Prana has long entered the English lexicon, to the point where it’s a trademark in the world of retail. So we are well familiar with its concept of the vital life force energy. To find out a bit more, check out this related article: https://celebrateyoga.org/refuel-prana-vital-life-force-energy/.
But what does prana have to do with spirituality? In so many ways, spirituality means to live consciously, and break karmic cycles of unconsciously going through the same compulsions. It makes sense then, that pranayama means taking charge of the various aspects of one’s own prana. Prana determines one’s level of health and well-being, and because it is influenced by karma, it operates differently in different people. This is obvious after all, as we all experience different levels of health and what other than our own vital life force could be the cause? And so in the first place, pranayama exercises benefit one’s physical and mental health. The body is fortified against chronic illnesses, and certainly the mind is immune to all emotional disturbances. Mastery over the 5 major pranas means absolutely unshakable psychological balance.
We’ve established prana is an energy, and one can take control over it. But it is not constant, the level of prana changes all the time. Yogis speak of managing inertia, and ensuring pranic levels remain high in the body. If you have ever participated in multi-day silent meditation programs, you will notice the various preparatory requirements such as a restricted diet and pronounced levels of yoga and breathing exercises leading up to the event – all of these are meant to increase your prana quotient so that you may benefit at a peak level from the retreat. Higher prana means higher levels of spiritual attainment. That is why yogis only eat positive-pranic foods, and need less sleep, for example.
So are there ways to increase your prana? The following 10 suggestions will increase the level of prana:
- Diet: Vegetarian diet, ideally dairy free, and avoiding negative pranic foods such as onions, garlic, caffeine and chocolate. Eating fresh food, especially “live” plant-based foods such as various vegetable sprouts.
- Pranayama and kriya, as well as meditation
- Cold water baths
- Emotional peaks
- Singing and chanting
- Giving and service without any sense of self
- Presence of the Master
As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “Every cell in our body has the capacity to hold infinity. Let us tap the full potential that nature has bestowed on us, the potential to hold infinity in every cell of the body. For that, we must practice meditation regularly. Then our physiology undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with prana – life force. As the level of prana in the body rises, we bubble with joy.”
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