In Yoga Nidra meditation, we take a journey through the layers of our being in order to reach our embodied soul, thereby allowing healing and transformation. Each week of September, we are exploring the five Koshas, or sheaths, which describe every layer of our being, from the outside in. This week, we will explore the Energy Body, or Pranamaya Kosha.
In our everyday lives, our breath can go unnoticed, becoming limited in range, especially during times of stress. When we are experiencing stressful events (good or bad), the breath becomes shallow, the blood pressure rises, muscles become tense, and our mental focus lasers in on the task at hand. Once the outside stressor diminishes, it can be very difficult, or even nearly impossible to return to our pre-stressed state. Our energy, becomes stuck, which can lead to a myriad of stress-related conditions.
Pranamaya Kosha is the layer of our energy and vital life force, which is produced by our breath-- the bridge between the physical and subtler bodies. It cannot be seen, but it can certainly be sensed and felt.
In Yoga Nidra meditation, we begin to observe the breath with great curiosity. We visualize the breath flowing in and out of the physical body, we direct the breath to our chest and belly, we send the breath to places that feel painful or constricted, we count our breaths flowing in and out. In these ways, we can return our breath to its fullness, thereby encouraging a more balanced and efficient flow of energy/prana. As we become aware of our breath, the blood pressure lowers, digestive functions return, muscles begin to soften, and we can therefore begin to relax more and more deeply. Becoming aware of the breath allows us to reconnect the breath energy to the physical body, as well as to begin to access the deeper layers of our being.
Next week, we will explore the Mental-Emotional body, or Manomaya Kosha.
I am always thrilled to share the practice of Yoga Nidra meditation, for I believe that all beings deserve to experience feelings of universal oneness and bliss. You are always welcome to contact me with questions, and of course, to experience the benefits of Yoga Nidra meditation with me!