Jan 28, 2015


PRANA - Subtle force of Vata in the body and mind. Each of the doshas has five subtle forms in the body and mind. The subtle force of vata is PRANA and in the body it is the vayus which are the principles of energy and are the vital currents and the main force which creates & sustains the physical and mental body. 

PRANA exists in the body functions in body, mind and spirit as one force even though explained as different aspects. There isn’t an equivalent English word for PRANA “PRA” means forward  or inward moving and “NA” means energies. It is the life force coming into the body through inhalation. Breathing is the most important thing we do it is the very first thing after birth and the very last thing at death. We can survive for a while without water, we can survive a long time without food but only a minute or two without air. PRANA is vital to all living things, it is the life force of trees and plants which absorb it through their leaves, fish through their gills and mammals have lungs like we do. 

PRANA is a very important concept to understand in ayurveda, it is the keystone to physical and mental health and spiritual growth. PRANA is in everything particularly in what we eat, it is through the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables that PRANA comes into us as energy. If a plant is old, frozen or altered in any way, it may have some nutrition value, but it will not have PRANA. If fruits and vegetables are artificially ripened they will not have the same value as a natural plant just as a medicine which has the same active ingredient as a medicinal herb, but will not have  the same potency as a herb grown naturally in the forest. PRANA in the body is in five different forms according to the direction of movement which it governs. It is the Master force behind body & mind, like the controller or regulator of the other forces or energy. All diseases involve an impairment of PRANA therefore all can be treated through the breath. These five forces must be in proper balance for good mental, physical and spiritual health.   

Udana is the upward movement of PRANA and apana is the downward movement. Samana is the life force moving inward towards the centre and balances apana and udana in an upward direction. Vyana is the outward force moving from the centre outward and balancing udana and apana in a downward direction. Because the five forces are the force of the breath, PRANA and apana are the forces of inhalation and exhalation with samana as the balancing force. Vyana gives the capacity to absorb PRANA as it circulates and this happens in the retention of the breath. The five PRANA is in spaces of the head and mouth, apana in spaces in the lower body. and udana in the cavities of the mouth. Samana and Vyana are related to spaces in the limbs and in the organs. 

PRANA enters the body through the breath and moves to every cell in the circulatory system It has an inward movement and governs the the life force through the breath, through food and drink. The main location of PRANA is the brain but also located in the chest and throat. Breathing is the main action of PRANA, it governs sneezing: swallowing, inhalation, spitting, and belching. It also governs the beating of the heart, functioning of the arteries, veins and nerves. It gives energy, coordination, adaptability and makes us receptive to external sources of nourishment. When vitiated PRANA causes: hiccough, bronchitis, asthma, cold, hoarseness and decreased memory. 

PRANA supports the mind by allowing the intake of sensory impressions, impulses, feelings, emotions, thoughts and knowledge. It gives us the will to live and experience life. When low we experience depression. PRANA in the mind gives the capacity to communicate and gives mental adaptability. It allows us to expand our comprehension and arrange our ideas. It gives vitality to the mind. PRANA gives us the will to live, our creativity and enthusiasm for life and allows us to be adaptable. It is the life force which enables us to grow and if we are sick to recover. 

It is through PRANA that we create higher awareness, it purifies and creates stillness in the mind and allows the development of higher levels of consciousness. When used properly it will bring the right spiritual direction and will determine inspiration, positiveness and connect us to our inner self. It is through the breath that we consciously connect to subtle sources of energy within us which govern the mind. PRANA determines our aspirations and when fully developed allow us to transcend the outer world and promotes the evolution of consciousness by surrendering to life and its forces.



ATAY Video on  'Subtle Energies of the Mind - Prana: Tejas: Ojas:'

 The subtle energies of Vata (Prana), Pitta (Tejas) and Kapha (Ojas) govern the positive aspects of health and vitality. View this video and more on the web-site According to Ayurveda & Yoga on the Mental Health Page

Life Force and Energy Channels - Prana, Nadis 

 Prana is the life force brought into the body through the breath. Pranic energy is carried throughout the body by the nadis. There are three main nadis and 72,000 minor channels in the body. View this video, blogs and more at According to Ayurveda & Yoga at Ayurveda & Yoga Spirituality Page

According To Ayurveda & Yoga - Ann Holaday

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