Body Habits and Your Subtle Anatomy Self Care
Healthy body habits are a key foundation for deepening the human experience and opening up to your full potential. This potential is the highest version of yourself, residing within the more subtle layers of your being. These layers I am referring to are known as koshas in yoga and Ayurveda. When the koshas are cared for, they can communicate in harmony resulting in clear thinking, emotional intelligence and connection to your divine self. Within the larger picture of the subtle anatomy lies an endless realm to explore. That is when you say yes to the body habits and embrace the evolutionary challenges of becoming your best self.
How do we begin to care for the subtle body?
The Physical Body
We start with care of the physical body because this is the house where your mind and spirit reside. I use an analogy to explain this to others who may not quite get the importance of starting with body habits. To grow a bountiful tree you need nourishment from a supportive wild environment, or active cultivation in a nurtured environment. One issue we face is that our environments are far from wild, and in most westernized communities can even be toxic. This toxicity hinders our ability to access the interconnected potential that resides within each of us. By learning to care for our bodies with healthy body habits from Ayurveda we are able to begin cultivating the highest version of ourselves.
Tailoring Your Care to Your Specific Needs
To begin caring for the subtle body we first need to understand the physical make up of our bodies. From the perspective of Ayurveda we are all made up of the same five elements- earth, air, water, fire and space- organized in a slightly different way. How these are organized determines your dosha. By learning about the tendencies and needs of your dosha you can then choose body habits that specifically promote balance and in turn enhance the connection to the cosmic rhythm. When you say yes to your needs you are watering the seeds of your potential.
From the Body to the Mind.
There comes a point when the body reaches good health that the mind joins the evolutionary ride. This journey from the physical to the subtle opens the flood gate to surges of deep and sometimes uncomfortable transformation. On an evolutionary path it is guaranteed that stuff will come up. Healthy body habits are your raft on this journey into the subtle so you can keep doing the work while continuing to not just stay afloat, but rather swim with steady strides.
In yoga we practice controlled breathing (pranayama) to accelerate the process of accessing the mind, burning through the mental clouds and reworking outdated tendencies. Breath in combination with movement stimulates and purifies the mental body. The mental body needs to be maintained to see through the fog created by misaligned action and thought.
Beyond the Body and Mind is the Space of Cosmic Intellect.
Through honoring the wisdom of the body and riding the cosmic rhythms, you can connect to the potential of your highest expression. And after fine-tuning the body we need a willingness to detach from the body. This is where I noticed myself being caught up and I also see it others. With a regular pranayama practice along with a sense of humor, we can tap into the cosmic intellect to recognize and rework the mental programming, facilitating deep transformation without the attachment.
No doubt there is subtle work after the body work. And we must have the habits in place to stay afloat through the process. Remember that supportive body habits grow you into a bountiful tree. They supply you with the skills to evaluate the mind stuff and support the journey. You have within you seeds to experience your utmost potential, however it is likely that your habits and/or your environment is preventing you from reaching that potential. When you learn how to support your body and mind, you can learn how to optimize the physical experience of being alive.
So I leave you with a question. Is your free will used to support your journey?
About the Yoga Health Coaching Blogger
Alec Hurley is a yoga teacher in the San Diego area and a life long surfer. He is the founder of Higher Self Wellness and an avid practitioner of ancient wisdom and spiritual practices which he infuses into his public yoga classes and group program “The Art of Connection”. He is professionally trained as a Chef and incorporates the ancient wisdom of “food as medicine” into his culinary creations. Currently enrolled in the Yoga Health Coaching program, Alec is adding the practices of personal and planetary alignment into his modern healthy lifestyle toolkit to help shift the collective into deeper states of connection. You can download a Free guided meditation here to get a deeper sense of what he is all about. Connect with Alec on his website and facebook page.
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