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Home > The Subtle Body
The Subtle Body
Physical manifestation o.. The Seven Chakras Prana
Kundalini Shakti Nadis
The basic consideration of Human Body in yogic knowledge is as:

(a) That of the body as the site of discipline of self-enlightenment.
(b) The human being as a multi layered organism.

The human body is considered as a psychophysical complex, which can be schematized as a series of graded levels from the purely physical elements to the most refined aspects of mind.

Beyond the ordinary physical senses, the subtle bodily aspect of the human being is held to comprise a matrix of thread-like `channels` (Nadis). These Nadis are the conduits for the `vital force` referred to variously as prana, svara, vata, vayu, etc. The hatha-yogi is expected to acquire a detailed knowledge of his subtle physiology to become sensitive to the movements of prana. He accomplishes this task by refining his awareness beyond the scope of the physical senses. On the hatha view, it is by controlling and redirecting these forces that greater mental clarity will be gained. So it is written in Goraksa-Sataka:

The yogi must be familiar with the six chakras, sixteen adharas (supports), 300000 Nadis, and five vyomans in his own body in order that perfection (Siddhi) in yoga is achieved.

The yogi must know his own body as a temple supported by a single column, with nine doors and five presiding deities in order that perfection in yoga is achieved.

To understand the subtle body, one must have to understand the following forces:

Prana - Prana is the Sanskrit term for life, vigour, vitality, and is carried out by the physical `air` or `breath` inhaled and exhaled by the lungs. It is the sustaining force and nourishment for the whole universe.

Nadis - Nadi refers specifically to conduits of prana. They are the carrier of this vital energy, and pathway of Kundalini Shakti when evoked.

The seven Chakras - The term Chakra means `wheel`, and refers to the major force centres in a body.

Kundalini Shakti - Kundalini means `she who is coiled` and Shakti means `power`. Therefore, Kundalini-Shakti stands for the `coiled` or `spiral power`, often also known as `Serpent power`. This is the powerful force which when evoked transcends our being and self.

Understanding these vital cosmic forces is a must for any Yogi to deal with the infinite potential in a human body, that when stirred up cause them to cross all the barriers and reach enlightenment.

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