Hello my lovely Flow friends,
Today we dive a little deeper into the often overlooked yogic philosophy of the Koshas.
These ancient texts, were first described in the Taittiriya Upanishad, written during the sixth century B.C.
In yogic philosophy, the koshas are explained as the energetic layers that surround, nourish and protect your spirit.
Lets explore the philosophy and the practical tools that can be used to forge a deeper connection between our mind, body and spirit, using this timeless wisdom.
"Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees"
what are the koshas?
If you imagine at our very centre, there is the golden spark of awareness and bliss that we recognise as our spirit.
Covering this magical centre are 4 layers that serve as protectors, just as we could lay scarfs over a lamp, resulting in the light beneath diminishing, through understanding the anatomy of the Koshas, it is our goal to slowly unveil that light by peeling back the layers.
1st layer - Annamaya kosha
Annamaya kosha is the physical outer layer, it is composed of our all things physical, we tap into this layer when we are present and aware of our physical sensations, limitation or aliments, also when we tap into the vitality of of our physical form in our yoga practice.
This layer is a direct result of how we live, what we eat and drink, and how we take care of our bodies.
2nd layer - Pranamaya kosha
The pranamaya kosha is energy body, its relates to the quality of our breath, and our essential life force.
Awareness of this kosha allows you to move stagnant energy, through conscious strong breathwork or pranayama, you can experience greater vitality and an energetic connection to yourself and the world around you.
These first 2 layers are particularly powerful to bring awareness to into during your physical yoga asana practice.
3rd layer - Manomaya kosha
This layer is where mental chatter resides, and when we work to quieten down this busyness through actively controlling and disarming our emotions, perceptions, reactivity and mental patterns, we leave leave space to tune into the next layer.
4th layer - Vijnanamaya kosha
The vijnanamaya kosha is home to our physic and deeply intuition self.
When we use the tools of the koshas to strip away the layers that obscure our intuition we let go of the sensation, energetic blockages, then the ego and thoughts, finally arriving at a place of clarity and deep intuitive awareness, leaving space to see the deep truth ourselves.
5th layer - Anandamaya kosha
The anandamaya kosha is referred to as the bliss body.
It’s the deepest and subtlest of all layers, it is beyond description and must be felt and experienced.
Developing awareness of the deep bliss of anandamaya kosha, is the ultimate objective to yogic practices, to reconnect with our true timeless, formless self, and the spark life that pervades all things.
The road map of the koshas
Transcending all five sheaths can lead to a state of complete bliss, this is the junction between the individual and universal consciousness.
When we use the road map of the koshas, we experience glimpses or moments of this amazing bliss along the way, and this is often enough to wake that part of you that knows the truth of our essential nature, and keeps you on the yogic path of learning and self awareness.
"Your own self-realization is the greatest service you can give to the world"
Next time you come to your yoga mat, tune in... what can you feel in your body, can you feel your heart beating, your bones supporting you, the pulse of life running through your veins, take some deep controlled breathes, feel the vitality escalating, clearing, lifting your energy...... work to quieten the thoughts, through focus on the body and breath.... listen to the deep wisdom within you.... slip into your bliss, no separation just you and the universe as one.
Keeping the koshas simple
Wow that was a deep dive for sure! Lets sum up the complexity of kosha philosophy as feel, breath, quieten, listen, arrive..... and remember its not the destination but the journey that matters!
Much love and blessings till next we meet.