The 5 Koshas: Anandamaya KoshaFree 5-Part Mini-Series with Podcast Audio and a Printable PDF
Welcome to our final week in our koshas mini-series.
I have created a printable booklet that summarizes all of the key points. To get the booklet — enter your name and email below and it will be sent to you. Feel free to use the booklet in your classes, workshops, retreats and trainings. If you would like to share it with your students, you are welcome to do so.
To receive the 5 Koshas booklet – enter your name and email.
The five Koshas consist of:
- Annamaya Kosha – Episode 23
- Pranamaya Kosha – Episode 24
- Manomaya Kosha – Episode 25
- Vijnanamaya Kosha – Episode 26
- Anandamaya Kosha
The fifth layer in the Kosha Model is the Anandamaya Kosha (the Bliss Body)
Ananda= bliss, ecstasy or love
Kosha= layer of sheath
Maya= consists of
This bliss body is our deepest layer or kosha.
At this inner layer we feel bliss which has been described by some as feeling more alive as we are freed of blocks on a physical or energetic level. When we are in a state of bliss we are feeling happy, full of purpose and able to experience unconditional love for self and for others. We are liberated from suffering.
The anandamaya kosha is referred to as the true self. Connection to this layer can be described as “coming home”
Anandamaya Kosha in Yoga Class
To offer students a visual of this you could use one of those battery operated tea lights or a lamp in your yoga space. For each layer, place a scarf on the light. We have done the koshas from the outer annamaya kosha (the physical body,) and worked inward, but you could also turn it around or use this to summarize it.
Relation to Yamas and Niyamas
Within the 8 limbs of yoga philosophy, the anandamaya kosha relates to Samadhi (meaning a state of ecstasy and a connection to divine and all living things.)
Two Perspectives on the Anandamaya Kosha and Atman
Atman is a sanskrit word for inner soul or inner self.
- I have read that the anandamaya kosha is this true inner being.
- I have also read that the atman is that inner light and that it is in no way connected to the 5 koshas, that they are simply the layers that cover the atman.
Various texts discuss awakening the bliss body through:
- seva – refers to selfless service
- bhakti yoga – where you share a devotion to God, the divine or something outside of self
- Meditation focused on opening heart to love of self or love of others such as Metta Meditation
5 Koshas Awareness Self-Practice
Annamaya Kosha – In this moment how are you feeling physically? What is the temperature of your skin? What sensations are you noting from the body?
Pranamaya Kosha – How are you breathing right now? What happens when you change this breath?
Manomaya Kosha – What emotions and thoughts are coming in, what information can you draw on?
Vijnanamaya Kosha – How can you bring understanding to this situation ? Can I pause and reflect? Can meditation help me or can I use another tool to help me to connect with my inner teacher?
Anandamaya Kosha – Noticing the moments of bliss, feeling connected to self and to those around me
Remember, we can’t actually take the 5 layers apart; they are interwoven, interactive and interrelated. We can work with the outer layers to impact the innermost layer: the bliss body.
Have you ever felt yourself to be in a blissful state?
If you have any thoughts on the Anandamaya Kosha, the altman and how you’ve visually represented this Kosha, or have any thoughts on any of the Koshas, share with me through email: firstname.lastname@example.org, The Connected Yoga Facebook Page, or leave a voice message on The Connected Yoga Teacher homepage.
“Nothing is more important than connecting with your bliss. Nothing is more rich. Nothing is more real.” -Deepak Chopra
“Meditation is painful in the beginning but it bestows eternal Bliss and supreme joy at the end” -Swami Sivananda
Article: Metta Meditation by Shannon Crow
Article: The Inward Journey Into the Koshas by Timothy Bergin