In my own practice I have been inspired to go all the way back to the very building blocks of the body. I have asked myself, what are we made from? How do molecules, cells, membranes and fluids form to create structure? So I found myself turning to the the seven primary tissues that form the body in yoga and Ayurveda, the fundamental tissues that I have come to think of as the “magnificent seven”.
Exploring the ‘Magnificent Seven’
In my ongoing interest in the subtle body, I have spent time researching and exploring the potency of the seven dhatus and wanted to share with you my findings. Using the “science of life and longevity” (Ayurveda) as the model, we look at the seven essential tissues of the body through the lens of embryology, osteopathy, bodywork, psychology and mythology.
We begin with the fluid matrix, the “ground substance” that sustains all breathing, pulsation and electrical activity. We often say in class, “where there is breath there is blood”. The “blood sheath” is built from prana, prana that is not only derived from oxygen but from food.
We examine how yogic nutrition is critical to blood building and how nutritional health is unique for all, depending on your blood type and constitution. Through yoga posture and somatic practices, we explore how connective tissues (fascia) function as the internet of the body. Sometimes spidery, sometimes ropey, connective tissue is the weave that holds us together. Nerves, chemical signatures and hormones pass through the net of fascia.
The final constituent is the most fascinating and important to understand in the science of longevity. The reproductive system, so vulnerable to dis-ease and irregularity, is linked to vitality (ojas) and the body’s immune system. We will see how in both Indian Yoga and Taoism, the health of the reproductive system fortifies both heart and mind.