This week’s blog is focused on the juicy aspects of teaching yoga. If you’re ready to help your students feel good emotionally and mentally then read more!
And remember, when you bring this into your class, teach just 1 pose at a time focusing on the Manomāyākośa and the Vijñanamāyākośa.
People typically come to yoga for the physical benefits and stay because of how yoga impacts the Manomāyākośa. Put bluntly, yoga makes you feel great!!!! You feel mentally clear and emotionally up-beat. That’s what keeps students coming back over and over again.
Our mental body “feeds” on the sense impressions you offer it. If you supply your third sheath with a continuous stream of violent movies or video games, it begins to crave aggressive forms of stimulation and may become more agitated and less sensitive to the suffering of others. If you “feed” it too much work, then it may cause you to feel anxious or exhausted.
Your yoga class will help “feed” the mental body with love, peace and harmony.
How to teach the Manomāyākośa:
Since you routinely operate from this level, a yoga teacher can easily impact this kośa through the studio environment. Upon entering a studio or a class, all five senses are engaged. Music choices, lighting, scents, studio cleanliness and instructor appearance all naturally impact the manomāyākośa. As a teacher, strive to provide a harmonious and positive experience free from as many distractions as possible.
Your verbal cues can also bring awareness to this mental sheath. Your cues can help a student go inside and ask themselves questions to bring about more awareness of their mental sheath and routine responses.
Example cues for the Manomāyākośa:
First Cakra – “As you stand in mountain pose, what does your foundation feel like? Are you in a period of transition where your foundation is shaky? Do you feel stuck in your foundation?”
Triangle – “A triangle is a balanced 3-sided object. How do you balance the various dimensions in your life? For example, how do you balance your triangle of work-home-family?
Tree Pose – “In your tree pose, are you grasping the mat with your toes? Are there any areas of your life where you’re grasping? How can you relax and find stillness and steadiness?”
This is the wisdom body. With continued practice, you usually begin to shift into the Vijñanamāyākośa. At this level, you shift from a primary I-ness to a primary One-ness. You start to shift into becoming a witness of your emotions and feelings-instead of feeling like life is happening TO you, we begin to feel like you are in control of life and are fully experiencing BEING in life.
An example of an underdeveloped fourth sheath is someone who doesn’t seem in control of his/her life, constantly reacting to situations rather than responding proactively. This person may have a hard time thinking for his/herself and is constantly a victim of his/her own poor judgment.
As a human, you have the ability to direct your own life. You are able to make moral choices. By living according to the principles of yoga, you free yourself from the victim mindset and are able to respond to life rather than react to it.
Example cues for the Vijñanamāyākośa:
First Cakra – “As you prepare for your class today, choose to feel safe. Things may not be perfectly stable in your life right now, but choose, in this moment, to feel safe in your practice and in this space. You have the power to choose how you feel in this moment.”
Triangle – “Confidently, step your right foot forward into the power of your Self.”
Tree – “Fix your awareness on a stationary spot. Once you feel stable and safe, start to change the position of your arms, extending them above your head. Find your steadiness and stability before you find change in life.”
Next week, we will finish up the kosa’s with the deepest layer, the Ānandamāyākośa.
Also, make sure you follow me on IG @allisonrissel where I’ll be giving example cues every Thursday and Friday.