Koshas – The Layers of Ourselves

Another dabbling in the philosophical aspects of yoga.  This one is about the different layers of the body, all of which need nourishing and can impact our lives in multiple ways.  The Koshas were first described in the Upanishads over 3,000 years ago, yet remain relevant today.

In this post I will briefly describe each of the five layers and in future posts will delve into each layer and how I feel that the layer within me has been impacted through the process of yoga teacher training as well as practicing yoga in general.

  • Annamaya – the physical body, exactly what it sounds like
  • Pranamaya – the energetic body, breath that is our source of life
  • Manomaya – the mental body, our thought processes
  • Vijanamaya – the wisdom body, perhaps thought of as the philosophical mind
  • Anandamaya – the emotional body

All of these parts of our being need attention to live a balanced and fulfilled life.  As we are all individuals, nurturing some of these aspects will come more naturally to each of us than others will.  Some aspects will need more attention to become balanced and this can change depending on the seasons of the year and events of our lives.


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