Vacationing at the beach is something I look forward to all year, and the week before leaving the mundane activities at work and at home is filled with anticipation of hitting the sand and water again. After the trip down and settling into our space that we will call home-base for the week, I rush down to the beach and immediately sense that something is different. My senses have shifted, there is a new found awareness and understanding of why I connect with this place so deeply.
The morning of our first day here I was motivated to send my first live broadcast via Facebook to share some of my experiences (see link below). In putting together the pieces I could now easily see that taking a break from the routines back at home I could do all the things I love to do without other distractions or the needs of others. When thinking about this I realized that this trip heals the wounds of the previous year through the Kosha Model, 5 "sheaths" that lead to bliss.
Beginning with the physical/food body, Annamaya kosha, movement is important to me and there is plenty of time to bike or run, hit the gym and attend a yoga or Pilates class. Nourishing this layer with good food is also so much easier down here, there are so may good options within walking distance. And yes, this includes the bakery. And ice cream. And fudge!
Pranamaya kosha is our energetic layer, and here identifying with the power of the sun and the surf to recharge is how I connect with cleansing. When laying on the beach the mind sheath, or manomaya kosha is nourished by practicing sensory withdraw, disconnecting from the internet, wifi, my children, others around me and connecting with a good read.
The forth sheath is called vijnanamaya kosha and relates to the our intellect, higher levels of thinking, discernment and will. For this meditation is my go to, and I brought a mantra with me and recently discovered a great mantra practice in the book that is guiding me at the moment (more on that in a book review). Walking meditation is also extremely powerful and I have been enjoying walking at the waters edge simply taking one step at a time, noticing the breath and my connection to the Earth.
Lastly, but by no means least, the bliss body. Anandamaya kosha is accessed after a good swim in the ocean, heading back to the beach towel and drifting into a state of semi-consciousness, finding samadhi, if for only a few minutes before drawn away by the screech of a seagull, or the lure of pizza for dinner. And we start back where we began.