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What Are the 7 Subtle Bodies in Yoga?

by | Dec 26, 2022 | Yoga Philosophy & History

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The subtle body connects us with the divine and our spirit. The balancing of our subtle energy can promote a healthy body system. 

You can activate your subtle bodies on your yoga mat. Subtle bodies include the etheric, emotional, mental, and causal bodies, as well as others. Each of the seven subtle bodies contains energy that can affect the health and overall well-being of the individual. 

The seven chakras are involved in the subtle bodies. If you want to uncover more about the seven bodies in yoga, check out this article.  

What is Subtle Energy?

Subtle energy is the energy in our bodies and minds that is part of a complex science comprised of our physical, emotional, and spiritual health systems. It works by unblocking, clearing, and balancing our energy to promote self-healing. In yoga, we can do this by mastering postures and the intricate movement of the breath. The seven chakras are involved in the subtle energy in our systems. 

What Are the Seven Chakras?

When the chakras are functioning correctly, they help activate the life force energy from our subtle bodies that enter our systems and clear away negative energies that often prove to be an obstacle in our lives. The following briefly describes each chakra as It relates to our subtle energy:

  • Root Chakra is positioned at the base of the spinal column. The color red represents it. You will feel grounded and secure when it is balanced and in alignment. 
  • Sacral Chakra is located under the belly button and above the pubic bone, and the color orange represents it. It is connected to feelings of self-worth, pleasure, sexuality, and creativity. 
  • Solar Plexus Chakra is found in the upper abdomen and stomach region. The color yellow represents it. The chakra helps with personal power and is highly attuned to your self-esteem. 
  • Heart Chakra is sited in the middle of the chest, just above the heart. It is represented by the color green. It affects our ability to give and receive love.  
  • Throat Chakra is located in the esophagus and is represented by the color blue. It is concerned with your voice and communication. 
  • Third Eye Chakra is between the eyes on the forehead and is represented by the color indigo. It relates to our intuition and imagination. 
  • Crown Chakra is at the upper part of the head and is represented by the color purple. It is connected to our awareness and spiritual enlightenment. 

The subtle bodies combine to create the aura, where the bodies and chakras work together interdependently and are not separated. If the chakras and subtle bodies are healthy, the energy is beneficial. 

What Are the 7 Subtle Bodies in Yoga?

The person can be divided into seven bodies. Each body symbolizes the energy throughout a person’s life and what the person’s spirituality means to the individual’s health. Healing the physical body often includes healing the subtle body. The following consists of the seven subtle bodies and how they work to help heal subtle energy: 

1. Etheric Body

The etheric body is precisely related to the nervous system. It is closest to the physical body. It is the first of the seven subtle bodies starting from the bottom. When one passes on, the etheric body is released from the physical body and the conscious moves into the astral body. It is the bottom layer in the human energy domain or aura. Alternative healing that can affect the etheric body:

  • Acupuncture
  • Quigong
  • Reiki

The etheric body functions as the state between energy and matter and are the primary mechanism that sustains the life force energy, which is vital to our existence. The etheric body is in continual motion and vibrates slightly higher than the physical body. It is the only subtle body visible to the naked eye, as It appears in whitish blue. Energy healers can see the etheric body.  

2. Emotional Body

The emotional body influences your feelings and is unique to each individual. All our energy, from our traumas to triumphs, is contained in the emotional body. It also has unresolved emotions from our past lifetimes. Problems or blocks that can occur in our emotional bodies:

  • Arguments with others 
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Anger and frustration

The emotional body has no perception of time, which is why someone’s negative emotional state or depression can linger long after the event that gave them those emotions has been over. It comes from unresolved trauma in life. 

3. Mental Body

The mental body has a higher frequency and is the vehicle through which the spiritual self is developed. It is three to eight inches from the physical body. The philosophy stems from the mental body. Any thought revolution that has ever taken place has come from the mental body. The mental body contains:

  • All mental processes
  • Imagination
  • Memory

The color of the mental body is often associated with yellow. However, the color can change to reflect the color of the emotional body if the person’s thought process is driven by emotion. The mental body can also contain psychic energy.   

4. Astral Body

The astral body relates to the out-of-body experiences manifested by the psychic world. The astral body refers specifically to the physical counterpart of the dead. It may contain passions, desires, and aspirations. The spiritual body acts as a connector to the spiritual:

  • Astral projection
  • Quantum leaping
  • Observing the supernatural 

The astral body has a close relation to the emotional body. The astral world is said to be seen by psychics. It does have definite vibrations and can be seen in colors. The astral body tends to have a “mind of Its own.”

5. Etheric Template Body

The etheric template form is the blueprint for your corporeal body. It exists apart from the physical body and can be the key to deep healing. IT can help the physical body to persist and thrive. The ways you can help heal etheric template body:

  • Music
  • Reiki 
  • Yoga 

The etheric template body stores chakras and their energies and has a positive influence on the etheric body. However, It is not clear like the etheric body, as It is the first level of the body’s spiritual plane. IT can help you develop a better connection with yourself. 

6. Celestial Body

The celestial body connects us with the divine. It utilizes the heart chakra to reach a higher level of awareness. It can be described as the spiritual, emotional plane. It also helps you connect with the universe. The celestial body contains:

  • Unconditional love
  • True happiness 
  • Pure joy

The celestial body can appear through deep meditation and can make an individual experience a kind of spiritual ecstasy. It promotes a sincere connection with the heart chakra and the sixth level of the aura. It also connects us. 

7. Causal Body

The causal body is the seventh body. It can sometimes be referred to as the soul, as it comprises all the information of the lower levels of the body. It can also often be called “the karmic body.” Some ways to protect the causal body:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Yoga 

This body has the highest vibrational rate of recurrence. People linked with the causal body know they are one with the cosmos. The causal body is also said to be related to reincarnation and new life.  

Final Thoughts

Understanding how subtle energy flows through the subtle bodies can help you make more meaningful spiritual connections. You can connect with your subtle bodies through the practice of yoga. 

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