When I did my yoga teacher training in Vancouver, the soul as a topic came up. In the end the soul is the truth of who we are. It is our innermost being. The presence that you are beyond form. The consciousness that you are beyond form, that is the soul.
The soul is not our minds or our physical bodies. “While your mind continues to try and conceive of itself and attach itself to people and places and things. Knowledge within you is moving. It is advising you, it is counselling you.
If you can hear it, you will benefit from it. But if you cannot hear it, then you cannot receive its wisdom, its blessing and its empowerment.” (The Soul’s journey on Earth, Marshall Vian Summers, 2008).
In Hindu religion the Upanishads believe in a “universal spirit, brahman, and an individual soul, atman. Brahman is the absolute infinite, all that ever was and all that will ever be.
Atman, or the inner self, is the self we experience in our limited awareness…the Upanishads aim to unite- yoke- atman and brahman by attaining release from the worldly constraints and limited consciousness that keep us from realizing the true state of oneness.” (Teaching Yoga, Mark Stephens, 2010).
When Krishna had a conversation with Arjuna on the outside limits of a battlefield in ancient India, it was,”to move beyond the illusion of the self and unite with the real Self, or atman.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali gives a more refined explanation of the nature of this self illusion or kleshas. This traps us in a confused state of alienated being.
This ignorance- or avidya– keeps us trapped in a sense of self that is identified with our mind and material existence.” (Teaching Yoga, Mark Stephens, 2010).
“Within the practice of yoga, an individual aims to discipline the body and ego in order to connect the individual soul with the supreme soul, or Divine, thereby realizing the true Self.
In yoga philosophy, this is accomplished through meditation, self study and self discipline throughout one’s practice.” (yogapedia, 2018).
“From the ananda, meaning “bliss,” in the Upanishads, the anandamaya kosha is known as karana sharira, or the “casual body.”
It is the consciousness that is always there, that has always been and always will be there, even when the mind, senses, and body are sleeping.