In our physical body, blood flows through veins and arteries. In our energy body, or prana flows through paths called nadis (nadi translates as flow). Prana rides the breath, so when we breathe, we take prana. When we expand our breathing, we are expanding and improving the quality of this vital force in and around us. This is exactly what yoga, breathing techniques, or pranayama, are designed to do. An important aspect of the body is the chakras, or centers of energy.
In Yoga, we focus on the seven major chakras that exist along the line of the spine, each connected to specific glands and organs of the physical body as well as areas of our mind that influence our personality.
Health and wellness comes when the flow of energy is balanced through each of the seven major chakras. And when the prana is prevented from flowing naturally, or becoming blocked or hyperactive at a certain point, it can create disharmony, both on a physical and emotional level. Yoga postures, particularly traditional or classic asanas, activate specific chakras. For example, bridge stance. Or chakrasana or sarvangasana where energy works in the throat chakra, which can have a direct influence on how we communicate with others. On a physical level, the throat chakra corresponds to the thyroid and parathyroid glands, and can therefore have a nutritive and balancing effect on our metabolism.
The wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda state that there are 72,000 channels of energy, called nadis, in the energetic body and that if the flow of prana is in balance and active, it predisposes and promotes great state of health and having total reflex in the physical body, being . There are three main channels that direct the primary flow of energy through the body. The central energy conduit that is located in the spinal canal of our physical body is called Sushuma, responsible for the main energy for spiritual awakening, which contains from the base of the spine up to the crown of the head. The ultimate goal of Yoga practice and the inclusive practice of tantra yoga is the reactivation and awakening of this energy leading to the experiencing of the state of bliss.
The other two main nadis are the Ida and Pingala, which are located to the right and left of Sishuma. In healthy individuals, prana was alternately between the two nadis. Ida is the nadi on the left side and is said to possess an energy of fresh quality which in the Vedas '' Holy Scriptures '' we call lunar or female energy. The nadi on the right is the Pingala and said to have energy of warm, intense and masculine quality that we call solar energy.
Pranayama are breathing exercises developed by the ancient yogis for purification. Prana translates into "vital energy" and Yama translates into "control or dominion." Thus, Pranyama is used to control, cultivate and modify the Prana in the body. Prana is absorbed by the air we breathe, and since pranayama exercises increase the amount of air we take, they also increase our Prana consumption. For most pranayamas, breathing is slow and steady, inhaled into and out of the nose and down into the belly. Always sit with a straight spine and a relaxed body. While you are practicing Pranayama, you are automatically purifying your mind, for pranayama exercises decrease the frequencies of thought in the nervous system and automatically is the initial preparation for meditation.
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