There is a belief that beyond time, space and form there is a universal sea/ocean of intelligence and that this sea is made up of many drops, each of these drops being a soul.
Each soul has its own Karma (action). So each soul has action it needs to take and the only way for it to do this is to attach itself to a form.
The soul will attach itself to this form (i.e. a life), and whilst that form is alive the soul will work out its Karma. When that form perishes the soul will return to that universal sea. If the soul has not yet worked through all its Karma it will connect with another form. It will continue on this cycle until it has worked through all of its Karma.
When a soul attaches itself to a human being it is entering a physical body but it is worth noting here that the human being is more than just a physical body that is tangible, but it is also an emotional body and a mental body.
Our soul will continue to repeat patterns, imprints, grooves until it has worked out its Karma. Which goes some way to explain why we have a tendency to repeat bad habits over and over again. It is believed that by reaching enlightenment/freedom/bliss we are able to release some of the patterns that our Karma keeps repeating, and therefore we enable our souls to move more rapidly through its Karma, in order to eventually stop the cycle.
In order for us to be able to reach these higher states though we need to ensure that there is no dis-ease or dis-comfort within the physical body, that there are no blockages within the emotional body and that the emotional energy is flowing freely, and that the mind is clear from negative thoughts. We can achieve this through working with the physical body and the breath, and through taking control of the mind.
Yogis believe we have to withdraw from all our senses in order to achieve this – this obviously takes great control – and can only be achieved when we work beyond the physical body.
That is very much a spiritual belief system – and it is one that I resonate with.
However, we can’t forget or ignore that fact that we are human beings and I think we need to honour that and pay as much attention to that as we do to freeing the soul.
I believe that we have a soul that attaches itself to our form when we are conceived – but I also acknowledge deeply that we are still a human being with a physical body, an emotional body and a mental body – all of which are incredibly complex.
For some the ultimate, and perhaps only goal is to release the soul, to help the soul find liberation and freedom so it doesn’t have to continue on the cycle of rebirth.
But for me there is so much more to us, to our lives, to our very beings.
I believe we can use the practices of yoga – physical postures, breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation – to help us to live much more fulfilled lives. The physical postures help us to build strong, stable bodies which are free from discomfort and disease, these also help us to release any emotional blockages we hold within the emotional body. We can use mindfulness and mediation as a way to control the mental mind, preventing it from allowing negative thoughts to define us.
These practices enable us to live long and happy lives as human beings – and on a higher level they enable our soul to work through its Karma in an effective and efficient manner.
The human being and the soul live as one and they are united … the soul has its purpose, but that is not to say the human being can’t have fun and enjoy life!