Definition: From Sanskrit ‘kóśa’, meaning sheath, vessel, container, layer.

Card Symbology:

Each triangle represents a different sheath, with the colours moving along the spectrum from longest to the shortest wave-length. The model (Joe Liz) is a living example of how a comfortable relationship with our physical body can also heal us on the emotional level.

“If you bring the physical body, the mental body, and the energy body into proper alignment and balance, you will not have any physical or psychological ailments”

— Sadhguru

Sanskrit

Koshas

English

Sheaths

Pronunciation

ko-shuh

guhaa aahitam brahma yat tat, pancha kosha vivekatah; boddhum shakyam tatah kosha , panchakam pravivichyate.

Brahman is well-placed in the cave of the heart. By differentiating Him from the five sheaths, it is possible to know Him; hence, the sheaths – all five of them – are now being considered. — Panchadasi, verse 1

Exploration:

There is far more to a human being than meets the eye. According to yoga, each human is comprised of five sheaths, known as the pancha kosha

  1. The first sheath is annamaya kosha, the physical body, which is composed of what we eat and sustained through the metabolic process.
  2. The second sheath is pranamaya kosha, the energy body. Prana is a universal energy which flows in and around the us, and its physical manifestation is the breath. Our thoughts, feelings, food, exercise and environment all affect the energy body.
  3. The third sheath is manomaya kosha, the mental body, which is an amalgamation of all our thoughts, memories, and beliefs. Every cell in our body also has its own memory and intelligence.
  4. The fourth sheath is vijnanamaya kosha, which is the body of intellectual or discerning awareness. It is responsible for abstract thought, and at a higher level, intuitive perception.
  5. The fifth sheath is the anandamaya kosha, which is the body of bliss that is the experience of pure consciousness. 

Every one of these bodies has an interdependent relationship with each other; What you eat affects your energy levels, your breath affects your mental state, your thoughts affect your emotions, awareness affects your thoughts, bliss and ecstasy alter your awareness. Each sheath has the capacity to affect the other ones in either direction. Simply knowing this empowers you to navigate and engineer your inner experience. 

The yogic process supports balance, purification, and alignment between the various dimensions of our embodiment so that we can experience true health and well-being. Eat, work, rest, play, and practice the things that expand and enliven you. Your body is a compass and if you really listen to its messages it will point you in the right direction.. When you are truly balanced and wakeful, the natural joy at the core of your being will flower.

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