Pranayama – Managing the life force


The talk today about pranayama brought the topic alive. This diagram of the nadi system helped me to visualize the prana being distributed throughout the subtle energy body. How do you feel about pranayama?

Here is a small excerpt of the talk:

Your spiritual being uses prana (life force).  In every thought that is created in the mind, prana is involved at the spiritual (subtle energy) level.  It is a manifestation of prana.  All forms of energy manifestations in this Universe have a spiritual background, or spiritual dimension; the pranic dimension.  All forms of energy in manifestation are prana from the spiritual level.

When someone has a very strong presence, it is pranic energy in manifestation.  If you cut the body, you cannot see that strength of presence but it is prana, it is life force.  In this teaching of prana – it is an Indian teaching at the heart of the Yoga tradition – the entire energy in the Universe is called Prana as well, but it has a capital P.  Prana (with a capital P) is the entire Cosmic Energy in the Universe from which all the other energies emanate.  All the energy manifestations in movement are prana with a small p.

Pranayama is associated with breathing; so when we say, “Let us begin pranayama exercises,” we think of breathing exercises.  But the meaning is much deeper.  It is not just the management of the breath; but it is the control of the energy behind the breath.  When you begin to learn to control the subtle energies behind the breathing, you find that you are more in command over this invisible life force within you.  The breathing is a step in controlling and being in touch with this life force.  When you breathe with the lungs, you think that it is just a normal physical action; but your spiritual being is involved.  When you create the intention to breathe and you really begin to observe the breathing, you will realise that in this action of the lungs to bring in and expel air, there is a subtle energy that is also involved.  As you give attention to that moving breath, you will realise after a time that there is an energy that moves in the breath.  It is an energy that moves the lungs.  When you feel this, it is a remarkable kind of experience; of just by intention (as you intend to breathe), you find that your lungs move; not just mechanically or physically, but there is an energy movement in the lungs.  When you begin to become in touch with this and you learn how to manage this, you find that you can manage this invisible energy and life force within your being.  It is amazing.

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