Sutra 2.43 - Detoxification

2.43 Through sanctification and the removal of impurities, there arise special powers in the body and senses.

Ironically, as I am writing this post, I am thinking about the place i happened to be at today.  It was at an alternative healing center.  I'm sure many of you have heard of these places.  The specialize in acupuncture, massage and naturalpathy.  Indian and Chinese medicine are more popular today than in the past as people seek different routs for healing.  Yoga has it's own view of the body and how best to heal it.

Indian philosophy builds the premise that there are three layers to our body.  The first layer is our physical being: bones, skin, muscles, etc.  This body is nothing more than a lump of meat that encases out consciousness to interact with physical existence via our senses.  Without awareness, the body has no other purpose.  The astral body is the next metaphysical layer.  When we pass away, the Hindus believe that our astral body sheds the physical body on it's journey to the next life.  The astral body contains much our our stored up karma, the chakras, and corresponds with the nervous system.  Finally, the cuasual, or ideational body, contains the "thought of our body".  Basically, it's the imprint our consciousness has carved out of the greater whole in order to exist as a separate entity.  If you want more information about the three different bodies, see 

Autobiography of a Yogi

Yoga works through different process such as breath control, meditation and asanas to balance energy in the body.  The fundamental life force is called Prana.  If you are familiar with the concept of Chi in Chinese medicine, prana is analogous to it.  Having the ability to use our life force at will to heal our body is one of the goals of Yogic practice.  When you have control over autonomic functions in the nervous system such as your breath rate, heart rate, and even the ability to relax tense muscles at will, you greatly lengthen the life span.

There is a lot more to this subject for sure.  Look up Aruvedic medicine or pranic healing if you want for information.