Blog post by Stacy Jo Zercher
You often hear your yoga teacher saying to move, connect, or flow with prana. Whether our teacher tells us this or not doesn’t matter. We are always, in someway, connecting with this mysterious life force we call Prana.
Prana is spiritual energy that permeates all life and matter. Like rivers, Prana flows through a network of nerves in the body called nadis. Imagine 72,000 little rivers flowing through your body, and you can imagine this intense network of subtle energy keeping your body pure and functioning harmoniously. When Prana begins to flow through your central Nadi, called Sushumna, up the spinal cord, the brain and energy centers become active. Your energy on a physical and spiritual plane elevates your mind, and consciousness expands to higher levels of awareness. In other words, you feel a spiritual or cosmic connection.
Like a spring, Prana is pure and clean. But just like water can pick up dirt and debris, so can your prana. Your Prana rivers starts out clean, but negative emotions and behaviors can taint your water making the quality of your Prana unclear. The food you eat even the company you keep can affect the quality of your Prana. Like a toxic river changes its environs, so too can Prana directly affect the health of yours and those around you. You know the feeling when you’ve spent the day with someone and your energy feels uplifted, or the opposite, your energy feels down. The quality of our thoughts and actions, therefore, reflect the quality of our Prana.
We can elevate the flow, vitality, and quantity of our Prana through a consistent practice of meditation, pranayama, and asana. If our rivers become empty and our waters become tainted, our body feels lifeless and illness can settle in. If we concern ourselves with worries and negativity, like, anger, envy, and hatred, the flow of Prana will become weak leaving us prone to a weaker body and a shorter life span. But if your body flows with pure, clean rivers, your body and mind will reflect that vitality. A stranger walking by you will notice your beautiful green, tree lined, riverbanks, and smile, not really knowing why. They have noticed or perhaps felt the positive energy, like a fountain of youth, radiating from your body.