Ayurveda advises that one has to protect Prana as it ultimately leads to quality of life and longevity. When Prana is not replenished adequately, the aging process accelerates. Thus, age management is essentially Prana management. Try to integrate the following 12 tips into your daily life to restore and increase Prana.
1. Eat fresh, organic, wholesome foods
According to Ayurveda, our food carries life force. When we eat, we extract, process and absorb life giving energy. The vital energy in our food comes from the quality of ingredients, but also how the food came to be. Therefore, fresh, organic, wholesome foods that are cultivated with integrity possess greater life force.
Alternatively, processed foods or leftovers are considered “dead” food that contain little to no Prana. Avoiding junk foods that have additives, preservatives and chemicals is also important as these foods contain ama or toxins, which block energy channels and further deplete Prana.
2. Consume rasayanas
Beyond eating fresh, organic, and wholesome foods, we can also increase Prana by consuming ingredients that are high in Pranik nutrients. Pranik nutrients facilitate the rejuvenation of tissues.
One of the best ways to incorporate Pranik nutrients into your diet is to consume rasayanas. Rasayanas utilize ingredients that are high in Pranik nutrients to create powerful medicines that promote longevity and improve quality of life.
Chyawanprash is considered the ‘the first and foremost rasayana’ and serves as one of the best functional medicines for Prana replenishment.
3. Eat slowly and mindfully
You might have heard before, “You are what you eat,” but Ayurveda says, “you are what, how, when, and where you eat” – meaning the way we eat has just as much impact as what we eat. In fact, many digestive disturbances are caused by the way we eat. So, take it slow and savor the flavors. Eat without distraction. Chew to a thorough consistency and eat until you are 80% full. When we eat mindfully, we harness our body’s ability to absorb and enhance Prana.
This means we should avoid eating on the go, in front of the TV, or any other way that would prevent us from eating mindfully.
4. Get quality sleep, and go to bed by 10pm
Sleep fuels our health and creates homeostasis in our bodies. Quality sleep is not only about the amount of hours you are sleeping, but it is also about the time you are sleeping, and the level of rest you achieve. Although the number of hours you sleep can differ slightly based on your dosha or constitution, the average person needs 8 hours of sleep (both under-sleeping and over-sleeping are detrimental to our health).
In addition, Ayurveda says the best quality sleep occurs when we go to bed by 10pm and wake by sunrise. Therefore, a general recommendation is to sleep from about 10pm to 6am daily, although this can differ slightly depending on your constitution.
Quality of sleep is also affected by a variety of internal and external factors. Some of the biggest factors include temperature, light, noise, stress and caffeine. We should strive to sleep in peaceful, cool, dark and quiet environments, and minimize our stress and caffeine intake. It’s also important to minimize bright lights before bedtime as this can have a negative impact on our circadian rhythms.
5. Reduce stress
Stress drains Prana. That’s why it’s important to try to minimize stress where possible.
While we should all avoid overworking or over-stressing, this is not always realistic. That’s why it’s important to make sure you frequently engage in self-care practices to calm the nervous system and restore balance to your constitution.
6. Spend time in nature
Many of us spend our days staring at screens (e.g. smart phones, computers, TV, video games, etc.), existing in artificial environments, and driving on highways. In other words, we spend most of our lives existing in non-natural states that are devoid of Prana. Spending time in nature restores us. When we walk barefoot in the grass or listen to the crashing waves of the ocean, we sync with nature’s pulses and rhythms.
In addition, the more time you spend in nature, the less exposed you are to indoor dust and mold, geopathic and technopathic stressors (e.g. wifi and 5G), and white noises (e.g. air conditioning, heaters, computers, fans, etc.). Indoor toxins and stressors create ama build-up which hinders our absorption of Prana. White noise disturbs the Akasha ‘Space’ element (Prana originates from Akasha). For geopathic and technopathic remediation options, contact us at email@example.com
7. Practice abdominal breathing
Since Prana comes in on the breath, it’s important to utilize correct breathing techniques, like pranayama and deep belly breathing. Unfortunately, most of us have not been taught how to breathe correctly. Although we actually begin with abdominal breathing as children, we digress to shallow breathing without proper instruction and self-awareness. In general, Ayurveda and Yoga science recommend having no more than 5-6 breaths per minute.
8. Practice yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation provide us with a number of benefits, including reducing stress, helping us become mindful, and moving stagnant energy. All of these benefits have a positive correlation to Prana absorption and replenishment, which is why these practices should be incorporated daily.
9. Engage in gentle exercise
Moving the body every day is vitally important to ensure the free flow of Prana. Unfortunately, many of us have sedentary lifestyles, which leads to stagnant energy. That’s why it’s essential that we engage in gentle exercise daily, like asana practice and walking.
It’s important to note that strenuous workouts or sports can actually tax the body and the breath, depleting Prana. Gentle to moderate exercise is ideal for increasing Prana.
10. Practice positivity and love
Positivity and love lifts our vibrational energy. As such, we should strive to engage in positive and loving practices, like speaking affirmations, thinking positively and acting out of service and love.
This also requires processing our negative feelings and thoughts. Through journaling, talking to a loved one or a therapist, drawing or other forms of art therapy, we can process and release negativity, ensuring the free flow of energy and Prana through our bodies.
In addition, it’s important to limit exposure to negativity. Exposure to abuse, disrespect, and otherwise negative behaviors or content drains our life force.
11. Make time for play and laughter
Happiness charges Pranik energy and encourages its movement through the body. Laughing, playing with your kids or pets, or silliness are all ways to restore and increase Prana.
12. Stay balanced
In Ayurveda, balance is an essential part of health. In fact, imbalances in our bodies, minds and spirits create disease. That’s why it’s essential to maintain balance according to our constitutions and external environments. This means establishing nourishing routines and avoiding alcohol, drugs and other stimulants that create imbalance and lead to Prana depletion.
Collectively, these 12 practices will help facilitate Prana absorption and flow throughout the body, ultimately leading to Prana replenishment and restoration.
If incorporating all of these activities at once is overwhelming, start with the easiest ones and progress through the list as you acclimate and establish new routines. It’s also helpful to take our Prana Quiz every few months to assess your risks and learn how you can improve.
Have questions about increasing Prana? Ask us! We’d love to hear from you.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)