I sometimes get asked “What is Aloha Yoga?”  This is a good question!  “Aloha Yoga Retreats and Workshops” is a collaborative project that I run with Jackie Dorrian (Jagdambe Ma), Swansea based yoga teacher and Ayurvedic therapist.

“Little did we know that 4 years after meeting on a Yoga Retreat in Kerala that our lives would be completely different and we would be working together to deliver “Aloha Yoga Retreats and Workshops”. Whilst we teach different yoga styles and our therapies are from different parts of the world, we have common aims and our work complements each other.  We have some exciting plans in the pipeline including a Summer Retreat on Dartmoor, Music Festivals and a Retreat in Spain.” explains Jackie

“Aloha Yoga” forms a significant part of our annual calendar and we host a wide range of activity.  We aim to seamlessly combine our knowledge, experience and modalities to create spaces where our guests can rejuvenate, re-focus, relax and to help students find the best and most positive sense of themselves.  Working together with another yoga teacher gives our students the opportunity to experience different styles of yoga.  Most importantly our work is fun and playful so you have a completely safe space to explore your practice and take what you need from the sessions.

Our upcoming workshops take place in Exeter on Sun 6 April and Swansea on Sat 17 May.  We aim to deliver something different each time and these upcoming workshops will centre around a 5 Koshas (Sheaths) class.

Kosha means collection, there are 5 layers/sheaths of our being.  Our physical body is a small part of our being, there are additional layers to our body.  In Yoga we work with the whole being.   During our 5 Koshas class we will use a sequence of postures in repetition to work through our different Koshas to discover ourselves in new and transformative ways.

We will focus on physical alignment, incorporating our breath, quieting our mind and moving to relaxation in the beautiful asana Savasana and finishing with meditation. We trust you will experience the deepest level of our being, an unbounded, blissful state of peace, joy and love.  The workshop will also include the exploration of a hands-on self healing technique.

The 5 Koshas

Physical – Annamaya kosha ~ Anna means food. All of the physical aspects of life come and go, and are consumed by another aspect of external reality. Thus, the outermost of the koshas is called the sheath of food.

The foods you eat and liquids you drink help to build the shape of your cells and therefore the shape of your body.

Energy – Pranamaya kosha ~ Prana means energy. It is the vital force that produces the subtle vibrations related to breath, and which are the driving force behind the physical aspect of the senses and the operation of the physical body.

Perhaps we could define the Breath Body as all of the gases in the body, which have come in through the breathing mechanism, which provide life force for the body.

This doesn’t just mean your lungs or respiratory system. The Pranamaya Kosha is woven throughout the matrix of your entire body.

Mental – Manamaya kosha ~ Mana means mind. It is the level of processing thoughts and emotions. It is in direct control of the operation, through the prana, of the physical body and senses.

After taking care of the physical body and training the energy flow of prana, the most important part to be trained in positive ways is this level of mind.

Wisdom – Vijnanamaya kosha ~ Vijnana means knowing. It is the sheath of wisdom that is underneath the processing, thinking aspect of mind. It knows, decides, judges, and discriminates between this and that, between useful and not useful. It is also the level of ego consciousness, meaning the powerful wave of I-am-ness.

This one is really interesting! The Wisdom Body could be considered the equivalent of our DNA. It’s the information that the cells of our body were born with. It’s the wisdom of being a living being that has been passed down to us through generations. This layer of the body is how the digestive system knows how to digest, how the circulatory system knows how to circulate, how the reproductive system knows how to reproduce. This knowledge is deep within our cells.

It may interact with what we eat, or the quality of air we breathe, but it is a wisdom that has been passed down to us. It predates our own individual, personal life in this body.

Bliss – Anandamaya kosha ~ Anandamaya kosha is the most interior of the koshas, the first of the koshas surrounding the Atman, the eternal center of consciousness. Ananda means bliss. However, it is not bliss as a mere emotion experienced at the level of the sheath of mind. Ananda is a whole different order of reality from that of the mind. It is peace, joy, and love that is underneath, beyond the mind, independent of any reason or stimulus to cause a happy mental reaction. It is simply being, resting in bliss called ananda.

Atman – Self ~ Atman is the Self, the eternal center of consciousness, which was never born and never dies.  The deepest light shines through the koshas, and takes on their colorings.  Atman, the Self, has been best described as indescribable.

For bookings:

Exeter:  Or email info@juliebladon.com for further information.

Swansea:  Call Jackie on 07531 918357, email info@swanseayoga.co.uk or visit www.swanseayoga.co.uk