Published on May 28th, 2019 | by Catherine Tingey0
What is Prana?
What is Prana?
In Sanskrit, prana means breath. Pranayama translates as movement or regulation of the breath.
While the breath is the material expression of prana, prana also has an energetic component.
Prana encompasses spirit energy, or life force, and is contained within all animate and inanimate objects.
Asana practice, as well as breathing techniques like Ujjayi breath, Breath of Fire, and Single Nostril breathing move energy through the body’s nadis, or channels in Sanskrit.
The movement of prana throughout the body is considered essential for vitality.
In a healthy and balanced organism, prana moves freely through the nadis and chakra system. Blockages in energy where prana is interrupted can cause emotional issues, physical ailments and eventually, disease.
The chinese acupuncture system is also built on the idea of movement of qi/chi /prana through meridians.
A person with active prana will exhibit vigor, vitality and a strong life force energy.
An often overlooked yet significant cause of blocked prana is agitation of the mind. The inability to focus, a mind that dwells excessively in negativity, or a highly distracted mind adversely affect the flow of prana.
This is why the ultimate goal of yoga is removal of the fluctuations of the mind (yogas chitta vritti nirodha).
There are many ways to strengthen your prana.
- Yoga practice
- Clean water daily
- Living foods, including a balance between cooked and raw foods
- Regular sweating and exercise
- Meditation to reduce fluctuations of the mind
- Limited use of central nervous system depressants (alcohol, cannabis), benzodiazepines
- *Advanced: study and practice of bandhas/root locks to contain prana