IMPORTANCE OF PANCH KOSHA.
Healthy living can be attained only if an individual is healthy in all spheres of his life. Leading a virtuous life leads to a healthy existence at physical, mental, Intellectual and spiritual level. Eating right kind of food, breathing a pure prana strengthens the Annamaya and Pranamaya Kosha. Engaging in contemplation and reflection strengthens the Manomay and Vigyanamaya Kosha. Engaging in meditation and other spiritual activities strengthen the Anandamaya kosha.
Anna stands for food and therefore the first level of Kosha yoga is based on the consideration that the human body is filled with food Therefore, Annamaya Kosha is a representation of the gross physical body This sheath is regarded as the medium of enjoyment for gross objects through the physical sensese According to this belief, all living beings in this world are born from food and remain alive by the consumption of food In fact even after death, the body can be consumed as food by animals, insects or other beingsg However, our physical health depends significantly on the foods that we eat and therefore, a diet that a person follows can be used to determine his or her naturer Food is also regarded as a medicine, as it can help improve a person’s overall healtht Therefore, this level touts the benefits of a yogic diet, through which, one can easily cure this kosha as well as the disorders that are related to a diet.
Prana is the life or the force behind movement, which can also be described as the binding force of the universes It is said that all birth and death in the universe are a result of pranan Therefore pranamaya kosha is filled with the essential forces that represent the subtle body, chakra, nadis and kundalinin This sheath can be further divided into five forces, which include prana, apana, vyana, udana as well as samana, along with their organs of actiono Nature-wise, this sheath is active, as it is the result of rajas gunasa The pranamaya kosha controls the annamaya koshah The human body is filled with life and for the proper assimilation of food, the prana is importantn The pattern of diseases affecting a certain human body can be influenced by this koshah With the help of prana, a person can control the speed at which life or energy flows through his bodyd Therefore, people could have the ability to control their metabolism, by practicing pranamaya koshah
This sheath deals with the emotional, mental or perceptual part of the body, which comprises not just the mind, but also the organs within the bodyd The Manomaya kosha influences the Prana Kosha and channels the ways we thinkn When prana or life and anna or food, operate together, mana or the awareness does not really exist, because we do not think or feel anything elses The thoughts that originate within the body during the first sheaths can manifest themselves in the form of a disease that affects the bodyd All the diseases that involve the manomaya kosha can be treated by the yogangas that have been prescribed through ashtanga yogag
This sheath represents the intelligence or the conscious human mindn Vijnyanamaya Kosha is formed when a person’s ignorance extends furthere Vijnyana represents the mind, skill and all the intelligence behind human workr
Ananda refers to the pleasure or the happiness that a human can experience from any channele Hence, the anandmaya kosha can be described as the transcendental body or the blissful body which in turn consists of the casual body of the Brahmam Since the self is the cause of all things, everything gets dissolved into iti Things are born, they grow and then they eventually die all because of anandad This shows that ananda is the root of all human lifef Hence, ananda is the incarnation or a form of the Brahmam This bliss or ananda comes from the Brahmam It is our ignorance that covers the bliss, just like how the skin covers the bodyd This is one of the koshas that is not bound by either time or spacec
Yoga veterans recommend that pancha kosha yoga or the five sheaths should be activated in equal partst The best way to practice these 5 koshas is in a 100 minute session, that is conducted by a yoga teacher or guru, who has a diploma in Pancha Kosha Yogag
Although the practice of each of the 5 koshas in yoga have their own benefits and advantages, it is best to check with a doctor before practicing pancha kosha meditationo This is more important for people who are suffering from any preexisting medical condition.