Prana (प्राण, prāṇa) is the Sanskrit word for "life force"; in yoga, Indian medicine, and martial arts, the term refers to a cosmic energy believed to come from the sun and connecting the elements of the universe. The universal principle of energy or force, responsible for the body's life, heat and maintenance, prana is the sum total of all energy that is manifest in the universe. This life energy, prana (प्राण) has been vividly invoked and described in Vedas. In Ayurveda, tantra and Tibetan medicine "praṇā vāyu" is the basic vāyu (wind, air) from which all the other vāyus arise.
It is analogous to qi.
In Yoga, the three main channels of praṇā vāyu are the Ida, the Pingala and the Sushumna.
Ida relates to the right side of the brain, and the left side of the body, terminating at the left nostril and
Pingala to the left side of the brain and the right side of the body, terminating at the right nostril. In some practices, alternate nostril breathing balances the praṇā vāyu that flows within the body.
Sushumna connects the base chakra to the crown chakra.
In most ancient texts, the total number of nadis in the human body is stated to be 72,000. When praṇā vāyu enters a period of uplifted, intensified activity, the Yogic tradition refers to it as Pranotthana.
Praṇā vāyu is the basic vāyu from which all the other vāyus arise.
|Prāṇa||Beating of the heart and breathing. Prana enters the body through the breath and is sent to every cell through the circulatory system.|
|Apāna||elimination of waste products from the body through the lungs and excretory systems|
|Uḍāna||sound production through the vocal apparatus, as in speaking, singing, laughing, and crying. Also it represents the conscious energy required to produce the vocal sounds corresponding to the intent of the being. Hence Samyama on udana gives the higher centers total control over the body.|
|Samāna||the digestion of food and cell metabolism (i.e. the repair and manufacture of new cells and growth). Samana also includes the heat regulating processes of the body. Auras are projections of this current. By meditational practices one can see auras of light around every being. Yogis who do special practises on samana can produce a blazing aura at will.|
|Vyāna||the expansion and contraction processes of the body, e.g. the voluntary muscular system|
- Kason, Yvonne (2000). Farther Shores: Exploring How Near-Death, Kundalini and Mystical Experiences Can Transform Ordinary Lives. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers; Revised edition.
- Rammurti S. Mishra Yoga Sutras: The Textbook of Yoga Psychology
- Sovatsky, Stuart (1998). Words from the Soul: Time, East/West Spirituality, and Psychotherapeutic Narrative. SUNY Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology, New York: State University of New York Press.
- Sovatsky, 1998
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