Vijnanamaya Kosha

Throughout September we looked at the third of the five Koshas, the mental sheath or the emotional layer also known as the Manomaya kosha.

We looked at poses that helped to calm the mind and release physical tension such as forward folds and hip openers. We also explored poses that encouraged the mind to focus and concentrate such as various balances.

The alternate nostril breath also known as Nadi Shodhana was a great breathing technique to practice both in the visualisation method and with the physical closing of the nostrils to help calm the mind and balance both sides of the brain.

The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.


For October we will be looking at the fourth body, the wisdom, intellectual sheath also known as Vijnanamaya Kosha. It encompasses all the functions of the higher mind, including consciousness and will.

By working with the earlier mental sheath kosha, the mind starts to experience a more peaceful state and this in turns develops access to moving into awareness and wisdom. When we allow the mind to slow down there is then space of intuition and greater understanding.

Working with our practices of physical poses, pranayama and meditation we will start to tune in with developing willpower, clarity of judgement and a greater intuitive insight.

To make a deeper connection to the Vijnanamaya Kosha we will revisit The Yamas and the Niyamas as they are the foundation for spiritual development. Svadhyaya is an important part of the Niyamas that relate to our theme which means Self study and we will explore some of the key themes in the spiritual yogic scriptures.

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.