April 20


Pranamaya kosha – Energy Body

The second layer of experience consists of subtle body energy, or the elements that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Breath and prana (life force energy) are part of this layer.Once you have dabbled in an attempt to ‘master’ asana and diet, an aspirant of a healthy lifestyle will be ready for the next level.Pranayama, (expansion of our life force remember?), is so much more than a simple breathing exercise. I hear people ‘playing’ with these techniques and it makes me shudder. As with my Osteopathic techniques, they are not suitable for all. I was taught in Osteopathic Medicine; use the right technique on the right person at the right time. That’s alot of variables to consider. The same is true of pranayama. Breath holding is not recommended for a sufferer of high blood pressure for example.Pranayama is practised in order to understand the ‘pranic’, (energy), process circulating within the body. Breathing is a direct means of absorbing prana, (contained within the air we breathe), and distributing it in a controlled manner throughout the system. Right diet is also a direct way of ingesting and thus absorbing prana.┬áThere is a reciprocal influence between prana and the mind. When the mind is steady; breathing is steady. We know this from hyperventilation in extreme situations. As Westerners seem to struggle with the steadying or quietening of the mind we can prescribe pranayama to sneak up on it and influence and slow it’s rhythm. Erratic breathing leads to erratic impulses in the cognitive mind. Steadiness of the breath leads to a steady, calm mind.There are many different pranayama techniques as I say, it is the interface between the physical gross body and the more ethereal subtle bodies. You can ‘sometimes’ see the breath. It’s almost there but not there.┬áBegin to notice your breath when you are busy and when you are relaxing. Perhaps the gap between the inhale-exhale-inhale begins to lengthen. This moment of neither inbreathe nor outbreath is where your spirit is said to reside. As you practice pranayama this duration will lengthen spontaneously. Your mind/central nervous sytem will repond accordingly. A safe and basic starting point can be found here;



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