Excerpted from Enlightened Bodies: Exploring Physical and Subtle Human Anatomy
THE TENTH LIGHT BODY: The Radiant Body energetically contains all of the other Light Bodies. It creates the seal of the entire system, like the cherry on top of the sundae. The first nine Bodies are about individual perception of the world; the Radiant Body is about their projection into the world. A strong Radiant Body creates a clear projection, authentic interactions with others, and an overall well-balanced life. An underdeveloped Radiant Body leads to absolutist black-and-white thinking and a “my way or the highway” attitude (Yogi Bhajan, 2010). In Chapter 7, we study and use the Radiant Body to inform our understanding of the nervous system.
The Radiant Body is the Tenth Light Body. It contains all of the other bodies and can appear as a gold lining around the aura. When it is strong it boosts the power of all other nine Light Bodies. Someone with a strong Radiant Body will be confident, calm, and magnetic, with the ability to easily attract good things. She or he may appear to be someone who is lucky or has it all in life. The nervous system, like the Radiant Body, acts as a protective shield and informs all body functions.
Have you ever seen a person walk into a room and easily draw attention and control of the room? This is the type of leadership of someone with a strong Radiant Body. It is common in yoga circles to hear this capacity referred to as “holding the space.” Although ubiquitous, this phrase is still often confusing or misunderstood. A person who can gain control over the physical space of the nervous system and tap into a strong Radiant Body creates a sense of steadiness for those around them. This is holding the space.
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.” —Stephen Hawking (1988), theoretical physicist, cosmologist
In the yogic perspective this type of person is a warrior saint, someone who protects and serves others and is generous to all. The warrior saint must have strong armor in place and that armor is a strong nervous system with the capacity to handle immense loads of stress and still maintain balance. A warrior saint must be able to drop into a space of deep humility, vulnerability and tenderness in order to uplift and serve others, but maintaining this depth of sensitivity is only possible because of their strong nervous system.
Meditation and a yogic lifestyle can help you build a strong nervous system. When thoughts and sensations are filtered through a steady contemplative practice your capacity to handle what comes your way improves. Meditation is a little like taking out the garbage. When practiced regularly, you have the space and capacity to take in and let go of whatever comes your way!
Asanas and Exercises
Armpit Postures can help adjust and balance your nervous system. Yogi Bhajan said that the armpit is the center of all of the nervous systems. And they can all be adjusted by applying pressure, massaging, or moving the armpit area (Yogi Bhajan, 1994). Examples: Ego Eradicator, Arm Swings, and massaging the armpits.
Forward Bending helps nourish and bring circulation to the brain. Any time the brain is below the hips it creates an antigravity effect. The bowing motion promotes the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and blood to the brain, enhancing memory. Forward-bending postures bring fresh oxygen to the face. Examples: Baby Pose, Bowing, Guru Pranam, and Life Nerve Stretch
Unusual Movements develop and prune pathways in the brain. The new actions are stimulating for the brain, which is forced to learn something new. Examples: Fish Fry, Bundle Rolls, rhythmic clapping, contra-lateral movements, or any mudra.
Pumping the Navel Point stimulates the brain in the gut. Pumping the Navel Point clears the subconscious mind and makes space in the nervous system; it helps to reset the functional rhythm of the nerves. Examples: Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, Sat Kriya, and any navel pumping
“Stretch the armpit so that…your nervous system…is stimulated. Stretch out your universe. It will set the pattern in the neurons of the brain.”
Chanting serves the nervous system by creating a specific rhythm in the body. The vibration of sound travels through the bones of the skull and massages the brain. There are also specific meridian points on the roof of the mouth that are stimulated by the movement of the tongue in chanting, which in turn tonify the entire nervous system
written by Nirmal Lumpkin, LMT and Japa Kaur Khalsa, DOM