Yoga Training

I believe the Soul is a phenomenon beyond words, so I will be careful not to attempt that, ha ha.

To me, living in Vancouver and being Caucasian,  the Soul (Atma in the yogic tradition) is both the most central and the most expensive part of my being. It is deeper and more fundamental than my egoic self-nature that is particular to this lifetime, and it is infinitely broadly connected to the various planes of divine existence.

My Soul

My personal understanding of the Soul began with my first yoga teacher training where I have derived from various teachings.

It is in the indescribable experiences that are less organized than thoughts and less tangible than emotions. But more fundamental to existence than incarnation and more lofty than intuition.  

Spark of Life

The Soul can be thought of as the basic spark of life. Or the singular point of awareness in the primordial field of consciousness.  

Some say it is a concentrated separate piece of divine oneness that comes into existence for each lifetime; others say it is eternal in existence and either journeys to another realm when the body dies or returns repeatedly through many lifetimes as we work with our Karma.  


My personal experience supports the latter notion, as I have had experiences best explained by the existence of past lives.

Some traditions hold that when we die an aspect of ourself stays around as an “ancestor” and can be called upon for assistance and guidance.  I have some small experience of this, and believe it.

There are various practices used to connect with our soul.  Shamanic journeying, certain forms of meditation, and the use of plant medicines can take our consciousness. To the realm of the soul.  This is often considered helpful for receiving guidance, perspective, and “downloads” of wisdom and understanding.  

Chinese Medicine

One interesting teaching come from the old ways of Chinese Medicine: the theory of the Five Spirits.  This teaching says that there are multiple “souls” inhabiting our body, each residing in a different organ and responsible for different aspects of our life.  

The two most similar to the common concept of the soul are the Hun and the Shen.  The Hun resides in the Liver and is our eternal, ethereal soul that travels from life-time to life-time and is concerned with our growth as a spiritual being.  

The Hun

The Hun gives us our dreams and visions for how we can grow, and is not concerned with our material needs or security- only our path of spiritual evolution. 

The Shen resides in the Heart and is the pure, authentic core of our identity.  It is the wise sovereign that balances the flighty Hun with the survival-minded Po spirit, and to which we are counselled to turn when feeling unsure of the correct action to take in life. 

The spirit is our fundamental human-ness, the balance of the divine and the incarnate that characterize the human experience.  

So there, I have attempted to describe the indescribable!  Reflecting on this has helped point the way toward certain experiences that may help my path.