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"Pranayama: Mastering the dance of Life Force Energy" - Part 1

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Part 1

Its been a while since i published my first blog, and as i promised, i will delve a bit more into the world of yoga and pranayama in continuation with my earlier blog but i promise that this will be much shorter than before so that people can focus and concentrate for at-least 5 minutes :). Surprising isnt it? Human mind can't focus for more than 5 minutes on a single topic. Do you think thats the limitation of the modern human? lets find out how we can fix this.

Most of us are familiar with the term "pranayama" because it is a basic principle that was taught to us as children and we have been observing it as students while our parents were performing it or we saw the priests in the temples performing it during any events such as Pujas, etc. However, it is only now (in the last two years), since I met my guru (Rev. Sri.Dr.Antarmukhananda Swamiji), that all of my life's learnings have now been frittered away. What ever i am about to explain is entirely my guru's teaching.

Two important activities related to our breath occur in our daily lives. The first is inspiration (inner breathing) and the second is expiration (leaving out the breath). If we pay attention, we can see that we inhale less and exhale more; while inhaling, we have some difficulty, but when exhaling, the air flows freely. A healthy person with no disease normally breathes about 15 times per minute. And we draw air from 20cm and expel air from 30cm during expirations. So, in each respiratory cycle, there is a gap of 10 cms or 4 inches, which means we are expelling more energy or prana from our bodies than we are retaining. As a result, it is our responsibility to ensure that the in drawing vital force is not thrown out during expiration. This is accomplished by reversing the respirations, i.e. increasing the length of inspiration while decreasing the length of expiration. You will get sound and heat from friction if you churn the vital force by catching the respiratory movements in opposite directions. We will talk more on the practical part later.

Because it is used in this context, let us define the term "Prana." Prana is the vital life force that sustains all beings and is the reason we exist. This Prana is related to the breath because it is attached to one of the five elements of nature, "Air." Only by moving this Prana energy within our bodies do all of our regulatory functions run smoothly. If this vital force is missing, the affected part of the body will suffer from the so-called "disease." So in vedas they mentioned that there are 5 prana's or vayu's in our body , might have heard the term "Pancha Prana" ?

  • Prana Vayu - Responsible for the Respiratory system

  • Apana Vayu - Responsible for the Excretory system

  • Vyana Vayu - Responsible for the Circulatory system

  • Udana Vayu - Responsible for the Endocrinal and Hormonal System

  • Samana Vayu - Responsible for the digestive system.

As can be seen, the entire bodily functions are powered by this vital force known as "Prana." This great ancient science of pranayama has long been practiced incorrectly in our society, and only a few great guru lineages (yogis) who learned it from their masters have been able to correctly educate their students on how to perform this "pranayama." Masters are great beings who incarnated on Earth for a specific purpose and had a profound impact on how people lived on this planet. Lord Krishna, Jesus, Babaji, Rama, and all avatars of vishnu and the great ancient vedic sages.

Picture of my Guruji's Guru Parampara above (how the knowledge trickled down)

Picture of Kriya Yoga Guru Parampara as an example.

Antarmukha Pranayama is a one-of-a-kind workout that deals with vital force (life energy) or Prana, which is in charge of all vital actions in the body, including respiration. Because of the movement of the vital force (Prana) in the form of respirations, the mind oscillates or flickers with an infinite number of thoughts. It is important to remember that the intellect and vital energy are inextricably linked. When the mind is unhappy, the respirations will be more rapid and irregular, whereas when the mind is joyful, they will be quiet, leisurely, and deep. If you can control and slow your breathing, you can make your thoughts slower and happier

As my guruji says, the mind is like a flame that flickers due to air currents. We have nothing to do with the flame and everything to do with the air currents. Our respirations are air currents that constantly disrupt the peaceful and quiet mind. It is full of divine light, divine energy, divine understanding, and divine delight when it is "still". Because of the vibrations caused by downward respirations, all four heavenly attributes of mind are steadily diminishing. So focus of mind is also known as still mind, and it can be obtained through controlling respirations.

This Internal Pranayama has many names, based on the guru parampara it came from, for instance it is known as Kriya Yoga in the north of India, brought forward by great Mahavatar Babaji, Siddha Yogam, Vasi yoga, Yogam, Antarmukha yogam (from my guruji) brought forward by sage Agastya in the southern part of India. So different lineages had different names but the technique they all used was the same albeit few changes here and there. That is why in today's world it is important to find that guru, who has both practical and theoretical knowledge and who is part of the Guru Parampara. Only those guru's can impart on us the real divine knowledge of Pranayama.

What is this Yogam? and is it same as Yoga? Why we should all Learn it ?

Yogam or Yoga is called as union between the individual soul (Jeevatma) and the Universal spirit (Paramatma). Due to lack of practical spiritual knowledge, the individual self is delusively separated from the universal self. Spiritual knowledge and material worldly knowledge are quite distinct and opposite to each other. Knowledge is evolved out of mind only. But the mind is both matter and antimatter too. Material part is always nourished by material food and this part gives rise to bodily and worldly sense and knowledge. The other antimatter or spiritual part is a homogenous (uniform throughout) substance of the universal spirit.

Today, everyone agrees that Yoga is superior in all aspects of life. Even doctors from all fields of medicine will opt to practice Yoga if they are unable to eradicate the ailments. Despite the fact that they are unaware of what Yoga is, they hold high regard for it, despite recent advances in modern medicine. Yoga embraced ancient therapies such as Ayurveda, Naturopathy, and others. Yoga is an essential component of these treatments.

However, the term "YOGA" is now being misused to refer solely to "Yogasanas" or physical exercises. Yogasanas are a variety of postural exercises created by ancient rishis. The term Yoga here refers to 'YOGAM,' a highest state of well-being. This can only be accomplished by exercising control over one's own life force (vital force -prana) and thoughts. These two spiritual forces (Yoga and Yogam) can be obtained at one spot in the brain by consistent and continual Pranayama practice. It must be taught by a learned spiritual master (GURU) in accordance with the other seven Ashtanga Yoga principles (YAMA, NIYAMA, ASANA, PRANAYAMA, PRATHYAHARA, DHARANA, DHYANA, and SAMADHI). Ashtanga Yoga is the primary attempt to attain spiritual practical knowledge, which leads to Moksha (Liberation).

The reason for us to learn this ancient method of pranayama is to revitalise our bodies with divine energy that we are loosing in the form of expirations in our daily life, due to which our mind wavers and we face unhappiness and leads to lifestyle diseases which further leads to an untimely demise from this planet, and rebirth.

Reversing Modern Energy Loss Through Pranayama

Expiration energy loss can be reduced or more energy can be generated by reversing the respiratory process, i.e. increasing inspiration and decreasing expiration. The process of lengthening the inspiratory phase is known as AYAMA [LENGTHENING OF INSPIRATION]. PRANAYAMA is formed by combining PRANA and AYAMA. PRANAYAMA refers to an increase in inspiration. We catch our breath willingly during this process. The life force is churned by the upward and downward movement of respirations. This produces HEAT, but it cannot be exhausted outside because inspiration is increasing longer than expiration. This is simply the opposite of regular respiration.

When there is respiratory reserve energy, the heart is stronger and cardiac output is increased. All other critical organs, including the liver, kidneys, brain, and intestines, as well as the hormonal glands, will perform absolutely well as the circulatory process becomes faster and easier. Each and every cell's vitality will be multiplied and perfected.

We will look into further advantages of performing this pranayama, and what is kriya yoga and similarities and differences between Siddhayoga in Part -2 of this blog on pranayama.

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Navanish Eshwar
Navanish Eshwar

Excellent writing to


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