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As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I am working on a book about Chakras, so I blog about it frequently. That being the case, I want to take some time to introduce you to the basics of understanding Chakras by talking about Prana, Nadis and Kundalini energy in the body, how they manifest, and how they affect the chakras.
First, a few definitions:
Prana: Known as “chi,” “qi,” “ki,” “the force,” “mana,” or simply “universal energy,” prana is the energy that makes up the universe and every living thing in it, including the physical body. Prana flows in and through the body when we breathe. It can be broken down into Vayus, which we will discuss in more detail later, but for the moment, this is the clearest chart I’ve found.
One way of categorizing prana is by means of vāyus. Vāyu means "wind" or "air" in Sanskrit, and the term is used in a variety of contexts in Hindu philosophy. Prāṇa is considered the basic vāyu from which the other vāyus arise, as well as one of the five major vāyus. Prāṇā is thus the generic name for all the breaths, including the five major vāyus of prāṇa, apāna, uḍāna, samāna, and vyāna.
The exhaled breath (pra - "outward", "forth") which lives in the lungs.
Down and outward energy, most notably the elimanatory systems. It resides in the hips and gut.
Rising energy, resident in the throat, but also responsible for lifting kuṇḍalinī. Sound production through the vocal apparatus, as in speaking, singing, laughing and crying.
The heat of digestion, which resides in the belly between prāṇa above and uḍāna below.
The energy of circulation that resides throughout the body.
Nadis: If you do yoga, I’m sure you’ve heard of Nadi Shodhanam or alternate nostril breathing, but the nadis we’re going to talk about today, are energy pathways for moving prana throughout the body. These nadis meet in the chakras to receive and disperse prana throughout our physical and psychical bodies.
Kundalini: In the sense of being energy the body uses, kundalini is the same as prana, but the best description I like best is the while prana runs through the universe and the body all the time, kundalini is an extra pool of psychic energy that resides in the base of the spine that we can raise to join with the regular prana of our bodies to fuel enlightenment.
In Hatha yoga, kundalini is described as a coiled serpent that sits at the base of the spine. With the awakening and balance of the prana and the chakras, the Kundalini energy is released, and a second awakening and enlightenment occurs. The question then arises of how do we get to this point?
The first thing to figure out is whether your prana is blocked.
Signs of Low Prana
Causes of Low Prana
In reality, so many things can cause low prana that we have to make a conscious effort to raise our prana and tap into the kundalini energy pool. We all know the way to correct this is to eat healthily, get enough rest, meditate, and of course, exercise, but what no one tells you is how to find the time to do all of these things.
Jobs, kids, husbands/wives, and homes all take time and work, so how do you find some time for yourself? It will be a little different for everyone, but I’ve found that if I can even find 15 minutes to do some yoga breathing and meditate for even a few minutes can help me feel better. I’ve been known to hide in the bathroom, the garden, and the utility room – anywhere there’s work to be done. No one follows me there. LOL!! As I say, it will be different for everyone, but trust me, you’ll thank yourself for that 15 minutes. You can also make your home and sacred space energy friendly by keeping energy stones around, burning incense, diffusing essential oils, smudging with sage, and taking every chance you get to air your house and get a good flow of air and earth energy to help clean out old energy and negativity that can block your prana and your chakras.