5 layers of self – annamaya kosha

I would like to share my teacher’s version of yogic anatomy. It’s not just about all the muscles and bones in the body, rather it’s an exploratory journey of the 5 koshas (or layers) of self. We are made up of 5 elements; earth, water, fire, air, and ether. It reminds me of the Russian nesting dolls where each doll fits nicely inside the next, making one doll. dolls

The first kosha, or smallest doll, is the physical self – annamaya kosha. This layer consists of earth (bones, skin, organs) and water (blood, fluids, hormones) and is related to our sense of smell. Whether you are on a yogic path or not, it’s important to pay attention to the state of your physical body and what you are offering it in the form of food, water, exercise and rest. With a healthy body, it makes it easier to venture into the additional layers of the self.

I noticed when paying attention to what I was offering my body that my tastes have slightly changed over the past few months. My desire for morning coffee (ok decaf) has almost disappeared in favour of herbal tea and my daily cravings for chocolate are waning 🙂

Try this exercise:
For about a week, take a conscious approach and have awareness around what you are offering your body in the form of food and fluids with the notion that your body is a gift to carry you through life. I’m not a nutritionist and this is not a diet, however after you eat something, notice how you feel in your body, your energy level, your state of mind. Perhaps keep a journal to record your observations. It may or may not change your habits in the long run but it’s worth exploring.

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