The Body Issue

The yogis tell us that our body is a rare and wonderful thing and that even the angels are envious of us humans because as embodied beings we have free will to manifest the highest form of divinity: the experience of Infinity from the vantage of the finite. 

We humans tend to over-identify with our body as the basis for our identity. Our body can either be a vehicle or a roadblock. This topsy-turvy world in which youth is truth enables this.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Our consciousness goes where energy flows, and energy/consciousness, like water, tends to pool in the low places. That’s why it’s important to do our practice every day and maintain ourselves in higher consciousness. Then our decisions can be informed by good character and dharmic considerations. Unless we can keep our energy buoyant, we tend to be overly bodily-centric, embroiled in the lower chakra imbalances:

• hypochondriacal, obsessive, painfully self-conscious

• Over-fixated on all things sensual, indulgent, exhibitionist

• adventure-seeking, mercenary, status-seeking

Our body shows the world what we’re trying to hide. It’s the archeology of emotion. And for those reeling from trauma, it’s not a home but more like an internment camp. Kundalini Yoga helps us to make friends with our bodies. That makes life far more accommodating and joyful.

Body and soul are linked. To be too lofty or too earthy are both imbalances. If we deny our bodies, life becomes a head-centered proposition. We become arid intellectuals, smug rationalists, or judgmental puritans.

Our soul speaks to us through our body. Our body, then, is a library of metaphors. What are our conditions trying to tell us? If we pay attention, what befalls us is often symbolic of some form of internal conflict. As we work on healing our body from the outside in, we also need to heal from the inside out (authentic self-inquiry).

Our mind considers our body’s needs and our soul’s imperatives. If it prioritizes body, our self-imposed limitations and neurotic tendencies are very often enabled. Also, karmic-inducing trends are perpetuated. If it listens to our soul, it’s a win-win for all concerned. This is something we can train for.

Why are so many Kundalini practices so darn long? The answer is that there is a time frame required for certain energy shifts to occur. Also, as part of the work on ourselves we come to realize that each exercise is our life in microcosm. We learn to differentiate between discomfort and pain. Pain is never indicated. It’s a sign that we need to modify an exercise. We also want to work smart by adhering to proper alignment principles. This is what makes our practice safe and sustainable.

In certain respects, an exercise hasn’t really begun until we start to experience some discomfort. This is when healing happens. It’s an opportunity to elevate our arc. We come to realize that our limitations are very often arbitrary. It’s not always about “keeping up” as an end in itself, but when we practice the art of fearless surrender, our body will make the necessary adjustments to further the promptings of soul, and that becomes a way of life.

As people of Spirit, we’re called upon to stride the divide between self-care and self-dare!

When we cultivate the mindset that every exercise is a never-ending exercise and the end is endless and so are we, we can experience and express our infinity.

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