The 5 Koshas
What are the Five Koshas?
Koshas are considered to be the energetic layers or "sheaths" of your body. Your physical body being the outermost layer and the subltle body making up the inner layers. Some believe the koshas are key to enhancing awareness of your inner world and developing a connection between the physical body and the subtle body.
Let's take a look at the five layers...
maya means "consists of" and kosha means "sheath".
Annamayakosha - Anna means "food". This is the physical self, the layer we see.
Pranamayakosha - Prana means "energy". This is the energetic body. The breath is responsible for delivering energy to the subtle body.
Manomayakosha - Mano means "mind". This is the psycho-emotional layer making up our thoughts and feelings.
Vijnanamayakosha - Vijnana means "wisdom". This layer makes up our consciousness that makes up our intuition and allows us to experience a deeper awareness of thoughts. This wisdom is nurtured through meditation and contemplation allowing us to become more present and self-aware.
Anandamayakosha - Ananda means "bliss". This is the innermost layer and the most difficult to comprehend. It can't be seen, it is the feeling of true self and inner peace.
The experience of journeying through all five of the Koshas or sheaths is called Samadhi, a full state of unity with the universe, pure bliss and joy.
Page, Lillian and Joseph (2015). Yoga Toolbox for Teachers and Students. Integrative Yoga Therapy
Photo credit: Maya Chastain