The Subtle Sexuality of Undressing the 5 Koshas. ~ Nicole Carlin

Via on Apr 29, 2013

 

Photo credit: Dollen
Photo credit: Dollen

Whether you choose to think about the koshas as measurable physical or subtle layers of the body, or as a tool to understand the connection of the gross, anatomical body and the subtle, spiritual body, the koshas provide a framework for conceptualizing ourselves.

The koshas are energetic layers or sheaths that move from the outermost layer of skin to the deep spiritual core.

Much like the chakra system, the kosha layers come pre-packaged each with its own physiological function and psychology. In some respects the kosha layers mirror the psychology of the chakras. As I teach and write about the connection between yoga and sexuality, I love to use the koshas as a framework for dissecting human sexuality.

The koshas propel us from the feeling of flesh on skin, to the subtle movement of pranic energy throughout the body, to the transcendent state of a powerful orgasm, to communication practices that help when things get messy.

Annamaya kosha

The first layer of the koshas represents the physical body, including the skin, muscles, connective tissue, fat and bones. When you pinch the side of your waist and feel the skin and muscle under your fingers, that is annamaya kosha. For a lot of people the first layer might be where we spend the most time hanging out—in our physical senses.

This feels hot.

This feels good.

Sexually, the annamaya kosha relates to the physical sensation of sex and arousal, with little analysis, emotional or spiritual depth.

Pranamaya kosha

The second layer represents the pranic or subtle body. It also includes the fluid, physical aspects of the anatomical body that control the movement of blood, lymph and cerebrospinal fluid through the body and the circulatory movement of breath through the respiratory system.

Awareness of the pranamaya kosha can help you discover your own individual, fluid, wave-like sexual rhythm and help synchronize that rhythm with your partner by matching your physical movements or synchronizing your breath.

Manomaya kosha

The third layer takes us into the deep recesses of the mind, emotions and nervous system. While modern science has developed an acute understanding of the inner working of the brain, the mind, motivations and emotions still retain a mysterious quality.

The manomaya kosha makes up the control panel for the emotional and physical body, sending messages through your brain synapses and the central nervous system. It’s this layer where you move from physical feeling and rhythm to emotional feeling. Instead of simply feeling pleasure during sex or orgasm, you connect a physical feeling to an emotional state.

I feel in love.

I feel disappointed.

I feel insecure.

I feel safe.

Vijanamaya Kosha

Diving underneath the sea of emotions in the manomaya kosha, we reach the wisdom body of the fourth kosha: Vijanamaya. From this layer, we develop awareness, insight and consciousness. Emotions left unchecked by awareness are destructive.

The awareness of vijanamaya kosha illuminates our deeper desires and motivation and allows us to see the choice we have in all things. Instead of simply feeling or acting, we choose to feel or act with intention. Sometimes the intention is simply to move past the emotion into pure sensation and bliss.

If I notice during oral sex that I’m feeling insecure about how I taste and feel, I’m stuck in my emotional body. I’m no longer feeling the full capacity and pleasure and am stuck “in my head.”

With intelligent awareness, I might remind myself that I’m an absolute goddess and my partner loves going down on me. I acknowledge my emotion and with a kiss goodbye, release it. I allow myself to settle down and truly feel what it’s like to have a hot, darting, playful tongue licking my clitoris.

Anandamaya kosha

The fifth and last kosha drops from conscious awareness into the pure and radiant bliss body. Within the anadamaya kosha, you might experience connection with all things, liberation from suffering and a state of being often described as “in the flow.” I often drop into my anadamaya kosha in the buildup to and during an orgasm—when it feels like the fabric of my body is transparent and my entire body becomes one huge, pulsating orgasm.

Throughout the day, minute by minute notice yourself shifting between the koshas layers.

Right now I feel hot.

Right now I’m paying attention to my breathing.

Right now I feel upset.

Right now I understand why I reacted that way yesterday.

Right now I’m deep in meditation.

Yoga helps you to create a track to the deeper subtle kosha layers, so they’re easier to access, both throughout the day and during sex. As asana prepares the outer body, yogic breathing exercises turn your attention to the pranic body. Philosophic tools target awareness to your fluctuating emotional state of mind, so you can embody and radiate sexual health and bliss.

 

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Ed: Sara Crolick/Kate Bartolotta

 

About Nicole Carlin

Nicole Carlin is an international bestselling author who teaches laser-lucid business, writing + marketing skills for yoga teachers through her signature program “Namaste MBA.” A skilled web + logo designer, she creates gorgeous custom websites and creative branding for yoga teachers, conscious entrepreneurs + hippy mamas. She is the author of Chakra Detox and the editor of digital culture magazine, GEOMETRY. Connect with Nicole: via email at nicolecarlinyoga@gmail.com, her websiteFacebook and Twitter.

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4 Responses to “The Subtle Sexuality of Undressing the 5 Koshas. ~ Nicole Carlin”

  1. Shizzle says:

    Really? Yoga and sexuality? I think this is a new low…

  2. Jinny says:

    Interesting points of view Nicole that really bring the koshas to life … good for you for getting them out there!

  3. mariavlong says:

    So like a kosha striptease huh? You do not come across as having a deep understanding or respect of the subject matter.

  4. Nicole Carlin Nicole says:

    It’s unfortunate that some readers will find the analysis of yoga and sexuality negatively triggering. I believe that yoga is a powerful tool to help us process and navigate every inch of our human experience — sex included. As a yoga teacher with a postgraduate degree in Sexuality, I always treat my research with the respect it deserves.

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