Get to Know Your Pranas
So you may have heard the word Prana as a term used in yoga practices. But what exactly does it mean?
Prana as a whole means energy. It’s the energy that flows through all matter and allows the universe to function as it does. Within ourselves, wellness stems from a harmonious flow of prana while illness results from a block in prana flow. Practices such as yoga and meditation, or a combination of the two, allow us to gain control of our pranas. This grants us control over our physical, mental and spiritual wellness.
There are five main pranas that are essential to our well-being. The five pranas are Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana.
1) Prana consists of the oxygen that is supplied to and energises the human body. This prana is effected by both our external environment and our internal vitality, or our Atmabala.
2) The Apana prana consists of the energy flowing in the lower half of the body. This includes everything from the navel to the soles of the feet. These two are the most important pranas, as they control everything from respiration, circulation, digestion and secretion.
3) The Vyana Prana is the energy flowing through the nerves of the body. It controls blood and nutrient circulation and the flow of chemical and electrical impulses throughout the body. It also dictates the flow of lymphatic fluids, muscle/joint movement, and the flow of thoughts/emotions. This Prana is present throughout the entire body and bands together all of the systems.
4) The Udana Prana flows energy from the heart to the head and brain. It is mainly present in the throat, controlling speech. It further enhances metabolism through the thyroid and parathyroid glands. A strong Udana Prana allows us to be enthusiastic, articulate and strong-willed.
5) Finally, the Samana Prana controls the nutrition within the body. A strong Samana Prana allows for healthy digestion and a balanced energy level. This goes beyond the physical digestion of food and reaches to emotional and mental experiences.
Why they’re important
The combination of these five pranas allows energy to flow throughout every inch of your being. It’s important to be aware of these pranas in order to find balance within them.
This type of breathing allows us to clear and steady our minds. Yoga uses this breathing to send positive energy to each of the five pranas. A prana is energised when the breathe is directed to a specific area of the body. The calming influence of the breath allows for the restoration of healthy functioning for whichever prana is in need of healing.
It is important for each breath to flow smoothly without pauses in order to effectively refresh the body.
If you want to learn more about this topic you can join the wonderful Bev Porrino who will be teaching a Prana Flow Yoga Workshop on from 12pm- 2pm on Sunday 31st July.