Universal Yoga (UY) is not about Andrey Lappa, nor his style of teaching, though those ingredients are contained within the system. Neither is UY about the interweaving of ranges of mobilities, asanas, positions in space, vinyasas, bandhas, mudras, mantras and yantras, though those ingredients are also present.

At its core, UY is the brilliant systematization of all the essential laws and rules of authentic yoga with the goal being spiritual liberation. If you peek under the surface of all the known yoga systems, you see overlapping, common elements. A main overlapping element is the concept of the mayakoshas – or sheaths of every human being. “Maya” means illusion. “Kosha” means sheath. You are not these sheaths, rather, you are a soul/consciousness experiencing these layers

The three main bodies of every human (1) material body, 2) astral/nervous system body and 3) causal/soul body) give rise to the seven sheaths (mayakoshas) which mirror the seven layers of the cosmos. The first five layers are manifest, while the last two are unmanifest. Layers 3-7 are “mind” layers. Here they are in English and Sanskrit:

1st matter/body (anna) manifest
2nd energy/CNS (prana) manifest
3rd emotion (manas) manifest
4th intellect (vijnana) manifest
5th bliss (ananda) manifest
6th consciousness (chit) unmanifest
7th being (sat) unmanifest

In UY, we look through the lens of 7 layers, rather than just 5 because we include the last two unmanifest layers of the cosmos – “Sat” – the layer of being, and “Chit” – the layer of pure consciousness. After all, the final state of enlightenment has the name “sat-chit-ananda”. It links the manifest with the unmanifest.