Prana is the life-force which permeates both the individual as well as the universe at all levels. It is at once physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual and cosmic. Prana, the breath and the mind are inextricably linked to each other. It is said that mind is the king of the senses and breath is the king of the mind. The ancient ‘rishis’ and yogis advocated the practice of Pranayama to unite the breath with the mind, and thus with the Prana or life-force. Prana is energy and ‘ayama’ is the storing and channelization of that energy.
Prana is a Premier Yoga and Wellness Studio with the objective to propagate and encourage people to practice Yoga and Meditation according to their ability, age and physical conditions. It is a unique initiative of Rajeshwari Welfare Foundation incorporated under Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 to promote better health care and wellness by establishing a state of art Yoga and meditation studio at Lucknow.
Our vision: To spread awareness about Yoga and meditation practices to overcome the limitations of the body and realize full potential of human life.
Our Objectives: Our main objective is to impart high quality Yoga education and genuine Yoga and meditation practices to the people in an aesthetically designed serene environment under the supervision of well qualified and properly trained guides and instructors.
Prana – the Name: Prana is the life-force which permeates both the individual as well as the universe at all levels. It is at once physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual and cosmic. Prana, the breath and the mind are inextricably linked to each other. It is said that mind is the king of the senses and breath is the king of the mind. The ancient ‘rishis’ and yogis advocated the practice of Pranayama to unite the breath with the mind, and thus with the Prana or life-force. Prana is energy and ‘ayama’ is the storing and channelization of that energy.
Prana : The Universal Life-Force
In the physical body we have two types of energies. One is known as Prana and the other is known as mind or consciousness. That means, in every organ of the body there should be two channels supplying energy. Modern physiology describes two types of nervous systems-the sympathetic and the parasympathetic, and these two nervous systems are interconnected in each and every organ of the body. In the same way, every organ is supplied with the energy of Prana and the energy of mind. In yoga, the concept of Prana is very scientific. When we speak of Prana, we do not mean the breath, air or oxygen. Precisely and scientifically speaking, Prana means the original life force.
The Essence of Life
Prana is not merely a philosophical concept; it is in every sense a physical substance. Just as radioactive or electromagnetic waves exist even though we can’t see them, in the same way, in this physical body, there are pranic waves and a pranic field. Now, each of us has a certain quantity of Prana in our physical body and we utilize this in the course of our day to day activities throughout life. When our Prana diminishes, sickness sets in, and when we have plenty of Prana, every part of the body is in perfect health. If we have an excess of Prana, it can be transmitted to others for healing or magnetism. The inner Prana can be stimulated by the practice of Pranayama and thereby increased to a greater quantum.
The Effort to Increase Prana
One should not think that just by practicing a little Pranayama one can send a lot of Prana to the brain. The process of supply and assimilation of Prana into the brain is very complicated. The brain is a subtle instrument and it can only be enriched by the subtle form of Prana and not the gross form. Therefore, while practicing Pranayama, one has to convert the Prana into a subtle force. Deep breathing alone is not enough to stimulate Prana. By breathing deeply, respiratory system and the blood circulation are stimulated but if the brain is examined at that time, it would be seen that it is least affected. However, practicing Pranayama with concentration, as shown by scientific studies, the brainwaves undergo a significant change and the limbic system is also positively influenced.
The Significance of Conscious Breathing
The brain can be split into two parts- the frontal brain and the posterior brain. The posterior brain is the instinctive brain which we have inherited. The frontal brain is the seat of total consciousness. When you breathe without awareness, the breath is registered in the posterior brain, but when you are aware that you are breathing and you are consciously witnessing the whole process, then it is registered by the conscious brain, the frontal brain. This difference seems to be very simple, but its effect is very great. Throughout life, you breathe unconsciously, just like animals, children and most other people do, excepting for the few who have started practicing yoga. Now, in every case, the pranic flow is being registered in the posterior brain as if in a computer. The moment you become aware of your breathing and you begin to conduct and control the breath in a particular fashion, immediately the frontal brain registers the influence.
Evolution of the Brain through Prana
In order to alleviate sicknesses of the brain, in order to develop the latent capacities of the brain or to initiate evolution of the brain, we cannot just depend on the way we have been breathing in the past. This is precisely the reason why the different forms of Pranayama are practiced. When Pranayama is practiced, the Pranas are stimulated in the lower region of the body, but we must have a means of forcing the pranic energy up. Somehow, we have to create a negative force which will push the pranic energy up through the spinal cord. For this reason Pranayama should be practiced in coordination with specific ‘bandhas’.
Rejuvenation of the Brain
In order to charge the brain with sufficient Prana, we will have to practice Pranayama very systematically. Pranayama is not just a matter of breathing in and breathing out in a particular way. ‘Kumbhaka’, retention of breath, is the actual definition of Pranayama. Inhalation and exhalation are just a process. In all the ancient yoga texts, ‘kumbhaka’ has been highly praised, and today scientists are acknowledging what the texts have claimed. Retention of breath is done at two points. Firstly, when we have filled your lungs, we hold the breath inside, and secondly, when we empty your lungs, we hold the breath outside. Both forms of ‘kumbhaka’ are important and they are so powerful that they can completely rejuvenate the whole brain.
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