Prana – Vital energy, life force.
Amaya – field, dimension or area.
Pranamaya consists of two words: Prana – energy or life force and Amaya meaning dimension, area or field. Prana exists in every cell and fibre in the body so it therefore affects our health, our energy, the flow of blood in our system, the capacity to breath
deeply and the mind.
When there is an imbalance of prana in the body then it is often played out in mental activity. We can become dull or feel clouded if prana is moving too slowly or if it is blocked. Likewise, if there is too much prana in the system we can then experience too much energy or hyperactivity and an inability to relax and be still. Ones behaviour can become erratic, disconnected and ungrounded.
When we do pranayama at the beginning and end of a yoga class we penetrate this Kosha and begin to understand breath on a different level. We observe that Pranayama is not merely a set of well defined breathing techniques, it is in fact the manipulation of our energy, our life-force. We use pranayama to fill and balance the flow of energy in our system. Every cell and atom is affected by this practice. We gain a sense of true equilibrium in the mind, a calmness, steadiness and a sense of space. We observe the powerful affect the pranayama practice in the quiet moments after, while in meditation. In observing this we then have an opportunity to move through to the next level… The Manamaya Kosha, the kosha of the mind.
As prana is a powerful force one needs to be careful when teaching and practicing pranayama. In its essence, the asana (posture practice) of yoga is preparing us to be able to deal with this powerful force. So for example a light bulb that is only able for 220 volts of electricity would explode with 440 volts of electricity. Likewise, when someone begins yoga it is important to prepare the body and mind to be able to withhold this powerful force that will penetrate body and mind and will electrify. That is why when you begin pranayama in my class you might be doing something different to the more experienced yogi who has been coming for a while. The experienced can hold Bandha’s, (Bhandas are powerful locks in the body) that move energy at a faster rate. The experienced pranayama practitioner will also be inhaling and exhaling to specific counts that have been outlined in ancient yoga texts. The ratio of the inhale to exhale being highly refined to bring prana into the body and expel it around the system, balancing the nadi’s. Nadi’s are energy channels similar to what Chinese medicine refers to as meridian lines. We have 72,000 nadi’s in our system. We purify these nadi’s with the practices of both asana and pranayama .
Pranayama is a very powerful tool… The more you progress on this path the more it can affect the portholes of your mind… Your ability to connect to divine infinite energy becomes much stronger, visualisations and manifestations of your hearts desires become more possible….
This yoga system fascinates me. It fascinates me that this science existed thousands of years ago, in ancient times. It fascinates me that in 2014 we are still a minority who are blessed to have come across yoga, to know and use these ancient tools that empower ones life and the lives of others.
May all beings be happy, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be free.