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!):
- Annamaya (Physical, literally translated as food body)
- Pranamaya (Breath or vital life force body)
- Manomaya (Mental body, including your thoughts & emotions)
- Vijnanamaya (Wisdom or intuitive body)
- 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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?