Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
There are ten types of Prana (the subtle life force energy). Of these, there are five major and five minor kinds of Prana. Today let me just talk about the five major types of Prana.
The first major type of Prana is called Prana which arises from your navel upwards to the top of the head.
Then there is another type of Prana that goes downwards from the navel, and it is called Apana.
When the Prana level is too high, you cannot sleep; you can get insomnia and you feel very jittery. However, if the Apana level is too high, you feel so dull that you do not even want to get off the bed.
Have you had this experience? Sometimes you feel so heavy, gross, and dull. This is due to the imbalance of Apana.
The third type of Prana is Samana which is present as the digestive fire in the digestive system, i.e., in the stomach. It is the agni or the fire that helps digest the food.
Samana is that which helps indigestion, and it also helps other bodily systems. It helps in balancing the system.
Then there is Udana Vayu or Udana Prana which is somewhere near the heart region and is responsible for emotions.
In Sudarshan Kriya, people cry or they laugh, and you find that all these emotions well up. This is due to the Udana Vayu. So this Udana Vayu is responsible for all the emotions.
Then the fifth type of Prana called Vyana which is responsible for all the movement in the body. It is spread all over the body.
In Sudarshan Kriya, you feel some tingling, some energy all over the body. Have you all experienced this?
What happens in Sudarshan Kriya is, all the five Pranas get balanced, and that is why you cry, or you laugh, and you feel a tingling all over the body. That is the specialty of Sudarshan Kriya.
You also tend to feel very hungry after the Kriya, is it not so?
So, these five Prana in the body run our lives.
If Samana is imbalanced, then it gives rise to digestive problems, and you cannot digest the food properly, or you may experience nausea. All this happens because of an imbalance of the Samana Prana.
When Udana Prana is stuck, you feel an emotional block that also affects your thinking and your mind.
When the Vyana which is all over the body is imbalanced, then you have joint pain, or movement trouble, and either you become too jittery and restless, or you may feel like you do not want to do anything.
Moving around anywhere in such a state gives discomfort and creates restlessness in the body. All this is caused by the Vyana imbalance.
After Sudarshan Kriya, you would have noticed that all these imbalances go away. Has this not happened to all of you?
All earlier discomfort in the movements of the body, or its circulation, or some pains due to Vyana imbalance, all disappeared after Sudarshan Kriya.
So these are the five different Pranas.
There are five other sub-ordinate Pranas as well, but that we will discuss that another time.