Prana and Apana, a fundamental balance for health

The terms Prana And Apana they are used in Yoga and Ayurveda to define concepts regarding the vital energy, food, nutrition and energy recharge of our subtle body. In everyday words, Prana is the energy that nourishes and Apana that purifies. Write Pablo Rego.

(c) Can Stock Photo / kotin

Prana, life force

There's a lot of talk about energy, but energy is all that exists. So, to understand what it is Prana it is important to take into account our interaction with the Universe and our existence in it.

At the time of being conceived an energetic fact occurs, and as we conform as complete beings in the womb, processes that work in relation to energy are developed together with the body. Physical, biological processes, which take shape as our body matures until the moment of delivery. Eit will be the life energy that will grow and then accompany us throughout life until it ultimately leaves the body.

The structure and intensity of the vital energy will adapt to our experiences, to the different stages we transit. It will develop if we practice good habits, if we breathe properly, if we manage to flow with our emotions. And it will become hindered or diminished if we feed, breathe or rest poorly, or if our emotions and thoughts consume that energy for useless or toxic purposes.

Universal energy

But since everything is energy, also the interaction we have with the world around us will create a circuit of incorporation of Prana. The science of energy control through Breathing or "Pranayama" is a method designed to consciously incorporate Prana into our body and also a vehicle to circulate it, developing it and balancing it.

Prana is also the energy that surrounds us and that, as we expand the perspective, keeps the Universe functioning. And that energy enters the body through the mouth and nose, through food and breathing, but it also governs the process of feeding.

Prana is the energy that, the product of the molecular activity of the atoms that make up the air of the atmosphere, enters our body through breathing. That energy travels different channels than the ones in the air. The air itself is not Prana, but the energy it contains is.

The Prana-Apana process

When we breathe or incorporate food, an energetic event occurs. Energy comes with air and food and, in turn, is mobilized by energetic processes that take place throughout the body.

The energy we take from the outside enters our interior and the processes involved in this incorporation, such as breathing or swallowing, are also energetic. The metabolization of food, the absorption of nutrients, etc. create other new processes governed by other energies and, in the end, on the other side of the process appears the purification energy or Apana.

Prana is, then, all vital energy; the original in us, the one that we incorporate to stay alive and the one that is created with all the processes that take place permanently in the body. The processes that help to expel from the body those elements that are left over after feeding are Apana, the energy that cleans.

The balance between Prana and Apana occurs when the energy of both processes creates a fluid circulation, when what feeds is balanced with what is eliminated and when the energy that enters manages to pass through the main energy channels without interruptions, circulating freely.

Poor diet, poor breathing, intense or uncontrolled emotions, cause interference in these processes, unbalanced Prana-Apana. The malfunction of these energies creates difficulties or deficiencies in the energy flow and also in the impulse that seeks balance, producing poisonings, ailments and diseases that sustained over time become chronic.

If Prana is as fundamental as life itself, Apana is the energy force that purifies and liberates that space where Prana must act. So, if Apana does not flow, if we do not remove from the body what we have left over and intoxicate, the space for Prana to act will decrease and thus the life force.

Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation

The essence of the practice of Yoga is intimately related to the balance of these forces. The mobilization of the physical body, the consciousness in the path of energy, the release of energy jams aim to allow Prana and Apana to function properly (also the other forces involved in the total udana, Samana and vyana process).

Pranayama uses one of Prana's main incorporation channels which is inhalation. All exercises aim to keep clean and active the energy centers or chakras involved in the balance and channels or "nadis" Ida and Pingala, two channels that descend through the front of the body from the nose to the perineum, and Shushumna, which is the main channel that runs through the entire spine from the sacrum to the top of the head passing through the seven Chakras principals on their way.

The Meditation produces an energy detoxification effect that releases contaminated spaces for Prana to flow. It also reduces the energy consumption that must be in other places of the subtle body. All imbalances in the chakras, by default or by excess, create the disarmonization of the subtle body, breaking the Prana-Apana balance.

The daily practice of Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation help the body find the balance of its life force and the processes that lead to it.

Quality foods for Prana-Apana balance

"Food" not only to what we eat or drink but also to the air and even more, what we see, hear or perceive in every way possible.

You can always incorporate foods of better or worse quality. Anything that provokes us the environment in which we spend our days, our place of work or personal and the experiences we have there, will influence our balances and the sense that our internal energies can take.

What we read, what we watch and hear on TV, books or newspapers, the conversations we have, what we see on social media, the music we hear, etc., also influence our internal states and energy processes.

And, of course, the liquids and solids we ingest and also the air we breathe will influence to achieve a better or worse Prana-Apana relationship. It is not the same to drink the pure water from a stream that runs in the sun than to drink the water that comes in bottle after various chemical processes and industrial physicists. Nor is it the same to eat a fruit freshly taken from the tree than to eat a food that has been spinning, irradiated and frozen for months to last longer before rotting. Nor is it the same to inhale the pure air of the countryside, the beach or the mountain as the air of the cities or the smoke of cigarettes.

Food, with or without Prana, can be eaten, as if we consume fresh, energy-laden food, freshly harvested, seasonal, or when eating industrially processed or long-preserved products. The difference between edible and food is in the energy that food possesses.

Air can be breathed with or without Prana, such as when you breathe a pure air in non-toxic places, where the air is composed of its original molecules and energy unlike when we breathe the air from over-heated places discharged from the ions that give it its vital energy and full of foreign chemical elements.

The Prana-Apana balance has to do with the administration we make of our vital energy and the relationship we can achieve with the environment. A good Diet, Meditation, Yoga and its multiple routines of harmonization and detoxification, in addition to Pranayama, are paths to maintain maximum balance, beyond the life we can lead.

Pablo Rego. Yoga teacher. Holistic Massage therapist. Diploma in Ayurveda Medicine from India.

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By • 21 Jul, 2017 • Sección: Signatures