Question

What is astral projection?

Answer
By Yogapedia Editorial Team | Published: July 23, 2018 | Last updated: July 23, 2018

Astral projection, or astral travel, is a very powerful and mystifying form of outer body experience. Those who practice astral projection are extremely aware of the extraction of their consciousness from their physical form, as well as the restoration of this conscious back into the body. Reducing the interference between ourselves and our natural rhythms, we begin to notice that we are connected. We are part of a larger energetic reality, beyond the mere physical realm we are so accustomed to. This broader perspective initiates our ability to move outwards from the physical body into the auric fields.

During an out-of-body experience, the physical senses shut down. Your thoughts begin to to break up and they are no longer patterns of thinking, only perceived thought forms or packets of energy. A sensation of weightlessness ensues. Sometimes called transcendent or ecstatic experience, this experience deals with the "inner" senses rather than the physical senses. It also deals with states of being seemingly independent of the physical world. Awareness is heightened and an entirely new world opens up to you.

(How do you become more aware of yourself?)

The spectrum of experience is very broad and can include a wide variety of psychic and spiritual states. In most cases, the spiritual traveler is able to clearly remember the experiences and learn from them. In a healthy out of body experience, one where the nervous system is free of interference and mechanical tension (you are in alignment), the experience of the spiritual flow or the awareness of the flow of life force can lead to feelings of gratitude, love, peace, joy, happiness, etc.

People who have a sudden experience, are unsafely stimulated artificially through hallucinogenic drugs, or the unguided practice of a kundalini event induced by a method of breathing or yoga postures, can become awakened prematurely. This energetic awakening may be associated with fear or pain, often bringing on more energy than one can handle and can result in physical or emotional stress/trauma that is sometimes difficult to correct.

(What is a kundalini awakening?)

With the proper guidance, gratitude and vulnerability offer the opportunity to honor the stillness, sensitivity, and subtle rhythms that are connecting within. Here, you are more likely to develop a higher state of consciousness firmly grounded in the strength and stability gained from the culmination of experiences. The tone expressed here is of unification among the aspects of yourself that were once alienated. This tone feels vibrant and alive. Because tone is an organizing force within the universe, we use this tone to help unify our wholeness with the wholeness of Spirit. Simply experience, observe and share.

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Yogapedia Editorial Team
Yogapedia's editorial team is dedicated to writing and curating authentic yogic knowledge from around the globe. Our intention is to help seekers turn within and connect with Self (Ātman) through shared understanding of the philosophy and practice of yoga.

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