thoughts & ponderings
“It’s as easy as breathing.” We hear this phrase about tasks that are so simple, you don’t even have to think about them. But this, as in all things, doesn’t make for a complete picture. In fact, when we pay attention to our breath, we’re also paying attention to our prana, our life force energy.
Prana is like the breath of the soul that permeates everything in the universe we live in. It’s in you, it’s in air and sunlight, it’s in the trees, rocks, and birds. It’s the invisible part of our existence that ties everything together. Prana enters your body at the same time as your breath, and the deeper and more mindfully you breathe, the better availability of prana you have.
When you are able to fully breathe in prana, you will feel more connected to the universe, you can express yourself more fully, you will have an easier time making healthful choices and you will naturally be drawn to ways you can make the world a better place. It’s like being in a flow-state, where you feel your place in the world more easily and you can act without fear.
The best way to incorporate a focus on your prana is during your yoga practice. Yoga puts a focus on the body, where pranayama is a focus, or meditation, on the breath and the spirit. The first step is to simply pay attention to the breath. You will naturally feel yourself breathing deeper, flooding your body with more oxygen as well as life-energy. It’s very refreshing! The next step is to coordinate your breathing with your poses, inhaling deeply as you enter each pose, and exhaling fully as you release. This will lead to a comfortably rhythmic practice, which will help you cycle your prana for an excellent flow of energy.
You can also simply focus on your prana as you meditate. This is a simple and fast way to stay in touch with yourself and with the universe when you don’t have the time or ability to have a yoga session. Closing your eyes, relax your body as you breathe deeply and exhale fully, with a pause between each breath. Feel your lungs expand and let your belly puff out so you can get as much air as possible. Not only does this re-center the mind and rejuvenate the body, but your spirit is able to connect with you without all the distractions and obstacles of the daily grind. Setting aside 15 minutes when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, or tensed up will make a big difference.
While prana isn’t something you can see with your eyes, it’s absolutely something you can feel. When you feel yourself start to stagnate in life, whether it’s just a few low-energy days in a row, or a longer trend without forward momentum or positive change, look for ways you can increase the flow of prana in your body.
© White Sage Wellbeing & contributors. 2017