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 freedom comes from disciplined happiness, there is a possibility of true liberation – B.K.S. Iyengar in Light on Life