Understanding Our Four Bodies
Welcome at our topic “Understanding Our Four Bodies”.
In Greek we express as ‘SOMA’ the integration of the Physical Body, the Mental Body, the Emotional Body and the Spiritual Body. We have had myriad times feeling intensely, with pleasure or displeasure, our physical, mental and emotional bodies, however, how many times have we felt our spiritual body, if not at all yet?
The human being is comprised by 5 basic bodies and in different traditions this is interpreted or ascribed in diverse ways.
The actual physical body and matter
The psychological or mental/intellectual body
The emotional body
The energy body and
The ethereal-spirit body that is the soul that gives us consciousness and life.
In Indian tradition and yoga philosophy, the bodies are called KOSHAS, which in Sanskrit means “Sheaths” that again it offers us a framework to understand the substance and essence of the human organism.
It represents the physical body, including the skin, muscles, connective tissue, fat and bones.
It represents the pranic (energy or Qi) or subtle body — in essence, it’s the circulatory system for prana, or in other words what is called “life-force energy.” It also includes the fluids, parts of the body that control the movement of blood, lymphatic fluids and cerebrospinal fluid. Important is to note that it also includes the movement of breath through the respiratory system. In psychological terms, pranamaya kosha interconnects our bodily and spiritual rhythms and is the linking mechanism to understand and reach from the physical to the spiritual body.
It interconnects the use of the mind with emotions and the nervous system. The use of the mind with emotions can guide our energies according to our will. It extends the will-power and determination for integrating the emotional and physical body by sending messages through our brain synapses and the central nervous system. It’s this layer where we move from physical feeling and rhythm to emotional feeling.
It will help us to develop awareness, insight and consciousness. If emotions are not guided by awareness are quite destructive. The awareness illuminates our deeper desires, motivation and intentions, and allows us to see the choice we have in all things. Instead of simply feeling or acting, we choose to feel or act with intention. Sometimes the intention is simply to move past the emotion into pure sensation and bliss.
It drops from conscious awareness into the pure and radiant bliss body. Within this state, you might experience connection with all things, liberation from suffering and a state of being often described as “in-the-flow” or in other words, in synchronicity or flow-experience.
Since there are five bodies why do we mention about understanding our four bodies and not five? Here we make a distinction for the energy body what in yogic philosophy is called “Pranamaya Kosha” or in the western literature “Evenergy Body”. In this body we predominantly focus on breathing patterns and breathwork in combination with movement or some times without major movements as well. In matter of fact, we cannot not move! The breathing and minute or gross movements stimulate and grow the energy that is within our system, as well as we connect with the energies of nature on Earth and other planets in our Solar System and beyond. Through our practices, we cannot feel and sense any of the bodies if we don’t make a use of this particular body – ENERGY BODY.
Therefore this body is being used as part of each other four bodies to be able to enter in the realms of their energies and substance. Thus, with a good use of the Energy Body we delve deeper to understand what is our physical body and what does it need for its maximum health, what does our mind need for developing its capacity to think, to be creative, and to enhance problem solving amongst other important functions. Then we explore even deeper another big realm of our existence, our emotional body with its myriad stimuli and outbursts of passion, love, anger, fear, happiness and kindness amongst many other. What is the actual “appropriate food or diet” for our emotional body? Do we have to avoid unpreferable and unpleasant emotions and states and only align to preferable and pleasant emotions and states or perhaps this would deprive us from a major learning process? Finally we explore our spiritual body that has imprints we are unaware of and in turn we intend to unearth. From basic questions of “why have I been born in a particular culture and family” to “what is my true calling and purpose as a human being in this current world”, we may find some hints and answers by a refined practice and exploration of our spirit body.
All these aspects are integral in our life for bringing a homeostatic state and growth to our life. That is the importance why we focus on the four bodies in all of our Transpersonal Programs. Through all programs, we foster a profound Learning, Leadership and Holistic Growth for the new and older generations to feel reawaken and alive in a new world of potential, love, compassion and acceptance of one another. How can we envision a life inseparable of all our Four Bodies? How a leader becomes a Transpersonal Leader? Integration of our four bodies and many other aspects of our lives, is our duty now.