The Care and Feeding of Vital Prana Life Energy
The ancient holistic medicinal system of Ayurveda teaches that all forms of life are infused with an essential energy, known around the world as chi, qi and ka—and in Ayurveda as prana—that is necessary for vitality and longevity. Yogi B.K.S. Iyengar says, “Prana is the energy permeating the universe at all levels. It is physical, mental, intellectual, sexual, spiritual and cosmic energy.”
According to Ayurveda, prana, located in hypothalamus of the brain, is responsible for the body’s respiration, oxygenation and circulation. Cosmic Wind (Anila in Sanskrit) represents prana in our subtle bodies. Cosmic Sun (Surya) and Moon (Soma) represent other energetic forms of our subtle bodies. The modern world negatively impacts our prana, so it is important to cultivate it for good health and longevity; otherwise, our lives become shorter due to the lock of vitality.
The more time we spend at the computer, the more prana is getting degraded. This also includes talking on the phone, especially cell phones; using microwave ovens and freezers; breathing air and using lights indoors; eating processed foods; and experiencing fear, especially from following mainstream media like television news programs. If one’s occupation or lifestyle requires use of these devices or habits on a daily basis, balance can be obtained by spending more time outside.
There are many ways to counter these influences and maintain or build prana in our lives. Having plants at home and in the office is very important. They enhance prana by removing the toxins from the air and oxygenation it. Having natural crystals around helps, too. Avoid violent movies and programs and instead practice yoga and meditation, attend religious and spiritual services and raise self-awareness to live in a state of positive thinking.
Daily airing the room out in a house or office enhances prana. Leaving the bedroom window slightly open at night and keeping windows clean is also helpful. Taking lunch away from the work desk and eating it quietly and taking a silent day or a silent hour in the day is really great for prana—so is petting dogs and cats.
In the kitchen, add raw salads, sprouts or vegetables to every meal. Fresh fruits have the most prana, but should be eaten in moderation. Fruits should be eaten separately from other foods, and melons should be eaten separately even from other fruits. Raw seeds and nuts have lots of prana. In general, avoid processed, frozen and microwaved foods. Cooked foods should not be stored for long periods of time, even in the refrigerator, in order to preserve their prana.
Food should be prepared, cooked and consumed with love, which enhances the prana in the food. Eat homemade food as much as possible and say a prayer to bless the food before dining. It could be a prayer from any religious denomination or just a blessing.
Exposure to the sun, fresh air and moonlight enhances the prana in our bodies, but be very careful about exposure to the sun. If the sun is strong, it takes prana away; if the sun is weak, as in the early morning or late afternoon hours, it gives us prana.
Exercising outdoors is excellent for prana cultivation. It can be anything—jogging, biking, sports, games or just walking. Working out at the gym is good for muscles, bones and cartilage, but unfortunately, there is no prana inside the health club, where electronic music is often playing and many sweaty people are exercising.
Shivasana yoga practice restores prana. Walking is a great exercise, and meditation slows down our mind so prana can be restored naturally. Being by the sea or ocean generates lots of prana. Spending vacations by the ocean significantly reduces the chance of getting seasonal colds and fevers. Walking by the rivers, creeks, especially fast mountain rivers and creeks, also increases prana. Just being in nature outdoors is good, but forests and mountains are best. After a thunderstorm, the air is full with ozone, which contains lots of prana.
Practicing prana-increasing techniques will encourage sensations such as lightness of the body, feeling of inner peace, improvement of energy levels and a deep inner state of body-centered, restful awareness that will benefit every aspect of one’s life.
Vladimir Kazinets is a certified ayurvedic medicine practitioner and member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, as well as the founder and clinical director of the holistic healing center House of Ayurveda, located at 3300 Dundee Rd., Ste. C6, in Northbrook. For more information, call 224-723-5797 or visit AyurvedicHouse.com.