Pancha Pranas

The five types of pranas are the five types of energy or life force that are described by Hindu or yogic philosophy. They are also known as the five vayus, or the five winds. Each type of prana has a different function and direction of flow in the body. They are:

  1. Prana vayu, which is centered on the third eye, though its energy expands into the chest region. Its direction is inwards and upwards. Thus, it nourishes the brain, eyes and the senses. Prana vayu is generally considered to be the fundamental energy from which the other four are created and fed.
  2. Apana vayu, which is located in the pelvic floor, but its pervades the lower abdomen. It flows downwards and out, and thus, is associated with the digestive organs, as well as reproduction. It governs the elimination of all waste from the body.
  3. Samana vayu, which centers on the navel, but its flow moves from the periphery of the body in towards the center. It is needed for the assimilation of all things, including air, nutrition, experiences, feelings and thoughts.
  4. Udana vayu, which is located in the throat and its flow circulates the head and neck. It is associated with the functions of speech, expression and growth.
  5. Vyana vayu, which centers on the heart and lungs, but flows through the whole body. Its flow moves from the middle of the body to the outside. It is associated with circulation and assisting the function of the other types of prana.

The five types of pranas can be controlled and cultivated by bringing awareness to them and practicing pranayama, or breathing techniques. By doing so, one can enhance their health and vitality, as well as their spiritual development.

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