What Is Prana and How Does It Enter the Body

Table of Contents

Prana is the Sanskrit word for vital energy. It is a concept important to many Eastern spiritual traditions. It can be viewed as the potential force that animates life.

In traditional Hinduism, Prana is often seen as similar to ki in Taoism or qi in Chinese medicine.

It can be thought of as a kind of life-force energy which sustains all living beings.

Like the central nervous system, the channels of Prana in the human body are the two subtle energy channels called Nādīs, that run like a network along and inside the spine; these are known as Ida and Pingala.

The right channel represents masculine energy, and the left channel represents feminine energy.

It is said that these two energies, when in balance, give rise to health, harmony and vitality.

Otherwise, they can result in imbalance, disease or discomfort.

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How Does Prana Enter the Body?

Prana enters the body through the breath. When you breathe, Prana enters through a valve (called the vena cava) and travels down to the navel area.

There are various ways in which Prana can be increased: asanas, yoga mudras (poses and gestures), tapas (heat, in the form of fire or other means), bandhas (energy locks) and meditation.

Prana enters the body like a current of energy that flows along the spine and up into the brain. For this to happen, Prana must first enter the body’s energy system in the form of nourishment, or kapha.

Pranayama, a form of breath control, is another way to balance the energies of our body.

Prana alternate nostril breathing

What Are the Five Types of Prana?

Prana divides into five subcategories called vayus, with each residing in specific parts of the body. These are; prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana.

Prana Vayu

Prana Vayu is located in the abdomen and governs appetite, respiration, senses and governs the organs of elimination, as well as up-lifting the body.

Apana Vayu

Apana Vayu is located in the pelvic region and governs elimination waste through the intestines, bladder and genitals.

Samana Vayu

Samana Vayu is located in the head and controls the muscles of respiration, ears, eyes and organ of hearing.

Udana Vayu

Udana Vayu is located in the throat region and controls voice production, as well as speech.

Vyana Vayu

Vyana Vayu is located in the small of the back and governs the movement of blood in the chest and lungs

chakra meditation - seven chakras

The Prana and Chakra Connection

The Chakras play a pivotal role in facilitating Prana to move up the spinal column towards pranic activation in the various energy centres.

Prana is available everywhere, but we are not able to connect and tap into it because of the blockages in our chakras. The more negative and blocked our chakras are, the harder it is for Prana to move up the spine.

If you wish to activate the Chakra system, it is important to clear all negative blocks in the chakras and raise the prana level in the body.

Kundalini meditation or yoga is another way to raise the level of Prana in the body and facilitate its flow up through the chakras.

This helps develop an ability to connect with your own inner energy and that of others. Supposedly, it can influence and affect their lives, relationships, moods, thoughts, and feelings.

Key Facts

  1. In traditional Eastern practices, Prana is seen to be life force energy that is tied to bodily health and the major chakras.

  2. Prana is a cosmic energy that enters the physical body through the breath. Yoga postures and Pranayama practices can assist it.

  3. Prana resides in five specfic parts of the body called; prana, apana, samana, udana and vyana.