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Experience vital energy

Today we turn our attention to Pranamaya kosha, the energy body. This is the second innermost layer, more subtle than the physical body. Prana is translated as “life force energy.” This energy sustains all of creation, and links the body and mind.

In the human body, the breath is our source of prana. This kosha also governs the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, endocrine, excretory and reproductive systems. We receive prana by means of fresh air and water, natural foods, nature and sunlight.

As the breath is our most essential source of prana, let’s talk a bit more about how we breathe. My guess is that at most times of the day, you don’t pay much attention to your breath. Most humans breathe quite shallowly, which fortunately is enough to keep us alive.

To enjoy the full benefits of the vital life force, as well as feelings of ease, calm and relaxation, a fuller breath is required. I enjoy sharing breathing techniques with the youth and adult audiences I work with in Cook County. I have recently begun referring to the breath as “the superpower you didn’t know you had.”

To engage in breath work doesn’t require any special equipment or clothes. In many instances, you can practice without anyone else even noticing. If you would like to invite a greater sense of connection to the vital energy of your body and mind, I will offer two breath practices: Anapana and Yogic Breathing.

In addition, I will continue to share affirmations/mantras for each of the koshas. To increase awareness of your own supply of vital energy, create a new habit of repeating the following: “As life force energy flows freely throughout my being, I experience optimal vitality.”

Over the next few days, I hope you will experiment with feeling a greater sense of connection to your own prana. Tune in next week as we uncover the Manomaya kosha, the psycho-emotional body.