who we are.
Savitree Kaur, E-RYT 200 and KRI certified, is co-founder of Urban Yoga Chicago, a Kundalini Yoga, meditation and wellness center in South Evanston, IL. She offers small group classes, private sessions and meditation courses for adults and children. Her strength is in helping individuals customize their meditation practice to serve their highest goals. She is also mom to two beautiful teenaged children. For more on Savitree, see SavitreeKaur.com. For more on the work that she does, see UrbanYogaChicago.org and BlissfulAreWe.com.