What is Prana?
Prana is vital energy. Vital means necessary to life. Vital life force.
Prana is India’s gift to healing/uniting one’s body and mind.
Qi or Chi is China’s gift to healing/uniting one’s body and mind.
One’s volition or intention is dependent on the quality and quantity of this vital energy.
One’s Spirit is the animation of one’s body and mind.
Depending on one’s Prana or Qi one’s Spirit can radiate qualities of light or darkness.
I learned about Prana at university and it has dramatically improved my life. I no longer have chronic asthma that had me dependent on pharmaceutical drugs and afraid of farms, animals and feather pillows.
I now realize I was using a small fraction of my lungs to breath. No one had ever taught me how to breath properly.
Pranayam is an ancient technique that has one observe the incoming and outgoing breath through the nostrils (filters) making the exhale longer than the inhale (eventually twice as long as the inhale). As one’s focus on this technique increases one becomes more aware of the movement of the diaphragm and its capacity.
I once read about a study in Sweden that took 1000 random adults off the street and tested their breathing capacity. The study found that 750 of the 1000 adults could only breath with 50% of their lung capacity and of this 75% of the sample only half could breath with 25% of their lung capacity.
The diaphragm is designed to move 10cm with a full breath. The above study showed that most adults in the random sample could only move their diaphragm no more than 5cm. Which means most adults were only capable of shallow breathing or chest breathing, not abdominal breathing.
What this means is what i feel to the most important health statistic. If i were king all media would be hammering this statistic into our consciousness and all schools would be teaching our children this very basic skill/technique.
Why is this so important?
If the diaphragm moves 1 to 3 cm with a breath, the lungs take in 1 tablespoon of oxygen.
If the diaphragm moves 4 to 6 cm with a breath, the lungs take in 1 pint of oxygen.
If the diaphragm moves 7 to 10cm with a breath, the lungs take in 1 quart of oxygen.
This is a staggering difference in oxygen that is vital to the life force of the organism.
No wonder humans health is failing and rife which such a huge volume of chronic dis-ease!
No wonder intelligence and holistic understanding of the world is so hard to come by.
Forget about wisdom in the general public, we are not even capable of simple intelligence.
How can a democracy function if the public is a short-sighted mass of sickness and ignorance?
From the inside out it involves the control or flow of ones breath which eventually leads to the control or flow of ones life. If I can control or regulate the flow of my breath, I can control or regulate my ability to respond in this world. This responsibility allows me to remain calm when I would otherwise find myself anxious or tense and reacting to the world. This anxiety or tension once led to asthma attacks, me reaching for my inhaler, or me heading to emergency for an adrenaline shot. I now realize it also leads to anger, which leads to violence if not checked and balanced. The human dilemma.
This path of healing myself has grown like the proverbial onion.
I first began with my self. Like Achilles heal my lungs are my weakness and they were the first to benefit from my increased breath and increased oxygen to my blood.
Then I started to realize the fuel i was feeding myself and started buying more organically and locally grown fresh produce. Now I grow much of my own food.
Then I started looking at my clothes and where they were coming from. This led me to supporting local craftspeople for my socks, hats, sweaters and the local thrifts store to reuse what others didn’t want anymore. I didn’t want to enslave women and children for my cheap but stylish fashion anymore. And this finally (is it?) led me to what I now feel to be the outer reaches of my self, my home; how I create and manage my household.
Economics simply means management of the household (economos). How I manage my household or my home involves my self and my relationship with my family, my food, my clothing, my shelter and my village. As I learn to understand these relationships with my self I have chosen the path of forest farmer, selection logger, timber framer and natural builder as my connection to my village. The new paradigm shift will have us all reconnecting to our village is this way.
This is the shift of true, local and global sustainability.
The idea of using large timbers for the frame of a home has led me to many new realizations about why and how we enclose these spaces we live in. Our homes need to be healthy for us to heal and recharge. They are our sanctuaries where we conduct our daily rituals that allow us to reach out further and remain a positive influence to all our relations.
A home needs to breath correctly as do we.