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Focus of the Month - November 2022

The Ten Bodies

by Ludovica Picardi

Unveil the secrets behind the so-called ten bodies and learn how to balance them in order to live a healthier and happier life in line with your true self.

“Your body is a temple”.

I think we’ve all stumbled across this expression at least once in our lives. Our body is a perfect system where every little muscle, bone, organ, and tissue cooperates harmoniously to make us feel healthy and full of life. And yet, most of the time we tend to think of our body as a merely physical thing, but what if I told you, we actually have other bodies as well? These bodies go beyond that physical assembly of flash and bones because they’re made of other subtle energies that are tightly related to our emotional and energetic well-being.

This is the key concept on which the whole philosophy of Kundalini Yoga, an ancient yogic discipline is based. In this article, we’ll unveil the magic behind these so-called "ten bodies" and learn how to tap into their qualities to have an overall healthier and balanced life in line with your higher self.

What Are The Ten Bodies?

As we said before, alongside our physical body, we also have 9 more bodies: three mental bodies, and six energy bodies. Imagine these bodies as layers of clothing, where the physical body is the overcoat you wear for a lifetime and the other layers are completely hidden. So, unless you don’t connect with these other layers, it is quite likely that the coat will be the only thing you’ll ever see.

However, if we start to cultivate more awareness towards each sheet, we’ll progressively discover that wrapped in all those layers, we can find our temple, our essence, our true self. Think about it: how often do you feel stuck or feel like something is a little off in your life? Well, chances are that one of your bodies is out of balance. So it goes without saying that when we know how to identify and balance that body, we have the power to change our lives.

And just like we can bring balance and keep our physical body healthy, so can we train, strengthen and harmonize the other bodies!

Eager to know how? Let’s dig in and find out more about this fascinating theory.

1. The Soul Body

As we know, the soul is the core of our being, that sparkle of divinity that lives within all of us. So it should come as no surprise that our first sheet is our most intimate body, the essence of our spirit, and of our purpose in life.

Signs of Balance: When your Soul body is healthy and balanced, you feel connected to your inner self and intuition. And when our intuition is active we feel a burst of creativity and blissful introspection.

Signs of Imbalance: When out of balance, we feel stuck and disconnected from ourselves, everything seems meaningless and dull.

How to Balance:

  • Include heart-opening postures such as Camel pose (Ustrasana) or Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) into your asana practice

  • Chanting the bija mantra, “YAM”

  • Practice “loving-kindness” meditation

2. The Negative Mind

The Negative Mind is that energetic body that is connected to that side of our intellect that has the function of almost shielding us from potential threats, hence helping us protect our energy by becoming more aware of what could harm us, and by setting boundaries.

Signs of Balance: When your Second Body is balanced, you trust those “gut feelings” and let your intuition guide you out of harm’s way.

Signs of Imbalance: When your Negative Mind is weak and out of balance, you are unable to discern what’s really good or bad for you, and for this reason, you might be trapped in toxic relationships, both with yourself and others because you are not able to set and respect your boundaries.

How to Balance:

  • Develop conscious, meaningful relationships with other individuals

  • Set boundaries that will protect your well-being and mental health

3. The Positive Mind

We can think of this body as that sheet that allows us to view life through a “glass half full” lens. You feel positive, and optimistic and try to seek the silver lining in every situation.

Signs of Balance: When your Positive Mind is balanced and healthy you feel full of playfulness, optimism, and overall happiness, and you radiate this bliss, inspiring other individuals around you to spark positivity.

Signs of Imbalance: When out of balance, you may feel trapped in the negative feelings of your Negative Mind, leading to numbness or even a depressive state.

How to Balance:

  • Focus on strengthening your navel point through the Solar Plexus Chakra and use poses such as Plank (Palakasana) or Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) to strengthen this Chakra and the Positive Mind

  • Speak to yourself with kindness and compassion, including positive affirmations into your meditation

4. The Neutral Mind/The Meditative Mind

The Fourth Body is also called the Meditative Mind and it helps us evaluate the input received by both the negative and positive mind. This is a layer connected to your inner wisdom, so let it guide you in making the right decision when you feel torn and disoriented.

Signs of Balance: You are able to access your inner wisdom with effortless ease.

Signs of Imbalance: You may have a hard time making decisions and feel torn and lost.

How to Balance:

  • Connect to your inner self and dive into deep meditation

  • Journal your daily life and try to make a list of pros and cons when making a decision

5. The Physical Body

The Physical Body is the most exterior sheet and it’s the only one visible to the human eye. It’s our shell that we carry around in the world, so we should always take proper care of it!

Signs of Balance: you feel full of energy, vigorous, and wonderfully healthy

Signs of Imbalance: you feel depleted of your energy and sluggish.

How to Balance:

  • Establish a healthy and balanced routine

  • Feed your body with natural and nutritious food

  • Include active, dynamic flows into your asana practice

6. The Arc Body/Arcline

The Arcline is the 6th of our ten bodies: it is deeply connected with our inner selves and projects us to the world around us. Anatomically, the sixth body is associated with the pituitary gland, which regulates the nervous system and glandular balance. The Arcline represents your radiance, the way the world perceives you while it also reflects and manifests your true vision.

Signs of Balance: When aligned you can perceive a clear, bright mind with an increased ability to stay focused and project yourself to the outside world, manifesting your true essence and vision.

Signs of Imbalance: When your Sixth Body is weak, you may be easily influenced, unfocused, and unable to manifest your desires.

How to Balance:

  • Awaken your pituitary gland through Balasana, Child Pose (this activates your Sixth Chakra)

  • Close your eyes and chant the bija mantra “AUM”

  • Meditate and focus on creating positive “I am” statements

7. The Auric Body

The Seventh Body, your Auric Body is the electromagnetic field of energy that surrounds your Physical Body. It’s that impalpable halo of energy that constitutes our Aura and acts as a protective shield of magnetic energy that radiates around your body.

Signs of Balance: When your Auric Body is healthy, you feel uplifted and naturally repel negativity from your life.

Signs of Imbalance: When unbalanced, you may experience anxiety, disconnection from your true self, and a lack of self-trust.

How to Balance:

  • Wear white clothing to strengthen the power of your Aura

  • Meditate and visualize your Aura

8. The Pranic Body

As you can imagine, the Pranic body is the seat of your Prana, your life-force energy. Through this body, your breath brings prana into your mind, body, and soul keeping you blissfully alive and in line with your higher self.

Signs of Balance: You feel energetic and confident.

Signs of Imbalance: You may experience chronic anxiety and fatigue.

How to Balance:

  • Learn and practice regularly all forms of Pranayama

9. The Subtle Body

The Subtle Body gives you the chance to grasp the hidden meaning behind things. It connects you to everything that is subtle, what’s not seen but only perceived. It can help you feel the energy in a room and in people.

Signs of Balance: Those who have a balanced subtle body can easily tune into situations or naturally pick up new skills.

Signs of Imbalance: If your Subtle Body is weak, you may be naïve about situations or tend to feel misunderstood.

How to Balance:

  • Practice Kundalini yoga to strengthen your inner consciousness

  • Use Kriyas and meditation to help you regain a calm and energetic flow

10. Radiant Body

You can visualize the radiant body as a golden halo of bright light surrounding the Aura, which crowns your true essence. The radiant body is the highest and most noble of all ten bodies because it encapsulates all of them. It is deeply connected with our Crown Chakra.

It enables us to attract positive things and people into our life. The radiant body is our source of divine beauty, which goes well beyond physical appearance.

Signs of Balance: Those with a powerful radiant body draw the attention of a room because they possess something that everyone wants: True confidence. As a result, the relationships of people with strong radiant bodies are genuine and meaningful.

Signs of Imbalance: If you’re not aware of your radiant body or have been neglecting this important layer of your being, you’ll tend to feel insecure and experience extreme or avoidant shyness and overall unsteady energy levels.

How to Balance:

  • Commit to your core values

  • Cultivate meaningful and genuine relationships

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