The Ten Bodies of Yoga Part I
By: “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell, Publisher Dallas Yoga Magazine & Founder Cosmic Yogi Festivals
The Ten Bodies of Yoga are such important aspects of the practice and they often are over looked or those practicing yoga are not familiar with them. The more I study, practice and understand about yoga the more my practice grows. By incorporating the Ten Bodies of Yoga into your practice and life, you will find yourself moving forward into a new dimension of yoga. Now, if you are like me this is a slow process and some days I am flowing in a positive direction and other days I’m way off the path. It’s not about perfection…it’s about making mistakes and getting back on the path again. In this article we are going to cover the First Body to the Fifth Body and next month we will discuss the Sixth Body to the Tenth Body and the ultimate Eleventh Body.
“If you understand that you are Ten Bodies and you are aware of those Ten Bodies, and you keep them in balance, the whole Universe will be in balance with you.” Yogi Bhajan
What are the Ten Bodies?
The truth is that the human body is made up of ten bodies: the physical body, three mental bodies and six energy bodies. The eleventh embodiment is when all ten bodies are under your direction producing a pure state of consciousness when you have the ability to see all events as part of God’s plan and see God in everything.
You can visualize your various bodies as layers of clothing, the physical body being an overcoat you wear for a lifetime. We know we have a physical body; we can see it, touch it, and feel it. We also have other bodies that are equally real, if not more so. Here is a list of the Ten Bodies with an overview of the first five following.
First: Soul Body
Second: Negative Mind
Third: Positive Mind
Fourth: Neutral Mind
Fifth: Physical Mind
Sixth: Arc Line
Eighth: Pranic Body
Ninth: Subtle Body
Tenth: Radiant Body
First Body: Soul Body
This is the spark of the Infinite that resides in the core of your being. The qualities of this body include humility and creativity. You realize the eternal nature of your soul, so you naturally embody humility and creativity. Yogi Bhjan would say “Heart over Head” meaning when the head rules, the head and the heart are both wrong; when the heart rules, the head and the heart are both right. A person has mastered this when they come from a place of great humility. When each thought and action effortlessly flows with the natural creativity of the Universe. When we are imbalanced and weak, we are coming from the head instead of the heart. When we don’t nurture this body the tendency is to rely on the intellect instead of the intuition….head over heart. The key to balancing is a spiritual practice that empowers you to raise your consciousness (energy) and to open your heart to the Universe.
Second Body: Negative (Protective) Mind
This identifies with possible dangers or shortcomings in a situation. We express protective caution about the future and see the downside or pitfalls of every situation. The qualities involved are conservative containment, and discipline to the precarious. “Longing to Belong” is the perfect phrase to remember with the second body. Your soul longs to unite with the Infinite. Mastering this body will give form to the creativity of your Soul Body by developing the discernment to identify potential dangers and set protective boundaries. Because of the resulting sense of safety, your soul’s longing is satisfied by connecting deeply to its own God Self. If imbalanced and weak then we make poor choices in relationships and we are easily fooled and often can’t recognize danger. The key to balancing is to strengthen, exercise our discipline and develop relationships of integrity and feel deserving to defend ourselves. Find a person who is successful in their expression of enthusiasm, trust and hope and model yourself after them.
Third Body: Positive (Expansive Mind)
You elevate others through your enthusiastic, trusting and helpful energetic projection. Often people have the habit of flipping from one extreme to the other… “Devil or Devine.” The Master of this body will be effortlessly charismatic yet humble; naturally playful, optimistic and full of humor. These qualities inspire others to be positive about the future. If imbalanced then a person may become overwhelmed with negative thoughts, which can lead to depression, hopelessness, anger and/or intolerance. The key to balancing this body is to be more assertive, use positive affirmations and model the hopeful behaviors of those people with a strong positive projection.
Fourth Body: Neutral (Meditative) Mind
This body is not seduced by the positive or negative mind but stays in neutral territory of tranquility and non-emotional intuition. The Neutral Mind consists of service, compassion, integration, balance and wisdom. A key phrase to associate with the Neutral Mind is “Cup of Prayer.” There is no argument regarding its fullness or emptiness, just an appreciation of the gift of its existence. To master this one has to have a calm and clear perception of the essence of any situation; access to the emotionality, through development of the intuition and meditative mind. If one is weak in this area, then they feel victimized and have contradictory thoughts and emotions while lacking intuition. The key to balancing is learning to meditate and consciously choosing to drop argumentative behaviors and replacing them with the habit of calmness with clear and confident perception that flows from your meditation experiences.
Fifth Body: Physical Body
We all know what our physical body is but let’s take it one step further and look at it as the sacred, living, human form that houses the soul. This is where enlightenment and service to humanity are manifested. When in sync with this body we sacrifice, are balanced, and we have the strength and balance to guide and elevate others. “Balanced and Teach” is what we remember here. To master this body, we become a teacher who can explain anything to anyone. We have the ability to balance all parts of our life without extremes like laziness. Your physical body is the vehicle through which the other bodies find expression. If the Fifth Body is imbalanced, we are weak, angry, jealous, greedy, fatigued and ungrateful. We would show poor verbal expression. If this body is too strong then we are obsessive about our physical appearance, physical abilities and the material world. The key to balance this body is to develop a routine that keeps the body strong and flexible. Extend your energy to elevate others by teaching methods that support the health of the body, mind and spirit.
Summary: This is an overview of Bodies 1-5. Next month we will have Part II and we will discuss Bodies 1-10 and the 11th. Let’s all try to focus on implementing these bodies in our lives. But don’t try it all at once. Practicing one Body at a time is the best way to achieve success.
About the Author:
“AJ” Amy Jo Crowell is the Publisher of Dallas Yoga Magazine and Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement and Festivals. She has her Masters in Business Administration and has been in advertising, marketing, publishing and large-scale even planning for 20 years. AJ printed a weekly entertainment guide throughout Texas for many years. She also taught inner city high school in Dallas where she implemented Peace Makers classes and taught the importance of acceptance, diversity and giving back to the community. She is a Best Selling Author on Amazon for her book “Loved Back to Life” a book focusing on recovery from addictions. AJ is also a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and leads workshops and sound meditations with crystal singing bowls.