Putting It All Together

Over the last five months we have been working with the Five Koshas. The yoga philosophy defines our body as having five layers or sheaths and they cover every aspect of our being and who we really are. Each layer gets more subtle and beyond them all lies our True Self.

In November we reached the last Kosha which was the bliss layer also called Anandamaya. This was about connecting to our blissful state of being and feeling those glimpses of joy and bliss within our yoga practice.

Through December each class will focus on putting all of the Five Koshas into play through our physical postures, breathing practices and meditation/relaxation. The Koshas all intertwine with each other, and we can have a deeper understanding of them by looking at how they all work together.

We can only connect to this Everything by remembering the role of "I" as being in a flux and a flow, ever changing and impermanent.

Light On Life
 - B.K.S. Iyengar

Some of you may have missed one of the Koshas or even forgotten about the earlier ones we covered, so December’s classes will be a great opportunity to put them all together for a deeper understanding…

Last month seemed to fly by and we didn’t get a chance to practice a Yoga Nidra in savasana – so this will be a good time to find a bit of extra time recharging ourselves in what often is a very busy month with the festive season. We’ll also have time to come back again to some meditation practice.

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.