We all have a Subtle Body because we all have a body, mind, thoughts, feelings, imagination.
There are many ways that the yogis expressed their experiences of the more subtle components of their bodies and minds.
The great thing about learning more about the Subtle Body is finding countless ways we can calm the reactivity in the mind.
Through certain poses, breathing techniques, certain and yet subtle placements of the eyes , we can learn to sharpen our awareness and minimize distraction to a point where we notice so much more within us.
By bringing our awareness to certain points along the spine and the more hidden regions like the upper palate, the inner most parts of the ears, the base of the skull to name a few anatomical doorways into the Subtle Body we can find places of rest and new sources of vitality.
What is most interesting about this area of study in Yoga is how our life experiences effect processing within the mind and functioning of our vital organs and body.
So often we can become stressed about external situations which can effect us internally. We can learn the correlations of different areas of tension , for example the connections between holding tension in our gut and jaw.
Thankfully through various Yoga + Mindfulness techniques we can develop better awareness of asymmetry, causes of tension and how to release it so we enjoy life from having created more space for vitality.
When I originally started studying the Chakras it seemed to be left to the “imagination”. However as my mindfulness meditation practice continued and the simplicity of ‘just sitting’ regularly , I sensed very subtle sensations that seemed to be the doorway into a place of calm and stillness, of simple contentment.
After travelling a lot to seek out teachers of many lineages , I was able to find teachers who were able to explain the actual anatomical structures (or doorways “into stillness” as I felt them) and put into words and validate the experiences I was having in my practice through the ancient teachings / Sutras.
This has been one of the most interesting areas of Yoga I have studied and gained benefit from in my own practice and I look forward to sharing Techniques Training and Practices on Mindfulness of The Subtle Body, Mudras, Metaphors and more in our 500 hour Teacher Training .
To be able to diversify from a standard sequence and begin to know how to include the Subtle Body, both in group teaching and in one on one classes can be a great way to contribute to the health and wellbeing of yourself and your community of students.
Having said that we do not always have to know why or how something works for us to feel the benefits or a shift in our state of mind or energy levels. For those of you though who are inquisitive and find they gain more depth in their practice by understanding why things work and how things are part of the whole, I imagine you will get just as much out of this as I have so far in my journey (which as always is for ever unfolding) Affirming the more I see the less I know and yet there is so much we ‘all’ can experience.
During our Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training in Port Macquarie we were discussing the many ways that Yoga can be expressed and experienced. I invite the students to explore both the physical alignment of the poses and look at the anatomy and physciology of each of the poses which also offers safety. There is also an invitation to explore the freedom in finding ways to express this inner body wisdom which can be done via story, poetry, music, or more physical and gross body approach.
Below is a poem shared by Rosalie Goodie (from Port Macquarie) read to us during her class that as we looked out to the waves seeing whales playing in the distance, the sun glistening on the water, hearing the words of this poem.
Enjoy , and if you’d like to know more about integration of The Subtle Body in your practice or teaching , I love sharing it. Details below.
Chakra Garden of Jewels
(by Julie Lusk with inspiration by Kabir’s ‘A Place to Sit’)
Don’t go outside your house to search for jewels. Don’t even bother with that excursion, my friend. There are jewels inside yourself. Precious, profound and ready to be discovered. These jewels are just like flowers. Some are taking root.
They are in the process of being fertilised and getting ready to sprout. Others are growing and budding, preparing to flower. There are also beautiful blooms inside, brimming with fragrance and lively vitality.
Others are in stages of decline, getting ready to retreat, recycle themselves, and naturally cycle back to the beginning. Like a bouquet of flowers, there are jewels within you. There is a sparkling ruby red jewel and it’s so stabilising and protective.
There is an orange carnelian jewel too. It lights up your senses, creativity and ability to feel. There is a beautiful amber jewel, radiating confidence, inner strength and courage.
There is an emerald jewel too. The glowing emerald green jewel is loving, forgiving and kind. There is a bright sapphire blue jewel shining with truth and sparks your creativity. There is an amethyst glowing inside that awakens your intuition and shows you the big picture.
There is a crystal clear diamond, shining with spirit, connecting the Holy Ones with you. Don’t go outside your house to search for jewels. Don’t bother with that excursion, my friend. There are jewels inside yourself, waiting to be discovered, polished and ready to beam beautifully.
Congratulations Rosalie on completing your Level 1 / 200 hour Yoga NRG Teacher Training
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