Pranayam, as the name suggests, is food for all our five physiological systems.prana is responsible for the beating of the heart and breathing. Prana enters the body through breath and is sent to every cell through the circulatory system. Attributed to the function of breathing, it is also responsible for the system that controls all sense perceptions of seeing, touching, testing and smelling-of the stimuli received from the outer world.
Apana literally means 'eject'.It is responsible for the elimination of waste products from the body through the lungs and excretory systems. It is the prana that is responsible for all things thrown out of the body.
Vyana is the power by which nourishment received through digestive forces is circulated to all the body through the blood stream.
Samana is for the expansion and contraction processes of the body, the voluntary muscular system. It regulates digestion. It is responsible for digestion and the repair and manufacture of new cell and growth. Samana also includes the body .Auras are projections of this current.With meditation one can see auras of light around every being. Yogis who do special practice on samana can produce a blazing aura at will.
Udana stimulates the internal functions of the body including the escape of prana (death). It is also responsible for producing sounds through the vocal apparatus , as in speaking, singing, laughing, and crying. Also, it represents the conscious energy required to produce vocal sounds corresponding to the intent of the being. Hence control on udana gives the higher centres total control over the body.
This is the prana that helps one progress to higher realms.
The panch prana are responsible for the manifest form of 'life'in a being. The body with food and air.
The mind-intellect-bliss sheaths of the body are known as the panch kosha. Thus pranayam means taking control of 'life'and it includes all facets of the body - not just physiological but also the internal aspects, the intelleat and beyond.
Through pranayam one is able to calm the mind. When the mind is being elevated through meditation pranas play a leading role, like that of an engine. When the mind is at rest, one's concentration improves manifold resulting in a focused mind and through intellect one can connect to the soul. This connection is with the cosmic divine and this help creativity bloom.
By Dr. Rashmi /Monika