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The widespread holistic approach of yoga offers an individual physical and mental health, happiness and wellness. According to ancient written text Upanishads every human being has five selves (atma) within the body and these five selves are referred as Koshas.
Koshas means sheaths, layers or covering that fold true self (human consciousness) and each one is made up of finer grades of energy. Yoga practice plays an important part in peeling back these layers of energy to provide profound understanding about our true self. In accordance with the perspective of Koshas the yoga techniques help in developing harmony among body, mind, spirit, breath and wisdom. The practitioner during performance aligns, energizes and harmonizes these covering of Koshas to attain oneness with universe.
Regular practice of yoga techniques asanas, paranayama, meditation, karma or mantra lays great impact on Koshas and is helpful in releasing blockages from these layers. Asanas prepare our outer body, controlled paranayama breathing helps to remove obstacles from pranic channels (nadis) and yogic philosophy provides us tools for developing self awareness, stabilizing variable state of mind and embodied us with radiant health and happiness. As stated in yogic beliefs, it is essential that we should take care of these Koshas to attain complete wellness and tranquility. The important five Koshas within our body are named as Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijanamaya and Anandamaya.
Annamaya Kosha- The Physical Body: It is the outer most covering which contains physical body such as organs, muscles, skin, bones and tissues. Bodily asanas affect this layer as people are mostly concerned about this sheath during yoga practice to increase their body balance, strength and flexibility also for toning up muscles, releasing physical stress and attaining deep relaxation.
Pranamaya Kosha- The Energy Body: It is the second layer that represents pranic or life force energy. According to the traditional yogic text pranic forces enter in body via breath, food and water and circulate within the whole body through channels or nadis. Blockages in these channels can cause disturbance in physical and spiritual rhythm. Deep or conscious breathing and asana practice may increase pranic forces in our body.
Manomaya Kosha- The Mental Body: It is the third covering that takes us into bottomless nooks of intellect, emotions and nervous system. Regular practice of yoga techniques influenced our mental body too because after every yoga class the practitioner feels up-beat emotionally and clear mentally.
Vijanamaya Kosha: The Wisdom Body: Diving underneath the physical, mental and energy sheaths we reach to the wisdom body. Vijanamaya develops an imminent awareness and connects to a deeper level of intuition, sense of high knowledge and great internal wisdom. Yoga practice works a lot in removing blockages in this layer and for finding comfort and harmony between other bodies.
Anandamaya Kosha- The Bliss Body: The last and fifth layer in our body deep inside from mindful awareness into clean and glowing bliss body. Yoga approach helps to track a way to this profound delicate layer as round the clock we experience ourselves shifting between these fine layers.
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