The word prana gets plenty of airspace in the yoga world. It’s on clothing (Prana). It’s in the eight limbs (Pranayama). It has its own festival (Pranafest) And, hopefully, it threads throughout your practice, your day, your life.
Prana is sometimes used to describe breathing, or air, others simply say “life force” and compare it to the words chi and qi. I understand as the animating force, the aspect of our being that comes to life, wakes up, is conscious and aware. Prana bring our physical body, our annamaya kosha, to life. It is the layer of consciousness that operates our physiological systems, called thepranamaya kosha, which include functions like digestion, respiration, and our autonomic nervous system.
The practices of pranayama, the extension or expansion of prana, can help us to tune into all of these complicated rhythms and even affect them. Through it we take deliberate awareness to our breath, transforming it from automatic life sustenance to transformational presence, or witness. Through prana we awaken.
Prana is more than breath, it is breath plus awareness.
Join us for our next Many Paths Teacher Panel at 6:30pm on the 2nd Sunday of November for a discussion of the 8 Limbs Yoga Math equation: breath+awareness=prana Teacher Panelists include Alex Baker-Campbell, Jen Mullholand and Elena Nishizaki. It’s free, and it willl feed your brain! Or take an Intro to Pranayama with Alex Baker-Campbell Sundays at 3:30pm starting November 16 at 8 Limbs West Seattle.
Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer