•Day 9• Prāṇā & The Pranamaya Kosha
•Day 9 of 365•
What brings you to life? What do you need to live?
Food, water and shelter are often touted as the essentials of life, but without THIS one thing life would be absent. That is Prāṇā.
Prāṇā is the vital principle of life; the subtle energy; the life force present in all things. "Pra" means movement and "an" means constant. As long as an organism has this life exists. Secondarily, without prāṇā our five organs of action would not be able to produce speech and laughter nor support locomotion, dexterity, excretion, or reproduction.
The Pranamaya Kosha is the second of the five shells, or layers of the human being. It is the energy sheath composed of prāṇā, and it is the vital shell of the body which serves as the container for Life. The existence of the Pranamaya Kosha is what differentiates the living from the dead. It is said to be of the body but it pervades the whole organism uniting mind, body and spirit.
In humans, the physical manifestation of prāṇā, or its manifestation on the level of the #annamayakosha, is the breath. This is where we can most easily influence it through the practice of breath control or #pranayama. Prana enters the body via the breath and nourishment, moves through the energy channels of the body known as the #nadis, and interacts with and is dependent on the other four Koshas. This is why it is important to practice #pranayamato cultivate balance.
Prāṇā is also the bridge between the mind and the body via the #pranamayakosha. It is how we translate external experiences to the internal self. For example, if the mind is agitated or fearful due to interactions with the world around us we can sometimes hold our breath or allow it to become shallow. The practice of prāṇāyāma can re-balance the flow of prāṇā so that no matter what we experience in life we can call upon our inner strength.
Take a moment now to relax your jaw and shoulders, lengthen your spine, and feel your ribcage move as you breathe. Inhale........ Exhale......... Continue this for 5 breath cycles and notice how you feel.