Prana and types of PranaClose your eyes and float out of your body into the Universe: beyond self, beyond circumstance, beyond ideas of how it all should be. Tune into the Cosmic Intelligence. The After Life Of Billy Fingers, a true story by Annie Kagan...Art, Daniel B. Holeman: Prana is that life energy which nourishes the whole body so that it could, together with its different organs, function properly and normally. Without energy the body would die. Prana is energy, vitality, power. Prana is the foundation and essence of all life; the energy and vitality that permeates the entire Universe. Prana flows in everything that exists. Life is possible only because of prana. Prana is the universal energy of existence. The word literally means “breathing forth.”Prana is a Sanskrit word that has a number of interpretations in English, including “life force,” “energy” and “vital principle.” The term is used in Hindu and yogic philosophy to refer to all the manifest energy in the universe, present in both living beings and inanimate objects.It is originally derived from the Sanskrit language meaning “life energy” (Prā means forth, while an means to breathe, move or live); therefore the nearest English equivalent of this Sanskrit term is “the breath of life.”Prana can be understood as the life energy which gives life to the body and keeps it healthy and alive. The equivalent of Prana in Hebrew language is ruah, referring to the “breath of life” being called as Nephesch; which was breathed into the nostrils of Adam in the beginning of creation. The same concept exists in Persian philosophy when God breathed into the nostrils of Man the Breath of Life.According to ancient Indian literature, there is only one Life, one Consciousness; and Prana is the energy of the One, from which life begins. Therefore Prana is being used to address the life-energy in every being.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.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.

In the physical body we have two types of energies. One is known as prana and the other is known as mind or consciousness. That means, in every organ of the body there should be two channels supplying energy. Modern physiology describes two types of nervous systems – the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, and these two nervous systems are interconnected in each and every organ of the body. In the same way, every organ is supplied with the energy of prana and the energy of mind.In yoga, the concept of prana is very scientific. When we speak of prana, we do not mean the breath, air or oxygen. Precisely and scientifically speaking, prana means the original life force.

Related imagePrana is a Sanskrit word constructed of the syllables praand an. ‘An’ means movement and ‘pra’ is a prefix meaning constant. Therefore, prana means constant motion. This constant motion commences in the human being as soon as he is conceived in his mother’s womb. Prana is therefore a type of energy responsible for the body’s life, heat and maintenance.In Chinese Prana is called “chi,” while in Japanese it is known as “ki.” In Greek Prana is equivalent to “Pneuma” and in Polynesian it is “mana;” all referring to the same concept. It can be best described as “Vitality,” “as the integrating energy that co-ordinates the physical molecules, cells, etc and holds them together as a definite organism. It means that without Prana, translated as life, there would be no physical body as an integrated entity.Prana is not merely a philosophical concept; it is in every sense a physical substance. Just as radioactive or electromagnetic waves exist even though we can’t see them, in the same way, in this physical body, there are pranic waves and a pranic field. Now, each of us has a certain quantity of prana in our physical body and we utilize this in the course of our day to day activities throughout life. When our prana diminishes, sickness sets in, and when we have plenty of prana, every part of the body is in perfect health. If we have an excess of prana, it can be transmitted to others for healing or magnetism.The inner prana can be stimulated by the practice of pranayama and thereby increased to a greater quantum. The brain requires maximum prana, and for the practice of meditation, it needs an increased supply. It is for this reason that we practise pranayama before commencing our meditation practice. If we are not able to supply plenty of pranic fuel to the brain, the mind becomes very restless and disturbed.When the brain is receiving a deficient supply of prana, you suffer from nervous depression or nervous breakdown. Then the whole body perspires, there is trembling in every organ, you can’t stand, your mind is unsteady and you are constantly thinking negative thoughts. You can’t even sleep and you don’t want to talk or think. This state indicates that the brain is only receiving a very small quantity of prana.

Physical body without Prana is basically a collection of cells independent from one another; Prana is the substance that links these independent cells together creating one whole living complex. Prana gives energy to all our faculties, without which they cannot function. Without honoring Prana first there is nothing else we can do and no energy with which to do anything. The moral of this story is that to control our faculties the key is the control of Prana.Prana has many levels of meaning from the breath to the energy of consciousness itself. Prana is not only the basic life-force, it is the master form of all energy working on the level of mind, life and body. Indeed the entire universe is a manifestation of Prana, which is the original creative power. Even Kundalini Shakti, the serpent power or inner power that transforms consciousness, develops from the awakened Prana.

Ethereal Meditation:

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.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.There are basically three major sources of Prana: the Sun, the Air and the Ground.

The Sun Prana is the Prana being absorbed from the sunlight by being exposed to it. As no Sun Prana is harmful to health, too much Sun Prana can also damage the body, in some cases leading to skin cancer.

Air Prana is absorbed by the energy centers or chakras of the energy body such as the Spleen chakra.

The Ground Prana is unconsciously and automatically being absorbed by the soles of the feet; thus walking bare foot increases the amount of Ground Prana absorbed by the body.There are also many other secondary sources of Prana, like water, trees such as pine tree and food, especially fresh food. Further to automatic absorption of Prana by the body, one can learn to consciously draw in Prana from the Air, Ground or Sun to increase the life energy in the body. However, just as too little Prana will lead to exhaustion, depletion and ultimately death, too much Prana will also creates congestion, manifesting as disease; this mainly happens if too much energy combines with diseased or dirty energy. Prana can even be transferred from one person to another person; what is commonly known as the act of healing. In fact the rate of the healing of the body can be increased by increasing the life-energy on the affected part and on the entire body. Just as light can cause chemical reactions, which is used as a basis in photography, Prana increases the chemical reactions of the body, manifesting as healing. This principle is basically one of the main principles in alternative healing techniques such as Pranic Healing.

On a cosmic level there are two Daniel B Holeman art: basic aspects of Prana. The first is the unmanifest aspect of Prana, which is the energy of Pure Consciousness that transcends all creation. The second or manifest Prana is the force of creation itself. Prana arises from the quality (guna) of rajas, the active force of Nature (Prakriti). Nature herself consists of three gunas: sattva or harmony, which gives rise to the mind, rajas or movement, which gives rise to the prana, and tamas or inertia that gives rise to the body. Relative to our physical existence, Prana or vital energy is a modification of the air element, primarily the oxygen we breathe that allows us to live. Yet as air originates in ether or space, Prana arises in space and remains closely connected to it. Wherever we create space there energy or Prana must arise automatically.

The human being consists of five koshas or sheaths:

  1. Annamaya kosha – food – physical – the five elements
  2. Pranamaya kosha – breath – vital – the five pranas
  3. Manomaya kosha – impressions – outer mind – the five kinds of sensory impressions
  4. Vijnanamaya kosha – ideas – intelligence – directed mental activity
  5. Anandamaya kosha – experiences – deeper mind – memory, subliminal and super conscious mind

According to yoga, tantra and the science of kundalini, prana is supposed to originate in pingala nadi. Within the framework of the spinal cord, there are three channels known as nadis in yoga. One is called ida, another is pingala and the third is sushumna. Ida nadi represents the mental energy, pingala represents prana or pranic energy and sushumna represents spirit or spiritual awareness. These three nadis originate in mooladhara chakra, which is situated at the perineum or cervix. Pingala nadi flows to the right from mooladhara and continues to cross ida at each chakra all the way up to ajna.There are six chakras through which pingala nadi passes. The first one is mooladhara chakra from which it originates. The second is swadhisthana where the nadi crosses to the left. The third is manipura chakra where the nadi crosses to the right. And the fourth is anahata where the nadi crosses to the left. The fifth is vishuddhi where the nadi crosses to the right and the sixth is ajna where the nadi terminates from the right. Similarly, ida nadi also crosses at each chakra but in the reverse order. Every sincere yoga aspirant should have a clear understanding of the pathway of these three major nadis.Pingala nadi is the distributing channel for prana in the body, and from each chakra the pranas are disseminated to every organ of the body. From swadhisthana the pranic energy is distributed to the genito-urinary system. Manipura chakra supplies prana to the digestive system and anahata supplies the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. From vishuddhi, distribution takes place to the ears, eyes, nose and throat, and ajna chakra is the distributor of energy through which man’s brain is fed.

Image result for pranas spirituallyThe Pranamaya Kosha is the sphere of our vital life energies. This sheath mediates between the body on one side and the three sheaths of the mind (outer mind, intelligence and inner mind) on the other and has an action on both levels. It meditates between the five gross elements and the five sensory impressions.The best English term for the Pranamaya kosha is probably the “vital sheath” or “vital body,” to use a term from Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga. Pranamaya kosha consists of our vital urges of survival, reproduction, movement and self-expression, being mainly connected to the five motor organs (excretory, urino-genital, feet, hands, and vocal organ).A strong vital or Pranamaya kosha, however, is important for the spiritual path as well, but this is very different than the egoistic or desire oriented vital. It derives its strength not from our personal power but from surrender to the Divine and its great energy. Without a strong spiritual vital we lack the power to do our practices and not fall under worldly influencesIt is usually synonymous with the breath or with air (vayu). In the Rig Veda, the oldest Hindu text, prana is claimed to be the breath of the cosmic purusha.But prana itself is an overarching term with many subcategories. Learning how prana works and how to free this energy is part of the psycho-spiritual practice known as pranayama.Vayu, meaning air, is another synonym for prana. Inside the body there are five major kinds of prana, or vayus, and five minor ones. The major vayus are:Prana is divided ten main functions:

The five Pranas – Prana, Apana, Udana, Vyana and Samana.

The five Upa-Pranas – Naga, Kurma, Devadatta, Krikala and Dhananjaya.

The Five PranasImage result for pancha upa pranas

The five Pranas are energies and processes that occur on several levels. However we can localize them in a few key ways.Pranamaya kosha is composed of the five Pranas. The one primary Prana divides into five types according to its movement and direction. This is an important subject in Ayurvedic medicine as well as Yogic thought.

Prana, literally the “forward moving air,” moves inward and governs reception of all types from the eating of food, drinking of water, and inhalation of air, to the reception of sensory impressions and mental experiences. It is propulsive in nature, setting things in motion and guiding them. It provides the basic energy that drives us in life.

Apana, literally the “air that moves away,” moves downward and outward and governs all forms of elimination and reproduction (which also has a downward movement). It governs the elimination of the stool and the urine, the expelling of semen, menstrual fluid and the fetus, and the elimination of carbon dioxide through the breath. On a deeper level it rules the elimination of negative sensory, emotional and mental experiences. It is the basis of our immune function on all levels.

Udana, literally the “upward moving air,” moves upward and qualitative or transformative movements of the life-energy. It governs growth of the body, the ability to stand, speech, effort, enthusiasm and will. It is our main positive energy in life through which we can develop our different bodies and evolve in consciousness.

Samana, literally the “balancing air,” moves from the periphery to the center, through a churning and discerning action. It aids in digestion on all levels. It works in the gastrointestinal tract to digest food, in the lungs to digest air or absorb oxygen, and in the mind to homogenize and digest experiences, whether sensory, emotional or mental.

Vyana, literally the “outward moving air,” moves from the center to the periphery. It governs circulation on all levels. It moves the food, water and oxygen throughout the body, and keeps our emotions and thoughts circulating in the mind, imparting movement and providing strength. In doing so it assists all the other Pranas in their work.

Prana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the head down to the navel, which is the Pranic center in the physical body. Apana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the navel down to the root chakra. Samana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the entire body back to the navel. Vyana Vayu governs the movement of energy out from the navel throughout the entire body. Udana governs the movement of energy from the navel up to the head. As a simple summary we could say that Prana governs the intake of substances. Samana governs their digestion. Vyana governs the circulation of nutrients. Udana governs the release of positive energy. Apana governs the elimination of waste-materials.

This is much like the working of a machine. Prana brings in the fuel, Samana converts this fuel to energy, Vyana circulates the energy to the various work sites. Apana releases the waste materials or by products of the conversion process. Udana governs the positive energy created in the process and determines the work that the machine is able to do.
Related imagePrana
is that special function of the Cosmic Prana, which supplies the human body with essential oxygen. Its energy flows from the nostrils to the level of the heart. while “Prana” is the general name of the life force, the prana vayu is one of its specific functions. Prana vayu literally means “forward moving air” and moves inward toward the center of the body. Prana vayu is the energy that receives things coming into the body in the form of food (eating), liquids (drinking) and air (breathing) as well as all sensory perceptions and mental experiences. Prana is propulsive by nature and is the driving force for all the other vayus. The energy known as prana vayu governs the region from the abnomin or diaphram to the base of the throat, corresponding to Jalandhara bandha (see bandhas). The “seat” of the prana vayu is the heart, and this vayu ensures that the heart goes on beating. It is associated with the element of air. It works to maintain the proper temperature of the body relative to one’s environment, and sustains one’s vital organs, particularly the heart. Though its seat is in the heart, it moves through the center of the body in a downward direction from the base of the throat to the navel, as well as from the navel back up to the throat. Clean air is vital for health however, on its own air, is not the decisive factor in good health. Some people are prone to illness, even though they are frequently out in the fresh air. On the other hand, people who live in rooms or suburbs with relatively poor air quality remain healthy. Our health is not influenced by external factors only. Health is also governed by our inner condition, by the power of resistance and the inner will – Atmabala – the inner vitality. When Atmabala is strong within, external forces can barely harm us. The practice of “Yoga in Daily Life” strengthens our vitality. Certain techniques in particular activate Prana Shakti, these are Bhastrika, Nadi Shodhana and Ujjayi Pranayama. Prana is that special function of the Cosmic Prana, which supplies the human body with essential oxygen. Its energy flows from the nostrils to the level of the heart.Clean air is vital for health however, on its own air, is not the decisive factor in good health. Some people are prone to illness, even though they are frequently out in the fresh air. On the other hand, people who live in rooms or suburbs with relatively poor air quality remain healthy. Our health is not influenced by external factors only. Health is also governed by our inner condition, by the power of resistance and the inner will – Atmabala – the inner vitality. When Atmabala is strong within, external forces can barely harm us. The practice of “Yoga in Daily Life” strengthens our vitality. Certain techniques in particular activate Prana Shakti, these are Bhastrika, Nadi Shodhana and Ujjayi Pranayama.

Prana … the upward lifting energy. This can be confusing; the vayu prana is a subset of the overall term for all energies, also called prana. The vayu prana is responsible for the energy of the heart and the breath. When we see a tree’s branches reaching upward to the sun, that is prana energy being expressed. When we feel our inhalations lift our spirit, along with our shoulders, that too is prana.

Prana is that special function of the Image result for cosmic prana fantasy artCosmic Prana, which supplies the human body with essential oxygen. Its energy flows from the nostrils to the level of the heart.Prana has many levels of meaning from the breath to the energy of consciousness itself. Prana is not only the basic life-force, it is the master form of all energy working on the level of mind, life and body. Indeed the entire universe is a manifestation of Prana, which is the original creative power. Even Kundalini Shakti, the serpent power or inner power that transforms consciousness, develops from the awakened Prana.On a cosmic level there are two basic aspects of Prana. The first is the unmanifest aspect of Prana, which is the energy of Pure Consciousness that transcends all creation. The second or manifest Prana is the force of creation itself. Prana arises from the quality (guna) of rajas, the active force of Nature (Prakriti). Nature herself consists of three gunas: sattva or harmony, which gives rise to the mind, rajas or movement, which gives rise to the prana, and tamas or inertia that gives rise to the body.Clean air is vital for health however, on its own air, is not the decisive factor in good health. Some people are prone to illness, even though they are frequently out in the fresh air. On the other hand, people who live in rooms or suburbs with relatively poor air quality remain healthy. Our health is not influenced by external factors only. Health is also governed by our inner condition, by the power of resistance and the inner will – Atmabala – the inner vitality. When Atmabala is strong within, external forces can barely harm us. The practice of “Yoga in Daily Life” strengthens our vitality. Certain techniques in particular activate Prana Shakti, these are Bhastrika, Nadi Shodhana and Ujjayi Pranayama. Prana–Vayu is situated in the head, centered in the third-eye, and its energy pervades the chest region. The flow of Prana-Vayu is inwards and upward. It nourishes the brain and the eyes and governs reception of all things: food, air, senses, and thoughts. This Vayu is the fundamental energy in the body and directs and feeds into the four other Vayus. To experience Prana-Vayu: Close your eyes, sit or stand with a long spine and relaxed body, and as you inhale feel an energy flowing up the torso from the belly to the third-eye.

Image result for pancha upa pranasApana–Vayu is situated in the pelvic floor and its energy pervades the lower abdomen. The flow of Apana-Vayu is downwards and out and its energy nourishes the organs of digestion, reproduction and elimination. Apana-Vayu governs the elimination of all substances from the body: carbon monoxide, urine, stool, etc. To experience  Apana-Vayu: Close your eyes, sit or stand with a long spine and relaxed body, and as you exhale feel an energy flowing down the torso from the top of the head to the tailbone. Apana … the downward, rooting energy.

Apana is responsible for elimination, both through the lungs (eliminating carbon dioxide) and the digestive tracts. The roots of a tree searching downward for stability are expressing apana. The rooting downward of our exhalations tap into the same energy. Apana Prana influences the lower part of the body from the navel to the soles of the feet. This Prana regulates the elimination process. Diseases that affect the lower abdomen, intestines, kidneys, urinary tract, legs, etc., are the result of disturbed Apana Prana. The techniques of Nauli, Agnisara Kriya, Ashvini Mudra and Mula Bandha serve to strengthen and purify Apana Prana.

Apana Prana influences the lower part of the body from the navel to the soles of the feet. This Prana regulates the elimination process. Diseases that affect the lower abdomen, intestines, kidneys, urinary tract, legs, etc., are the result of disturbed Apana Prana. The techniques of Nauli, Agnisara Kriya, Ashvini Mudra and Mula Bandha serve to strengthen and purify Apana Prana.

Apana Prana influences the lower part of the body from the navel to the soles of the feet. This Prana regulates the elimination process. Diseases that affect the lower abdomen, intestines, kidneys, urinary tract, legs, etc., are the result of disturbed Apana Prana. The techniques of Nauli, Agnisara Kriya, Ashvini Mudra and Mula Bandha serve to strengthen and purify Apana Prana.

Image result for cosmic prana fantasy artApana vayu translates as “the air that moves away”. The dominant energy of Apana vayu is a downward and outward movement. It’s energy moves primarily in the lower abdomen from the navel to the floor of the pelvis.

Apana is the aspect of the prana that governs the ability to eject or eliminate what is not needed to the system. Just as with the breath we exhale what is not needed after assimilating the in-breath, the apana vayu is the force behind the elimination of waste in general, working in the kidneys, colon, rectum, bladder and genitals.

It is also the moving force in the process of reproduction – which essentially moves new life ‘out’ into the world – from insemination to childbirth. The healthy functioning of the apana vayu is as vital as that of the prana vayu. Without the healthy functioning of apana vayu, one lacks motivation and determination; one feels lazy, dull and even confused, indecisive and befuddled.

Apana vayu is associated with the element of earth, and is the energy of the Muladhara Chakra which is concerned with having a strong, sure and reliable foundation, especially in fundamental matters of survival.The seat of the apana vayu is in the core of the pelvis, and it governs from the navel to the peranium, corresponding to the area in which we practice Mula bandha. As with Prana vayu can have both a downward movement in the body as well as an upward movement* within it’s primary region.b

Prana vayu and Apana vayu move in complimentary opposite directions during inhale and exhale.As you inhale, Prana vayu moves upward from the navel to the chest, while Apana vayu moves downward from the navel toward the floor of the pelvis. On exhale, both move in the reverse direction; Prana moving from the base of the throat down to the navel and Apana moving from the peranium back up the the navel. Both oscillate from the center of the abdomin or kanda.

Image result for pranas spiritualyVyana–Vayu is situated in the heart and lungs and flows throughout the entire body. The flow of Vyana-Vayu moves from the center of the body to the periphery. It governs circulation of all substances throughout the body, and assists the other Vayus with their functions. To experience Vyana-Vayu: Close your eyes, sit or stand with a long spine and relaxed body, and as you inhale feel the breath radiating outward from the navel to the arms and legs. Vyana … the outward moving energy. Vyana vayu, one of the five subdivisions of the life force, prana, empowers the distribution and communication systems of the body.Is literally “the balancing air” Moves primarily in the region between the navel and the heart (solar plexus), and its seat is said to be in the navel. It is the controlling power of the metabolism or “digestive fire” and the functioning of the digestive organs and glands. It also governs the assimilation of oxygen from the air we breathe. It is also the vayu that unifies the two opposite forces of prana vayu and apana. It corresponds to the area in which we practice Uddiyana bandha.In its work with food and digestion, this is the force that separates nutrients from toxins: when it is not functioning well, one may retain toxins, leading to shortness of breath and gastric disorders. It integrates and coordinates the other four prana vayus, keeping them balanced and nourished. A pervasive and expansive force, vyana governs the movement of prana through the nadis (energy channels); the movement of energy through the circulatory system and the nervous system; and the free flow of thoughts and feelings in the mind. It literally means “outward moving air” and moves from the center of the body out to the periphery. This vayu pervades the whole body, and is a coordinating, connecting force. It has no specific seat, but rather coordinates all the powers such as sensory awareness, and runs through the whole network of the 72,000 nadis or passageways of prana in the body, connecting the functions of the nerves, veins, muscles and joints and circulates nutrients and energy. Its function is cohesive and is associated with the element of water. Vyana vayu is fundamental to making one feel and function as an integrated whole. Though it governs and coordinates all of the senses as well as the functioning of all muscles, both voluntary and involuntary, it is felt especially in the skin. Goosebumps and perspiration, and all of the various actions and reactions of the skin to the environment are manifestations of vyana vayu. It functions at the “surface” or outer boundary of your energy body, much like surface tension on a drop of water, and is associated with a sense of boundaries through which we define ourselves and interact with our world.Within the body, Vyana vayu governs our internal sense of coordination, balance and physical integrity or cohesiveness. When unbalanced, one feels uncoordinated and clumsy. Coordination between mind and body suffers, and one’s own thoughts can be disjointed, fluctuating and rambling. Dysfunctions in Vyana vayu can also lessen our power of sensation.Though Vyana vayu itself has no specific seat, it is associated with the energy of the Svadisthana chakra . In general, vyana vayu is strengthened by the practice of hatha yoga asanas. More specifically, because of its association with the energy and concerns of the svadisthana chakra, the subtler energies involved are enhanced through Mulabandha.

Vyana also controls the muscular Related imagesystem, coordinates balance, and regulates movement from the core to the periphery. While it permeates the entire body, vyana is particularly active in the limbs, helping them implement the powers of locomotion and manipulation—two of the five karmendriyas (or active senses). The expansive quality of vyana, with the help of apana vayu (the downward-moving force), grounds and anchors through the legs, and is especially perceptible in the arms, as reflected in their capacity to offer comfort and healing.When vyana vayu is deranged, both body and mind become disintegrated and weakened, resulting in disjointed efforts, various physical maladies, and alienation and anxiety at the mental level. The practices of hatha yoga can maximize the functioning of all aspects of vyana vayu: distributing energy throughout the body; enlivening the physiological functions of the circulatory system, the lymph system, and the nervous system; and removing obstacles to the circulation of nutrition, energy, and information throughout the mind and body.

Vyana is responsible for the movement of our muscles and for balancing the energy flow throughout our body.Vyana Prana flows through the nerve channels of the human body. It has an effect upon the whole body and particularly on the Nadis. Poor circulation, impaired nerve stimulation and nervous breakdowns, originate from a deficiency in Vyana Prana.Vyana Prana is activated and strengthened in the practice of Kumbhaka (breath retention). With each natural, relaxed breath that we take, there is an automatic pause between inhalation and exhalation. In the practice of Pranayama, this pause is consciously lengthened. When we retain the breath, we withhold energy in the body with a resultant build up in pressure. This pressure has the effect of releasing energy blockages. Kumbhaka stimulates the nervous system. Anyone who has combined the techniques of Kumbhaka and Maha Bandha, knows the subsequent, pleasant sensation of peace that flows through the body. This is the reason for being able to meditate well after this practice. The feeling is produced by the increased flow of Vyana Prana throughout the whole body. It is highly recommended to perform the following breath exercise several times a day.

Inhale deeply and exhale once

Again inhale and hold the breath for as long as comfortable (counting to 20, 30, etc.)

Exhale and hold the breath again for a while

Repeat this exercise 4-5 times.

The benefit of this simple breath exercise is quickly noticed and our nerves are truly grateful.

Related imageUdana–Vayu is situated in the throat and it has a circular flow around the neck and head. It functions to “hold us up” and governs speech, self-expression and growth. To experience Udana-Vayu: Close your eyes, sit or stand with a long spine and relaxed body, and as you inhale and exhale feel the breath circulating around and through the head and neck. Udana … the “up breath” or upward moving energy. Udana is responsible for producing sounds and is the energy of the five senses. Some texts place this only in the throat but other texts say that it circulates in all the limbs and in the joints.Udana Prana is the ascending energy that flows from the heart to the head and brain. Udana Prana accompanies the awakening of the Kundalini Shakti. Udana vayu, one of the five divisions of the life force, prana, holds special significance in spiritual practice. Udana is the upward-moving breath, which directs the flow of prana from the lower to the higher planes of consciousness. An ascending and radiant force, udana vayu is responsible for taking the mind from waking to sleep and to deep sleep, as well as to higher planes of existence after death. It is active primarily in the region between the heart and the head, bringing prana to the energy centers deep in the brain. As the vayu moving through sushumna nadi (the central axis of the subtle body), udana is associated with kundalini shakti, the creative, blissful consciousness of enlightenment.

Udana rules the throat center, manifesting as speech and other refined expressions, and governing growth and metabolism through the thyroid and parathyroid glands. When udana is balanced and strong, we stand tall and are joyous, enthusiastic, alert, articulate, and strong-willed. Deranged udana, on the other hand, may prod us to negative, inappropriate, or excessive speech—or render us unable to express ourselves at all. Since the throat center controls reception, deranged udana may hamper the intake or use of physical nourishment, while on a mental level, new ideas or experiences can seem “hard to swallow,” leaving us obstinate, arrogant, and inflexible—in a word, stiff-necked. Udana is “that which carries upward.” It rules the region of the throat and head,and is seated specifically in the throat. It also rules muscle function and strength in the extremities as well as the sensory function of the eyes, ears and nose. It’s said to be the force behind all growth, our ability to stand erect, speech, effort, enthusiasm and will. While apana vayu is concerned with elimination or outward moving energy in general, udana vayu is the specific force that expels air with the exhalation in a way that is particularly concerned with speech and the production of sound. In the region of the head, it’s function is mental and expressive in the form of ideas and speech.

When udana is unbalanced, speech is Image result for pranas spiritualydisjointed and one cannot speak or articulate ideas properly. Imbalances can also cause shortness of breath and other respiratory problems particularly associated with the throat, which can have their root in obstacles to self-expression, or emotional repression. Uncoordinated movement in the limbs or loss of balance are also signs of imbalance of the vayu. The energy and movement of Udana is particularly stimulated by Jalandhara Bandha. Ether or space is the element associated with this vayu as is Vishuddha chakra . This upward moving energy continues through the upper chakra, the Ajna chakra, to the Sahasrara, and is purified during the upward journey.It is with the assistance of Udana Prana that the Astral body separates itself from the physical body. A strong Udana Prana eases the phase of death.With the control of Udana Prana, the body becomes very light and one may gain the ability to levitate. When Udana Prana is in our control, external obstacles such as water, earth or stones no longer obstruct us. Intense practice of the Yoga breath exercises also gives the possibility of walking on water, or even floating in the air. Fakirs who sit or lie on a bed of nails possess the ability to control their Udana Prana. Yogis who live in the forest and remain unaffected by heat, cold, thorns and insects, etc., are protected through the control of Udana Prana. Udana Prana is activated by the practice of Ujjayi Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, as well as Viparitakarani Mudra.

Bhramari Pranayama Technique

Close the ears with the fingers and inhale. While exhaling through the nose, hum like a bumble-bee (the mouth remains closed).

After about 5-7 breaths sit motionless and breathe normally with the ears still closed. Concentrate on your innerspace and listen to the inner sound.

This exercise will calm the nerves and thoughts, promote concentration and bring you into contact with your Self.

Related imageSamana–Vayu is situated in the abdomen with its energy centered in the navel. The flow of Samana-Vayu moves from the periphery of the body to the center. It governs the digestion and assimilation of all substances: food, air, experiences, emotions and thoughts. To experience Samana-Vayu: Close your eyes, sit or stand with a long spine and relaxed body, and as you inhale and exhale feel the breath rising and falling in the front, sides and back of the torso.

Is literally “the balancing air” Moves primarily in the region between the navel and the heart (solar plexus), and its seat is said to be in the navel. It is the controlling power of the metabolism or “digestive fire” and the functioning of the digestive organs and glands. It also governs the assimilation of oxygen from the air we breathe. It is also the vayu that unifies the two opposite forces of prana vayu and apana. It corresponds to the area in which we practice Uddiyana bandha.

In its work with food and digestion, this is the force that separates nutrients from toxins: when it is not functioning well, one may retain toxins, leading to shortness of breath and gastric disorders. In the case of the mind, the Samana Vayu is the power by which we separate out or discern beneficial from detrimental, which allows us to assimilate information for the sake of making choices. When there is a disorder, one can be delusional or of unsound mind. For this reason, in the yoga tradition the power of digestion is very closely inked to the power of the mind – particularly regarding discrimination and judgment.

Samana vayu is associated with the element of fire. It is associated with the Manipura chakra , and when unbalanced, its fiery energy can be used to assert one’s will or to dominate, especially through anger. In the yoga tradition, anger is the direct result of a combination of desire, delusion and lack of discrimination.

Samana … the balancing energy. Samana is responsible for digestion and the metabolism of our cells.

Samana is a very important Prana that connects two main Chakras – Anahata and Manipura Chakras.

Samana Prana distributes the energy of nutrition throughout the human body. We are aware that food not only influences our physical body, but also affects our psyche and consciousness. The quality of our Prana (all types of Prana), is directly associated with the quality of our food. Pure, sattvic, vegetarian food and the practice of Pranaya ma will provide a healthy and balanced body for life.Image result for pranas spiritualySamana Prana has an influence on the Manipura Chakra, whose corresponding element is fire. When Yogis are able to control Samana Prana it is a pure flame within them. Those in whom Samana Prana is completely pure are surrounded by a radiant aura, which is even noticeable by those who do not have the ability to see auras.This Prana is strengthened through the practice of Agnisara Kriya and Nauli. The practice of these two Kriyas prevents digestive problems and Diabetes. It also improves one’s resistance to infectious disease and cancer, due to the digestive fire that is awakened in the whole body, which purifies and cleans.

The most effective technique for What is your connection to your essence? What do you love to do that carries you away, where time does not exist, a place where your heart sings? That is your connection to pure consciousness where you experience Spirit and limitless Love.. Heart Salutation by Daniel B. Holeman: awakening Samana Prana is Kriya Yoga. The practice of Kriya Yoga warms the entire body. This is due to the rising of Samana Prana. A very aware person can observe the aura of a Kriya practitioner becoming brighter and stronger with each round of practice.

None of these energies exist in isolation. One of the challenges in our yoga practice is to detect the presence of all these energies when one of them is most obvious. For example – take a deep breath. The energy of prana is obvious, but can you detect at the same time the subtle rooting energy of apana? More simply put, can you feel the apana in the prana? Try this on the exhalation too. Can you feel the prana in the apana? It may be useful to follow the movement of your diaphragm as you try this. On inhalations, despite the obvious lifting upward of the chest and shoulders, the diaphragm is descending. Following this movement may help you find the apana in the prana and vice versa. Once you can do this for the breath while sitting, try following these energies while you do your asana practice. Sensing the flow of energy is a meditation practice all on its own. Just sitting for a few minutes watching the apana in the prana and the prana in the apana requires attention. Any time we follow our energies, we are meditating.

Prana moves down from the base of the throat to the navel (the pranic center or kanda) and energizes and all the vayus. It also moves up from the navel to the throat.

Udana moves primarilly up from the throat up to the head

Apana moves from the navel down to the floor of the pelvis.

Samana moves from the periphery of the body into the core.

Vyana moves from the core out to the periphery.

 

Vayus and corresponding chakras and elements summarized

Apana Vayu: Seat is in the Pelvis, Muladhara Chakra, Earth

Samana Vayu: Seated in the Solar Plexus, Manipura Chakra, Fire

Prana Vayu: Seated in the heart/chest, Anahata Chakra, Air

Udana Vayu: Seated in the Throat and Head, Vishuddha Chakra, Ajna Chakra, Ether

Vyana Vayu: Emanates from the navel (kanda) but pervades entire body, Svadisthana Chakra, Water

The Five Upa-Pranas

The five Upa-Pranas regulate important functions in the human body.

Image result for pancha upa pranasNAGA – Burping – Removes blockages of Prana and Apana and prevents gas formation in the digestive system. Constant suppression of Naga can lead to Cardiac Arrhythmia. Other functions include triggering of the vomit reflex due to indigestion and dissolving blockages of Samana Prana.

KURMA – Blinking . This Upa-Prana functions in the area of the eyes, controlling opening and closing of the eyelids. The energy of this Upa-Prana is active when we are awake and is revitalised when we sleep. Kurma protects the eyes from the penetration of dust and foreign bodies etc. Disturbance of this Upa-Prana causes uncontrolled blinking and twitching of the eyelids. The practice of Trataka provides balance and strength to Kurma, as does the chanting of OM, placing warm palms over the eyes and Asanas where the head is bent forward.

DEVADATTA – Yawning. The function of Devadatta is similar to that of Samana Prana. Yawning expels gas, reducing tiredness after eating. Certain foods such as grains, onions and garlic cause fatigue. Many Yogis only eat vegetables and some milk products in order to sustain their level of vitality and thereby reduce lethargy.

KRIKALA – Sneezing. Clears blockages in the respiratory system. Sneezing can also ease headache as it releases energy blockages in the head and neck. A sneeze should not be suppressed, as this may affect vertebrae in the cervical spine. In folk tales it is said that he who sneezes loudly and strongly, has a long life. Weak sneezes indicate weak vitality.

There are four areas in the human body where the flow of Prana is particularly intensive – through the sole of each foot and the palm of each hand. The feet are closely related to the earth element and represent negative polarity. Therefore one should never concentrate on the feet in meditation. Conversely, the energy of the palms originates from the heart. It is related to the air element and produces positive polarity.

Image result for pranas spiritualyThe five minor pranas are not important unless the student is going into advanced practices. This is fortunate as different sages describe different and conflicting effects of these minor energies. A generalization of these energies is compiled below, but the reader is warned that some teachers have very different observations:

Naga … causes salivation and hiccups

Kurma … causes opening of the eyes and blinking

Krikara … causes sneezing and sensation of hunger

Devadatta … causes yawning and sleep

Dhanamjaya … pervades the entire body; causes hair growth and lingers even after death.

Energy does not just simply exist; it flows. Just as our nerves channel electrical energy and our blood vessels channel chemical energy, so too prana is channeled in our bodies. These channels are known as nadis.

Purusha is the cosmic man or the original Self .

The five Pranas are energies and processes that occur on several levels. However we can localize them in a few key ways. Prana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the head down to the navel, which is the Pranic center in the physical body. Apana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the navel down to the root chakra. Samana Vayu governs the movement of energy from the entire body back to the navel. Vyana Vayu governs the movement of energy out from the navel throughout the entire body. Udana governs the movement of energy from the navel up to the head.
Related imageAs a simple summary we could say that Prana governs the intake of substances. Samana governs their digestion. Vyana governs the circulation of nutrients. Udana governs the release of positive energy. Apana governs the elimination of waste-materials.

This is much like the working of a machine. Prana brings in the fuel, Samana converts this fuel to energy, Vyana circulates the energy to the various work sites. Apana releases the waste materials or by products of the conversion process. Udana governs the positive energy created in the process and determines the work that the machine is able to do.

The key to health and well-being is to keep our Pranas in harmony. When one Prana becomes imbalanced, the others tend to become imbalanced as well because they are all linked together. Generally Prana and Udana work opposite to Apana as the forces of energization versus those of elimination. Similarly Vyana and Samana are opposites as expansion and contraction.

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.

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).

Related imagePrana Creates The Physical Body – Without Prana the physical body is no more than a lump of clay. Prana sculpts this gelatinous mass into various limbs and organs. It does this by creating various channels or Nadis, through which it can operate and energize gross matter into various tissues and organs.

Prana governs the intake of substances. Samana governs their digestion. Vyana governs the circulation of nutrients. Udana governs the release of positive energy. Apana governs the elimination of waste-materials.

This is much like the working of a machine. Prana brings in the fuel, Samana converts this fuel to energy, Vyana circulates the energy to the various work sites. Apana releases the waste materials or by products of the conversion process. Udana governs the positive energy created in the process and determines the work that the machine is able to do.

Prana Vayu creates the openings and channels in the head and brain down to the heart. There are seven openings in the head, the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and mouth. These are called the seven Pranas or seven Rishis in Vedic thought. Udana assists Prana in creating the openings in the upper part of the body, particularly those of the mouth and vocal organs. The mouth, after all, is the main opening in the head and in the entire body. It could be said that the entire physical body is an extension of the mouth, which is the main organ of physical activity, eating and self-expression.Apana Vayu creates the openings in the lower part of the body, those of the urino-genital and excretory systems. Samana Vayu creates the openings in the middle part of the body, those of the digestive system, centered in the navel. It opens out the channels of the intestines and the organs, like the liver and pancreas, which secrete into it. Vyana Vayu creates the channels going to the peripheral parts of the body, the arms and legs. It creates the veins and arteries and also the muscles, sinews, joints and bones.In summary, Samana Vayu creates the trunk of the body (which is dominated by the gastro-intestinal tract), while Vyana Vayu creates the limbs. Prana and Udana create the upper openings or bodily orifices, while Apana creates those below. Prana is not only the life force, it is also a very powerful healingforce in the body that can even eradicate the most difficult physical problems. Moreover, the prana within us is a part of the universal prana.In order to tune yourself to this universal prana, you must be able to reach a high state of meditation through Tantra Meditations. When you control the breath, the mind is also controlled and the awareness becomes one-pointed. That one-pointed awareness is comprehended in the mid-eyebrow centre where the point is seen as a light. The light grows in intensity and becomes bigger and bigger until it completely envelops your consciousness. Then there is illumination all around you, and at this point you can connect yourself with the universal prana.

SacredFeminine GypsyHeart: Prana however exists not just on a physical level. The navel is the main vital center for the physical body. The heart is the main center for the Pranamaya Kosha. The head is the main center for Manomaya kosha.

Prana moves down from the base of the throat to the navel (the pranic center or kanda) and energizes and all the vayus. It also moves up from the navel to the throat.

Udana moves primarilly up from the throat up to the head

Apana moves from the navel down to the floor of the pelvis.

Samana moves from the periphery of the body into the core.

Vyana moves from the core out to the periphery.

Vayus and corresponding chakras and elements summarized

Apana Vayu: Seat is in the Pelvis, Muladhara Chakra, Earth

Samana Vayu: Seated in the Solar Plexus, Manipura Chakra, Fire

Prana Vayu: Seated in the heart/chest, Anahata Chakra, Air

Udana Vayu: Seated in the Throat and Head, Vishuddha Chakra, Ajna Chakra, Ether

Vyana Vayu: Emanates from the navel (kanda) but pervades entire body, Svadisthana Chakra, Water

Prana and the Breath – Breathing is the main form of Pranic activity in the body. Prana governs inhalation. Samana governs absorption of oxygen that occurs mainly during retention of the breath. Vyana governs its circulation. Apana governs exhalation and the release of carbon dioxide. Udana governs exhalation and the release of positive energy through the breath, including speech that occurs via the outgoing breath.

Prana and the Mind – The mind Related imagealso has its energy and Prana. This derives from food, breath and impressions externally. Prana governs the intake of sensory impressions. Samana governs mental digestion. Vyana governs mental circulation. Apana governs the elimination of toxic ideas and negative emotions. Udana governs positive mental energy, strength and enthusiasm.

On a psychological level, Prana governs our receptivity to positive sources of nourishment, feeling and knowledge through the mind and senses. When deranged it causes wrong desire and insatiable craving. We become misguided, misdirected and generally out of balance.

Apana on a psychological level governs our ability to eliminate negative thoughts and emotions. When deranged it causes depression and we get clogged up with undigested experience that weighs us down in life, making us fearful, suppressed and weak.

Samana Vayu gives us nourishment, contentment and balance in the mind. When deranged it brings about attachment and greed. We cling to things and become possessive in our behavior.

Vyana Vayu gives us free movement and independence in the mind. When deranged it causes isolation, hatred, and alienation. We are unable to unite with others or remain connected in what we do.

Udana gives us joy and enthusiasm and helps awaken our higher spiritual and creative potentials. When deranged it causes pride and arrogance. We become ungrounded, trying to go to high and lose track of our roots.

Spiritual Aspects of the Pranas

The Pranas have many special actions in Yogic practices. On a spiritual level, Samana Vayu governs the space within the heart (antar hridyakasha) in which the true Self, the Atman dwells as a fire with seven flames, governs the central internal space or antariksha. Samana regulates Agni with fuel, which must burn evenly. Without the peace and balance of Samana we cannot return to the core of our being or concentrate the mind.

Image result for pranas spiritualyVyana governs the movement of Prana through the Nadis, keeping them open, clear, clean and even in their functioning. Apana protects us from negative astral influences and false teachers. Prana itself gives us the proper aspiration for our spiritual development.

Udana governs our growth in consciousness and takes the mind into the state of sleep and into the after death realms. Udana also governs the movement up the shushumna.

The mind moves with Udana Vayu. This takes us to the states of dream and deep sleep. After death it leads the soul to the astral and causal planes. Udana is often the most important Prana for spiritual growth.

Proper nutrition brings about the increase of Prana on a physical level. This also requires proper elimination. In Ayurvedic thought the Prana from the food is absorbed in the large intestine, particularly in the upper two-thirds of this organ, which is not simply an organ of elimination. For this reason Apana Vayu is the most important Prana for physical health.

The Vedas say that mortals eat food with Apana, while the Gods eat food with Prana. The mortals are the physical tissues. The immortals are the senses. These take in food via Prana itself. Right food sustains Apana. Right impressions support Prana. For this not only outer factors like contact with nature, but also practices like rituals and visualizations are important, as well as sensory therapies involving color, sounds or aromas.

The main method for working on Related imagePrana is Pranayama or Yogic breathing exercises.

Pranayam (also spelled Pranayama) is an ancient Indian practice concerned with controlling your breath. Breathing is the main form of Pranic activity in the body. Prana governs inhalation. Samana governs absorption of oxygen that occurs mainly during retention of the breath. Vyana governs its circulation. Apana governs exhalation and the release of carbon dioxide. Udana governs exhalation and the release of positive energy through the breath, including speech that occurs via the outgoing breath. Breathing practices work with Pranamaya Kosha. However the Pranas or energies in the mind can be dealt with directly as well. Color and sound (music) are important ways to direct energy in the mind. The best technique is mantra, particularly single syllable or bija mantras like OM, which create vibrations (nada) that can help direct energy into the subconscious.

Breathe in deeply through your nostrils. First, feel the diaphragm move down, allowing the lungs to expand and forcing the abdomen out; then feel your chest expand with your collar bones rising last.Breath out quickly through your nostrils. Feel your collar bones dropping, chest deflating, and abdomen shrinking as the lungs collapse. This process of exhaling should be much faster than the process of inhaling almost like a rapid deflation.Repeat the process. When correctly done, your chest will expand when you breathe in and deflate when you breathe out. Continue doing this for 5 minutes.With practice, speed up your breathing. Beginners should always start slowly to avoid hyperventilating, but eventually it will be possible to turn this into a rapid breathing technique.

Meditation itself, creating space in the mind, serves to create more Prana in the mind. When the mind is brought to a silent and receptive condition, like the expanse of the sky, a new energy comes into being within it that brings about great transformations.