In this article, we’ll look at the basics of Prana and how you can incorporate it into your yoga practice.
What Is Prana?
If you wish to explore Prana more thoroughly, you will discover that it can be divided into different categories. Sources may call them by different names or vary in the number of types. However, it is most common the see them listed as Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, and Samana.
Naturally, this flow of pranic energy up and down the spine creates a direct relationship between Prana and the 7 Chakras located along the spine. These chakras are described as wheels of energy within the body. Many believe that the flow of life force energy can help keep these chakras balanced and that this balance is vital for good health and well-being.
Meditation and breathing exercises are commonly used to help promote this flow of energy in the body. These breathing techniques focus on the vital breath needed to carry energy. One of the most widely known breathing exercises is called Pranayama.
What Is Pranayama?
Ujjayi Breath or Victorious Breath is a more specific breathing exercise that can also promote the flow of life force. This exercise uses a slight constriction of the throat to hopefully create the sound of an ocean wave. Ujjayi seeks to extend and ease the breath. Mastering this breathing technique may require some practice, especially as it pertains to constricting the throat.
If you crave more information about Pranayama, try this article!
How Does Yoga Benefit Prana?
Naturally, there are many specific yoga poses that are known to benefit Prana and the Chakra centers along the spine. Look below for examples of yoga postures that could potentially balance your Chakras.
Poses To Benefit Chakras & Prana:
Root Chakra or 1st Chakra:
This chakra helps to control emotions and influences our basic needs and survival. It can be helped with many standing postures like Warrior I Pose, Warrior II Pose, Warrior III Pose, Humble Warrior and Standing Forward Bend Pose.
Sacral Chakra or 2nd Chakra:
This is a popular chakra that deals with our creative side, pleasure seeking and sexual desires. Poses such as Lizard Pose, Mermaid Pose, Puppy Pose and Cat/Cow Pose can promote the balance of this chakra’s spinning energy.
Solar Plexus Chakra or 3rd Chakra:
Heart Chakra or 4th Chakra:
This chakra is connected to our inner peace and ability to love. Heart and chest openers such as Upward Facing Dog Pose, Wheel Pose, Camel Pose and Wild Thing Pose are useful in keeping this chakra healthy.
Throat Chakra or 5th Chakra:
This chakra is tied to our verbal expression and ability to speak truthfully. Poses that reduce neck and shoulder tension are beneficial for this chakra. Poses would include Standing Forward Bend Pose, Fish Pose, Camel Pose and Cow Pose.
Third Eye Chakra or 6th Chakra:
This chakra helps us to make decisions and affects our intuition. Meditations, inversions, and simple forward fold poses can all help to benefit this chakra. Poses would include Downward Facing Dog Pose, Standing Forward Bend Pose, Plow Pose, and Shoulder Stand Pose
Crown Chakra or 7th Chakra:
This chakra is all about our faith, and spiritual connections to the universe. Restful postures such as meditations and restorative poses are most beneficial to promoting the well-being of this chakra’s energy.