Ānanda 2017

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img_1051“….the bliss sheath, made up of pure joyous awareness.” -The Upanishads

Ananda, or bliss in Sanskrit, is a part of our yoga practice. Last time I talked about it I covered the basic meaning (click here to read). This time around I wanted to mention the concept of the Anandamaya Kosha, the bliss or awareness layer. The Koshas represent layers of consciousness. (click here for more info on koshas) This layer is a reflection of the atman or the pure blissful Self. This part of our awareness is active during sleep and dream states. We can also connect to it through devotional practices, such as yoga, spirituality, religion, or anything else that helps you on your spiritual path. This deep blissful level of ourself is at the core of our being. It is always there. Happiness comes from within. When we lose track of our bliss, we are usually lost in the whirling of the mind or the discomfort of the body.

“Bliss is a thing which is always there and is not something which comes and goes. That which comes and goes is a creation of the mind.”- Ramana Maharshi

There is a popular pose in yoga called Ananda Balasana, or happy baby pose. Some say it is in honor or Rama. He is said to have had a joyous heart, and he is a skilled warrior. His kingdom is lacking an heir, the queens can not conceive. With his birth and the birth of his brothers, he brings hope to his people. Each pose reminds us of a certain quality in life. This pose can help us remember that there is potential for growth even when we think there is none.  Babies and young children have a certain enthusiasm for life. They make us feel hopeful.  They are so full of potential. When we practice we are celebrating our ability to think, move and breathe. We are rejoicing in the experience of being alive. We are experimenting with our own potential to grow.

Connecting the the Anandamaya Kosha helps us connect to that sense of union or yoga. It is a direct reflection on the Self. What helps you feel blissful? When do you feel connected? What moments inspire you? What are your dreams?  choose to move towards bliss, to move closer to your Self and see where the path takes you. Remember it comes from within.

~love and light, Robin

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