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Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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body, it permeates the physical body from within and extends outside the physical body to a distance of 2 or 3 feet and can be seen as a shining aura by clairvoyant persons (Fig-2).

The Pranamaya Kosha is formed of Prana energy. This energy has a gross form and a subtle form. The gross Prana maintains the physical body and the subtle Prana maintains the kosha and acts as a link between the physical body and the mind. It is this subtle Prana that extends beyond the body and is seen as an aura. The gross Prana does five major functions in the physical body. Due to its different functions the one energy is named differently. The names and their functions are given below:

The five major Pranas and their functions are (Fig-3)

The seat and field of activity of Prana is from the heart to the throat. Its main function is respiration. It moves between the nostrils and the heart during inhalation / exhalation. It controls and regulates all activities of the sense organs. It helps in sound production, swallowing and regulates the body temperature. It is golden in color, light in weight and has an upward movement.

The seat and field of activity of Apana is from the navel to the soles of the feet. It is characterized by heaviness and has a downward movement. Its function is elimination. It eliminates stool, urine, semen and menses. It helps in the process of childbirth. When this energy is not regulated one feels lazy, dull, heavy and confused. It is yellow in color.

The seat and field of activity of Samana is from the navel to the heart. Its function is digestion and assimilation. It therefore nourishes the whole body and gives glowing health to it. It is white in color and cool in nature.

The seat and field of activity of Udana is from the throat to the head. It keeps the body lifted upwards, and does not allow it to fall down while running or turning in different directions. It helps in vomiting. It also helps in sound production, speaking, singing, etc. By regulating this energy the body can be made very light. It is green in color. After death a portion of this energy remains in the body. This energy then decomposes the physical body reverting the physical matter of the body to its elemental forms.

This energy pervades the whole body. Its major function is circulation. It co-ordinates all activities of the nervous system. It helps in maintaining co-ordination and balance. It is sky-blue in color.

The Pranamana Kosha consists of innumerable astral nerve channels called Nadis. There are 72000 such nadis spread over the entire kosha. There are also many prominent energy distri bution centers called Chakras. 


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