Prana is an ancient concept and is referred to in many Hindu scriptures and texts, such as the Upanishads and the Vedas. These texts state that prana originates from Atman.
From the Sanskrit an, meaning "movement," and pra, meaning "constant," prana means “constant motion,” and refers to the idea that vital or life force energy is always dynamic.
Prana is often understood in relation to the physical body and health and wellness through the chakras. It is thought that when someone is well and balanced, prana flows freely through the seven major chakras. However, when there are blockages or imbalances, they may manifest as physical or emotional issues.
In the human body, prana is said to flow through energy channels called nadis. There are said to be thousands of nadis, but the three main ones are:
- Ida - Located to the left of the spine. This is the introverted, lunar channel.
- Pingala - Located to the right of the spine. This is the extroverted, solar channel.
- Sushumna - Located along the center of the spine. This is the central channel, which the energy of Kundalini awakening flows through.
Prana is believed to flow in and out of the body through the breath. A yogi may use techniques such as pranayama to enhance their energy. Performing yoga asanas can also help prana to flow more freely.