Prana, the Cosmic Life-Force

"We shall not get the most out of life until we discover our own divinity and attunement with all living things." Chitrabhanu

The first known references to the word "prana" appeared between the 5th and 2nd century BCE written in Sanskrit in the Bhagavad Gita (ancient Indian sacred scriptures). "Prana" loosely translates as "life-force" or "breath". The Sanskrit word breaks down into "pra" (constant) and "an" (motion). So the specific word "prana" means constant motion or constant movement.

riding the cow hartwig hkd Image source: Hartwig HKD on Flickr

In the digital world where technology rules, we are often surprised to learn that most ancient belief systems are based on some common Eastern principles. For instance, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is founded on the concept that the fundamental energy of life is "chi". Likewise, Ancient India in the Ayurveda tradition identifies this energy as "prana". Every living thing is infused with prana. It is believed that prana comes from the energy and "light" of the sun and connects all the elements in the known universe. This constant motion/movement is the body's life-force and source of all life, heat and maintenance.

This idea is key to Ayurveda (ancient Hindu, modern Jainism). It is believed that this life-giving force enters the body at the moment of birth. Prana is in every part of the body until the body dies. It is your prana that connects the body, mind, and spirit. This is the energy force necessary to keep all the living beings alive.

The Nadis

Prana is infused and moves through the body through 3 primary channels. Actually, it is in every part of the body as long as there is life, but it enters the body flows through the nadis. The 3 nadis are within the structure of the spinal cord.

vastu gustavo peres Image source: Gustavo Peres on Flickr

One is called ida (mental energy), another is pingala (pranic energy) and the third is sushumna (spirit consciousness). These three nadis originate in mooladhara chakra (known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as the Root Chakra). Pingala nadi flows to the right from the mooladhara chakra and continues to interweave with the ida at each chakra all the way up to ajna chakra, or the third-eye chakra (sixth primary chakra according to Hindu tradition).

Nourish Your Prana!

The universal life-force energy (prana) that comes alive within you can be nurtured and nourished to provide a healthy, joy-filled life. In the human body, our prana is fed and nourished by the lungs and the colon.

doce encontro gustavo peres Image source: Gustavo Peres on Flickr

As we breath in through our lungs we draw in and absorb the essence of prana in the air we breath. When we eat the colon absorbs the prana found in good well digested food to replenish itself. Through eating and breathing we nourish the prana that we are born with. Feeding the mind and body feeds the spirit and assures good health and happiness.

The Yoga-Prana Dynamic

The nadis are vital in the practice of yoga. Yoga is a mental, physical, and spiritual discipline and practice. It is believed to have originated through Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. Keep in mind that the practice of Yoga can also lead to meditative states and heightened awareness.

yoga pose tim cigelske Image source: Tim Cigelske on Flickr

Yoga has been called the "moving meditation". In more modern times yoga has been proven to reduce the blood pressure, enhance the health and reduce stress and pain. Most people who practice yoga seek change.

Whether they are trying to change their bodies or their state of mind, yoga typically helps. To change something, we must change the energy which creates it. This is true in the ancient practice of Yoga. To bring about positive changes in mind, body and spirit we must understand the prana energy dynamic that directs them.

Healing Energy

Prana is not only the life force, it is also a very powerful healing force. This energy when sent from one person to another has the possibility of healing the physical body. We are all part of a universal energy, but it requires focus and awareness to become a healer.

healing jihopgood Image source: Jihopgood on Flickr

You must be intentional. It takes a conscious effort to create an enhanced prana energy source to transmit to someone else for the purpose of healing or making positive changes. To build healing energy requires meditation. Through your own life source energy you must become more aware of the universal prana. Although you are always united through your prana, it requires the practice of meditation to truly draw from the universal prana a refined energy called "shakti".

"Let us concentrate on the treasure of joy that is within us…The light we seek in church and temple we must find within ourselves, through meditation. We find the wellspring in ourselves, not outside. Man is evolution, becoming conscious of itself. Vision and inspiration will come as we meditate…" Chitrabhanu

Meditation

It requires effort for us to align ourselves to universal prana, primarily because we have limited awareness that often begins and ends with the human body. By controlling our breathing and taking deep cleansing breaths, we are feeding our own prana with an energy known as prana shakti.

from the heart to the sun peter zuco Image source: Peter Zuco on Flickr

This energy that we are adding to our life-force prana affects the brain. It is supposed to create the "awakening" effect in our brains and consciousness. Everything is made up of energy. Although you can't see prana energy, it is within and surrounding all things.

We can't see radio waves or electromagnetic fields, but they are also a part of our environment. In most cases, to truly attune yourself to the universal prana, you must be able to reach a higher state of consciousness through meditation.

By controlling the breathing, the mind is elevated to an Alpha state or an awakening. In meditation, awareness becomes focused. With focus, you can develop a heightened awareness of light (which is the physical manifestation of prana). You may see and experience this light with your mind's eye or in the physical world.

As you continue to breathe, the light grows in size and intensity. Allow it to surround you and envelope your consciousness. This is the place where you may connect to the universal prana energy.

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