Journey Through Your Bodies: The Pranamaya Kosha
This sheath, as with all the others, works with and penetrates the physical body but expands beyond it. But this one especially corresponds with the annamaya kosha, or food body, or physical sheath, or whatever you want to call it.
So that means we’re talking about the aura, the subconscious around you that protects you and also attracts experiences, people, circumstances and places.
Prana is the vital energy of the body. It moves through the body downward and upward.
So that means we are blatantly talking about the chakras here - the spinning wheels of energy along the spine.
But it even goes beyond that. We can’t talk about prana without talking about the breath. Pranayama, the practice of breath control, and a major limb of yoga’s 8-limb path, is all about transforming your energy through your breath. In fact, breath and your subtle energy layer are so related, that they are considered one sheath, according the yogic philosophy of 5 bodies.
Yes, subtle energy. This is the energy people feel when you're in a room, the communication that need not be directly communicated. What you say without words. This sheath, in particular, is a great contributor to your energetic signature (as discussed in part 1 of this post series).
Prana, as subtle energy, can get stuck in the body. So-called good energy and so-called bad energy. (But, by the way, is energy is just energy. It’s all about what you do with it).
But even breath can get stuck in the body. How many of us are taking full breaths, deep and complete exhales?
The problem with this is that prana, but its very nature, is meant to flow, to move. Just as food is meant to move through and out of the physical body. Stagnated energy (of any kind) can cause all sorts of issues in your life from disease to relationship issues to a feeling of being lost. This is prana constipation (which can be way more painful than real food constipation).
Not all energies are easy to sit through. Sometimes we must bear it. Sometimes we can’t bear it. That’s okay. But when we can gain the strength and courage to breathe through something energetically challenging, that’s when growth happens. And it’s most likely what we are here to experience, anyway. Nothing is by chance. You’re here to walk through what has been given to you.
The thing about subtle energy and breath is that they are so closely related that breath is the way to get that stuck energy out. Energy comes in and energy comes out. Breath comes in and breath comes out. And breath is the way to get that energy out. That's when we use meditation, pranayama and yoga. These practices are used to cleanse our energy fields, to move stagnant prana up or down and out of our vital energy bodies.
Nothing stays the same. Everything changes. We are attached to nothing but who we are. And that’s where these bodies, if we travel deeply enough, will take us.
Whether we're bringing more prana into the pranamaya kosha or releasing and letting go of stuck prana, it will be transformative to get in touch with our vital energy body.
In the meantime, this free meditation course has some wonderful pranayama and energetically cleansing practices:
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