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Life Force and Breathing


Here is a great article I read this morning on Yoga International. I found it really descriptive explaining how things in our body connect to each other.

"There is an ancient story found in the Prashna Upanishad that tells of a debate between prana (“life force”) and the five senses as to which of them was most valuable for human survival. The eyes claimed that without them, people could fall and be injured. The ears claimed that they could help people hear sweet things, as well as alert them to dangers the eyes could not see. The sense of smell argued that one could live without seeing and hearing, so long as one could still smell the richness of the world. And so it continued.

Then prana spoke up, expressing that without itself, none of the other senses could do their jobs. The other senses did not believe this. So, to demonstrate, prana began to leave the body, causing the five senses to grow weak. Quickly realizing the truth that prana reigns supreme, the five senses apologized and bowed down to the significance of prana.

According to the yoga tradition, prana not only rules over the five senses, but also over the whole body. It is prana that allows us to experience life. It’s said that if a part of the body is not functioning well, it is likely deficient in prana. Prana is the energy that rides on the breath. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the breath itself, but we are often breathing, while still lacking life force. It’s what we do with our breath that either increases or decreases prana."

(by Jeanne Heilmann, Yoga International)

Focusing on our breathing is more important than it looks and has many effects on all our senses, body and how we feel. How energized we are can be influenced by breathing in a mindful way, not to mention the different techniques used by yoga as a tool to reduce or increase the energy level.

Erika Gantner

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