Prana: The Power of Breath

Prana synonyms; breath, pneuma, breath of life, divine breath, essence of life, life breath, life principle, vital force, vital principle, vital spirit, vital soul

What is it?

Prana is the universal life force energy (chi) which distinguishes the living from the dead. This life force energy is taken in mainly through breath (the nostrils) and flows through thousands of subtle energy channels called ‘nadi’ and our chakras (energy centres). Prana is the vital energy needed by our physical and subtle bodies to keep us alive.

According to Yogis, the Universe is a manifestation of prana.

Prana is also known as kundalini shatki which is directly linked to the activation of the 7 energy centres (chakras) that are aligned vertically upwards each human spine.

Kundalini refers to the journey of the two ‘serpent snakes’ (idafeminine, left nostril, upward channel & pingalamasculine, right nostril, downward channel) from the root chakra (base of spine) to the crown chakra (top of head) towards enlightenment, Divinity.

There are four ways in which we intake & maintain prana:
1. breathing
2. resting
3. food (it is worth noting that meat, being literal death when ingested is low/negative prana)
4. mindfulness.

Importance of Breathing

The most immediate source of prana is through breath. In fact, the way we breathe has a powerful effect on how we feel and our overall health & state of being. Prana is the cosmic energy that fuels our life force through the ida & pingala channels (nostrils). When we breathe in through the nostrils, life force energy enters through the ida & pingala channels, carrying prana through all 7 channels in the spine which is then carried to the rest of our body in the subtler energy channels (nadis).

Prana through breath is most crucial for the top three chakras (throat, spiritual/3rd eye, crown) as those are the three main chakras fed by breath. The quality and quantity of prana and the way in which it flows through the nadis determines ones state of mind – the mental subtle energy body.

Due to suppressed emotions (energy in motion) – which happens when we do not express ourselves authentically or when we reject emotions and push them under the rug per se, energy channels become blocked. Blockages lead to jerky, trapped energy that does not flow easily. A lack of ease leads to dis-ease, which manifests physically into ailments generally referred to as diseases if energy blocks are ignored and thus build up. Some of the broken/jerky prana flow symptoms are worry, fear, uncertainty, conflict, tension, (dis)ease, depression, doubts and other negative (e)motional expressions. These all manifests in the solar plexus chakra just above the navel area of the physical body.

The solar plexus chakra is responsible for our mind, our mental function, the flow of our mental energy. This chakra is also directly linked to Dharma, which is linked to our life purpose, our inner strength, confidence & power. Dharma is commonly translated as ‘occupation’ thus resonating with the path of our Higher Self. If our solar plexus chakra is imbalanced we over-rely on the Ego-Self and experience all the uncomfortable symptoms listed above. Conscious breathing is the perfect means to quieting the ego and aligning with our Higher Self.

Pranic Healing

Pranic healing is a form of breath work which is intended to restore energetic/spiritual blockages in our bodies. Numerous methods of breath work exist that vary in technique and intention in some aspects with the same ultimate goal of increasing prana flow and alignment. Pranic healing in the form of conscious breathing brings a sense of calm, ease and overall balance to our inner states of being.

It is evident that breathing is a crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle, one that aligns us with our Dharma – our life purpose, our inner strength & power whilst eradicating the self-destructive ways of our ego.

Incorporating breathing exercises and practicing conscious breathing in our daily lives is key to a balanced, peaceful and fulfilling life. It is a direct path to enlightenment and your life purpose.

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