As per Vedantic philosophy a ‘kosha’ is a rendered sheath, visualized as the layers of an onion, covering the Atman or Self.
The Pranamaya Kosha is the second layer in the five layered kosha model. This sheath is the more modifiable layer, similar to the first layer ie Annamaya kosha. This sheath is composed of Prana or the subtle life force and governs the energetic body, breath and the movement of the physical body.
Pranamaya kosha is subtle yet it can easily be felt. One can identify with the feeling of easy deep breathing and how different it is when the breathing is heavy and labored. To develop the Pranamaya kosha, breath awareness needs to be brought into daily life. Getting initiated in a Yoga class as one becomes aware of one’s breath as they move through the postures and connect further through pranayama practices. This awareness needs to be taken off the mat, throughout the day.
As one engages in conscious deep breathing, making it a habit, you will find the Pranamaya kosha strengthening and as a result there is a shift in the energies that underline thoughts, conversations and other actions. Our breath has a direct link with emotions and deep breathing calms the mind making it centred and balanced. On the contrary when the breath is rapid and shallow there is a disturbance in the Pranamaya kosha which affects the next layer ir the Mnaomaya kosha which is a manifestation of the mind.
So, it is true when we say that ‘breathe right to think right.’
Meditation practices also develop the Pranamaya kosha as the subtle pranic energies come together when we sit quietly with our breath. Breath is a powerful tool available to us throughout the day so using it correctly can go a long way in giving us that peace from within.