The body is an amazing mechanism, the vessel our of awareness on this planet. It runs on its own, and arcs toward health and well-being, if we allow it. The body is affected by many factors, the most obvious being diet and lifestyle. But it can also be subject to influence from more subtle instruments such as energy. And as the body assimilates the various stimulus from all of these sources, it retains that information as body memory. This is called runanubandha.
We are not talking about genetic information passed on from past generations as much as physical memory obtained in this lifetime. The physical body memory can form from many sources including blood relationship, intimate relationships, substances or trauma. We are not talking about physical features such as skin tone, hair color, or body stature. We know that the way we are is a result of karmic influence, and Runanubandha is a type of karma that is formed as we interact with each other as people. The more intimate the exchange with another body, the more intense is the resulting body memory because after-all everything is energy and this is two energies coming into intense interaction. So they are both influenced. But even holding hands creates some memory. Interestingly, this is why in Eastern cultures, people greet each other with a bow, or hands together in namaste, and not by actually shaking hands with the other.
Runanubandha, and any karmic memory, is a bondage because it sets the course for one’s way of being in a compulsive rather than conscious way. In more extreme cases, this is what addiction is, but the same principles apply in more subtle ways in all our lives. So, the effort in yoga is always to work towards liberation from karma. There are practices to cleanse the elements of the body at the energetic level. In yoga, Bhuta Shuddhi is an example of this. But even in mainstream medicine, there is a lot of material on releasing trauma from the body. On the grossest level, this is what physical therapy aims to do but there are many forms of practice we can do. Just Google “releasing trauma from the body” to see that this notion of body memory is not some esoteric myth but a reality that science is acknowledging today… as is the case with so much ancient wisdom that we dismiss unless the laboratory verifies it.
Our unique natural body signature, including our energy body, has a natural way of being. And because of that, any runanubandha causes a certain level of disruption. The more intense the body interaction, the more disruption in our own energy reverberance. This is why a monogamous relationship is better for spiritual seekers – to minimize the energetic impact from multiple partners.
The symptoms we might feel from runanubandha include a certain level of discomfort, lack of exuberance, lack of involvement, lethargy. There is an overlapping of body memory which disrupts our natural way of being. Simple solutions include bathing (water), standing in the wind (air), taking a mud bath (earth), and fire cleansing. Also, somatic therapies can be used to work out the body memory and today there are many practitioners of this available to us.
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