There is a mention of Prana, Pranic energy and Pranayama in the Holy Scriptures.
Bhagavad Gita– the Holiest of Indian scripture mentions pranayama under 4:29 (Chapter 4. Verse 29). But it is during the 6th to the 15th century AD, scriptures like Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita and Hathavatnavali decoded the science of Prana, Pranic energy and Pranayama.
What is Prana?
Prana denotes constancy – a force in constant motion. Western science calls it a multidimensional energy – a combination of electric, magnetic, electromagnetic, photonic, ocular, thermal, mind healing energy.
But what is Prana? Whatever moves or work or has a life, is the manifestation of Prana. Prana can be defined as the finest vital force in everything that is visible on the physical plane as motion and action and as thought on the mental plane.
Prana is the link between the astral and physical body
Prana is the energy that causes the motion of the breath in the lungs; it is the combustion that propels a vehicle forward, it is what happens at a hydro power plant when water (breath) moves the turbine (body) and generates electricity. This electricity is prana.
“Prana remains in suspended animation, is subtle, motionless and un-manifested until the vibration is acted upon it. This vibration, on the human plane is Breath.”
By managing the flow of breath, one can easily manage various motions and the nerve impulses in the body and manage the thought mind.
Management of the Prana is meditative, is meditation.
Yogis of lore gave more importance to Prana than the mind. According to them, Prana is present even when the mind is absent, like during sleep, therefore prana plays a more significant part in life maintenance and self healing.
Pranayama, on a physical plane, is a technique to calm the mind and lengthen life by slowing down the breath. Conscious guidance of prana in the body increases vitality, helps detoxifying and enhances immunity.
Can we see Prana?
The Kirlian photography can see the heat signature, the energy halo around ones head and the body and things. Everything in this universe vibrates at a frequency and has a defined Pranic signature.
Are we born with a Pranic shield?
Prana is inherent to a being. We come into existence with some amount of Pranic energy; the same can decrease, increase or remain the same depending on what we eat, how we breathe, the thoughts we think, the actions we perform and the life we lead.
Can we consciously manage this Pranic shield?
Yes! Besides the points mentioned in the point 4, Pranayama can manage this Pranic shield. Breath is the physical manifestation of Pranayama and the breath can be managed by the three stages of respiration namely
(a) Inhalation (Pooraka)
(b) Exhalation (Rechaka)
(c) Retention; the suspension of Breath (Kumbhaka)
What is more important between Pooraka, Rechaka and Kumbhaka?
Technically Pranayama is Kumbhaka (Retention/Suspension of Breath). Pranayama is the pause in the movement of Inhalation and Exhalation, when it is secured.
Pooraka (Inhalation) and Rechaka (Exhalation) are the means of inducing Kumbhaka (Suspension of the Breath). Kumbhaka (Suspension of the Breath) is the doorway to a Dhyana (meditative) State.
Can Pranayama alone lead us to salvation or a Meditative state?
Pranayama is not standalone. It is preceded and followed by certain sustained yogic practice called the Ashtanga Philosophy.
On a day-to-day level, Pranayama is taken as the science of correct breathing, leading to mind management. Mind remains unsteady if the breath wanders, it becomes still only if the breath is steady. Pranayama is a way of disciplining oneself by managing one’s breath thereby mastering one’s thoughts.
What is this Pranic Energy?
Prana permeates all living beings and matter and this Pranic force (Prana Vayu) is the energy that moves the entire body system. For more…