Running through the Koshas

I ran 9 miles a few weeks ago, so I had plenty of time to think during that run. Which is how I came up with this subject. There are 5 Koshas, so it fit perfectly.

What is a Kosha, you ask? According to most Yoga philosophy, you have 5 bodies (some philosophy actually says 10!):

  1. Annamaya (Physical, literally translated as food body)
  2. Pranamaya (Breath or vital life force body)
  3. Manomaya (Mental body, including your thoughts & emotions)
  4. Vijnanamaya (Wisdom or intuitive body)
  5. Anandamaya (Bliss body)

These bodies are all seen as interconnected, but as I ran this run I realized that I was running in and out of the various bodies at different points during this run. Hey, that thought kept me going 9 miles!


I’m linking up with My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I’m sharing 5 bodies according to Yogic Philosophy.

1: Annamaya
My first mile of many runs tends to be slow. It takes me a while to warm up. Plus I swear that first mile seems to go on forever! After about 6 miles I was dealing with some almost-cramping in one calf, and that definitely had me in Annamaya Kosha for much of the last 3 miles!

2: Pranamaya
I had made it a goal to take it easy for this run, and really pay attention to my breath. I was trying to keep my HR on the lower side (although I never actually checked it) — since my Garmin dumped those first 6 miles, I don’t know how successful I was on the HR, but I do know I took it easy and I did pay close attention to my breath.

3: Manomaya
The fact that I came up with the idea for this post while running makes it pretty clear that I was definitely in my mental body at times!

4: Vijnanamaya
Tapping into the wisdom body can be a hard thing for runners sometimes. We want to push things. We want to complete our planned workouts and runs. Listening to our body’s wisdom is usually more important than completing workouts exactly as written. If we tap into that, we often can tell whether the planned run is right, whether we need to drop some miles, run for fun instead of what’s on our schedule — or skip a run entirely.

5: Ananadamaya
One of the blissful moments of this run for me was running back down the really big hill. It’s a relatively flat path, and I chose it for that reason — although the really big hill is also long hill with rolling hills after it. I decided to head in that direction because I knew once I turned around, I’d be running downhill (or a slight decline) for most of the rest of the run.

Running downhill is one of my favorite things to do. I know lots of runners really fear the downhills, but I guess it just makes me feel fast! There were other times during this run when there was just a smile on my face — even towards the end of the run.

Final Thoughts
I had never thought of the tie-in between the Koshas and running before this run, but it became really obvious to me as I was running. I think it’s something I will try to tap into more on the run going forward. 

Can you relate parts of your running to the Koshas? 

Which Kosha do you think you spend the most time in?

Which Kosha would you like to spend the most time in?

16 thoughts on “Running through the Koshas

  1. This was interesting, and I’ll think about during my long run on Sunday. I definitely cycle through the different bodies as I run (I think we all do.) I’m curious to know what the 10 bodies are in other philosophies!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had never heard of the Koshas before so this was a learning experience for me- thanks for the info! I probably spend the most time in the mental state but I seem to bounce between that and the wisdom state. I’ll often do a body scan and see if there are any problem areas, especially if I’m struggling on a run. If everything is good physically, then I tell my brain the reason I’m struggling must be because of the hills or the heat, or other circumstance out of my control.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No idea.

    I almost always do my long runs with friends. We chat the whole time.

    If I’m alone, I try to catch up on my podcasts. So far behind on those.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve explained this soooo beautifully Judy! This reminds me of a conversation I had with Ditiro after our race on Saturday. I used it as a training run but he raced it. When we were talking about our runs, he said he had had the perfect run – he was in complete tune with his breath, body, mental state which I guess ultimately led to the most blissful run. I will share this blog with him today as I think it will totally resonate with what he experienced on that run!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what a lot of people call the flow state — and it’s so rare! I have had it happen, but not often. There was a race when I kept singing to myself “this is gonna be the best race of my life” — and it was, up to that point.

      Now, if only we could bottle that!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s