Emotions – the manamaya kosha

We all have things we don’t like or appreciate about ourselves. Whether its the chocolate biscuit stash or the attitude to our boss there are just some things that don’t fit into our ideals of perfection. On the one hand our emotions are what make our lives rich, interesting and exciting – on the down side they can also pull us into feelings of inadequacy and weakness. So what to do?

Emotions, in yogic terms, is referred to as the Manamaya Kosha or layer of emotions. This is how we ‘feel’ about our interactions and the world around us. It is the layer that starts to put our thoughts into action by feeling and experiencing. Combined with the next layer Vijnanamaya Kosha or our thoughts and judgements, this is how we perceive our world. Our expectations, projections and judgements are all coloured by – tainted by – our previous experiences.

In our Dru Yoga classes we have the opportunity to not only work with our physical and energy layers (anamaya and pranamaya koshas) but we can also start to ‘feel’ the qualities and emotions that are enhanced or precipitate from the postures and sequences.

In order to explain this – imagine that the body is an electrical circuit. There are many invisible wires running through the system – and when connected in a particular way they light up one, two or even several light bulbs. In the same way our yoga poses and sequences help to direct energy in a particular way through the body’s energy circuit to create specific results. Sometimes we may have blockages in the system manifesting as physical symptoms, and sometimes mental and emotional resistance; in which case Energy Block Release sequences will be helpful as a major part of your practice.

What we do in a yoga session is to gently guide our emotions, our thoughts, feelings and experiences in the same direction. Exerting a small amount of control and focus is great practice for when we step off the mat! It is said that our emotions, like the mind can be compared to a weak muscle – without direction it falls back on old habits – familiar ways of doing things, even if they are the longer and more laborious simply because it doesn’t want to have to learn something new. Its a ‘lazy’ muscle. Its like doing your all the financial accounts of a multi-million pound business in ledgers, by hand, with an old fountain pen because you don’t want to put the effort in to learn how to switch on and use a computer – even when its sitting next to you on the desk!

So now we come to the crucial point… What can we do to train and engage the mind and emotions in order for them to help us and not hinder us?

This is one of the best top tips I have come across through my work over the years.

Method One: Distraction by Gratitude!
If you find yourself in a quagmire of emotion and don’t know how to get yourself out – STOP thinking about how much you are stuck in the emotion – you are simply entrenching that habit more and more deeply! The key here is to start with GRATITUDE. I know I have mentioned this quality before, but it really is one of the most important foundations to a happy life!
1. Sit comfortably in a quiet space. If you want you can light a candle, whatever you can do to take you into your own space – ideally shut the door and turn off the phone too!
2. Think of someone you deeply love – this can be a partner, a child, a friend or a member of your family. For this exercise choose someone you have a personal relationship with.
3. Really start to feel you love of that person in your heart. Feel it growing and becoming stronger – almost as if you are turning up the volume.
4. Allow that feeling of love to change subtly so that you start to appreciate everything about them, their physical appearance, their personality, and the joy you feel in their presence. Allow appreciation to become a deeper feeling still – as it turns into gratitude that that person is a part of your life. Again really feel the quality of gratitude and you focus on that person.
5. Start to turn that feeling of gratitude inwards now toward you; who YOU really are. Start to appreciate and love things about yourself, just as you did about the other person. Hold a sense of gratitude that you are here on this earth, that you are living a wonderful life, that you have a fantastic body that carries you everywhere… Recognise that, in reality, you have everything that you need. Right here and now.
6. When you are ready slowly bring yourself back into the present moment, but if you can, hold on to that feeling of deep peace and appreciation.

I hope that this short concentration technique will help you to become more focused on the amazing being that you are so that you step out with confidence and strength into your life. Know that you ARE fantastic AS YOU ARE! Once you have that under your belt THEN we can start with directing those emotions to bring you even greater joy and success in your life.

Thanks, Anouschka.

P.s. If you would like more information about how to live you life in the best way possible – you may wish to consider the ‘Power to live your dreams’ course. With some of Dru’s most senior tutors, this course is designed to help you to gain the knowledge and tools to live your life in a place of total success. For more information email us today at hello@druworldwide.com

2 thoughts on “Emotions – the manamaya kosha

  1. Thank you Anouscha! What a very clear description of the manamaya kosha and its relevance in our yoga classes and of course in our own lives. This gratitude tecqnique is also wonderful..

  2. Pingback: We are all connected | Living Yoga Blog

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