Is the Body Evil?

It’s too easy to blame our bodies for what’s going on in the mind.

Beth Bradford, Ph.D.
3 min readFeb 3


singing bowl and shaman rattle
Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

One of my favorite classes blended qi gong, kundalini yoga, and shamanism. It was one of the wildest experiences. I’d shake my body while the teacher would whisk feathers or strike a tuning fork near me, and I’d leave each class feeling truly transformed.

Then I’d read some old religious texts that talked about how we should stay away from things like that. Evil spirits could come into the body and possess us. Or it would awaken the evil spirits within us because the body is sinful.


So I guess that explains why some politicians and businessmen are corrupt — because they’re secretly doing kundalini yoga? That’s why people are shooting innocent people on the streets — because a shaman healer awakened their evil spirits?

We eventually realize that the body isn’t evil — it’s protecting us from harm.

As a yoga instructor myself, I’ve learned that the body can hold onto a lot of trauma. Look at how your neck feels after a stressful day. You unknowingly were tensing your shoulders for a long period of time, and now you feel that tension trying to tell you something.

Yet many of us won’t even feel this pain. We become numb to it, or we find ways to numb it through alcohol, drugs, food, or relationships.

It’s only when we tap into the body that we begin to notice the trauma we hold. Healing practices such as yoga, qi gong, and myofascial release wake us up to this tension and help us release it effectively without bringing more harm and suffering to the world. We eventually realize that the body isn’t evil — it’s protecting us from harm.

This harm can come from the outside, through toxic food, relationships, or work. We choose to open the windows of our senses, exposing us to these toxic elements. We then internalize this toxicity, wrapping it in some of our fears and desires.

man covered in mud
Photo by Mahdi Bafande on Unsplash



Beth Bradford, Ph.D.

Former TV person, college professor and media researcher. Ironman triathlete, meditation teacher and yoga instructor.