Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh
The second sheath, holiday box, or matryoshka is the Pranamaya Kosha. You may recognize the word prana, which translates into energy or life force. Maya means “made of.” The compound word takes on the meaning of made of energy or life. This sheath invigorates and holds together the body and mind, creating the connection and the pathway to either delusion or self-realization. People often over-identify with the Annamaya Kosha (physical body) and Pranamaya Kosha, and consider the physical body, and the life force that animates it the source of their existence. These Koshas are much more than that and are part of a greater system that leads to self-realization.
The Pranamaya Kosha animates the true self to operate and move through the external world. The self of equanimity and balance. Often, the physical self and the sensations that come with it override the connection to the internal self, and only through moving meditation such as asana or pranayama or other meditative practice are we able to go inward through the other Koshas, into the very essence of our being. We have to work through and overcome our sensations to go deeper.
How is prana created? For the human body, it is created via food, water, and breath. Prana is considered to be in all things; that is where the idea of oneness comes into play even in inanimate objects. The sun is considered to have the most prana in some ancient texts, and the source for which all is delivered and connects to the universe. Prana is cosmic energy.
Have you ever noticed after practicing pranayama or yoga that you feel more invigorated or balanced in body and mind? These practices recharge your Pranamaya Kosha and release the tension in your Annamaya Kosha.
When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.