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What is Prana and How to Feel It www prena up in
www prena up in – Prana as universal energy exists not only in the channels of our subtle body, but everywhere. Explore how to consciously feel and direct prana in your body, breath, and the environment around you.
Prana can be a difficult thing to understand because it is not seen. However, feel. Through a clearer consciousness of what prana is and what is not, it is possible to connect more intimately with prana energy in a sense sense. When we connect with prana, we connect with the world around us and with our true selves.
This article clarifies the contexts in which prana occurs (the channels of the body, the chakras, in meditation and pranyama and around us) and explores different practices that work with prana. Discover free guided meditations that help you feel, balance and direct the prana within your body along the way.
What is Prana? www prena up in
Although prana is related to breathing, it is not breathing. Prana is energy that pulses finished the body along a network of subtle bodily channels. Similar to the central nervous system, the body’s subtle channels, or nadis, connect form and mind and act as a channel for energy, prana.
Prana in Context
There are over 3,000 years of orientations to prana that transcend cultures and spiritual traditions. Prana is a backbone of Hindu, Ayurvedic, Hatha Yoga and Tantric Yoga traditions, but similar references to “life force” are seen in the Chinese principle of chi, the ancient Roman anima, the pneuma of ancient Greece, the ruh of the Islamic religion. tradition, ruah of the Hebrew custom, and the Christian Holy Spirit.
While not the same as breath, prana is often defined as breathing or breathing. Additional definitions include life force, spirit energy, vital winds, internal winds, spirit or soul.
Some traditions identify five or ten different types of prana, related to energy moving in, energy moving out, energy up and down, or energy related to specific places in the body such as the head and throat, heart or digestion.
Prana and the Sun, Moon and Central Channels
Although each of us humans has a form body, our physical form, we also have a subtle or energetic body. The subtle body, which can be compared to the aura, extends beyond the physical body. This is what makes it possible to “light up a room” or intuitively perceive the energy of the other.
The subtle body central nervous system is a network of channels, or nadis, composed of a main central channel, two main side channels, the sun and moon, and, according to tradition, 72,000 or more smaller channels.
The Sun Channel
On the right side of the column is the sun channel, pingala, represented by the Sanskrit syllable ha. This dull reddish channel is where the energies of anger, jealousy, separation, aversion and ignorant displeasure flow, each of which is a “hot” energy associated with the sun.
As the downward energy associated with exhalation moves through the pingala channel, we experience a rejection of the outside world. “Ignorant” heartbreak is labeled as such because we mistakenly believe that getting rid of certain people or things will result in lasting happiness. The wise yogi comprehends that happiness comes from within.
On the left side of the column runs the moon channel, or ida, represented by the Sanskrit syllable tha. Flowing through the moon channel are the “cold” energies of desire, craving, clinging, and ignorant taste.
With the upward movement of prana through the ida channel, associated with inhalation, the mind is drawn towards the objects of desire, craving “ignorantly” for what it mistakenly believes will bring happiness. The yogi understands that happiness is an inner work and that lasting happiness is not found in impermanent objects or people.
The Central Channel
Directly in front of the spine is the central channel, sushumna or avadhuti, the channel of singing or trembling. The name is in part a orientation to the hum of pure bliss that arises when prana flows freely through this nadi.
Moving ha and tha energies from the side channels to the central channel is the ultimate goal of ha-tha yoga. Hatha yoga was originally an energetic practice designed to push and draw the inner winds into the dominant channel through physical manipulation of the body.
When prana flows freely in the central channel, we achieve samadhi, total integration. Wisdom, pure thoughts, complete joy and serenity flow through the central channel.
Attach to the pingala, ida, and sushumna channels in your body with these guided meditations that you can also easily find and bookmark in the Insight Timer app:
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Prana and the Chakras – www prena up in
Where the two chief side channels and their numerous “capillaries” wrap and intertwine around the central channel, they form wheel shapes or chakras. The points where these chakras cross the central channel can become bottlenecks, blocking the flow of prana. When we say that someone’s chakra is “block”, it is the central channel that block, with the chakra being the culprit.
Traditions vary in describing the exact location and number of chakras. Most Hindu civilizations name six or seven chakras, while Buddhists refer to five.
Both yoga and meditation release these bottlenecks or chakras by moving prana from the side channels to the central channel. As the side channel energy is minimiz, the “choking” effect disappears. In Insight Timer, you can discover and practice hundreds of free guided chakra meditations.
Feeling Prana in the Body
Physically, in a yoga class, as prana changes more freely, you may feel an electrical charge coursing through your body. When we “have chills” or an “instinctive feeling”, we are replying to prana and the sixth sense of the understated body.
We can also know what prana is doing by observing the breath. When the electricity of prana passes through the right channel, for example, it exits through the right nostril. At these times, the logical left side of the brain is most active. When the left nostril is active, it controls the creative right side of the brain.
Usually, one nostril or the other is leading, changing every hour. When we reach a state of nirvana, samadhi or complete preoccupation in meditation, we will finally breathe similarly through both sides of the nose, energy will no longer flow through the side channels.
An easy way to attach with prana is to perceive the senses related to breathing. It is no accident that we associate inhalation with happiness, increased energy, and vibrant, awakened sensations. We relate the exhalation, the sigh, to sadness, disappointment and detachment. This cycle of happiness and sadness, ever changing and impermanent, is the cycle we exist in as long as we continue to breathe.
Prana in Meditation – www prena up in
Just as yoga pushes, draws, and moves the inner winds into the central channel through physical means, meditation does the same through the influence of the mind. The classical texts say that our thoughts ride on prana like a jockey on a horse. Therefore, it is likely to use intentional thoughts to guide the prana to the center while the rider leads the horse.
Through meditation and pranayama, we learn to control the flow of breath. Many of us have noticed that when our meditation is hectic, our breathing is too. When our meditation is calm, resting in the sweet spot, our breathing is barely noticeable.
Since the mind, prana, thoughts, and breath are interconnect, they can all change by focusing on any one.
At Insight Timer, we’ve created a free playlist of guided meditations that help us connect with prana, the world around us, and our true selves:
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One of the eight twigs of yoga, pranayama or breath control, uses breathing exercises to manipulate prana as an additional tool in conjunction with asanas, physical postures or meditation.
Ayurvedic pranayama techniques help cure illness and keep us physically healthy. There are many pranayama techniques to increase and calm our energy, warm our bodies and clear our minds. A 2012 study showed that the popular ujjayi breathing technique turns off our physical stress response.
Through the combination of asana, meditation and pranayama, the latent energy of Kundalini or prana at the base of the spine ascends through the central channel and exits through the crown chakra, leading us to enlightenment. This also happens at the time of conscious death, as the prana goes first to the heart chakra and then is expell from the body through the crown of the head. You might want to read our beginner’s guide on how to breathe in yoga to balance your body and mind.
Immerse yourself in the practice of pranayama and discover your ability to control prana through classic techniques. That calm and energize with the 10-day guided course “Pranayama to Restore Vitality”. Listen to day one below:
Prana Inside and Out – www prena up in
Prana as a universal energy exists not just in the subtle channels of our body, but everywhere. We are not separate from the prana energy in wind, earth, water and fire. Our internal winds are related to external winds.
As we practice prana awareness in the body and breath. We can also practice noticing the movement of energy in the environment around us, the weather. And how the foods we eat, caffeine, or intoxicants affect internal energy.
Prana and subtle body awareness is a lifelong practice. In meditation, awareness of our thoughts gives us space to respond to them more wisely. Prana consciousness grants us the same ability. Over time, with deeper awareness, we can intentionally move this energy to the center and experience unabashed joy and happiness.