Updated: Jul 21, 2021
“Prana” means Vital or Universal Energy, and it is considered to be the life sustaining force which pervades not only all living organisms, but the whole Universe at all levels - physical, mental, intellectual, sexual, spiritual and cosmic. When practising yoga, each yoga posture is designed to promote the flow of Prana in and out of our body. Prana is a hidden or potential energy in all beings, released to the fullest extent in times of danger for example. When you feel happy and full of energy, it means that you have a lot of Prana in your body.
Another interesting fact is that there are a lot of types of Prana. I will give you a brief explanation of each of them below!
TYPES OF PRANA
Depending on its movement, function and direction, prana is subdivided into five “vayus”. “Vayu” means “Wind”.
These five vayus govern different areas of the body and different physical and subtle activities. They move through the body in a wavelike motion and can be related to the electromagnetic field, where the energy is in constant motion.
When they are functioning harmoniously, they assure the health, vitality and integrity in the whole of our body, mind and emotions as an integral system.
The following are the five vayus:
PRANA VAYU is a type of Prana that moves inwards. It is prevalent in the region between the larynx (throat) to the diaphragm, and it governs the processes of intake, not only of air (breath inhalation), food and drink, but also sensory input, reception, propulsion, forward momentum. Its functions are related to pranic absorption, directing all the other vayus in the body.
APANA VAYU is a type of Prana that moves downwards and outwards. It is prevalent mainly in the region bellow the navel. And it governs the processes of elimination; not only urine, faeces, semen,
menstrual flow and child birth, but also of negative, mental and emotional experience; also governing exhalation.
UDANA VAYU is a type of Prana that moves upwards. It is prevalent mainly in neck and throat areas towards the head. And it governs the processes of speech and expression, allowing for growth, effort and enthusiasm. its function is to control organs like throat, eyes, nose, ears and brain - all sensory receptors are activated by this vayu. Through it we are conscious of the outer world.
SAMANA VAYU is a type of Prana that moves in spirals inwards. It is prevalent in the region between the heart and the navel. And it governs the processes of digestion, both of food, water and air, but also of emotional and mental experience, discernment, inner absorption and self-consolidation.
VYANA VAYU is a type of Prana that moves in spirals outwards. It is prevalent in the entire body. And it governs the process of circulation on all levels, including oxygen, food, water, thoughts, expansiveness and pervasiveness. It is responsible for erect posture, movement and co-ordination.
As you can see, Prana is a Universal Energy that governs you and everything around you. If you have Prana flowing well in your body, you will be able to experiment a great state of well-being as well as genuine joy and peace. There are many ways that you can maintain the Prana flowing naturally in your body, and it includes the regular practice of Yoga, Meditation, as well a healthy and simple diet.