Yogis Blooming in Spring
The more one practices with the physical being, the more one can understand how layers called koshas may unfold. Each breath deepened descends into a level of consciousness that opens the petals of the body a little bit deeper. With eyes closed, introspection and stillness can strengthen concentration and equip the mind with the tools to overcome tensions, patterns, and habits that have shaped the body over time. The breath guides us away from our physical sheath, annamaya kosha, towards our energetic sheath, pranamaya kosha..During the practice of opening ourselves to exploring these layers, the breath becomes the mechanism in which our mind can be more susceptible to forming new passageways from the body to the brain.
Just the way the brain stores memories from childhood, the muscles store memories particularly of trauma and tension. It is part of our natural decoding and aging process. Therefore, when we rewrite some of the patterns and memories by training ourselves in asana practice, manipulation of the body in poses, we help ourselves understand how we move through life. It is a metaphor of our inevitable process towards death and teaches us to be more gracefully and accepting.
Our greatest triumph, as humans, is to accept death. We need food, touch, water, sex, and we grasp things that may or may not flourish or impede our survival. To preserve this body we activate our fears, operations in we allow a cloudiness to block the mind, or manamaya kosha from processing a clear flow of truth and intention. Accepting that 'knowing' and exploring the "I -am-ness" or the ego of ourselves is the wisdom sheath called vijnanamaya kosha, Once we get there, then can be liberated from illusions that are necessary to deal with the world but tend to distract us from ourselves.
Anandamaya kosha is the blissful sheath, the innermost layer protecting our souls, our truth, our spirit. Feeling into this place deep inside is one of the most ecstatic sensations that one can experience of the body. Deep meditation can grace this part of our consciousness, and be a reminder that this space within us is true. Of course, the journey for a yogi doesn't end here. It requires a lot of practice, and is just a drop in the bucket of a reminder that our work is plentiful and constantly changing like that of a perennial flower. Every time we are able to find the breath and send it deep enough, we bloom again in another season and another moment to discover truth. Yoga is our constant searching and everlasting testament to being the best that we can be. Without this practice, we are floating. With the truth of our intentions, we are discovering.