Consciousness,  Practice,  spirituality

Honouring the Multidimensional Self.

The journey through my bodies comes to an end!   This exploration reinforced to me, yet again, the multidimensional potential of yoga practice.  The yoga community in the West spends a great deal of time milling about in the physical realm of the annamaya kosha.  In itself, of course, coming to know one’s physical self is a fruitful activity and can lead to many benefits.  The unfortunate result of focussing only on one kosha is that yoga, then, can become simply another extension of a vanity obsessed, consumer culture.The over-valuation or over-emphasis of any one kosha leads to an unbalanced, sometimes extremist perspective on the practice.  In contrast to the physical obsessions of the West we’ve also heard the stories of the incredible feats achieved by yogi’s dwelling in the transcendent realms of energy and awareness.  In some traditions these magical abilities become obsessions in their own right leading only to a different kind of vanity seen as righteousness – but, in the end it is vanity nonetheless.

A practice that deeply respects the complementarity of the koshas and the importance of integrating each of them leads to greater balance.  Exploring the shit and pleasure of the physical realm grounds the potential for a deep denial of our humanity when only the koshas of mind and bliss are explored.  On the other hand, keeping mindful of our energetic and spiritual nature reminds the yoga butt obsessions within us (and they are within all of us to some degree!) that there is something more to our existence than achieving physical perfection.

A deep honouring of each of our bodies helps us to realize our fundamental wholeness, or Pure Being.  This last “non-sheath” is what is revealed as we hold the totality of our human/divine nature.  This human/divine nature is expressed through all of the koshas.  What would it look like in your own practice to honour each of your bodies?  What would it look like to remind ourselves of the multidimensional reality that we are the next time we think we know which approach to yoga is the right one?