This week, as we begin to explore the five koshas, we focus our attention on Annamaya kosha – the physical body. Anna means “food.” Each of the names of the koshas is followed by the word maya, which means, “consisting of.” As mentioned last week, the word kosha is translated as “sheath” or “layer.” Therefore, Annamaya kosha is the layer consisting of food.
The Annamaya Kosha is the outermost layer of being, the visible layer and the one, which is probably most easy to identify. It is created and sustained by the food we eat. The Anamaya kosha is associated with the earth element. The qualities of earth are grounding and stabilizing. It governs the muscular and skeletal systems, which literally provide structure and support. Tuning into these qualities brings awareness to the first signs of imbalance in the body.
Working with this kosha heightens body awareness, which gives us a greater sense of which dietary and lifestyle habits genuinely support our physical being. With greater presence and appreciation, self-love and self-care develop naturally, allowing us to live in greater harmony with our bodies.
Self-care practices, which support this kosha, include eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, opportunities for physical exercise, and enjoying time to relax. There are probably some of the aforementioned practices you feel quite strong in, as well as one or two you could put more focus on. As with any change, start small.
If you are interested in feeling more embodied in the Annamaya kosha and enjoy working with affirmations or mantras, you might enjoy repeating the following “Fully present in my physical being, I experience complete ease and harmony.” A mantra can be repeated anytime throughout the day. If you would like to make it a new habit, repeat at the same time every day such as upon waking or before going to bed.
As always, I would love to hear your experiences with these practices. Please feel free to email me with any questions or stories you would like to share. I hope you will tune in next week we unpack the Pranamaya kosha, the energy body.