Getting loopy

Have you ever experienced synchronicity with multiple dimensions in your life? What I mean is that when you notice one element, you start to see it in more than one place?


Perhaps, I can better explain with a metaphor from my own life.


I acquired a Boss RC-3 Looper Pedal last week as a ridiculously super early birthday present (thank you, mom and dad!), and I have been recording with it almost nonstop since it arrived on my doorstep. What I have found is that I have all of these musical, melodic voices inside of me that I had not really sensed before. Suddenly, I am inspired to clap and slap out rhythmic melodic lines, hum, and create harmonic riffs on my ukulele and with my voice.


Where did these voices come from? I suspect they have been waiting for me to discover them for some time now.


Just as my looper pedal came into my life, so too have the yogic seven energetic loops made themselves known in the Anusara training I have been taking for the past several weeks. These energetic loops are ways of moving the prana (life force) through my body in order to achieve maximum alignment in each asana and thus receive the greatest possible benefit from my on-the-mat yoga practice.


Of course, like all things yoga that have come into my life, I find the lessons I learn equally practical in my off-the-mat life as well. As I sit and type, I am thinking about my sternum and my upper back, my torso and upper thighs, my upper palate and the way I can tilt back my skull in order to lengthen my spine (aka, I am actively thinking about my posture and the way my yoga can improve upon the less healthy habits I have developed).


In addition to the musical and energetic loops I have been communing with, I am beginning to engage with my five maya kosha loops. Koshas are bodies that form tree ring like layers of circles inside of me. These bodies each have their own voice, some of which are louder and more insistent than others and thus receive more of my attention than those who may be more quiet and subtle.


These are my koshas (they are yours, too):


  1. Anamaya kosha, my physical body voice
  2. Pranamaya kosha, my energetic body voice
  3. Manomaya kosha, my mental body voice, my mind, my intellect
  4. Vijnana maya kosha, my intuitive, discerning body voice
  5. Ananda maya kosha, my bliss body voice, my true self, my identity


We spent time during the Sunday afternoon portion of yoga teacher training engaging in a meditative dialogue with these five voices. It reminded me of the exercises and dialogues I moved through while writing my dissertation. I spoke with my inner critic, my true inner self, and beyond. It took a lot of work to move beyond the incessant chatter of my inner critic to be able to hear the voice of my true inner self. I became so enmeshed in my research that I began talking with these voices on a regular basis, which could be construed as somewhat worrisome when one lives alone with one’s cats.


In the yogic context, my koshas seem like yet another way to practice self-care and self-reflection in the practice of cultivating a life of mindfulness, awareness, and intention. It is simply and complexly an added layer of paint on my canvas, layers of harmonies and rhythmic loops in the symphony of me.


And it is invigorating to continue peeling back the layers on this path of discovery I call life.

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