If you’ve studied yoga with me you will know that my main focus is on the subtle body… but what is that exactly and why does it matter?
Many people are not aware that our physical body is not the only body that we have. In yoga we describe other layers in the body as sheaths called koshas.
The first sheath is annamaya kosha known as the gross body, and refers to the physical body. When you first start practicing yoga, this is where the focus tends to go. You spend time to learn the asanas (physical postures) to gain a strong and flexible body.
As you become more familiar with your asana practice you may have the desire to deepen your practice and to explore the subtle body. This consists of these three sheaths:
- Pranamaya kosha the energetic body
- Manomaya kosha the mental and emotional body, and
- Vijnanamaya kosha the wisdom body
Chakra yoga, Yin yoga, and Sound yoga are different ways to work with these deeper layers of the body.
Working on the subtle body eventually leads to the last sheath anandamaya kosha, the bliss body, known as the causal body. This is a deep meditative state where yoga (union) is found – union to your higher self, universal consciousness, or the source of life.
Unfortunately you can’t experience this deep meditative state by sheer will, it’s something that happens to you when all the layers of the body are prepared and ready to receive.
You can think of the subtle body as being a bridge between the physical body to the bliss body.
If you’re interested in deepening your practice to find what Yoga really is then I recommend that you find a practice that explores the subtle body.
Check out my online classes, workshops and courses and try it out for yourself. Once you find a practice that resonates with you, keep practicing with a sense of exploration. You might be surprised by what you discover about yourself and the universe.