Updated: Jun 18, 2020
You might have noticed sometimes in the gym, you see people who are not very muscular, but can lift so much weight still. What is this phenomenon? Some yogis in India are able to move so much weight around that it seems to defy all laws of physiology, because they are so skinny and frail to look at.
One such yogi told me, people lift with their physical body and I lift with my prana. So what is this prana. Prana is the vital energy or the life force energy that flows to us continuously from the universe. This is the cosmic energy that is responsible for life within us.
Even when you lift your arm, you don't lift it with your physical strength, it is the pranic energy that lifts the arm. If we disconnect this prana, the arm will fall down. This is what happens in the case of paralysis - the flow of prana is obsructed there. So if the pranic energy is not flowing, that part of the body will not be able to move.
So prana is more important than the physical body, and if you are able to control the prana, you can create more power and your strength increases. So always go for the inner strength rather than the physical strength.
In our course, mindfulness- mastering the breath, we are going to learn certain sacred kriyas on how to control this prana and how to make use of it. So this prana is the life force energy that flows through our body. As we have the physical body, we also have the energy body or etheric body which is known as the pran-may-kosha which literally means "that which is ade of prana".
Now the physical body you can touch and see. This body will look the same regardless how your are feeling emotionally. For example you can be feeling sad, happy, excited or angry, the physical body will not change instantly with your emotions. These emotions and feelings - this is the energy that makes up our etheric body.
Our etheric body is connected to the physical body like a sponge in water. Just as the water exists inside and outside of the sponge, so does our etheric body is inside as well as outside of the physical body.
The pranic energy flows with the breath. More specifically it flows with our awareness of the breath. When we become aware of our breath, we start inhaling the pranic energy along with the air. And if we become aware of different parts of the body while breathing, the pranic energy starts flowing there.
Just like the body needs food, water and air to survive, it needs the cosmic energy to continue life. This energy flows continuously to us through the universe and is distributed in our body through a system of energy channels called the nadis. These nadis are energy channels that are running in parallel to our nervous system and distribute the cosmic energy to each and every organ and cell within our body.
Of these nadis the three main nadis are the ida, pingla and sushumna. Of these sushumna is the main nadi which is located literally inside our spinal cord. The sushumna nadi has 7 startegically located energy tapping devices emanating from it. These are what are known as chakras. These chakras are made of energy and are shaped like flowers of a petal, with each petal attracting a specific energy frequency from the universe. When we activate and empower our chakras, we are able to greatly enhance the flow of cosmic energy and experience the power that is latent within us.