You are Life passing through your body, passing through your mind, passing through your soul. Once you find that out, not with logic, not with the intellect, but because you can feel that Life, you find out that you are the force that makes the flowers open and close, that makes the hummingbird fly from flower to flower. You find out that you are in every tree, and you are in every animal, vegetable, and rock. You are that force that moves the wind and breathes through your body. The whole universe is a living being that is moved by that force, and that is what you are. You are Life.
~ Don Miguel Ruiz
This technique is called Pran Mudra
This is called the Mudra of Life as it improves our vital life force and empowers our life from the inside out.
Bend the ring finger and the little finger and touch the tip of the thumb with their tips keeping the remaining two fingers stretched upward and together. Do this with both hands placing them comfortably by your side or on your lap while relaxing the shoulders.
Taking deep and complete breaths begin observing the sensations in your body. If you are feeling you need more energy, focus on extending your inhale twice the duration of your complete exhale. If you are feeling at all anxious or nervous, try elongating your exhale twice as long as your deep inhale.
Can you feel the energy between your fingertips? Do you notice some softening in any tight areas? What colors and textures does your mind’s eye see? Notice any thoughts that arise while trying not to follow any specific line of thought. Just keep returning to your Body Current™ by focusing your awareness on your breath and the sensations in your body.
You can do this anywhere, anytime for however long you wish! There are no contraindications and the side effects are great! Enjoy this simple and accessible technique whenever you need a bit more balance and ease.
- Balances the adrenals and nervous system
- Balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain
- Calms the limbic system
- Improves fatigue
Happy Balancing to you!
It will not be out-of-place here to mention a word on lungs and their functions. The organs of respiration consist of two lungs, one on either side of the chest and the air passages that lead to them. They are located in the upper thoracic cavity of the chest, one on each side of median line. They are separated from each other by the heart, the greater blood vessels and the larger air-tubes. The lungs are spongy, porous and their tissues are very elastic. The substance of the lungs contains innumerable air-sacs, which contain air. After post-mortem, when it is placed in a basin of water, it floats. They are covered by a delicate serous membrane called the pleura which contains serous fluid to prevent friction of the lungs, during the act of breathing. One wall of the pleura closely adheres to the lungs. The other wall is attached to the inner wall of the chest. Through this membrane the lungs are fixed to the wall of the chest.
The right lung consists of three lobes.The left lung contains two lobes. Each lung consists of an apex and a base. The base is directed towards the diaphragm, the muscular septum, the dividing wall between throat and abdomen. The apex situated above, near the root of the neck. It is the base that gets inflamed in Pneumonia. The apex of the lung which does not get proper supply of oxygen gets affected by consumption. It affords favorable nidus or breeding ground for Tubercle Bacilli (T.B.). By the practice of Kapalabhati and Bhastrika Pranayamas and deep breathing exercises, these apices get good supply of oxygen and thus phthisis is obviated. Pranayama develops the lungs. He who practices Pranayama will have a powerful, sweet, melodious voice.
The air-passage consists of the interior of the nose, pharynx or throat, larynx or the wind box, or sounding box, which contains two vocal cords, trachea or windpipe: right and left bronchi and the smaller bronchial tubes. When we breathe, we draw in the air through the nose and after it has passed through the pharynx and larynx, it passes into the trachea or windpipe, thence into the right and left bronchial tubes, which in turn, subdivide into innumerable smaller tubes called bronchioles, and which terminate in minute subdivisions in the small air-sacs of the lungs, of which the lungs contain millions. The air-sacs of the lungs when spread out over an unbroken surface, would cover, an area of 1,40,000 square feet.
The air is drawn into the lungs by the action of the diaphragm. When it expands, the size of the chest and lungs is increased and the outside air rushes into the vacuum thus created. The chest and lungs contract, when diaphragm relaxes and the air is expelled from the lungs.
The Science of Pranyama by Sri Swami Sivananda
All forces, all powers and prana spring from the fountain or common source, known as Atman (Soul). Heat, light, electricity, magnetism are manifestations of prana. It may be in either a static or a dynamic state. It is found in all forms from the highest to the lowest, from the ant to the elephant, the unicellular amoebae to man, from the elementary forms of plant life to the developed forms of animal life.
Whatever moves or has life is but an expression or manifestation of prana. It is prana that shines in your eyes. It is through the power of prana that the ear hears, the eye sees, the skin feels, the tongue tastes, the nose smells and the brain and the intellect perform their functions. The smile of a young lady, the melody in music, the power in the emphatic words of an orator, the charm in the speech of one’s beloved are all due to prana. Whatever you behold in this sense-world, whatever moves or works or has life, is but an expression or manifestation of prana.
Prana is force, magnetism and electricity. Radio waves travel through prana. That which moves the steam engine of a train and a steamer, which causes the motion of breath in lungs, that which is the very life of this breath itself, is prana. It is prana that pumps the blood from the heart into the arteries or blood vessels. Through prana digestion, excretion and secretion take place. Prana digests the food, turns it into chyle and blood, and sends it into the brain and mind. The mind is then able to think and inquire into the nature of Brahman.
Use of Prana
Prana is expended by thinking, willing, acting, moving, talking and writing. A healthy strong person has an abundance of prana (or nerve-force or vitality). It is supplied by food, water, air, solar energy, etc. The supply of prana is taken up by the nervous system. The prana in the air is absorbed by breathing. The excess is stored in the brain and nerve centres. When the seminal energy is sublimated or transformed it supplies an abundance of prana to the system. It is stored in the brain in the form of spiritual energy.
The yogi stores a great deal of prana through the regular practice of pranayama, just as the storage battery stores electricity. That yogi who has stored a large supply radiates strength and vitality all around. He is a big power house and those who come in close contact with him imbibe prana from him and receive strength, vigor vitality and exhilaration of spirits. Just as water flows from one vessel to another, prana actually flows like a steady current from a developed yogi towards weak persons. This can actually be seen by the yogi who has developed his inner yogic vision.
Control of Prana
A yogi can withdraw prana from any area of the body. That area gets benumbed, becomes impervious to heat and cold and has no sensation. A yogi can also send prana to any area and make it oversensitive; he can send it to the eyes and see distant objects; he can send it to the nose and experience divine aromas; he can send it to the tongue and experience super-sensuous taste.
By control of prana the yogi can also control the omnipresent manifesting power out of which all energies take their origin, whether concerning magnetism, electricity, gravitation, cohesion, nerve currents, vital forces or thought vibrations; in fact, the total forces of the universe, physical and mental. A comprehensive knowledge of prana and its function is absolutely necessary for pranayama.
1. The Science of Pranyama by Sri Swami Sivananda
Sub-Pranas and Their Functions
Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Devadatta and Dhananjaya are the five sub-Pranas. The function of Prana is respiration; Apana does excretion; Samana performs digestion; Udana does deglutition (swallowing of the food). It takes the Jiva to sleep. It separates the astral body from the physical body at the time of death. Vyana performs circulation of blood.
Naga does eructation and hiccup. Kurma performs the function of opening the eyes. Krikara induces hunger and thirst. Devadatta does yawning. Dhananjaya causes decomposition of the body after death. That man is never reborn, whenever he may die, whose breath goes out of the head, after piercing the Brahmarandhra (Sahasra Chakra or Crown Chakra).
The Color of Pranas
Prana is said to be of the color of blood, red gem or coral. Apana which is in the middle, is of the color of Indragopa (an insect of white or red color). Samana is of the color between that of pure milk or crystal or of oily and shining color, i.e., of something between both Prana and Apana. Udana is of Apandura (pale white) color and that of Vyana, resembles the color of archil (or that of ray of light).
The Length of the Air-Currents
This body of Vayu is 96 digits (6 feet) in length as a standard. The ordinary length of the air-current, when exhaled is 12 digits (9 inches). In singing, its length becomes 16 digits (1 foot), in eating it comes to 20 digits (15 inches), in sleeping 30 digits (22 1/2 inches), in copulation 36 digits (27 inches) and in doing physical exercise it is much more than that. By decreasing the natural length of the expirer air-currents (from 9 inches), life is prolonged and by increasing the current, duration of life is decreased.
The Centering of the Prana
Inhaling the Prana from outside, filling the stomach with it, centre the Prana with the mind, in the middle of the navel, at the tip of the nose, and at the toes, during the ‘Sandhyas’ (sunrise and sunset) or at all times. Thus the Yogi is freed from all diseases and fatigues. By centering this Prana at the tip of the nose he obtains mastery over the elements of the air; by centering at the middle of his navel, all diseases are destroyed; by centering at the toes, his body becomes light. He who drinks air through the tongue destroys his fatigue, thirst and many other diseases. For him who drinks the air with his mouth, during the two Sandhyas and the last two hours of the night, within three months, the auspicious Sarasvati (Goddess of speech) is present in his Vak (speech), i.e., he becomes eloquent and learned. In six months he is free from all diseases. Drawing the air at the root of the tongue, the wise man thus drinking nectar enjoys all prosperity.
The Science of Pranayama by Sri Swami Sivananda