Koshas and Life Coaching

Want to make changes in your life faster? Wish you could let go of a an old belief more easily or surrender with more grace?  What about experiencing more personal strength?  Being able to step into making strong decisions for yourself?

We need to start all of these processes with our minds — becoming aware of something that needs to change, something that needs to be different.  But we don’t have to complete the work with our minds and, in fact, our minds can get in the way.

“Why am I here again!”

“Why can’t I get past this place?”

“How come I keep making the same mistakes?”

Sounds familiar? We’ve all done it — been stuck in our heads, analyzing and reanalyzing whatever challenge we are going through.  We may even find ourselves analyzing the thoughts we are having as we analyze! As a Life Coach, I see it over and over again, we just get “stuck in the muck” as I say.

Our minds can only take us so far and, frankly, that is not much past where it has brought us thus far.  It is much to easy to be drawn back into our old thinking and I know we have all experienced that in our lives — the lure of the status quo when you are trying to make changes.

So, what can we do?  Use the other layers to our being — our koshas!

Let’s talk koshas.  The koshas, or sheaths, are the layers that comprise us.  In Yogic thinking, our bodies have five layers, each serving a different purpose:

  1. physical,
  2. energetic,
  3. mental,
  4. personality, and
  5. spiritual

Each of the layers are intertwined – separate yet inter-connected like the threads in a tapestry. Which means we can create the changes we want to make on a different level then our mind which will then help change the mind. We are very aware of the mind-body connection when we are stressed.  When our minds are stressed, the stress transcends to the body because the layers, while seperate, are intertwined.

We can do the same for all the layers of ourselves and a yoga practice can work on all of the layers.

A “well-rounded” yoga practice is one in which we are supporting all of these layers. Just as the poses work the physical body, meditation works the mental body, breathing the energetic body, philosophy the emotional body, and all of them together help us to enter our spiritual body.  Let’s look at each one in more detail and how they can help us in manifesting the life of our dreams.


Yoga Poses: Physical

Poses can easily be seen as affecting the physical body.  We can use strong standing poses to help us build our foundation, to feel stronger about who we are.  We need a strong foundation in order to grow as big as we are desiring.  We need a skyscraper foundation, not a one-story rambler.  Think about people you know in your own life. Those who are strong, know what they want and go after are firm in their bodies.  They step confidently, sure of themselves.  We can create that in our own bodies, even if we don’t yet feel it, until we do feel it.

Yoga poses can also help us build courage via backbends, gratitude and surrender via forward folds, and letting go through our twists.  Our bodies are powerful representations of what is going on in our lives and we can use that fact to consciously move into the life we really want.


Meditation: Higher Mind

Think of a regular meditation practice as a deep mental cleansing of our old beliefs.  Simply taking a few minutes each day to quiet our minds and step into a more peaceful place can help us rise above our old thinking, our old thoughts.  You know, the thoughts that have gotten us where we are right now?  We can begin to take more control of our thoughts through meditation so we can direct them toward more beneficial thoughts, ones that take us where we want to go, not where we’ve been.


Breathing: Energetic Body

A yogic breathing practice is called Pranayama, and involves focusing on the breath and consciously changing how you are breathing.  In Sanskrit, the word “prana” has many meanings: breath, energy, and spirit. It is through this practice that we access our energetic body, our life force.  When we focus on our exhales, we are helping our energy body let go, surrender, release, relax.  When we focus on our inhales we are receiving, expanding, drawing into our lives.

Since energy is the crux of the Law of Attraction and manifesting, this aspect is a powerful addition to a Manifesting on the Mat practice.


Philosophy: Personality

The final level to add to a complete yoga practice is philosophy.  While a Manifesting on the Mat practice doesn’t necessarily need philosophy (although I would argue it helps — another post!), the aspect I do recommend adding is the ability to say, “What if…?”  Often when I am teaching a group of people about the basic precepts of yogic philosophy (and it comes up in coaching all the time as well), resistance comes up.  A feeling of “Oh, no, this isn’t me.” (Here’s a whole post on Resistance.)  I always recommend to people to soften and just say, “What if…?”  If you simply disregard something just because it is uncomfortable you will remain forever stuck.

Manifesting on the Mat is a powerful tool toward creating the life you really want…faster!  Get all your layers working toward your dreams, not just your mind.