Panchakosha and Theraputic use of Yoga

Yoga is not just the physical exercise. To use yoga in therapeutic way one must know that how disease occurs in the body. And to know how disease occurs there is Panchakosha (5-layer) concept. Here I shall start with the concept of Panchakosha.

Panchakosa (Sanskrit: पञ्च कोश; “five sheaths”) from root pancha, “five” + kosha, “body” — is the “five bodies,” or discernible “aspects” of man, arranged successively from the grosser to the increasingly more subtle. There is annamaya-kosha, the kosha of matter, the physical vehicle. There is the pranamaya-kosha, the kosha of prana, the “vital” vehicle. There is manomaya-kosha, the kosha of manas, the mental vehicle. There is the vijnanamaya-kosha, the kosha of vijnana, the vehicle of Higher Reason. There is the anandamaya-kosha, the kosha of anand (joy or Cosmic Consciousness). And when that vehicle is well developed there is that self-realization which involves ultimate experience of Unity with All.

According to yoga cause of disease is stress.  After a lot of stress on human it first effects the manomaya-kosha , further it imbalance pranamaya kosha, now this vitiates the Gastro Intestinal system and cause different types of problems in digestion. Finally, the body becomes sick. This is a very brief way flowchart of body from stress to disease. To understand every steps google “IAYT concept of yoga”.


Annamaya kosha Matter Physical Physical body and senses
Pranamaya kosha Vital Air Energy Driving force behind the physical aspect of the senses and the operation of the physical body.
Manamaya kosha Mind Mental Processing, reason, logic and emotion.
Vijnanamaya kosha Ego and Intellect Wisdom Faculty which discriminates
Anandamaya kosha Center of Conciousness Bliss Independent of any reason or stimulus

The above table is to explain what really the Panchakosha are. The terms Matter, Vital air … etc do not give the exact meaning for the corresponding kosha , however it is the nearest possible meaning giving word.

Here I have made another table for the concept of therapeutic aspect.

Kosha Disharmony Harmony Practice
annamaya kosha Stimulation Relaxation Kriya, Aasana, IRT, QRT
pranamaya kosha Speed Slow down Pranayam, PET
manamaya kosha Mental agitation Calm down Meditation, Tratak, MSRT, MIRT
vijnanamaya kosha Confusion Wisdom Jnayana Yoga, Visaak
anandamaya kosha Disharmony of scilence Silence ANAaMS(Aananda Amrit Siddhi)


** For BAMS (Ayurveda) students; In my personal view, as I am also BAMS student, the syllabus of yoga in 2nd prof. must have the therapeutic ideas rather than theoretical. So I request all my friends to give attention about all the yoga practice given in the above table and get acquainted to IAYT concept of yoga too.

1 thought on “Panchakosha and Theraputic use of Yoga”

Leave a Comment