Our bodies can be looked at as spiritual machines. We need fresh water and healthy food for our machines to run efficiently. When we run or practice yoga we feel this adrenaline rush throughout our body. We feel this release of dopamine and serotonin in our bloodstream. Our breath is in sync with all of these chemical reactions happening at once. This ‘fire’ that keeps our engines burning is our life force energy. Prana is the sanskrit term meaning constant movement.
Your body is constantly moving even when you are asleep. Your breath is in constant motion even when you are unconscious. This inhale of air and release is a natural function your body automatically does without you even having to think about it. Bringing awareness to your natural breath is a very opening experience. You have to allow it to just flow naturally. To be conscience of your own breath is a very serene feeling. You realize that your breath is here only to support you.
You will notice during a workout how your breath truly controls your movements. It speeds up the faster you go and slows down the slower you go. Your breath naturally adjusts to however you allow your body to move. When I practice yoga at home, I naturally allow my body to move into whatever position feels right in that moment. My practice is very abstract in the sense that I just allow my breath to guide me. Sometimes I’ll find myself in postures that I would have never even thought of getting into. This is prana taking its natural course. I allow prana and my breath to be my personal guide.
How can we assimilate this same idea and allow prana to guide us through our daily lives? There have been moments when I’m stuck in rush hour traffic and everyone’s pissed off around me honking their horns. I find moments like these a perfect opportunity to put on some good tunes and allow prana to take control. I find myself enjoying this moment of ‘being stuck’ in traffic by having prana guide my body into dance. I laugh to think about what other people must think who are passing me but it doesn’t affect me.
A great yoga pose to really activate prana is Utkata Konasana also known as Goddess Squat or Victory Squat. In this posture, you stand facing the side of your mat. Bring your feet a wide step apart and toes facing out. Hands can be at your hips or in front of you in prayer pose. Take a deep inhale standing there and as you exhale slowly bend your knees into a wide squat. Try your best to hold this for five deep breaths and you will surely experience prana throughout your body. Repeat this pose to really experience the constant motion of prana.
Keep that life force energy burning inside of you! Allow prana to be your guide through life. Be aware of what your body is telling you and trust yourself. Be creative and playful with your yoga practice. Move however you want to move and observe yourself with compassion and non-judgement!