The Koshas Pt.3 – Manomaya Kosha by Gillian Taylor
Manomaya Kosha refers to our mental body - our emotions, our mind, thoughts etc. Our mind can be helpful or harmful depending on how we train it and also what we have absorbed over the years from life. Yoga often helps us become more connected, mindful and aware of our thought patterns.
In our yoga practice, our mind will come up with constant thoughts about our practice, and what it perceives to be good or not. Our mind is constantly delivering us information, judgements and thoughts about everything. Monkey Mind is the term used when our thoughts jump through and churn around in our mind. This is one of the reasons we put so much emphasis on the breath in yoga. The mind needs something to focus on and our breath can keep the mind focused, steady and calm. We are training our mind. Yoga Sutra 1.2. says “Yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodhah.” “Yoga is the restriction of the fluctuations of consciousness.”
In a yoga practice meditation brings focus and clarity to the mind. . Most often this is done sitting in silence.. In the 8 Limbs of yoga this focus inward is called pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses. Many of us struggle with this and our Manomaya Kosha is over stimulated due to the endless steam of information that infiltrates our minds in today’s world via the technology we have access to. Yoga and meditation practice helps us to bring balance back into our mental body, finding contentment and peace. This requires continued practice, but through this we open the door to our subconscious mind and strengthen Manomaya Kosha.