“Prana is the companion of the Soul. It is how the Soul fulfils its journey. The Soul (consciousness) needs Prana to express itself, manifesting itself as action, will and knowledge. Prana is how the Yogi or Yogini moves back to his/her Soul, the very path of yoga itself is lead by Prana” – Yogarupta Rod Stryker
If you have been in a Yoga class, you are most likely familiar with the term Prana. It’s a Sanskrit word that comes up often, yet our understanding of what it is may be limited. Many have been lead to believe that our Prana is our breath, which isn’t entirely true.
Prana is the animating and activating force that gives life to all things. It’s the governing force behind our breath, thoughts, and emotions and whilst yes it does ride along the wave of our breath, we can gain more of our vital energy from a number of sources not just the breath.
When we have depleted our Prana, our vital energy feels low, we feel uninspired and lack vibrancy and vitality. Our Yoga practice is not merely one of building strength and flexibility although they are some of the many benefits that follow a consistent practice. Rather an opportunity to nourish and increase our vital energy by tuning more into the realm of the subtle body.
Prana is constantly shifting changing and rearranging as it is merely just our energy. The more seasoned we become as Yogi’s we have more ability to shift, change and rearrange our energy and direct it in a useful way. When we master this ability to direct our energy we find more balance as we can turn it on when we need to such as when we are working, or turn it off when we need to rest and repair.
Here are some simple tools to increase your life force energy and live with more vitality and vibrancy:
Prana rides along the wave of our breath and by mindfully manipulating the direction of the breath and bringing awareness to it, our Prana naturally will follow and expand throughout the body. Where our focus goes our energy flows which is the Prana moving and flowing through you. Pranayama is a practice of life force expansion by bringing awareness to the breath and consciously moving it we expand our vital force. A simple practice to bring subtle awareness and expand our Prana through the body:
Inhale for a count of 4 – Hold breathe for count of 4 – exhale count of 4 – Hold breathe for count of 4 – Repeat
*Try to find a smooth, rhythmic breath that embodies ease and grace. If a count of 4 is too much start with 3 and work your way up. If you feel like you have more capacity increase gradually to 6-10.
The food we consume
Prana is the energy within all things and yes even our food has Prana. In order to gain the most benefits from our food, eating freshly cooked meals, reducing packet or frozen foods and eating as close to nature as possible is recommended. We are what we consume, so if we wish to feel fresh, vibrant and full of life consider making choices that are more aligned with the vibrancy you wish to create within.
Spending time in nature
The energy of the sun has the ability to solarize our Prana and leave us feeling more energised and recharged. When our senses are overloaded our Prana becomes depleted leading to lack of motivation and enthusiasm.
The company we keep
We all know that feeling of spending time with energy vampires who suck our energy away from us. Bring awareness to the relationships within your life that really fuel you and inspire you and making conscious decisions to surround yourself with these people. Like attracts like so by spending time with those who you find energising naturally brings more energy to us. Of course there are some people in our life that we can’t avoid, but remember the more focused we become on our subtle body the more ability we have to redirect our energy. We can’t always control the external, we do however have control over the internal if we choose.