Prana, literally, means flow of life, because the word pran means life and ‘A’ indicates movement of breath. Thus, Prana is a life sustaining electromotive force.
Is Prana the oxygen only? No, oxygen is part of Prana, but prana is much more than that. It is all that we inhale from air, surcharged with the vitality of Solar Energy, plus high energy ionising Cosmic rays, plus ionising radiations from Uranium, Thorium, Potassium and radon/thoron radio-active gases always present in the Air, plus all those life giving nuclei present in the air, rpt yet fully understood.
Prana is also contained in the food we take, prana is also present in the water we drink and the surcharged water, besides providing minerals, is also ionised to some extent, charged by total Solar Energy spectrum etc. Similarly, all vegetables, fruits and other food stuff are of different colours and hues thus loaded with vast spectrum of energy which imparts vitality to our body; and also by the Vitamins and Minerals, Carbohydrates and Protiens present in them.
And, as an illustration of the part played by both positively and negatively charged electrons and ions in life processes, it may be noted that it is the negatively charged male sperm which is able to fertilise the female ovum, to create new life.
And to create ionisation in our body, God has provided potassium as a necesary part of our body cells, and one of the potassium isotopes is K-40, which is radioactive and is thus able to create ions/electrons useful in life processes, besides production of ions in our body by other processes. For example, glucose, in the process of giving metabolic energy to the body gets first converted into pyrovate (CgHgOg) which is negatively charged product of Glucose. This is to cite just one example.
And let us not forget the so much talked about oxidants — the positively charged oxygen molecules, which when let loose, become damaging like a rogue elephant, and we are asked to gulp vitamin C and Vitamin ‘E’ — the so called anti-oxidants which neutralise these oxidants. Thus, it is seen, that both negatively and positively charged ions play a very significant part in life processes.
Thus, Prana is a dynamic life sustaining force, and throughout the text of this book, we use the word PRANIC ENERGY which means Universal Life Force that sustains life.
What is Pranayam
Breath is life and life is breath and cessation of breathing is cessation of life itself. Natural breathing goes on automatically at the average rate of 15 respirations per minute, but when we run, or become angry or fall ill, this respiration rate changes to meet the demands of our body. In order to restore our breathing to normal pattern and to make the breath deep and long at our will, we use the power of the thought to control the breathing and pranic in-take.
This knowledge and control of prana in our body is called Pranayam. This, then, gives us the ability to restore the uneven distribution of Prana evenly to all parts of our body/ mind system and also to create some reserve of pranic life energy in the Solar Plexus for emergency use. Also by controlling the prana, we can control and calm our restless mind and bring it under our control.
Thus, in Pranayam type of breathing, we control the breathing by our thought process i.e. we can make the breath rise from the bottom of the spine-the basic sex chakra, and then take the breath to our Navel Chakra, Heart Chakra in this spine, then to throat chakra, to Brow Chakra and then ultimately to the Crown Chakra and then at the end of inhalation, we can also give a small pause of a second or so. Then we start exhaling upto the bottom of the spine and again give a pause of one second or so at the end of exhalation.
This pause period can be extended from one second to four seconds or more with practice, out this pause in breathing should be practised upto the tolerable biological limits i.e. convenience is the watch word. This pause in breathing both at the end of inhalation and exhalation process is said to give the person control over oneself.
Normally, I have myself tried to give pause of no more than a second or so because I never believed in developing extrasensory powers for myself except to enjoy a perfect health, However, during this pause period due to the fusion of inhale breath current (male breath) and exhale breath (female breath), we experience bliss and since this bliss is so enjoyable, the pause period automatically gets extended because of this bliss-the ultimate aim of our Being.
Also, with Pranayam, we can direct the flow of pranic energy to the ailing part of our body with our thought, thus curing it steadily by supplying it the required pranic life energy. Also with pranayam exercises, we can develop control over our mind to become master of ourselves what we call SWAMI. This is quite possible with pranayam or Mantric Pranayam.
Mantric Pranayam – is to breathe with a Mantra and we can also similarly give a convenient pause in breathing both at the end of inhalation and exhalation. In Mantric breathing, we make the breath arise from a particular organ in our body by making use of its seed word. Thus, with the breathing mantra – Vahanam, we take the breath from the Ovary (V) to the throat chakra (H) and then to the brow chakra with N and ultimately to the Crown Chakra with its seed word M.
Similarly, we can exhale with its mirror image Mantra -‘Minih -heev’ to exhale breath back to the ovary chakra. Thus breathing with a word/mantra makes the breath to arise from a definite organ of our body and reach a definite organ of our body. Also, mantric Pranayam helps us to resonate with various chakras/body organs and their associated endocrine glands with the sonic energy of their resonant words to get them strengthened in the process so as to heal us.
And similarly we can construct a breathing mantra for the breath to arise from the bottom of the spine to activate the basic sex chakra with its seed word L and make it illuminate our mind with the words D.N&M.
Inhale with = LAHA – DANAM
Exhale with = MIND – i – HEAL
The complete mind gets reverberated with sound energy of seed words H, N, D&M which this breathing mantra achieves. And the Exhale Mantra is very suggestive and by its hypnotic suggestive power, it gives the commandment-O, MIND HEAL and you wilj surely get healed because Thought is the most refined form of Prana to Heal our Being.