Throughout July we looked at the very first of the Five Koshas, the physical sheath, or the food body, also called the Annamaya Kosha.
We used our yoga practice to connect to the physical body – and tried to become aware of the ways in which our bodies can move, and the sensations this can cause.
We thought about how great our yoga poses can make us feel, and if done with a set focus and intention, how they can rejuvenate the body and mind.
The month of August will be looking at the second layer, the energy/vital sheath also known as the Pranamaya Kosha. Those of you who worked through the Prana Vayus with me already have a good knowledge of the five pranas and the different directions that they move in the body.
In our first outdoor yoga class we learned an earth sequence and we’ll be bringing it into this theme as it makes you aware of the breath, the subtle energy in the body and how we can link these to a set of poses, linking the body, mind and spirit. There will also be a guide in the next week to help you learn the sequence.
Breathing techniques will be explored to increase the breath capacity and our awareness. Meditation was explored last month and this will be continued as this Kosha is a preparation for meditation…
The techniques of yoga give you the opportunity to capture energy from the outside as well as from the inside and to use that energy for your personal evolution. The practice of asana clears the inner channels for prana to move freely and uninterruptedly.
The Five Koshas
The Koshas are five conceptual layers that as yogis we use to understand ourselves and they are mentioned in the Taittirita Upanishad. Through understanding and exploration, we can start to understand the concept that we are more than our bodies, and our minds.
The Koshas are also known as sheaths, and they correspond to the different layers that cover the True Self, which is our pure consciousness. These sheaths are divided into three bodies – the physical body, the astral body and the casual body.
The five Koshas are:
- Annamaya Kosha – The physical and food sheath
- Pranamaya Kosha - The energy and vital sheath
- Manomaya Kosha – The emotional layer and mental sheath
- Vijananamaya Kosha – The wisdom and intellect sheath
- Anandamaya Kosha – The joy and bliss sheath
Each month, just like we did with the Vayus, we will look at each of the Koshas in turn to give you more of an understanding of these concepts. The poses, breathing practices and meditation and relaxation will all be connected to this theme.