The Koshas - An ancient road map to bliss
Ayurvedic medicine “Ayurveda” for short is one of the world's oldest holistic “whole-body” healing systems. It was developed more than 5,000 years ago in India.
Can you imagine what would happen if one day you have to leave the city and go out into the wilderness? What is familiar and known is comfortable because we know what to expect. We know how the story goes. And we know how to respond.
However sometimes throughout our lives, there are times when we must leave what we know because we want to venture into the unknown to find true bliss. We can never be fully prepared for the uncertainties that lie ahead, but we can rely on an expert guide to help us.
That guide is our intuition.
If we step out and “follow our gut instincts.” those instincts lead often enough to a journey that is all our own. In some instances we discover who we really are and what we really love.
The journey into wilderness is described as our intuition and the new discoveries a direct experience out of our comfort zone that will hopefully lead us to happiness.
It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, spirit & energy. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease. But treatments may be geared toward specific health problems.
Imbalance in our bodies occur for a number of reasons and manifest as weight and skin problems, digestion disorders, headaches, disturbed sleep and mood patterns as well as predispositions to particular health conditions until the energy is adjusted.
There are various ways of adjusting blockages in the body to bring a state of equilibrium!
Traditional treatments are complimented with ancient and modern therapies which restore balance, include lifestyle habits, nutrition, subtle essence therapies, energy centre recalibration elemental wholeness, joint mobility, prescriptive exercises, remedial massages, pain relief, yoga, healing, transforming & balancing.
Five Elements of Healing
Does this sound wonderful? Away from what's familiar and comfortable but allowing us to be who we really are?
Yoga & Ayurveda for the mind has called this inner working system “The Koshas” for thousands of years, often referred to as bodies of light, or energy bodies, to explain the workings of the body and personality.
Put another way — have you ever found yourself moving through life with a knowing that you are doing the right things at the right time with the right people, in a harmony and flow that leads you from one effective experience to the next?
Have you ever been around someone who is balanced, clear and living life in all their fullness, adventure and potency whilst you ponder how to start?
There are some situations in which people move through their lives with ease, grace and joy experiencing positive qualities whilst others simply get frustrated and fill up with negative tendencies.
Five layers of consciousness
How would it feel to be able to hold the ability to transform from the feelings of being stuck to the feelings of freedom through the simple observations and the flow of mental, emotional and physical energy in your body & mind system?
How would it feel to release a number of blockages along the way that aren’t just based on the past but also occur because of your current thinking? What if you could unblock any stuck or rigid mental or emotional energy and transform your way of living and carry out your life on your own terms?
In the same way all negative thought forms can block your ability to flow with the natural tide of your life’s currents. You can create systems that block the natural light from illuminating your body which otherwise would have you radiate and illuminate to your highest potential.
The simple truth is we exist on 5 layers of awareness, some call it light, some call it energy and in yoga we call it Koshas.
The first being our physical bodies — our muscles, bones, cells and all that makes up our physical structure.
The second layer is known as a body of subtle energy that houses our life force and it determines how life energy flows through the body. The Chinese call this life force “qi” and the yogis call it “prana”.
The third layer is the realm of our emotions, which are both empowering and disempowering. Empowering emotions help you to feel happy and they inspire you. With disempowering emotions you have reactive thoughts and you usually feel bad about yourself or others. If someone shouts at you and you find yourself reacting and shouting back, you are having a disempowering emotional experience.
The fourth layer is the sphere of discriminative beliefs and attitudes held in the mind. This layer is in balance when your beliefs about yourself and others arise from appreciation and respect. You feel supported by the universe and engage in activities that help others to realise this, too. When out of balance, this layer can wreak untold havoc in your life. For example, when you think “I’m no good” or “I am a victim of life”, you tend to have experiences that bear out those negative thoughts.
The fifth layer is the place of connectedness and oneness. It is sometimes called the layer of bliss and is closer to the original state of maximum potential mentioned earlier. Spending just a tiny bit of time in this state can leave you uplifted and buoyant for days or even weeks afterwards.
By observing the flow of mental, emotional and physical energy in your body & mind system on all levels of your being and connecting with the full radiance of your inner workings you are making a start to a better understanding of the Koshas.
In my mind the koshas are a complete roadmap to a truly holistic view of wellbeing on all levels. The koshas focus on the physical, the mental and spiritual aspects of ourselves. It is only when we bring all three of these states into balance that we can truly experience profound healing and the full expression of our Higher Self.
Over the next few blogs I am going to be focusing on each of these Koshas and how I integrate them holistically for better wellbeing and better understanding of our HS.