Life Force Balancing Technique

By Rudra Shivananda

There are five main pranas, or five aspects of the life-force energy in the body, and so there are five parts to this balancing technique – each part is repeated a number of times, and then one proceeds to the next part in the sequence. Then the sequence is reversed
and each part is practiced for the same number of repetitions.

Although the pranayama is given as a sequence incorporating all the techniques, each can be performed by itself, if you feel the need to balance a particular vayu, or aspect of prana.

1. Prana Vayu
Inhale deeply, drawing energy from above and around the head, into the third-eye center, visualizing a ball of light concentrated there.

Exhale through the third eye, spreading the life-force throughout the head, and the eyes, ears, nostrils, and the mouth.

Life-force is brought in all around the head through the senses, purifying them. Repeat seven times.

Benefits: Revitalizes the brain and helps against disorders of the nervous system. It is useful as treatment for sinus problems, head colds, and headaches.

2. Udana Vayu
Inhale deeply through the mouth and draw the life-force into the throat center.

Exhale, chanting OM aloud, feeling the vibration expanding outward and upward.

Repeat seven times.

Benefits: Increases vitality and improves self-expression. Helpful in treatment of sore throat.

3. Vyana Vayu

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Inhale deeply through the heart center, while extending your arms to the sides and opening up the chest. The life-force energy is spiraling outwards. At the end of the inhalation, visualize the life-force expanding throughout the body and limbs.

Exhale back into the heart center, visualizing all the lifeforce returning to the heart center, spiraling inwards.

Repeat seven times.

Benefits: Helpful in treating diseases of circulatory problems, especiallylung and heart diseases.

4. Samana Vayu
Feel the navel center, and visualize the universal life-force flowing in there.

Inhale deeply, bringing the universal life-force into the navel center, spiraling inwards. Feel the life-force as concentrated fire at the navel at the end of the inhalation.

Exhale, spiraling outward nourishing all the cells, organs and systems of the body.

Repeat seven times.

Benefits: Helpful in treating digestive system disorders and diseases of the liver and gall-bladder.
5. Apana Vayu
This is best done in a standing posture. Feel the perineum and visualize the connection with the center of the earth.

Inhale deeply, drawing the lifeforce energy down to the root center at the perineum.

Exhale from the perineum, down through the legs and feet, into the earth.

Repeat seven times.

Benefits: Helpful in treating disorders of the reproduction and the excretory systems. Also useful for healing menstrual problems and sexual dysfunctions.

After practicing the sequence from steps 1 to 5, then reverse and practice from 5 to 1.

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