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Every year, towards the end of the month of March, the anticipation would begin to grow. We would look forward to the dreaded, year-end exams to be over, so we could be rid of those “finals”, and enjoy a little bit of freedom. Most of us had no idea about what we would actually do with that one or two weeks of freedom from school, freedom from exams, freedom from homework, freedom from having to wake up before the sun was up, freedom from… you get the idea.

The one or two weeks of freedom  would pass in a blur, and it would be time to return to school, to enter the next school year (school year in India begins in April). A surge of excitement would build up around the buying of new books and notebooks, brown paper covers for said books and notebooks, and we would forget all about our freedom from school. The one or two weeks away invariably taught us that structure without rigidity can bring tremendous energy to life and living, and that we could experience freedom within that energy that engaged us in the process of learning. 

I have been reading Iyengar’s Yoga Journey called “Light on Life” over the last few weeks. In the process, the notional connections between the various energies that make us whole, and their connection to ultimate freedom are coming into light. Iyengar takes the traditional route and connects our various energies to the five sheaths of our being. We can view them as layers of an onion, or as those traditional nesting dolls, and they can be described, from outer to inner as

  • Physical sheath – energy of our physical body, connected to freedom experienced through stability
  • Energy sheath – our energetic body, bringing freedom through vitality
  • Mental sheath – our mental (mind) body, providing freedom through clarity
  • Intellectual sheath – our body of intellect that brings freedom through wisdom
  • Divine sheath – our divine body, bringing freedom through the experience of bliss
If you notionally accept these five energy layers as representing your wholeness, your holistic view of the body, some questions arise. How does your energy level – in any of the five areas – affect your sense and experience of ultimate freedom? Which of these five levels of freedom is the most challenging to you in your current life-state? How can you synchronize the energies of these five sheaths in a practical way, on a daily basis? 
 
If freedom comes from disciplined happiness, there is a possibility of true liberation – B.K.S. Iyengar in Light on Life
Freedom is a basis for progress. Einstein remarked in his “Out of my Later Years” that “it is the role of science to alleviate us from the mundane, so we have the freedom to explore…”.  I believe that Einstein is in sync with Iyengar and vice-versa. And so it is. The five levels of freedom, with their various energies, will be our topic of exploration in our weekly hour of conversation on twitter in hashtag #SpiritChat – please join us Sunday, July 6th at 9amET / 2pm UK / 6:30pm India. 
 
To Life, Happiness, and the Pursuit of Liberty!
 
Kumud
 
P.S. If you have any thoughts on energy and freedom, before or after the live chat, please share them in the comments below. Thank you, and Namaste!