In yogic theory, human is made up from five layers, or dimensions, called the koshas. I’ve written about the koshas in my personal blog a while ago. Just a short recap here, the five koshas are:
- Annamaya kosha / the food body – the physical dimension (bone, muscle, blood, fluids, organs, glands, nervous system)
- Pranamaya kosha / the energy body – the energetic dimension. What’s called prana, chi, qi, ki, lifeforce energy
- Manomaya kosha / the lower mind – the individual mind dimension. The executive day-to-day operating system
- Vijnanamaya kosha / the higher mind – the wisdom, intuition dimension. Connects with the universal, less individual
- Anandamaya kosha – the bliss body – the essence, the awareness.
In modern times we use the term ‘mind, body, & soul’ to describe human as a whole. It is pretty similar with the koshas framework, body is the physical part (annamaya), mind is the manomaya & vijnanamaya. Soul, this is my limited understanding of it, soul or spirit is partly vijnanamaya and partly anandamaya.
What’s bringing these three dimension together into one human? It’s the prana, the lifeforce energy. Prana began when there is conception, and as long as there is prana, the three dimension are bound together. Prana is like the glue, the binding. When there is no more prana, the binding disintegrate, mind loses it’s individuality, soul goes back to it’s source, and body starts to decompose and return back to earth.
To live as a human in the best way possible, all the dimensions ideally are in their maximum functioning capacity. All the dimensions are ideally aligned, in tune, in harmony with each other. When the layers within are in harmony, then one can start to be in harmony with the things outside (the environment, other beings, etc).
How? Work on each individual dimension, and also work on the glue that bring them all together. Work on the body, mind, soul, and work on the prana.