If I were to ask you how many bodies you have? you would probably look at me strangely and answer, one of course; the one you can see and feel.
However, according to the teachings of Yoga, there are actually five bodies that belong to your complete makeup that reach out far beyond your physical body.
How We Make Use Of The Five Koshas
In this blog and the next few blogs in this series, we will be discussing these bodies, or layers and how each of them is connected to your deepest soul. In essence, this is the reason why each of us must put in the hard work to create a balance between your mind and your body so that we can create a connection with our soul self. Your soul knows exactly what your purpose is here on Earth, and it knows exactly what it is you should be doing. Your soul self only ever operates from a place of union, love and joy. In essence, your soul self is your highest self.
Through the upcoming blogs, we will aim to clarify some of these concepts for you, so that you begin to gain an understanding about your deeper soul level, and how it is possible to tune yourself in and listen to the wisdom of your inner voice. We will try to create a sense of understanding about the deeper layers of your body that you weren’t aware existed before now and we will strive to show you exactly how interconnected your physical, energetic, spiritual and intellectual selves truly are.
Definition Of The Five Koshas
If we try and explain it all as a relatively easy concept – Humans are very much like big radio’s made up of organic materials. All of us as humans are comprised of energy and so are energetic beings. Although we inhabit a physical human body, there are constantly many layers of vibrating energy which surrounds us all, transmitting and receiving signals, in a way, much as a two-way radio would operate, and we as humans, are constantly picking up on these intricate vibrations.
Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone for the first time, and instantly having a feeling about them, or visiting a place you have never been to before, only to find you have an instant like or dislike to it. This is the reason why certain people, things and places give you good or bad vibes. Even though these layers of energy are invisible to us, they still exist. Look at it this way, have you ever seen the sounds made by a radio, of course, you haven’t, but they still connect with you and others that come into contact with them. The same principle applies to these energies, they are felt rather than seen
So not only do you go around transmitting these vibrations, but you are also in the process of receiving them constantly too. This is truly your sense of intuition working through and with these senses, and the more highly you become tuned into these subtle vibrations, the more aligned you become with your truest self.
The Five Koshas In Yoga
The spiritual side of the Yogic sciences has categories for these Five bodies or energy fields, and these categories are thought of as the five sheaths of energy which are called the koshas in Yoga. Whilst at this point this may all sound a little bit far-fetched and flimsy, especially if your thoughts are running along the lines of “ I can only see one so how could I possibly have five bodies”, how would you feel to know that you are actually in contact with your other bodies practically every day. By simply just thinking the question of how you are already in contact with a number of them.
Think on this, have you ever experienced the situation where you had the sensation that you were going to get ill, just before you came down with a nasty cold, Physically your body felt fine. Yet there was something within you warning ‘Look after yourself with extra care because you may soon find yourself ill”. This was a communication between one of the body’s outer layers to one of its inner layers. Basically, your surrounding energy detected an illness and notified your mind ahead of the illness taking hold and appearing in your body.
Categorising The Koshas
Situations like these are examples of your koshas at work, and their constant communication with one another. The five koshas are five unseen sheaths which surround your body and sense energies. Each of the Koshas has a name and a corresponding body. They are listed as follows; annamaya (is the sheath of the physical/food body), pranamaya (is the sheath of the energetic/energy body), manomaya (is the sheath of the mental/mind body), vijnanamaya (is the sheath of the intuitive/wisdom body), and finally anandamaya (which is the sheath of the blissful/bliss body).