We are looking forward to welcoming back Priti Robyn Ross, who will take us on a magical mystery tour of yoga through the koshas. Here is some information about the koshas from Priti to whet your appetite.
On May 12th, I have the sacred opportunity to share my passion about the Ancient Prana Kosha system, an in-depth exploration of yoga as the holistic system it was designed to be. Using this approach provides a practical yet profound map to navigate the odyssey of yoga.
The powerful Koshas provide a multidimensional tool for teachers to craft a comprehensive class design to guide their students though a universal journey of yoga as well as a potent map for students to find their way into the soul of their practice.
By utilizing the Koshas, the teacher and student can create a transformational experience that brings the practitioner into a dynamic equilibrium that results in vital health and awakening on all levels of their being.
Each layer becomes a doorway to support and direct the student to enter into a dialogue and communion with each layer of the Self. The teacher can then make a conscious choice as to which Kosha to emphasize during any stage of the class and provide an engaging awareness, focus, and language into a selected dimension to provide an experience that is needed to support wholeness in the moment.
For example, in Annamaya Kosha, the direction of attention is physical sensations. In Pranamaya Kosha, we begin to harmonize breath and movement, and in Manomaya we direct the thoughts. When when the first three layers syncopate, the spirit of the pose begins to emerge within Vijnanamaya, the witness consciousness. As we evolve, through deep self-observation we can begin to experience our practice through the lens of Anandamaya, where the posture dissolves into the experience of the moment, into pure soul presence.
Using the Koshas as a framework can be a practical and profound teaching tool. With this method, the teacher has a powerful system to direct the attention of the student by utilizing these five lenses. Then by designing a yoga practice with the Koshas as an approach, it becomes a powerful laboratory in which to discover, awaken, and transform habitual patterns and bring light and awareness that can lead to freedom, liberation, and self-mastery.
It’s important to note that the Koshas are not a linear system, but occur simultaneously, interweaving, feeding, and informing each layer of the the multidimensional Self.
True alignment happens when all Koshas are in communion, unity, and harmony.
When all our Koshas, or layers of the multidimensional self, are present and in communication with each other, we experience true inner alignment, union, yoga. Then we are in pure presence, listening to all layers of our being—body, breath, mind, witness, and soul—the Koshas.
Adapted from the Pranotthan Yoga Teacher Training Manual
Cofounders: Priti Robyn Ross and Devarshi Steven Hartman
© 2014; edited 2018 by Priti for the YTA newsletter. All rights reserved.