What is a “kosha?”
Often referred to as a sheath, Kosha is what encloses the pure consciousness of Spirit in its material manifestations. There are five Koshas, and they are often visualized as the layers of an onion in the subtle body.
With a knowledge of koshas and what they mean, you can start incorporating them into your wellness routine.
Annamaya Kosha (The Physical or Food Body)
Focus on your body and where you are in the present moment. Once you are laser focused, you can start to detect which parts of your body are bringing you pain, anxiety, love or happiness.
Pranamaya Kosha (The Energy Body)
Your breath is known as you life force or your prana. It’s the pathway that brings every vital piece of energy to each cell and helps your body operate. When this flow gets interrupted, it can impact your mood significantly.
Manomaya Kosha (The Mental Body)
The third sheath or mental body is the apparatus responsible for our sensory and motor activities and our day-to-day awareness when we’re functioning “on automatic.” When we move through life passively, reacting to our environment rather than actively shaping it, our awareness is focused here.
Vijnanamaya Kosha (The Wisdom Body)
The vijnanamaya kosha is your inner wisdom. Awakening this kosha means getting in touch with your discerning, or intuitive, mind. It’s often translated as “intellect,” but the real meaning is broader, encompassing all the functions of the higher mind, including conscience and will.
Anandamaya Kosha (The Bliss Body)
In the vast majority of humans, the fifth sheath is totally underdeveloped. This is the anandamaya kosha, the subtlemost body which is experienced as ananda (spiritual bliss). Excerpted from Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action, “You experience the bliss body when you suddenly and inexplicably feel at ease when you connect with someone so deeply you can’t tell where you leave off and the other person begins.”
Even if you aren’t a “yogi” understanding the many layers of the body can help you better understand your feelings and emotions. There are several resources out there that can better help you understand.
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Try a yoga session where you really tune into your different koshas and see how they make you feel.
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