We have seen the basics of Soul and Mind in my earlier articles. Finally we will explore our Body.
Within our physical domain, we have an extended body, a personal body, and an energetic body. Our extended body is the environment, containing the never-ending supply of energy and information that is available to we. Every sound, sensation, sight, flavor, and aroma we ingest from the environment influences our body and mind. Although our senses may tell we otherwise, there is no distinct boundary between our personal and extended bodies, which are in constant and dynamic exchange. Each breath that we inhale and exhale is a reminder of the continuous conversation taking place between our physical body and our environment.
This recognition requires we to take responsibility for what is happening in our environment. As a human, we should be an environmentalist because we need to recognize that the rivers flowing through the valleys and those flowing through our veins are intimately related. The breath of an old-growth forest and our most recent breath are inextricably intertwined. The quality of the soil in which our food is raised is directly connected to the health of our tissues and organs. Our environment is our extended body. We are inseparably interwoven with our ecosystem.
Of course, we do have a personal body that consists of the molecules that temporarily comprise our cells, tissues, and organs. We say temporarily because although it appears that our body is solid and constant, it actually is continuously transforming. Scientific studies using radioisotope tracings convincingly show that 98 percent of the ten trillion quadrillion (1028) atoms in our body are replaced annually. our stomach lining re-creates itself about every five days, our skin is made anew every month, and our liver cells turn over every six weeks.
Although our body appears to be fixed and stable, it is continually metamorphosing. The vast majority of the cells in our body are derived from the food we eat. Hence physical body is called “the covering made of food.” To create and maintain a healthy body, yogis pay attention to the food they consume, minimizing the toxicity they ingest while maximizing the nourishment they receive.
The third layer of the physical body is called “the sheath made of vital energy.” There is a difference between the cells of a corpse and the cells of a vibrant living being. This organizing principle that breathes life into biochemicals is called Prana. There are five seats of prana in the body, localized in the head, throat, heart, stomach, and pelvis. These centers of movement govern the flow of life force throughout the body. When prana is moving freely throughout the cells and tissues, vitality and creativity are abundant. Yogic breathing exercises, known Pranayama techniques, are designed to awaken and purify the vital energy layer of the body.
From tomorrow we will explore about the Mind and Body influence.
A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D.