Prana: The Universal Energy
by Nischala Joy Devi.
October 23, 2013.
Let’s talk about prana, the vital energy.
Inhabiting and surrounding each cell of our physical body and is the universal energy called prana (this energy is named qi in Japan and chi in China). Everything in the natural world has a field of energy surrounding and circulating through it. At different times the quality and quantity of prana may vary.
For example, a tree in winter would have less circulating prana than a tree in springtime. There is more energy needed for a tree to flower then to exist in the dormant stage. Prana is the intelligence that responds to the varying needs. Prana is similar to electricity in that it supplies an invisible current to keep life flowing and functioning.
At birth, we are allotted a quantity of this precious vital energy that continuously circulates, maintaining our function in daily life. Our first life-affirming action on this planet is to inhale, taking in the precious atmosphere of the earth, as well as a dose of prana. This action enlivens our bodies, making them suitable to sustain life in our new world. We then continue to breathe about sixteen times a minute, hopefully for many years to come. At a certain time, and very near the last beat of our hearts, we return the borrowed air we took in at the beginning with an exhalation and go on our way, out of our body and to our next destination. In this way a breathing body is considered to be alive, and a breathless body is considered to be dead. What is often overlooked is that we are the indweller of the body, not the body itself.
While a substantial portion of prana is allotted for daily use, a greater amount is put “in trust” until the time comes to further our quest to know the Divine Self. A vast capacity of prana is needed to raise the energy from the physical to the spiritual realms. This “trust fund” is safely stored at the base of the spine, most often known as the kundalini (coiled snake). Through the wide range of yogic practices, we slowly access this energy as it guides us to deeper levels of consciousness.
Our senses augment the already circulating prana: through the beauty, we see; the sounds, we hear; the touch, we receive; the fragrance, we smell; the food, we eat. The sun, the moon, the stars, thoughts, emotions, actions, and words all have the capacity to enhance or diminish our prana.
♥ How to Meditate with Your Breath by Nischala Joy Devi