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Yin Yoga for the Koshas

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Challenge Overview

According to yoga tradition, every individual has five koshas (or sheaths) that range from the densest part of our being (the physical body) to the most subtle (the bliss body). If we intend to live a balanced, healthy life, the tradition says it’s important to attend to all of our bodies.

In this enlightening and joyful program, Ellen guides you through an experience of the koshas through the practice of yin yoga. For each kosha, you’ll do a sequence of familiar prop-supported yin poses designed to help you connect with the qualities of that sheath. You’ll do hip-openers, heart-openers, inversions, twists, forward bends, and more.

There are five thirty-minute practices: Annamaya Kosha Yin (for the physical body), Pranamaya Kosha Yin (for the life force body), Manomaya Kosha Yin (for the body of the instinctive mind), Vijnanamaya Kosha Yin (for the wisdom or intellect body), and Anandamaya Kosha Yin (for the bliss body). Throughout the practices, Ellen offers you suggestions, visualizations, and reflective questions to support your integration of the mental and/or physical aspects of each sheath.

Enjoy this calming exploration of yoga philosophy, yin, and your own personal experience.

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Challenge Outline

2hrs to complete

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Section 1
  • In this grounding class, you’ll focus on the first of the five koshas (the “layers,” or “sheaths” that the yoga tradition describes as making up the whole of our individual beings): the annamaya kosha (the physical or “food” body). You’ll do a supine hip-opening warm-up, followed by swan and half dragonfly—both hip-opening yin poses. Along the way, Ellen encourages you to pay attention to your natural alignment and how your body feels in each pose.
Section 2
  • In this breath-focused class, you’ll explore the second of the five koshas: pranamaya kosha (the “life force body”). You’ll begin with a block-supported hero pose, tuning in to the feeling of your breath in your body. Then, you’ll do crocodile pose to continue this exploration before moving into sphinx pose, a “quarter down dog” variation, a twisted forward fold, and a block- and bolster-supported inversion. Throughout the practice, Ellen invites you to visualize your breath moving in different ways throughout your body. Enjoy this opportunity to spend quality time with your breath.
Section 3
  • Props: blocks, blanket In this mindful yin class, you’ll focus on the third of the five koshas: the manomaya kosha (the “instinctive mind body”). You’ll do a block-supported standing forward bend, a dragon (lunge) sequence that includes twists, caterpillar pose, easy pose, and more. Throughout the practice, Ellen encourages you to observe your thoughts and how they relate to your physical experience of the poses. She also provides helpful suggestions for you to consider as you reflect on your mental inclinations.
Section 4
  • In this class, you’ll explore the fourth of the five koshas: the vijnanamaya kosha (the “wisdom body” or “intellect body”). You’ll do a seated forward bend, a supported bridge pose and variations of it, a supine full-body stretch, sphinx pose, shoelace pose, and more. You’ll have a chance to pause between poses to digest your experience and, with Ellen’s guidance, cultivate a balanced approach to the practice that will help you connect with your “highest self.”
Section 5
  • Props: blanket, blocks, bolster In this class, you’ll focus on the fifth kosha: the anandamaya kosha (the “bliss body”). You’ll begin with a block- and bolster-supported bound angle pose where Ellen will guide you to let go of tension and relish in the sweet stillness this pose invites. You’ll then move into a twist, followed by a supported dragonfly, a supine side-body opener, and more. Enjoy this calming experience and use it to reflect on what makes you feel joyful.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Ellen Mosko
Ellen's teaching style is an interactive mix of attentive alignment, fluid movement, and breath awareness.... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this challenge in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This challenge is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Challenge completion.
No prerequisites are required; this challenge is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the challenge is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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