The Five Prana

Definition - What does The Five Prana mean?

The five prana are the five types of energy as described by Hindu or yogic philosophy. Prana is the Sanskrit word for “life force” or “vital principle,” and it is thought to permeate all of reality, including inanimate objects. Sometimes the five prana are referred to as the five vayus, or the five prana vayus, where vayu means “wind.”

The five types can be thought of as a subdivision of the energetic components of prana, and they have subtle yet distinct differences in their qualities. Yogis may work to control and cultivate these five prana by bringing their awareness to them.

Yogapedia explains The Five Prana

Each of the five prana are associated with a different function and direction of flow. The five types are:

  1. Prana vayu, which is centered on the third eye, though its energy expands into the chest region. Its direction is inwards and upwards. Thus, it nourishes the brain, eyes and the senses. Prana vayu is generally considered to be the fundamental energy from which the other four are created and fed.
  2. Apana vayu is located in the pelvic floor, but its pervades the lower abdomen. It flows downwards and out, and thus, is associated with the digestive organs, as well as reproduction. It governs the elimination of all waste from the body.
  3. Vyana vayu centers on the heart and lungs, but flows through the whole body. Its flow moves from the middle of the body to the outside. It is associated with circulation and assisting the function of the other types of prana.
  4. Udana vayu is located in the throat and its flow circulates the head and neck. It is associated with the functions of speech, expression and growth.
  5. Samana vayu centers on the navel, but its flow moves from the periphery of the body in towards the center. It is needed for the assimilation of all things, including air, nutrition, experiences, feelings and thoughts.

The deliberate influence and control of prana by yogis is associated with maximizing well-being and health, as well as activating kundalini energy in order to develop spiritually towards enlightenment.

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