Powered By Prana
‘‘You do yoga? Wow, I have always wanted to try yoga, but I'm not that flexible.”
This was a statement I claimed for many months and those months eventually turned into years. One day I broke. I knew yoga was something I had to try. After my third class I was in tears on my mat. Why did I wait for so long? It was clear that my spirit was looking for this long before my mind was. Once I started having a daily yoga practice and people knew it, I began to hear this: “You do yoga? Wow, I have always wanted to try yoga, but I'm not that flexible.’’
"HMM? interesting!" I would think. So it wasn't just me who had this thought. I believe many people's souls are craving this practice, but for reasons unknown, they may never make it to the mat. They only to continue repeating the same phrase like a broken record: “You do yoga? Wow! I have always wanted to try..."
Then there are the souls who have risen from their self limiting beliefs and make it to their mat, over and over and over again. The question I always have as a yoga teacher communicating with my students is, “What brought you to your mat, and why do you practice yoga?” It is pretty incredible that more often than not what brought someone to their mat is not what is keeping them here today. For me, it was to stretch my tight runner muscles, and what kept me coming was this ever evolving journey into the self.
The Bhagavad Gita says it best. “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” Yoga is simply our vehicle to access our pranic body at its optimal level.
Of course, yoga is not the only avenue. When you include all forms of movement, what are we doing more than anything else in a sedentary lifestyle? Breathing! In exercise, we are accessing higher levels of prana because the body is able to move in many different positions. In so doing, the breath has more space to enter. How do we feel afterwards? Light, free, calm, energized, blissful! We come to realize that all we are doing is moving the physical body so that the breath has room to merge with the soul.
Yogi Bhajan says, “You can live with food or without food. You can live with or without emotion. You can live without everything else, but you cannot live without prana.’’ Prana is the key to optimal health and well-being. Prana is not to be confused with oxygen or air. Prana is a life energy, and the body must be moved in order to get this prana into our being.
The gifts of prana are endless. They are a deep inner peace and return to health. Pains will decrease and traumas will unfold. This may cause painful memories, but through all pain there is also a circle of healing that emerges. The deep rooted walls of the inner being begin to get weeded out as the prana comes through. The body is no longer tense and the fears are recognized not pushed away.
Everything is breath. I believe that what happened after some time on my mat was a deeper connection to my breath and a deeper connection with my soul. When I went through my last yoga teacher training, it was intense. There were days we were doing yoga set after yoga set. Some days we would do 3 or 4 sets throughout the day. There would be about an hour before dinner and our instructor would say, "Okay, get on your mat. Lets go!’’
My first thought would be, “What?! I have a headache! I'm tired. I'm hungry. How can I do another yoga set?!” Then I would, and when I was done, I would leave that class feeling energized, light, and not really too hungry. I was powered by prana.
This experience has allowed me to feel over and over again that pranic energy is my sustainer. On the days I am tired, run down, or sore. I check in with myself thinking, "Where has my breath been today?"
Now yoga is so much more to me than being flexible. Yoga is my gift to receive. When I receive the breath, I am able to pass my deep internal glow along to others on this road. One by one, we become prana filled beings, who then turn to each other and say, “You do yoga? awesome! I do too!"