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A Yoga Sequence for Your Physical Body—Annamaya Kosha

Our being is made up of three bodies — the gross or physical-energetic body, the subtle or mental-intuitive body, and the causal or spiritual-bliss body.  All three bodies need to be in constant communication with each other in order for us to function as a whole integrated being, that is, efficiently and effectively. 

The gross body disintegrates at death. The subtle body disintegrates at rebirth, allowing you to develop a new personality in your next life. The causal body reincarnates again and again, carrying your karma with it like luggage. It finally disintegrates at the time of liberation, when the higher Self disengages from the cycle of birth and death.    Linda Johnsen

These three bodies—gross, subtle and causal or spiritual—communicate with each other via our inner five sheaths or koshas—annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya and anandamaya. 

Our outermost material or physical sheath, the Annamaya kosha, consists of skin, flesh, fat, bones and the food we eat.  This dense sheath cannot exist without communication or contact with the other four energy-based koshas.  Yoga teaches that the Annamaya kosha, for the most part, is barely activated with regard to its highest evolutionary potential.  The obesity epidemic confronting the United States is one such example of unfulfilled potential in the Annamaya Kosha.

The INTENT of the Annamaya Kosha is STABILITY. The two actions practised in the yoga sequence below strengthen, ground and stabilize our physical sheath. Continue scrolling down through an illustrated sequence here.

Actions: 

  1.  Grounding:  Lift (or draw a line) from the centre of the inner arch to the inner ankle, inner knee and inner trochanter.  Draw a line from the inner ankle to the outer heel.

CHAIR UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA I 5 Breaths/1m ea

  1. Fold forward
  2. Repeat to other side

CHAIR UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA II 5 Breaths/1m ea

  1. Right arm rests along inner knee
  2. Left arm reaches to wall
  3. Repeat to other side

CHAIR UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA III 5 Breaths/1m ea

  1. Right arm reaches along outer knee
  2. Torso twists and left arm extends to middle of room
  3. Repeat on other side

ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (down dog) 5 Breaths/1m

  1. Hands on chair seat
  2. Feel the difference between your right & left sides

to

HI LUNGE front foot on CHAIR                         5 Breaths/1m
to

CHAIR EKA PADA RAJA KAPOTASANA         5 Breaths/1m                      
Repeat on other side



CHAIR PARIVRTTA TRIKONASANA       5 Breaths/1m

Repeat on other side


CHAIR UTTHITA TRIKONASANA         5 Breaths/1m     

Repeat on other side

For each of the remaining poses, keep working with the grounding action and add the stabilizing action.
Actions: 

  1.  Grounding:  Lift (or draw a line) from the centre of the inner arch to the inner ankle, inner knee and inner trochanter.  Draw a line from the inner ankle to the outer heel.
  2. Stabilizing:  Draw the rectus abdominus up, from both sides of the pubic bone, to the xyphoid process.

BADDHA KONASANA                        10 Breaths, 2 m

MARICHYASANA III forward fold                 10 Breaths, 2 m

 Repeat on other side

TRIANG MUKHAIKAPADA PASCHIMOTTANASANA      10 Breaths, 2 m
1. Right leg in Virasana
2. Repeat to other side

PASCHIMOTTANASANA                          10 Breaths, 2 m
1. Begin in Dandasana
2. Fold forward with soles of feet into block

SAVASANA                                                                                    5-10 minutes

  1. Soften all six senses:
    • Soften inner lining of throat
    • Soften jaw
    • Soften tongue away from roof of mouth
    • Soften inner ear canals
    • Soften back of the eye balls
    • Soften space between the brows
  2. Scan body for sensation; soften areas of sensation
  3. Surrender to the silence and stillness
Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.

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