Friday, April 19, 2013

Presentation at the Yoga Farm on prana

Last weekend there was an interesting slide presentation on the topic of prana.  It was a fairly long presentation and there's no way I'm going to be able to remember everything that was said, but here are a few of my takeaways from the presentation.

What is prana?

Prana is the life force within us.  It is what makes us "feel good" and allows us to think clearly.  From a scientific standpoint, one can think of it as energy.  For example, when we are tired, we have trouble thinking clearly and are usually more irritable.

Where do we get prana?

We get prana from the way our sense organs interact with the environment.  Here are some of the examples.
  • Eating good food with high-prana.  Foods that are fresh and that digest easily, e.g. fresh fruits, light organic vegetarian foods, etc. increase prana.  On the other hand, consuming foods that are heavily processed or stale drains the energy.  Consuming stimulants (coffee, sugar, alcohol, tobacco) also depletes energy.
  • Aromatherapy.
  • Pranayama -- breathing exercises.
  • Thoughts -- positive thinking.
  • From being in nature -- the sun, the ocean or river, the earth.  Being in high-rises and concrete jungles drains prana.
  • Getting rest and sleep.
Regulating prana

Once we get prana, it's important to regulate it.  A child has lots of prana but wastes it by running around without cause.  One has to learn how to store prana and use it consciously.

Beware of times when you have low prana

When prana is low, we are most susceptible to riding it even lower.  For example, when we are low on energy and not feeling good, we become susceptible to the temptation of stimulants (coffee, sugar, alcohol, tobacco) and while succumbing to them may make us feel a little better in the short term, it further depletes the prana eventually making us even worse off.  Instead, we should follow some of the suggestions above for increasing prana.

Prana and meditation

It takes prana to meditate and meditation increases prana.  So it's hard to meditate if one has low prana.  This makes sense to me because if I try to meditate when I'm tired, there is strong tendency to drift into sleep.  That's why it's usually easiest to meditate in the mornings after a night of good rest.  A catnap is more effective when I'm exhausted.

1 comment:

  1. Nice.......I have been studying yoga, both Hatha and Kundalini.......all these terms do come up......Yoga it!