Workshop 2, Day 2

Vishnudevananda

This is Sri Swami Vishnu Devananda. He was a student of Sri Swami Sivananda and brought Sivananda Yoga to the West.

Transcending the Five Sheaths in your asana practice

  1. On the physical level/annamaya kosha, we experience it through Conative Action. It is here where we use the karma indriyas: going through the motions at an unconscious level.
  2. Then we experience asana through Cognitive Action (pranamaya kosha), using the jnana indriyas. This brings about awareness to our practice.
  3. Next is Communication Action (manomaya kosha). The mind helps serve as a bridge at this level because the muscular action of the poses helps build memory cells. It’s here where we realize, “Oh, so this is how it’s supposed to feel…”
  4. Reflective Action (vijnanamaya kosha) comes next. It gives us discriminative thoughts of our asana.
  5. And last, there is Spiritual Action (anandamaya kosha), where we have total awareness to the asana and all of its benefits.

(You might be wondering, What are asanas? Asana is the Sanskrit word for pose. So, all of those poses you do during a physical yoga practice — those are asanas.)

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