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The Vedic texts state that all living entities are sustained by the life-giving force called Prana. The concept plays a central role in ayurveda and yoga and their holistic view of life.
According to Ayurveda, prana emanates from the sun. It flows through the bodies of living beings through a system of subtle pathways (nadis). We experience prana as breath, but it also exists in blood. Prana is most concentrated in reproductive fluids.
Ayurvedic texts classify prana into five subdivisions – the currents that energize and sustain the body’s physiological processes:
Yoga scriptures break down prana into five more sub-categories responsible for various bodily functions:
Pranayama – the specialized yogic technique of deep breathing – is practiced to control the flow of these currents in the body, so as to enhance the vitality of both body and mind.