One of the ways we can understand our existence and enhance our potential is to learn about and work with our Ten Bodies. In Kundalini Yoga, we each have three mental bodies and six energy bodies, in addition to our physical body. Yogi Bhajan, said, “If you understand that you are Ten Bodies, and you are aware of those Ten Bodies, and you keep them in balance, the whole universe will be in balance with you.” Here is the lowdown on all 10 bodies, and a sequence to awaken them.
- Soul Body
Our first body is our Soul Body. Our Soul Body is our flow of spirit, our connection to infinity and quite literally our Soul. This body is our foundational and true self, providing us with the ability to live from our heart. The Soul Body responds to all heart work and the raising of our Kundalini (the life force energy that rises up our spine).
- Negative Mind
Our second body is our Negative Mind. And before you go all “negative,” consider this: our Negative Mind is our first and often our strongest “body,” constantly working to assess our environment and situations for danger or negative potential. Our Negative Mind keeps us safe and alive and also gifts us with, as Yogi Bhajan said, “a longing to belong.” The Negative Mind is balanced with discipline and integrity.
- Positive Mind
Our third body is our Positive Mind. Our Positive Mind works to assess what is beneficial, positive, and affirming. This “body” sees opportunity and allows us to identify resources. The Positive Mind gives us our willpower as well as our playfulness. Everything we do to strengthen our navel point (think strong core)and to increase our self-esteem is beneficial for this body.
- Neutral Mind
Our fourth body is our Neutral Mind. Our Neutral Mind absorbs and evaluates the assessments from the Negative and the Positive Minds and delivers guidance to us. Our Neutral Mind is compassionate, intuitive, and gives us the ability to recognize polarities. Meditation is great for balancing this body.
- Physical Mind
Our fifth body is our Physical Body. This body is the temple where all the bodies dwell in some way, shape, or form. The Physical Body gifts us with the ability to balance ourselves and our lives as well as the capacity to sacrifice for our hopes, our dreams, and the greater community. This body also holds the energy of the Teacher. The Physical Body loves regular exercise and sharing what has been learned.
- Arc Line
Our sixth body is our Arcline. You can visualize your Arcline Body as a halo, extending from earlobe to earlobe and encompassing the hairline and brow. Women have a second Arcline across the breast line. Our Arcline Body gives us the ability to both project as well as intuit. This body grants us the ability to focus as well as meditate. The Arcline responds well to pituitary gland sequences as well as drishti (gaze) to the third eye.
- Auric Body
Our seventh body is our Aura. This body is our electromagnetic field of energy that surrounds our Physical Body. Ironically, I often feel that I am straying into the fanciful zone when talking about the Aura, and yet the Aura is scientifically measurable as well as scientifically validated! Our Aura acts as a container for our prana, our life force energy. This body also acts as a shield of protection and allows us to elevate ourselves—energetically as well as consciously. Meditation is beneficial, as well as wearing natural fibers. The color white, which holds all the colors of the spectrum, is believed to expand and magnify our Aura.
- Pranic Body
Our eighth body is our Pranic Body. By breathing, we are constantly working with our Pranic Body to bring in life force. This body gives us the gift of energy for action and accomplishment. All pranayama will have a positive impact on our Pranic Body.
- Subtle Body
Our ninth body is our Subtle Body. This body allows us to see beyond what is in front of us to the universal play of everything. Our Subtle Body is deeply woven with our Soul Body. When we die, our Subtle Body carries our Soul. Many great teachers continue to influence us through their Subtle Body, beyond the death of their Physical Body. Our capacity for mastery is held in this body. In keeping with mastery, doing a Kundalini practice for 1,000 days in a row is a way to balance the Subtle Body.
- Radiant Body
Our tenth body is our Radiant Body. This body is exactly as it sounds—it gives us our radiance as well as our courage, our nobility. People that are magnetic and/or charismatic are great examples of well-developed and balanced Radiant Bodies. The greatest thing we can do for our Radiant Body is to have commitment. To be committed to our practice, to kindness, truth, and excellence in life is a great way to amplify our radiance.
In our understanding of the Ten Body system, we also have an Eleven. Bonus! Eleven is embodiment, the state where we are beyond duality and in the flow of truth, balance, and the divine. All Ten Bodies are balanced. Eleven also represents the sound current (which represents the beginning/the source of all that follows in Kundalini) and infinity, as well as the source of all mantra.
All Kundalini Yoga works with the balance and strength of the Ten Bodies. Some practices concentrate on a specific body, while others work with the whole system. A kriya is a series of postures, breath, and sounds that work toward a specific outcome. Practicing a kriya initiates a sequence of physical and mental changes that affect the body, mind, and spirit simultaneously. A great place to start your exploration of the Ten Bodies is with the following kriya, “Awakening to the Ten Bodies.”
Kundalini Awakening to the Ten Bodies
- Stretch Pose
Lie on the back with the arms at your side. Raise the head and the legs six inches, and the palms facing each other slightly over the hips to build energy across the Navel Point. Point the toes, keep your eyes focus on the tips of the toes and do Breath of Fire. 1 – 3 minutes.
2. Nose to Knees
Bring the knees to the Chest, with the arms wrapped around the knew. Tuck the nose between the knees and begin Breath of Fire. 1 – 3 Minutes.
- Ego Eradicator
Sit in Celibate Pose or Easy Pose. Raise arms to a 60 degree angle. Curl the fingertips onto the pads of the palms. Thumbs aim at each other above the head. With eyes closed, concentrate above the head, and do Breath of Fire. 1 – 3 minutes. To end, touch the thumbs together above the head, and open the fingers.
- Life Nerve Stretch
Sit with legs spread wide apart. With arms overhead, inhale. Then exhale, stretch down and grab the toes of the left foot. Inhale, come straight up; then exhale and stretch down over the right leg and grab the toes. Continue 1 to 3 minutes.
- Life Nerve Stretch
Continue to sit with the legs stretched wide apart. Hold onto the toes of both feet. Exhale as you stretch down bringing the forehead to the floor, then inhale as you come sitting up. Continue 1 – 3 minutes.
- Spinal Flex (Camel Ride)
Sit in Easy Pose. Grab the shins in front with both hands. Inhale. Flex the spine forward and rock forward on the buttock. Then exhale, flex the spine backwards and roll back on buttock. Keep the head level and arms fairly straight and relaxed. Continue 1 – 3 minutes.
- Spinal Flex (Camel Ride)
Sit on the heels. Place the hands flat on the thighs. Flex the spine forward on the inhale, backward on the exhale. Focus at the Third Eye Point. Continue 1 – 3 minutes.
- Spinal Twist
Still on the heels. Grasp the shoulders with the fingers front, thumbs in back. Inhale and twist to the left, exhale and twist to the right. Keep the elbows high, and parallel to the floor. Continue 1 – 3 minutes.
- Grasp the shoulders as in the previous exercise. Inhale and raise the elbows up so that the back of the wrist touch behind the neck. Continue 1 – 3 minutes.
- Arm Pump
Interlace the fingers in Venus Lock (right thumb over left thumb). Inhale and stretch the arms up over the head, then exhale and bring the hands back to the lap. Continue 1 – 3 minutes.
- Alternate Shoulder Shrugs
Sit in Easy Pose with the hands resting on the knees. Inhale and shrug the left shoulder up. Exhale and raise the right shoulder up as you lower the left shoulder. Continue for 1 minute. Then reverse the breath so that you inhale as you shrug the right shoulder up, exhale as you shrug the left shoulder and lower the right shoulder. Continue for 1 minute.
- Shoulder Shrugs
Inhale and shrug both shoulders up, exhale down. Continue for 1 minute.
- Neck Turns
Remain sitting in Easy Pose with hands on the knees. Inhale and twist your head to the left, and exhale and twist your head to the right, shaking you head “no”. Continue for 1 minute. Then reverse your breath, so that you inhale and twist to the right, exhale, and twist to the left. Continue for 1 minute. Inhale deeply, concentrate at the Third Eye, and slowly exhale.
- Frog Pose
Squat down so the buttocks are on the heels. The heels are touching, and off the ground. Pit the fingertips on the ground between the knees. Keep the head up. Inhale, straighten legs up, keeping the fingers on the ground. Exhale and come back squatting down, face forward. The inhale and exhale should be strong. Continue this cycle 54 times.
- Deeply relax, lying down on the back