by Gail Allen
I love you with my whole heart. I feel that in my soul. I agree with my whole being. We say these phrases often. When you hear someone say something along these lines, what does it mean to you? Have you ever thought about it? There seems to be something within us that knows that we’re more than just our “mind” ...whatever that means to you. In Western philosophy, we’ve lost the idea, but in ancient Ayurvedic tradition, it was understood that every person has 10 bodies. Whhhaaaatttt??? What is this nonsense?? Well, they’re not at all physical bodies. We only have one of those. So what are the rest of them? All together, they make up our Subtle Body.
We refer to these as being sheer/bright/subtle versus being dense. Life is constantly giving us opportunities to brighten our Subtle Body! Here's a brief description of each of the ten subtle bodies.
1. The Soul or our Light Body
This part of yourself is considered the very ESSENCE of who you are! The part of you that doesn’t really change through life. It’s WHO you are. Who the people who know you best get glimpses of.
2. The Negative Mind
Ugh. You’re probably thinking that you could do without this part...of yourself and the people around you, right?? Who wants to be around a negative mind?? Well, it’s not the naysayer part of negative. This refers to the negative charge similar to a part of a cell that has a negative charge. This is the part of us that is discerning and protects us. It’s the part of our brain that allows us to see potential pitfalls in different scenarios.
3. The Positive Mind
This is the balance to the Negative Mind. This is the part of ourselves that looks at the world around us and imagines the possibilities of the way things COULD be. Want to bring Heaven on Earth? The Positive Mind gives us hope that it’s possible!
4. The Neutral Mind
The Neutral Mind allows us to see the whole forest, instead of just individual trees. It’s like zooming out so we can see the whole picture. The Neutral Mind does not judge good or bad … just sees things as they are and believes that it will all work together for our greatest good.
5. The Physical Body
Our “meat suits” allow us to experience life on this planet. They contain all of our other bodies and propel us through the human experience. They are all unique, beautiful, and amazing. They also can give us messages and clues through physical comfort or discomfort for when something aligns with our purpose or doesn’t resonate with who we are.
6. The Arc Line
This is an invisible to the human eye line that goes around our heads. If we identify with more Feminine Energy than Masculine, we also have one that goes around our chests in front of our nipples. This allows us to pick up on energy purges during massages and Reiki (it often feels like glass shards! Not exactly comfortable!) . This is also our “protection bubble” of energy. Within this bubble, we are able to discover our life’s purposes and missions. When this bubble is most sheer, we can own any space we’re in! Have you ever met someone that commands any room they’re in? Likely, they have a very sheer and bright Arc Line!
7. The Aura
Many people even in the Western World are familiar with the idea of our Auras. This is the “vibe” you give off and pick up from other people, even before or without seeing the person’s physical body. The Electromagnetic Energy can even be measured with current technology! This is also sometimes considered charisma. The Oxford Dictionary defines charisma as “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others OR a Divinely conferred power or talent.” If our Aura isn’t sheer, we often turn to substances, habits, or addictions to try and increase it -- the irony of this, is these often may temporarily increase our charisma, but long term decrease it!
8. The Pranic Body
This refers to the power of breath in our physical and emotional bodies. When we control our breath, we tone our Vagus Nerve, which controls our mood, our immune system response, digestion, heart rate, and allows us to switch our Sympathetic Nervous System off and our Parasympathetic System on. Our Sympathetic Nervous System is our Survival Mode and shows us as Freeze, Flight, Fight, Fix, or Fawn. Ideally, we should only spend about 10% of our whole lives here. Our Parasympathetic Nervous System, on the other hand, is where we Rest, Digest, Process, Heal, Learn, and Grow. We should spend about 90% of our lives in our Parasympathetic Nervous System. Unfortunately, as Americans, we often have this switched. When we respond to normal life events when we’re in our Sympathetic Nervous Systems, it often turns into stress, which accumulates and can show up as medical problems, depression, and anxiety. When our Pranic Body is most sheer, we handle life with ease and grace, regardless of the curve balls we’re thrown!
9. The Subtle Body
This is both a layer and refers to the whole human experience. In the context of it being a layer, this is the part of us that is most authentic. It’s also the part of us that shows up as Imposter Syndrome when it is dense, but when it’s sheer, we’re able to share our unique talents and gifts with the world. In silence and stillness, this is the part of us who knows exactly who we are and what our gifts are. When it’s especially bright and sheer, we receive inspiration or what some people term as “downloads” with ease.
10. The Radiant Body
The Radiant Body is the accumulation of all of our bodies and creates a seal of protection around us. When our Radiant Bodies are most sheer, we live in complete authenticity, balance, and alignment. When they are dense, we create facades and masks to show others in our lives and the world, based on what we think they want us to be, instead of who we truly are.
So there you have it….who we REALLY are! Beautiful, multifaceted, miracles...every single one of us! It’s important to remember that these layers are more of a web, than clear, distinct, linear layers. They work together to bring us into our true identities. So how do we make our Subtle Bodies most sheer? By living with authenticity and mindfulness. How do we do that? Through yoga, meditation, contemplation, and inner work! Please enjoy the accompanying yoga practice for a place to start!
Gail Allen and Danielle Schwartz are both 500-RYT yoga professionals trained in Hatha and Kundalini Yoga. They specialize in Holistic, Trauma-Informed Counseling, Chakra Healing, Curvy Yoga, Reiki | Energy Healing, Ayurvedic Science, and other modalities of healing.