The area used to be cover by the sea many thousands of years ago. It therefore has many layers of slate and sand in between which beautiful fossils can be found.
Whilst I sat there watching my girls looking for fossils and seeing all the layers, I began to think about the layers within our bodies.
It seemed so obvious that our planet earth was providing me with a wonderful insight.
We too have many layers of being.
In Yoga tradition we have 5 layers, called the 5 Koshas.
Each layer is a deeper, more subtle layer of the previous one.
Through Yoga practice we can keep each layer in good condition, which will allow us to live a fully balanced and healthy life as described in the Taittiriva Upanishad.
Physical layer, Annamaya Kosha
‘ Human beings consist of material body built from the food they eat. Those who care for this body are nourished by the universe.’
Energetic layer, Pranamaya Kosha
‘Inside this is another body made of life energy. It fills the physical body and takes its shape. Those who treat this vital force as divine experience excellent health and longevity because this energy is the source of physical life.’
Mental layer, Manamaya Kosha
‘Within the vital force is yet another body, this one made of thought energy. It fills the two denser bodies and has the same shape. Those who understand and control the mental body are no longer afflicted by fear.’
Wisdom layer, Vijnanamaya Kosha
‘Deeper still lies another body comprised of intellect. It permeates the three denser bodies and assumes the same form. Those who establish their awareness here free themselves from unhealthy thoughts and actions, and develop the self-control necessary to achieve their goals.’
Bliss, Anandamaya Kosha
‘ Hidden inside this is yet a subtler body, composed of pure joy. It pervades the other bodies and shares the same shape. It is experienced as happiness, delight and bliss.’
As you practice yoga, you are releasing blockages in one or more of these layers of the body.
This can be old memories – good or bad or emotions floating to the surface like tears or laughter.
So next time you practice yoga, bear this in mind and sense your way into your layers of being.