If you've read my book Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda, taken my quiz on iamsahararose.com, read my blog, follow me on Instagram or listen to my podcasts, you already know about the Ayurvedic Doshas (mind-body types). But what fewer people in the US know about are the KOSHAS, the layers OUTSIDE our bodies, which are just as important. In this episode, I discuss all about the Koshas and how we are essentially human radios, picking up on subtle frequencies that provide us with more information than our minds ever can.
I recommend listening to this episode with chapter 20 of my book Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda open because I explain it all in great depth in the book!
I'll be doing more episodes around chapters of the book so be sure to pick it up on Amazon, Barnes + Nobles or wherever books are sold! This month (October) I've put it on sale for only $1.99 on Kindle so EVERYONE can benefit from it's wisdom so be sure to pick up your copy.. right now! <3 It's the #1 best-selling Ayurveda book in the WORLD!!
Intro and Outro Music: Silent Ganges by Maneesh de Moor
Episode 035 - Understanding The Ayurvedic KOSHAS to Harness Intuition + Expand Consciousness
By Sahara Rose
Namaste, and welcome back to the “Highest Self” podcast. A place where we discuss what makes you your soul’s highest evolvement. I’m really excited to start sharing with you excerpts of my book, “The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda,” and I really recommend getting a copy so you’re able to follow along in these episodes. So, the book is bout Ayurveda, which is the world’s oldest health system, and the sister science of yoga. It originated in ancient India over 5,000 years ago, and is a system of healing your mind, body, and spirit. It contains medical science, spiritual science, and really sees no separation between the mind, body, and soul, which is why it’s so magical and coming back to surface now because of it’s tried and true methods that have truly surpassed the test of time.
And many of you have taken my quiz on my website, iamsahararose.com, and on that website it has a quiz for you to discover your dosha, your energy type: vata, pitta, and kapha. If you have not taken that quiz yet, I really recommend just doing it right now. It’s going to give you a really good understanding of everything—this podcast, your life, your diet, everything in the world is going to shift once you take this quiz. And keep in mind that this quiz is just 12 questions, so it’s not going to encompass all aspects of everything, but it leads into a three-day mini course that explains everything about the doshas, and if you pick up my book as well with it, it’s really just going to deepen your understanding.
But today I want to talk about something that’s less known, which are the koshas. So I’m sure you’re thinking, “What? There’s koshas? I thought it was just doshas.” But Ayurveda is much more than just the three doshas, it’s really been simplified in the west, but actually very, very deep science. And the doshas are one part of it, but there are many other aspects, and the koshas are part of the spiritual science of Ayurveda. And the koshas are the body that exists outside of ourselves. So in the last episode in the “Kriya, Karma, and Dharma” episode, I discuss these five-layered bodies that exist outside of us that are intuitive bodies, are prana bodies, et cetera. And they basically are able to predict what’s going to happen, it’s our intuition when, you know when something’s wrong and you don’t pay attention, you don’t feel it, and then suddenly, it manifests as a sickness, or a car accident, or whatever else. It’s the same thing.
So if you haven’t listened to that last episode as well, I highly suggest listening to it, too. So, I wanted to—if you have the book, I want you to turn to page 265, chapter 20, called “The Koshas: Your Five-Layered Bodies.” When I wrote the book, I wasn’t sure if I should add this in, if this is just going to confuse people, if people are even interested in the spiritual side of Ayurveda. But I was like, you know what, it’s not going to be complete if I don’t add this in. This is just as important as your nutrition, your digestion, your tongue-scraping and oil-pulling, and all of the things that draw people into Ayurveda, but this is really the juice of it. This is really why we’re doing all those things. You don’t just scrape your tongue to win a gold medal. You do it so you can be your highest self.
So, if you’re there at page 265, you’ll see that I ask you how many bodies do you have, and most of us will just say, “Well, I have one, you know, the body that I’m living in.” But according to Ayurveda, we actually have five bodies that exist far outside of our physical bodies. So, these bodies are essentially energies that exist outside of us; vibrations. When you pick up on someone, you can just kind of tell about their aura. We’re picking up on their unseen bodies. So our soul doesn’t exist in our physical body, but rather it’s in these bodies that surround us.
So, what are the koshas? So I like to think of humans like radios. So we are all these energetic beings that are basically picking up on signals all the time. And that’s why like if you go down a dark alley, you’re like, “Ugh, I don’t really get a good feel about this,” you can just tell something’s wrong. Or like if you’re in like a weird house, you’re like, “I don’t know, this house feels like haunted, or it’s like giving me the heebie jeebies.” It’s like you’re picking up on something, or you’re just around someone and they’re great energy, and you’re like, “Oh my god, I just love being around you.” That’s you picking up with the radio signal. So energy and frequencies exist. Of course, we know they exist because we all have had a radio, and we’ve all sat there and fiddled with the tuner and tried to pick up on the frequency that we wanted. Lasers, airplanes, all of these things, they’re all working with frequencies.
So, we humans have our own frequencies that each of us emit. And we can change that frequency by changing our thoughts. So in Ayurveda, they discuss these five koshas, these layered bodies that are broken down as our physical body, our energetic body, our mental body, intuitive body, and bliss body. So, what do these bodies mean? Let’s go through each of them. So we’ll start with the physical body, which is the one that we’re all the most familiar with. And these bodies are not in like a particular order of importance, it’s just the way that they are. And they’re also related to the chakras, as well.
So annamaya kosha, that means physical body. And the word “annamaya” means “comprised of food.” So it’s literally the body that made out of food, because you know, you are what you eat. What you eat turns into cells, which makes who you are. So our physical body is what we reside in, and it’s very important to take care of this physical body because it’s your temple. It’s like the gods live in the temple, but you still have to clean the temple and make sure it’s everything’s smooth, and nice, and beautiful there because it’s what you’re giving your god to come through in. And that’s basically what our bodies are, so that’s why it’s important to:
All of these things are so important because we’re taking care of our physical bodies. And if we’re not taking care of our physical bodies, the rest of the koshas are not even going to be met. So that’s why this comes first. Again, it’s like Maslow’s Hierarchy. If you don’t have survival, then you’re not going to be able to make it to self-actualization. Survival’s first. And these are also related to our lower chakras, our root chakra, which is survival. So, after that annamaya physical body, and I offer suggestions in the book for each kosha of what to do to reconnect to that body. So you can check it out on page 268.
So pranamaya kosha is the next one, our energetic body. So, some people you just automatically can pick up on their energy. Some people are a little bit harder to read, but most people it’s like they have an energy, and you can feel it. So that’s their pranamaya kosha that you’re picking up on. So the word “prana” you might have heard of, but it’s like “life force,” and we relate prana to breath. And we also relate it a lot of times to vata because it’s movement.
So pranamaya kosha is basically connected to our breath. And that’s why when people are breathing really like shallow, like (imitates shallow breathing) they’re like angry, like we can like pick up on their intensity, and we don’t want to be around them. And when people breathe slower (imitates slowly breathing) they end up speaking slower, and naturally you are more drawn to them. And that’s related to kapha dosha. So pranamaya kosha. So this kind of the first layer, your aura, and it exists right outside of you, like within six inches outside of you is where it is. And that’s when people say they see auras and things like that, it’s really the prana of the person that they’re seeing, their life force.
So next we go into manomaya kosha. And this is our mental body, our thoughts. So in the book I write, “My name is Sahara Rose, and I am an Ayurvedic practitioner, and the author of ‘Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda’,” but that’s not me talking. That’s my manomaya kosha. So our manomaya kosha is the mental self, it’s our ego self, it’s the us that we have put out there in the universe. I am living in this body that I have named, or someone has named Sahara, but really, it’s not me. My energy is not Sahara, my energy is a vibration. Only in my mind have I decided I am Sahara, and then you guys have said, okay, well then mentally, we all have decided I’m Sahara, and you’re you, and she’s that, and that’s a car, and that’s a twig, and that’s whatever. But really, it’s all in our mind, it’s mental constructs. Because we are not our minds, we are not our bodies, but we are our souls.
And our souls are different than our personalities. So I think a lot of us when we think of soul we think of like our emotions and things like that, but it’s actually not. It’s much deeper than that.
Because emotions are mental.
Emotions are reactions.
Emotions are something based off of perceptions.
Emotions move, they flow, they go up, they go down.
It’s always based off what’s going on. Whereas souls are unchanging, they’re ever-knowing. They don’t go through swings, they are ever-stabled. It’s like the core of the earth, and the personality s like you know, the shoreline. It’s the surface of the planet.
But when you go deeper, it’s not about I’m organized, I’m this, I’m this archetype. It’s something deeper than that on a soul level. We all are, you know, when we really get down, we all are the same. And it’s the more surface levels that we begin to notice these differences. And the more to the surface we get, the more different se seem. But the more deep we get, the more similar we are, and really at the core we’re all one.
So in this manomaya kosha, this mental body is the construct, the ego self, which is a necessary self to exist in this planet because we live in a physical one. And if we don’t know who we are, we don’t have a persona, then we would just kind of turn into water and melt away, and people would just be like… you wouldn’t do anything, you know? I mean you could live as a monk, but even monks have to have some little perception of ego. Because otherwise, I mean they would just like evaporate, you know?
So our mental kosha is the kosha that we interact with people in. It loves people, it judges people, it learns, it experiences. It’s who we think that we are. It’s our personalities. But on our soul level, it contains the gifts that we were meant to do on this planet. And our soul contains infinite inspiration, and energy, and downloads from the universe. So as I write in the book, if you’ve ever had a moment of absolute wisdom, that was your soul speaking.
Which leads us into the next kosha: vijnyanamaya kosha. It’s hard to say. So vijnyanamaya kosha is who we are after we’ve removed the blocks of our physical body, our energetic body, our mental body. And it’s when we begin to start vibrating at our highest self. So as I mentioned, we’re going up through the chakras, and you can see back on page 267 when we get to vijnyanamaya kosha, it turns into between like the throat and the crown chakras. So it’s really the upper, upper levels of thinking and being. And this is our intuitive body. This is the us that’s able to perceive things that do not exist. It’s the us that is in charge of those sources of inspiration that we receive. It’s that pull towards our dharma. It’s the power inside of us to persevere on whatever we feel our path is. And knowing that that is the right one to take.
So if you’re confused about what you should be doing with your life, it’s because you have not activated your vijnyanamaya kosha. Because once you’re familiar with that body of yours, your intuitive body, you’re able to receive the downloads from the universe that tell you exactly what steps to take next. So if you don’t know and you’re confused, you’re still in your mental body. You’re still thinking from an intellectual perspective of, “Oh, well this sounds good. So I should be doing this. I should be doing that. That makes sense.” But the soul doesn’t operate that way. The soul doesn’t need to make sense because it’s much deeper than what the mental can perceive as sense.
In this kosha you become aware of buddhi, which his discriminative intellect. And it’s knowledge of the ego. So this is when higher awareness comes. You are able to figure out that you are not your ego self, you are not your personality, you are not your body or your thoughts, or your name, or your interests, or what you think you’re good at. You’re not any of those things, really. Even identifying so much, “I’m a vata, so I must only be like this. I’m a pitta, I must only be like that. Kapha, only like that.” Deeper level, we are all of the doshas. And when you’re able to get balance, then you’re able to see that you are past the physical, the mental. And that’s why Ayurveda has the soul, the spiritual, which goes deeper than psychology.
Free will. That comes out of this kosha. Your choice to do something right or wrong. It’s coming out of your interaction with this kosha. If you’re not in tune with your own intuition, you’ll lie, you’ll cheat, you’ll overindulge, you’ll harm yourself and others. You’re breaking the rules, the yamas, and the niyamas, which are the ethical rules that tell us how to live our lives. Ahimsa: don’t hurt others, nonviolence. Moksha: liberation, et cetera. We’re breaking these when we’re not in touch with our own intuition. But when we realize we are not our mental bodies, we are not these constructs. And really realizing on a soul level. Because it’s easy to say, “Oh yeah, we’re all one, we’re all this, we’re all that. Hippy doo da.” But to actually experience it and to know that it’s true is another feeling. And I offer suggestions in the book on how to get in touch with that.
So now we go to the fifth one: anandamaya kosha. And I love the world “ananda” because it means “bliss.” And this is something that Osho talks about a lot, who’s an amazing, amazing Indian philosopher who died in the early ‘90s, who I just love. But ananda is who we were truly meant to be. We were meant to feel blissful. Life is not meant to be one catastrophe after another. Like I talk about in the last episode, maybe society has brought you up to think that. It’s brought most of us up to think that. But truly when life is in flow, everything should feel like bliss.
So as I write in the book, I like to compare it to notice the difference between dancing a dance, and becoming one with the dance. So, when you’re the dancer and you’re like memorizing choreography, you’re you know, thinking out of your mind, you’re doing the steps, and like you’re dancing, but you’re aware that you’re dancing, and your mind’s involved and you’re coordinating your moves, and you’re making sure your movements look good. And you’re in charge of the dance, you’re controlling the dance.
But when you become one with the dance, there’s no longer a you. You have merged with that rhythm. You and the music see no separation. As you twirl, the music twirls, and you are interconnected, and fluid, and you don’t know what’s going to come out of your body yet next, but you’re not present in that moment. It’s a full feeling of ecstasy, ecstasis, the Latin word. And it’s this feeling of bliss. Bliss truly occurs when you’ve reached that level of letting go of the stories in your body, and your surroundings, and how you look, and how you feel, and what comes next, and you’re able to be in full presence. And this is self-realization.
So I encourage you to do something. Whether it’s dancing, or playing music, or painting, or writing, or something that brings you to this point of bliss where you and that action see no separation. For me, it’s talking to you guys right now. Doing this podcast. I feel ananda, I feel blissful, I feel like this is the most powerful thing that I could be doing with my existence. I have become one with this microphone, essentially.
So allow yourself to get there. Whether it’s in nature or in a yoga class, allow yourself to become one with your surroundings, and that’s how you will reach ananda. And what exists above ananda? What exists outside of our bliss body? Space, ether. And this is where there’s nothingness and everything. This is the infinite realm of possibilities. This is the vortex. This is the vibration that we all truly are experiencing. But most of us are unaware of our infiniteness. Beyond the koshas is beyond the illusion of separation between people.
It’s to know that really, we are just here for an experience, and this human experience is to fulfill this path and feel blissful while doing it. And to not be fixated on what life is supposed to look like. Because really, we were meant to enjoy our time here. So everything in Ayurveda is a tool to help you achieve this state of oneness, of bliss, ananda. Why do we oil-pull, and dry-brush, and soak our beans, and do all of these things? It’s so we can vibrate at this frequency.
And that’s what I feel like all other modern health systems are missing. There’s no purpose behind it all. You need a purpose behind the things you’re doing, otherwise they’re meaningless. But when we realize that at the other end, who we truly are is bliss, we are this vibrating being, we are the dancer and the dance. We are the painter, and the song, and the music, and all things creative merged into one, thrown out into the universe, bursting into the stars. That is us. It’s some powerful stuff. When we realize that already have what we are looking for, we just need to vibrate at the frequency to receive it is when life flows in kriya. So remember, you’re not the thoughts you think, you’re not your physical body. You are something so much deeper than that. Pure bliss.
If you haven’t gotten the book yet, “The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda,” I really recommend getting it. It’s the number one best-selling book on Ayurveda right now, which is crazy to me because it means more people are going to read this, and this is going to help more people transform their lives. And realize how beautiful life is supposed to be. So thank you for spreading the word, thank you for your reviews on iTunes and Amazon. If you haven’t left one yet, that’s how you can help change the vibration of this planet in such an easy way. Thank you so much for listening, and I’ll see you guys in the next episode. Namaste.
Episode 035 - Understanding The Ayurvedic KOSHAS to Harness Intuition + Expand Consciousness