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Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Spring Yoga Series - The Koshas
The April/May yoga series is studying the yogic model of the koshas within our regular yoga asana practice and meditation. The kosha model navigates the five sheaths or layers of the human experience and its inner journey. Starting from the periphery of the body and moving towards the core of the self: the embodied soul. This may sound esoteric, but the koshas are both a practical and profound contemplative tool that can help you deepen your yoga practice and the quality of your participation in life.
The layers are:
The Anmamaya Kosha - The Physical Body
All aspects of the physical body must be nourished, taking into account individual needs and limitations, as well as the stage of life. The main yogic tool for this kosha is asana- our physical practice.
The physical health manifests in
No aches and pains
Feeling of lightness
Ability to withstand change
Sense of stability and ease
The Pranamaya Kosha - The Vital Body
Our physiological functioning is affected by the flow of prana (life-force) along its five major currents: prana (inward/upward), apana (downward/out), vyana (from center to periphery), samana (from periphery to center) and udana (upward from heart to head).
The main yogic tool for this kosha is pranayama—breath practices
The balanced flow of prana is reflected in:
Energy and vitality
The Manomaya Kosha - The Intellectual Mind
The mind has a tremendous power to influence the entire system and perceive the world and process incoming information. It brings in information through the five senses. The ego can be very active in this sheath.
The main yogic tools are chanting and text studies
The healthy mind can:
Direct and maintain attention
Make educated choices
The Vijnanamaya Kosha - The Personality
The personality is formed based on the inherent tendencies and affected by our experiences and conditioning. It has great potential for transformation. The main yogic tool is the chakra (energy wheel) model that can be used as a road map to help us become more:
The Anandamaya Kosha - The Heart Center
This dimension of the heart is the deepest and most profound. Through the heart we are able to relate to others and find joy and contentment. Ultimately, it can become a source of unconditional happiness by connecting to something greater than ourselves. The main yogic tools for this kosha are ritual and prayer
The heart center connects us to: