Kosas, pronounced "koshas", are layers of being. Like the little Russian dolls that fit inside one another, each one is within the next. This drawing is an attempt to illustrate the kosas. Annamaya kosa, the outermost later is the physical body-- muscles and bones. The next layer of being involves the flow of energies in the body in the form of physiological processes, called Pranamaya kosa. Then comes Manomaya kosa, our mind and emotions. Deeper yet comes vijnanamaya kosa, the intellectual layer of being. Most subtle, and undifferentiated, is anandamaya kosa, the blissful sheath of innermost self. The kosas are a way of categorizing the experience of embodiment, one way to intellectualize and understand our selves. When practicing asana (yoga postures), all layers of our self are present whether we are conscious of them or not. The inward journey of yogasana is the process of penetrating within, through each of these sheaths, toward the deepest self. Mindful yogasana practice gives us opportunities to work with ourselves on multiple levels.