5-week syllabus: Koshas - The Layers of Being

HOA is pleased to introduce our latest syllabus on the Five Koshas of the human system. Each week starting February 3rd, we will be exploring a different Kosha or Layer that constitutes our being, with the intention of gaining deeper insight into our inner landscape.

**Please note that this will be our co-creator final syllabus for now, before Sue takes time off to go into labour and maternity leave.

Have you ever had a lingering pain that never seems to go away no matter what how much treatment you’ve sought? Or perhaps you have experienced an unexpected rush of emotions during a hip opening yoga pose? These incidents may hint at deeper afflictions within us that exist beyond our conscious reach. By exploring the Five Koshas, we may gain access to these inner layers to better integrate our healing. 

Yogic tradition regards humans as multidimensional beings comprised of many layers that make up their unique individuality. When problems arise in a person, they usually show up on multiple levels and may not immediately present the root cause of the problem. Therefore it is important to recognise symptoms of such problems so we may go deeper into our layers and address the underlying issues. 

Each of us are comprised of Five Koshas, meaning “sheaths” or “layers”, which are each encased within the next, similar to a succession of Russian Matryoshka dolls. Starting from the outermost layer and moving though the layers to the core of the self, each body is made up of increasingly subtler degrees of energy.

The following is a brief introduction to the Five Koshas and what they relate to. Each week, we will be focusing on a different Koshas during our Gong Yin, Gong Yin Yang and Gong Meditation practice, as well as delving deeper into each Kosha during a special 2-hr session of practice, lecture and group work on Tuesdays.

Week 1: The Physical Body

February 3rd - 9th

The outermost layer is the Physical body, and comprises of our organs, bones, muscle tissue and skin. It is known as the Annamaya Kosha, with Anna meaning “food” or “physical matter” and maya meaning “made-of." This Kosha is where most problems manifest. Pay attention to any chronic pain you may have as it is likely linked to deeper issues you may carry unknowingly. 

February 4th

The purpose of this practice is to purify, strengthen, balance and relax the physical body with the sole (soul!) purpose, of transcendence. The aim of this practice is to explore this theoretically and experientially, through movement and breath and a long rest at the end of session with sound bath. The end result? A steady and comfortable body, leading to a steady and comfortable mind.

Week 2: The Energy Body 

February 10th - 16th 

Also known as the Pranayama Kosha, this layer is composed of our subtle life-force energy Prana, or Chi in Traditional Chinese wisdom. This Kosha relates to the quality of our breath. Imbalances or blocks in this energetic layer greatly affect the function of the physical body and also influences our state of mind, which is the next Kosha. 

February 11th

We will share knowledge on the Chakra System and the Prana Vayus. Then, we will work with particular poses and sensing into sensation in the different locations of these subsets of energy, connect with these forces within your own body.

Week 3: The Mental Body 

February 17th - 23rd

The third layer corresponds to our mind, emotions, and nervous system, and is expressed as streams of thoughts, feelings, and sensations. This Kosha is known as the Manomaya Kosha, from Manas, which means “mind” or “thought processes.” This Kosha allows us to receive, absorb, and process input from the world around us, governing our automatic responses and reflexes. 

February 18th

We will tend to each of the seven chakras with Brainwave Entrainment, and observe how we feel in the body. Through movement, breath-work, sound bath, aromatherapy, and contemplation our energy system becomes ever-more subtle and takes us further towards connecting us to the absolute.

Week 4: The Wisdom Body 

February 24th - March 1st

Underneath our thoughts, feelings and sensations lies an inner wisdom. This Kosha is called the Vijnanamaya Kosha, from Vijnana or “intellect.” Our intuition, conscience, and the reflective aspects of our consciousness are all part of our inner wisdom. This Kosha enables us to develop our awareness and deeper insight into the nature of who we are and how we relate to the world around us. 

February 25th

We will explore how a steady body leads to a steady mind. As we explore the postures, we will mindfully watch as our beliefs, thoughts and stories about what we do and don't like, or what we are and are not good at, pour forth. Then, through steadiness, we will see our mind as a screen, on which we can invite the unconscious to release or reveal whatever it may want us to see or experience.

Week 5: The Bliss Body

March 2nd - 8th

The deepest layer of our being is the core of our existence, known as the Anandamaya Kosha, from Ananda, which means “bliss.” This Kosha is better known as our higher self or spirit, and corresponds to our heart center. We connect with this Kosha when we experience the freedom, ecstasy and love of connecting with our True Will, or our higher purpose. 

March 3rd

We’re going to explore movement and meditation with one goal only: to become goal-less! The nature of your true self is spacious and open and free from desires and attachments. We’re going to slow down and wake up to awareness, and see for ourselves who we really are: nothing…and everything. This session is a Sound Journey to the Self...

Unlike a series of Russian dolls, these five bodies cannot be taken apart and separated. The Koshas are interwoven, interrelated and interactive. What happens on one level affects all layers of the body, although it may manifest in unexpected ways. Through focused meditation and yoga, we may gain access to deeper dimensions of our systems and examine our patterns of thoughts and behaviour that hold influence over our physical body, our energy and physiological functioning, our interactions and our relationships, and ultimately, our happiness. When we bring the Five Koshas into harmony, we may improve our overall health, find ourselves closer to self-realisation and achieve absolute fullness of BEING. 

Join us in exploring the Five Koshas to access the inner layers of your Self. Book your spots today!


Suraya Sam (Sue for short), co-creator of House of Ascend is a yoga, aroma, gong - practitioner, guide, teacher and facilitator with over 10 years of experience.  She is a Yoga Alliance continuing education provider with more than 22,000 registered hours. Her teaching ranges from Ashtanga, Bhakti, Power, Aroma, Chakra, Nidra, Restorative, Gong, Pre-natal, Postpartum and Strala yoga to help guide one to understand the sacred science of yoga. She believes in the ability to heal oneself through the power of the mind, body and breath connection. This knowledge was passed down to her from generations of holistic practitioners in her family. Her self-realisation came in her early teens, guided by her mother who practices Sufism and Inca Mythology in the Sacred Valley of Peru. Over the years, her inspiration draws from her fellow mentors - Amber Sawyer of HOM Yoga, Anodea Judith of Sacred Centers, Mehtab & Laura Benton of Yogi Mehtab, Martha Collard of Red Doors, Ed Dailey of Young Living, Alex Young of Crystal Tones, Tara Stiles of Strala Yoga, and Chaitanya Nitai Das of Inbound School of Yoga.

Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA