Good morning and happy Monday, oh mindful ones!
Let’s continue our study of the koshas. Last week we discussed the first, outermost kosha: Annamaya which is the physical body.
The second kosha is Pranamaya kosha. Yes, you guessed it! Prana is our life energy.
Simply put, prana is what animates and brings life force to the physical body and the Annamaya kosha.
It allows the invisible indweller, our True Self to be able to manifest in the external, physical world. However, it is easy to misidentify the eternally still, silent center of consciousness as the moving, visible physical body.
The pranamaya kosha is said to be located at the third eye, head and chest. Because it is also related to the aura, it is not simply contained within the physical body – because our aura expands out beyond the body.
To add another layer on to this – the prana is then said to be subdivided into various forms called the vayus. They are: prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana.
Yogic texts also tell us that prana moves via the nadis (energy pathways) to the chakras (spinning energy centres that collect, transform and distribute the energy). This might be harder to grasp because we can’t see the vayus, chakras or nadis, not even with an x-ray.
We’ve covered the main chakras in previous blogs. For purposes of this post, we will stick to the Pranamaya kosha.
Breath is paramount to our yoga practice. It is what grounds us into the present moment.
Noticing the breath automatically triggers us to not only lengthen the breath, but to make sure it is actually happening. Of course breath is automatic, but sometimes we hold the breath or allow it to become shallow.
We equalize it – inhale and notice the count – exhale and notice the count. This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response), quieting the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response). This also builds up our capacity of breath and the awareness of it. We can notice if the breath is slow and steady or choppy and quick.
This breath awareness prepares us for meditation as well as for conquering our daily life challenges!
Inhale I’m breathing in
Exhale I’m breathing out
Inhale I calm my mind
Exhale I smile
Have a great week, yogis!￼￼