This week February 24th - March 1st, we move deeper into the human system to explore the fourth Kosha. Underneath our thoughts, feelings and sensations lies an inner Wisdom that inhabits a deeply embedded layer in our system. This Kosha is called the Vijnanamaya Kosha, from Vjnana or “Intellect.”
Our intuition, conscience, and the reflective aspects of our consciousness are all part of this inner Wisdom. It can be thought of as the witness mind, or that aspect of our consciousness that is not entangled in what we are doing or thinking, but rather, acutely aware of what we are doing and thinking. Simply put, Vijnanamaya Kosha as awareness. It enables us to develop clearer insight into the nature of who we are and how we relate to the world around us. When we undertake in a project like writing, painting, math or even problem solving, we are accessing the Wisdom Body to express our authentic truth to the world, and to discover our purpose in the grander scheme of things.
The Vijnanamaya Kosha is also responsible for our inner growth and personal development. This includes the presence and evolution of morals and ethics, which goes beyond simple perception and into more subtle knowledge, discernment and intellect. This Kosha gives us the ability to see the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil. This layer is where our willpower and determination resides. It is also in this Kosha that a deeper sense of oneness emerges, as opposed to a sense of separation from other beings. Within the Vijnanamaya Kosha lies the beginnings of understanding that separation and ego are just an illusion. This recognition is said to bring greater compassion, love and happiness to a person, and a greater sense of spiritual fulfilment.
The awareness that comes from connecting to the Wisdom Body is vastly different from a knowing that arises in the mental faculties. To ‘know’ with the Vijnanamaya Kosha is to access a truth that exists beyond any individual. It is not informed by our mental processes or judgments, it does not enforce scenarios and stories we have crafted around our personalities. It comprises a transcendental truth that connects us to all the Universe.
As we have discussed in our previous blogs, the Five Koshas are interconnected with each other. Vijnanamaya builds on the foundation of the previous layer, the Manomaya Kosha, or the Mental Body. We must first calm our turbulent and busy minds before we are able to rise above the churning thoughts that pull us away from our center. With a sustained practice, we can cultivate a steady mind that is able to view ourselves from a distance. By taking a step back from our current situation and viewing it from a better perspective, we can gain valuable insight that may not be available to us earlier.
The practice of yoga and meditation helps to quiet the Mental Body so that our Wisdom Body can be heard and begin to guide us. One simple way to start cultivating your awareness within the Vijnanamaya Kosha is to simply pay attention to any sensations or pulsations taking place internally throughout your asana and meditation practice.
For example, after a Bridge Pose or backbend, once you’re back down on your mat, close your eyes, take the time to feel the sensations on each part of the body, and become aware of your heartbeat. Inhale to Relax... Exhale to Soften... Allow the body to convey its message to you without having the mind intercept. When you have reached the point in your yoga practice where you are much less distracted by random thoughts or occurrences and much less caught up in the anticipation of the next posture, you find that you are more able to feel the pose. You know what is happening in your body and your mind as you settle into the posture, noticing the nuances. Eventually this results in a greater connection to your human vessel and an awareness for its differing needs each day.
A healthy connection to the Wisdom layer allows you to think for yourself. It is vital for YOU to connect to your own inner teacher/guide in this journey of Self-Inquiry. Trust that you are always guided! Listen to your inner voice carefully! Vijnanamaya Kosha comprises the intellectual tools required for you to examine your inner landscape, and integrate the known and unknown parts of yourself, in order to grow and transform into the person you were/are meant to become.
Join us at HOA this week to discover the Vijnanamaya Kosha and connect with YOUR inner teacher/guide. Book your mat today!
February 25th, 7pm - 9pm
Week 4: The Wisdom Body, Vijnanamaya Kosha
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.
Cost: 2 sessions from package or drop in $56
* Cancellation for February 11th should be done 3 days prior or you will be charged for late cancellation.
Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA