Definition - What does Pranamaya Kosha mean?
Pranamaya kosha is the second of the five layers, or sheaths, of the body, which are collectively referred to as pancha kosha, in yogic philosophy. Pranamaya kosha is the energy sheath and is said to be composed of prana. As such, pranamaya kosha is the vital shell of the body that contains life. The existence of pranamaya kosha is what differentiates the living from the dead.
Pranamaya kosha is said to exist in the physical body, pervading the whole organism. Prana flows through nadis, or energy channels, in the body. Yogis believe there are 72,000 nadis that make up pranamaya kosha.
Yogapedia explains Pranamaya Kosha
Along with pranamaya kosha, the other koshas are:
- Annamaya kosha - the physical body
- Manomaya kosha - the mental body
- Vijnanamaya kosha - the wisdom body
- Anandamaya kosha - the bliss body
Pranamaya kosha is what unites the body and mind. Prana enters the body via nourishment and breath. As such, an important way of working with pranamaya kosha is to perform pranayama, or breathing exercises. These are believed to have a positive effect on the energy system of the body.
Pranayama kosha, like all the koshas, is interactive and dependent upon the other layers of the body. As such, working with pranayama can also positively influence other koshas. Similarly, performing asanas, although considered to primarily influence annamaya kosha, will also have a positive affect on pranamaya kosha.