Prana means energy. It is the vital force that produces the subtle vibrations related to breath, and which are the driving force behind the physical aspect of the senses and the operation of the physical body.
The breath was our focus as we started our breathing exercises this morning. Then we moved into Surya Namaskar A and chanted OM as we flowed. We then did a long series of standing poses (remember when they say intensive they mean it). Someone yesterday said that yesterdays class was easy so today they held nothing back. Over and over we went through Warrior II to Parsvakonasana to Warrior III to Parsvottanasana to revolved triangle. Our energy was regulated through our breath we had to keep breathing at a constant steady rate. It was really tough but we all went deeper than we ever have. It became a meditation of sorts.
The Pranamaya Kosa is also known as the Air-apparent sheath or a vital sheath. It holds together mind and body. As long as this vital principle exists we have life force. We can use prana to get through many hard postures or when they are held for extremely long periods of time (and smiling helps).
Today really woke the idea that my breath and how I choose to use it can get me through a tough class, give me ease and keep my mind racing through my yoga practice. It is kind of like premium gas for my yoga powered engine.
See you tomorrow.