Chronic stress is a rising concern among the population today, with the pandemic and increased pressure to achieve work-life balance impacting us mentally and physically. Fortunately, ancient yogic wisdom offers insight into wellness by identifying key aspects of life that foster health – collectively known as the 5 Koshas. In this blog post, we’ll explore each Kosha in detail; what they are, how they impact physical and emotional well-being, and ways, you can practice self-care to nourish them for optimum health. Read on to uncover these timeless teachings!

The koshas, an integral part of yoga philosophy, are multiple sheaths or layers that encompass the multifaceted components of a human being.


Annamaya Kosha: the physical body composed of nourishment and sustenance.

Anna maya Kosha is the corporeal form created from nourishment, or anna. Of all the koshas, this one is the most perceptible and lays a foundation for the other four. Our physical, mental, and emotional health is heavily impacted by what we eat, the amount of exercise we do regularly, and how much attention we pay to take care of our bodies.

Regularly practicing yoga postures and breath control can keep your physical body in good shape. This is a great way to maintain the energy balance of the Annamaya Kosha for optimum health.

Regular yoga practice allows the Annamaya Kosha (the physical body) to be kept healthy and in equilibrium. Here are some of its potential advantages:

  • Improved posture and increased flexibility
  • Enhanced strength, balance, and coordination
  • Reduced inflammation and improved immunity
  • Increased energy levels
  • Lower stress levels
  • Improved quality of sleep

Pranamaya Kosha: An energizing force comprised of prana, or life energy.

Prana, life force energy, is encapsulated within the Pranamaya Kosha – our energetic body. The subconscious is the layer of self that regulates essential bodily functions, from respiration and digestion to circulation. In yogic philosophy, prana is said to course through the body via a network of energy pathways called nadis. These channels can be balanced and regulated with mudra (hand gestures) and pranayama (breath control).

Practicing yoga offers numerous potential advantages for the well-being and balance of your Pranamaya Kosha (energy body), such as:

  • Improved respiratory system
  • Increased awareness and mental clarity
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Better sleep quality
  • Enhanced energy levels

Manomaya Kosha: The layer of the self that is connected to the mind and cognition

The Manomaya Kosha connects us to our mental and emotional wellbeing. It is made up of thoughts, feelings, and emotions that can be both positive and negative. When we become aware of our thoughts and feelings, we start to gain more power over them – this is when the manomaya kosha comes into play. We can calm the mind with tried-and-true practices such as meditation and mindfulness.

Regular yoga practice may help to nourish your Manomaya Kosha (mental body) in multiple ways, such as:

  • Improved mental clarity
  • Enhanced focus and concentration
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Improved sense of wellbeing
  • Increased emotional resilience

You Can Also Read: Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training in India

Vigyanamaya Kosha: Refers to the layer of self that is connected with wisdom and understanding.

The Vigyanamaya Kosha, or the intellectual body, gives us a sense of higher knowledge and understanding. Developing our intuition helps us connect to this layer of self. We can do this through introspection, reflecting on our experiences, feelings, and thoughts daily.

Yoga practice can provide many potential benefits to your Vigyanamaya Kosha (intellectual body), such as:

  • Improved intuition
  • Increased awareness and insight
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills
  • Deeper spiritual connection
  • A better understanding of life’s purpose

Anandamaya Kosha: Made up of joy, bliss, and inner peace.

The Anandamaya Kosha connects us to a sense of ultimate contentment and happiness – known as ‘bliss’ or ‘ananda’ in Sanskrit. When we let go of the things that cause us stress and anxiety, we make space for inner peace and joy. We can do this through yoga practices such as meditation and pranayama.

Some potential benefits of nurturing your Anandamaya Kosha (bliss body) include:

  • Improved sense of wellbeing
  • Increased inner peace and contentment
  • Deeper spiritual connection
  • Enhanced creativity and imagination

All five koshas can be balanced and nurtured through regular yoga practice for optimum health and well-being. Try incorporating some yoga into your daily routine to see how it can benefit you holistically!

Book a session with an experienced yoga teacher to learn more about working with the koshas and exploring their potential benefits for your life. A private or group class will help you understand more about the different layers of self and how to find balance in each one. Namaste!