Yoga PostureMind, Body and Spirit (a brief introduction) by Sue Fuller 

Have you ever wondered what is meant by mind, body and spirit or mind body and soul?  If so then read on. 

In the context of yoga to help us understand more about the concept of mind, body and spirit we can refer to Vedanta and early yoga texts.  These texts mention or talk about the physical body (the body), the astral body (the mind) and the karmic body or causal body (the spirit or the soul).   

According to some texts and teachings… 

The physical body is exactly what you see when you look in a mirror plus it’s internal contents and bodily systems for example the respiratory, digestive, skeletal, neuromuscular, endocrine, urogenital, cardiovascular, nervous and hormonal.  For everyone the physical body passes through five stages of existence these are birth, growth, change, decay and death.  Everyone is born, we all grow, changes and development constantly occur, everyone’s body begins to decay as the aging process sets in and then eventually the physical body dies. 

The astral body is not visible when we look in the mirror, it does not exist in the form or matter, the astral body contains the intellect, the subconscious mind and the ego.  The astral body is an energetic body it can experience pain and pleasure, the astral body stores information and memories from our current life.  We can liken the astral body to the mind. 

The Karmic or Causal body is beyond description and can be difficult to comprehend; the causal body is your soul.  The soul remains fundamentally the same through each of your lives.  The soul has been with you since the beginning of your creation, the causal body contains many subtle imprints from each of your previous lives.  The causal body is the seed of your creation. 

The physical body therefore acts as a vessel; it is the transport for the astral and causal bodies during this current human incarnation.  The physical body and astral body are believed to change and evolve during each life, the causal body will always remain fundamentally the same only with each incarnation it will contain the imprints from the previous life, it is these imprints that shape and act as a guide for your next incarnation.   

Understanding these three bodies will help us to understand the Five Koshas or layers of existence also sometimes referred to as the five bodies, everything becomes more and more connected and layered as we learn more about yoga. 

Sue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher with a range of over 60 audio yoga classes. These include Gentle Yoga classes for the absolute beginner and a range of beginner classes that guide you through techniques and practices to help you establish a solid foundation in Yoga and then right through to strong classes for more experienced practitioners.  Classes are available on both CD and MP3 from www.wellbeingworldonline.com or from www.yoga2hear.co.uk