Be Well Be Happy

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you probably heard the word “Prana” mentioned.  “Prana” is a Sanskrit word which means “life force vital energy.” The concept is not only rooted in the yogic tradition; it is prevalent in Egyptian and Chinese traditions as well, “Aka” and “Qi” respectively. Prana comes into the body through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and from absorbing the energies of the earth and the sun. It travels to the cells through thousands of energetic channels called “nadis.” Think of it as nourishment for the trillions of cells in the body. 

Prana is essential for the well-being of all who have life and for the longevity of the planet. The quality of each sustenance—air, water, food, environment (earth) and solar energy (sun), affects our physical health, mental state and emotions. If the air and the water are polluted, the quality of what we draw in to the body is compromised. If our food is loaded with impurities such as pesticides or is so processed, it is like a chemistry experiment, the energy nourishment is detrimental. If the earth’s forests diminish, the balance of nature is in jeopardy. If the ozone layer thins, the sun’s heat will cause changes in the atmosphere.

This is all a reminder that we should turn some attention to the environment and the changes that have been happening in recent years including major disasters both by man’s hand and not. The fires. The hurricanes. The tsunamis. The earthquakes. All seem to be pointing to extreme shifts due to some people’s inability to embrace the balance of nature. I am making a point of paying attention to what is happening and listening to people in positions who can have a voice to keep our planet safe and nourishing for generations to come. When we breathe our air, eat our food, drink our water, we should be taking in energy that will sustain us and keep us strong and balanced. 

Once again through the study of yoga, we gain insight into the nuances that make life meaningful. Prana is all the energy in the universe, it is all-encompassing.  We can enliven our life force vital energy by enjoying breathing practices—“pranayama”—allowing our own healing breath to reach every cell in the body. By deepening and elongating the breath on both the inhalation and the exhalation, which is one breath practice example, we provide the space for Prana to do its work, i.e., to reach and energize cells everywhere within our bodies, encouraging health and stimulating a sense of calm and peace. 

“As you breathe in, cherish yourself. As you breath out, cherish all Beings.”  - Dalai Lama.

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace. 

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