Vedic & Healing Arts
Kara Weimer • 707.235.1413 • email@example.com
Prana is the unmanifest energy of consciousness that permeates the universe and the manifest force of creation. Prana is our life force and pranayama (life force expansion and control) is the practice of building, moving and directing that energy via the breath using the concentration of the mind - as the breath is one of the 3 sources of (prana) vital energy in the body and a bridge between the body and mind.
As our thoughts effect our breathing patterns (and prana) we can also control our thoughts by our conscious breath. Where the mind goes prana goes. When we breath consciously we are bringing our senses inward, guiding and controlling the prana which produces calmness, stillness, and effects us on subtle levels influencing our psychic and spiritual state which brings us to higher states of awareness. Our pranic breath has inner wisdom and has subtle effects on our consiousness. Patanjali describes pranayama as the gap (retention) between our controlled inhales and exhales. This retention assimilates the prana and stills the mind.
Pranayama practices play an essential role in purifying the energy channels (nadis) and cultivating and channeling the prana, as well as oxygenating the blood, increasing blood flow to the brain, calming the mind and nervous system, cleansing toxins, and helping digestion.
There are many different pranayama, advanced pranayama and concentration methods across the many yogic traditions to guide the prana in certain energy cooridinates for specific purposes and may include the use bandha, mudra, mantra, nada, and bodily postures as well as conception. Pranayama is the doorway to meditation/advanced states of consciousness. It is referred to as the "inner fire ceremony", purifying our thoughts, mind and life.