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Living the Yoga Life: Prana

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The pranic force that manifests in the form of breath is the very power of life itself. It causes us to live and gives us the possibility of evolving. Therefore, the breath-prana is the fundamental power within the yogi. Through it he can become free.

Prana goes upward and downward and causes our consciousness to go upward and downward with it. Therefore the yogi must ensure that the upward flowing prana is usually dominant within him. This is done by constant japa and meditation.

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Although prana is a kind of all-purpose word for breath and the life-force moving within the body, it is also a technical term meaning the upward-flowing life force in the body. In correct meditation, this becomes dominant and the prana begins to flow up into the Sahasrara through the subtle passages or nadis in the various bodies of the yogi, not just in the sushumna nadi. As a result the centers of higher perception in the Sahasrara are stimulated and activated and the inner, spiritual senses awaken. The full opening of the Sahasrara is the means to enlightenment and liberation, therefore the prana accomplishes the goal of human life. The Gayatri–both the Vedic mantra and the ajapa gayatri, Soham–are intended to polarize the prana to flow upward into the Sahasrara, as well. (Again, see Soham Yoga: The Yoga of the Self.) Joy or bliss experienced in meditation is an indication that the prana is flowing upward into the Sahasrara, therefore it is called yogananda: yogic bliss.

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The sages of India realized that augmentation and direction of the prana was necessary for fulfilling the purpose of life: evolution. The upward flow of prana must be constant, though it may vary in intensity. The yogi must control the quality of his prana, mostly through diet, since prana is derived from food. Then he maintains the upward flow of prana through the perpetual practice of japa and meditation. When this is done strictly according to the principles of yoga, the yogi’s unfoldment takes place without hindrance or delay.

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The sahasrara is the “paradise” from which all human beings have fallen, and we must return there if we are to be liberated. Unfortunately, the subtle prana has become negatively polarized so it continually flows downward, making us body-conscious and almost completely under the control of material forces. This condition is spiritual death, spiritual enslavement. Unless the pranas are repolarized to flow upward perpetually, there is just no hope, no matter how religious or fervent we may be. Only an eventual falling back into the darkness can be our fate. That is why it is so necessary to become a yogi.

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The prana was originally concentrated in our head, and it must be returned there to regain our original state of spirit-awareness. Those who accomplish this return are truly human; the rest are mere soulless bodies, as the first great Christian theologian, Origen, was wont to say.

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About to Living the Yoga Life–Perspectives on Yoga

Living the Yoga Life–Perspectives on Yoga

Living the Yoga Life–Perspectives on Yoga: Introduction

    1. Living the Yoga Life: Climbing the Ladder of Consciousness
    2. Living the Yoga Life: Sanatana Dharma, Sanatana Yoga
    3. Living the Yoga Life: The Atman/Self
    4. Living the Yoga Life: Bhakti and Jnana
    5. Living the Yoga Life: Brahman
    6. Living the Yoga Life: Ishwara
    7. Living the Yoga Life: Breath
    8. Living the Yoga Life: India and Sanatana Dharma
    9. Living the Yoga Life: The Importance of Independence
    10. Living the Yoga Life: The Intelligent Path
    11. Living the Yoga Life: The Internal Life
    12. Living the Yoga Life: Japa and Sound (Shabda)
    13. Living the Yoga Life: Japa with the Breath
    14. Living the Yoga Life: Jnana
    15. Living the Yoga Life: The Jnani
    16. Living the Yoga Life: Karma and Karma Yoga
    17. Living the Yoga Life: Kundalini
    18. Living the Yoga Life: Liberation
    19. Living the Yoga Life: It Is All Up To Us
    20. Living the Yoga Life: Madness, Divine and Worldly
    21. Living the Yoga Life: Manas (Mind) and Buddhi (Intelligence/Intellect)
    22. Living the Yoga Life: Buddhi Yoga
    23. Living the Yoga Life: True Masters (And Not)
    24. Living the Yoga Life: Maya
    25. Living the Yoga Life: Meditation
    26. Living the Yoga Life: Prana
    27. Living the Yoga Life: Raja Yoga
    28. Living the Yoga Life: Reincarnation
    29. Living the Yoga Life: Religion
    30. Living the Yoga Life: Samadhi
    31. Living the Yoga Life: Sadhana
    32. Living the Yoga Life: Dedication to Spiritual Life
    33. Living the Yoga Life: Self-realization
    34. Living the Yoga Life: Shivashakti
    35. Living the Yoga Life: Spiritual Experience
    36. Living the Yoga Life: The Spiritual Teacher
    37. Living the Yoga Life: Subtle Anatomy
    38. Living the Yoga Life: The World
    39. Living the Yoga Life: Worship
    40. Living the Yoga Life: Yoga, the Body and the World
    41. Living the Yoga Life: Dharma and Adharma
    42. Living the Yoga Life: Yoga–The Supreme Dharma
    43. Living the Yoga Life: Yoga Nidra
    44. Living the Yoga Life: The Yogi
    45. Living the Yoga Life: Some Advice to Yogis
    46. Living the Yoga Life: Qualities of a Yogi
    47. Living the Yoga Life: This and That
    48. Living the Yoga Life: Touch Not
    49. Living the Yoga Life: The Gita Speaks To The Yogi
    50. Living the Yoga Life: How It Is Done
    51. Living the Yoga Life: Use your mind
    52. Living the Yoga Life: Some things it is wise to avoid
    53. Living the Yoga Life: Things you should definitely do and have in your life
    54. Living the Yoga Life: Spiritual Reading
    55. Living the Yoga Life: Gorakhnath Speaks To The Yogi
    56. Living the Yoga Life: And A Final Word From Me
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