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Pancha Kosha: Vital Sheaths

Updated: Jan 9

These are five spheres in which a human being lives at any given moment. These koshas (or body) range from gross to subtle.

Human body has three bodies where all these five Koshas reside.

They are:

  1. Physical or Gross body (Sthula Sharira),

  2. Subtle body or Astral Body (Linga Sharira),

  3. Causal body (Karana Sharira).


According to Yoga, a human being is capable of experiencing five dimensions (or sphere) of existence, which are called pancha kosha (body), or five sheaths.




They are:

1. Annamaya Kosha (food body)

  • Psychological dimension: conscious mind

  • Physiological dimension: wakeful awareness

  • Experienced as: awareness of the physical body

2. Pranamaya Kosha (pranic body)

  • Psychological dimension: conscious mind

  • Physiological dimension: wakeful awareness

  • Experienced as: awareness of physiological functions (digestion, circulation, energy)

3. Manomaya Kosha (mental body)

  • Psychological dimension: subconscious mind

  • Physiological dimension: dreaming awareness

  • Experienced as: awareness of mental and emotional processes

4. Vijnanmaya Kosha (intuitive body)

  • Psychological dimension: subconscious mind

  • Physiological dimension: dreaming awareness

  • Experienced as: awareness of psychic and casual dimensions

5. Anandamaya Kosha (bliss body)

  • Psychological dimension: unconscious mind to superconscious mind

  • Physiological dimension: deep sleep, meditative awareness

  • Experienced as: unconsciousness transcendental awareness



Although these five sheaths function together to form an integral whole, the practices of pranayama work mainly with pranamaya kosha.

Pranamaya Kosha is made up of five (pancha) major pranas: prana prana, apana prana, samana prana, udana prana and vyana prana.


Hari om!!!

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