Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Prana

1.  Sanskrit for “breath,” prana refers to the universal energy that flows through the body’s web of non-physical channels known as nadis, the three most famous being the Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. Different breathing patterns known as pranayamas can increase and direct this energy, leading to the simplification that prana and air are the same or that prana is in the air. In the traditional system, there are five different forms of prana:

Prana: Moves inward. Governs all types of consumption: eating, drinking, breathing, sensory impressions.

Apana: Moves away: Governs excretion or all sorts, as well as reproduction.

Udana: Moves upward. Governs growth and development, as well as enthusiasm, speech, and the ability to stand.

Samana: Balances from the edge to the center through churning and discerning. It is the “digestion” energy that aids the lungs in “digesting” air, the gastrointestinal system in digesting food, and the mind in “digesting” sensory input and ideas.

Vyana: Moves outward from the center to the edge. Governs circulation of blood and the oxygen, hydration, and nutrition found in the blood. Aids in the “circulation” of ideas.
AUTHOR:  Donald Michael Kraig
2.  Vital life force akin to Ki or Chi.
SOURCE:  Sacred Path of Reiki, by Katalin Koda

3.  Chi, the Force, the Power. The universal life-force flowing throughout the universe, and locally emanating from the sun as vitality absorbed from the air we breathe and the food we eat. It can be visualized as flowing into the body as you inhale, and then distributed throughout the body as you exhale.

Prana is also considered as one of the "seven elements:" Prana, Manas (mind), Ether, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth, corresponding to seven regions of the universe. In Hebrew Kabbalism, Nephesh (the Psyche) is Prana combined with Kama (Love), together making the vital spark that is the "breath of life." Prana is comparable to Chi (Chinese), Ki (Japanese), vitality globules (Theosophical), Nous (Rosicrucian), Orgone (Wilhelm Reich), animal magnetism (Mesmer), Quintessence (Alchemical), and Mana (Hawaiian priests).

AUTHOR:  Carl Llewellyn Weschcke

4.  Most commonly used to mean the breath. Prana is understood as the energy that surrounds us and pervades the universe at all times. Another way of understanding Kundalini energy is to recognize it as each individual's highly concentrated dose of inborn prana.

AUTHOR:  Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson
SOURCE:  Great Sex Made Simple, Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson (Llewellyn Publications)
See also:  apanaudanasamanavyana