Having just held a free Pranayama clinic yesterday, I thought I’d share more about the meaning of Prana. We often refer to it as the life force and the management of this life force being the breath. According to the ancient Indian system of yoga, prana is identified as the universal life force. It is the energy that distinguishes the living from the dead. This life force flows through thousands of subtle energy channels called nadis and energy centers called chakras.
Prana is the vital energy needed by our physical and subtle layers — it’s what keeps us alive! It has many levels of meaning, from the physical breath to the energy of consciousness to the original creative power. Yogis say that the entire universe is a manifestation of prana.
In yoga class we work with prana through different breathing practices that accomplish different things. Some practices highly oxygenate the body, while others are more calming. Some cleanse the body of toxins. One practice in particular, increases the levels of nitric oxide in the body which cultivates increased immunity. It also fights parasitic organisms and viruses. So good to know these days!
* Information from Art of Living