Definition - What does Prakriti mean?

In Hinduism, prakriti (also spelled prakrti) refers to a primal creative or natural force. It connotes the natural or original intended state of something or of an individual's being. The term is derived from the Sanskrit pra, meaning “beginning,” and kriti, meaning “creation.”

In Kundalini yoga, one aim of the practitioner is to awaken prakriti (or the energy of “mother nature”) to achieve balance and awaken one's primal power and reach a more natural state of being.

Yogapedia explains Prakriti

Prakriti is composed of three gunas (or elements):

  1. Creation (rajas)
  2. Preservation (sattva)
  3. Destruction (tamas)

The three gunas give movement to the force of prakriti in the world, allowing modification and change to that which is primal and original in nature. Prakriti is considered to be a feminine, creative energy. Its counterpart, purusha, is the masculine energy that encompasses the Soul or true Self, and gives life to that which is primal and created.

One of the primary goals in the practice of Kundalini yoga is to awaken and utilize prakriti, which is believed to be located within the muladhara (root) chakra at the base of the spine. In the sister science of Ayurveda, some practices center around an individual's prakriti and bringing balance to one's self, thus nurturing one's true nature.

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