By Yogi Ashwini

The physical body is not permanent, neither is it what you see in the mirror every day. There is more to it than meets the naked eye.

Our discussions so far in our series have been centred around the physical body, the way we know ourselves as. In our last few articles, we had introduced the word Pranayam which means control of prana. But do we understand the word prana? Have we ever experienced it?

Let us do a small experiment,

1. Sit down in a comfortable position with your eyes closed.

2. Rub your hands together and raise them in front of you at the level of your navel with palms facing each other. Relax your complete body including your palms. Because what we are going to discuss is something very subtle.

3. Take your awareness to the centre of your palms and keeping your awareness there take your hands apart and slowly bring your palms closer to each other. Be aware of any sensation that you may experience in the middle of your palms.

4. Bring your palms close but not so close that they touch each other. Take them apart and repeat the process a few times. Make mental notes of all sensations that you experience at the centre of your palms.

Now slowly open your eyes. Some of you would have definitely experienced something. A sensation of holding something in your palms which is not visible to the naked eyes. When done in a group, and experiences are shared, we will find that these sensations would vary from person to person. What is this sensation?

What we all experienced by way of this exercise is our own self the way we exist beyond our physical. This is our first experience of the world of the spirit. What we experienced was our prana. We all would have seen photographs of evolved beings with a golden aura around their head and a gentle white layer just about their physical body. This is the Pranamaya Kosha, the layer, which you just now experienced.

This Pranamaya Kosha controls your physical body at all times. Sanatan Kriya details certain techniques by which we access the etheric layer and bring it to balance - removing any symptom before it manifests as a disease in the physical. The practice of Pranayam helps you gain control on this aspect of yourself which is directly affecting the Annamaya Kosha or your physical body. This Pranamaya Kosha vibrates at different frequencies for each of us making all of us different from each other. These differences are reflected on the physical, emotional, mental and financial planes. The practice of Pranayama helps you gain control on the movement of prana in the Pranamaya Kosha and must be carried out in conjunction with asanas under the guidance of a Guru.

Next week we will discuss the mechanism by which Pranamaya Kosha communicates with the Annamaya Kosha.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. 

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