Prana - what does it actually mean?

Anyone who has ever done yoga will probably be familiar with the word “prana”. Because that's where expression plays a big role. But where exactly does the word prana come from? What does it mean?

Prana or Sanskrit: a word from Hinduism

Prana, this term is not only used in yoga, but also in Hinduism. It means, just like Sanskrit, something like life energy, life force or life breath. This is comparable to the “Qi” used in ancient China.
The term prana is already used in the philosophical writings of Hinduism, called the Upanishads. The view taken here is that one can generally distinguish between visible and invisible parts of the human body. The visible components include, for example, skin, hair, flesh, bones and bone marrow. In addition, a body also has invisible components, namely thinking, speaking and breathing, also called prana.

Prana instead of food - light food

The term prana is also used in esoteric circles. This is understood as a so-called subtle light nourishment. It is assumed that humans do not have to eat any solid food, but can only nourish themselves from light. The Australian Ellen Greve is an important proponent of this thesis. However, light food is understandably not harmless, as deaths from starvation have occurred time and again.

Prana in Ayurveda

Prana is also important in Ayurvedic teachings. In fact, many Ayurvedic treatments are designed to increase a person's prana.

Prana and yoga: the connection

As mentioned above, prana is an important and common term, especially in yoga. Especially in hatha yoga, prana is a key concept. It is believed that a person's prana and spirit are intimately connected. In Hatha Yoga not only a control but also a transformation of the prana is aimed at. Appropriate exercises, meditation and concentration bring about changes on the prana level.
Through Hatha Yoga techniques we also influence the energy processes of our prana, which also changes our thinking and feeling. The aim is to expand human consciousness on all levels. The relationship between our energy and our thinking should be brought into line.
Of course, prana is a rather abstract concept and cannot be realistically explained or understood. So prana is more of a condition or a feeling that ideally influences us humans positively.

Light food – how is that supposed to work?

To feed only on light seems a rather daring idea. Opinions are actually divided as to whether this can work. After all, we learned from an early age that humans need food to stay alive. Still, there are adherents of this type of fasting, called breatharianism, who are adamant about the benefits.

Benefits of light fasting - are there any?

If the followers of the light food are to be believed, then yes. On the one hand, there would of course be the cost savings - if you don't eat, you save money. Hand in hand with this comes time savings: not having to prepare food sounds tempting in a way, considering how much time you spend in the cows every day. In addition, it should be important for the body to provide it with sufficient light. Hence the name light food.
Furthermore, it is said to bring benefits to health, since it is guaranteed that no harmful or unhealthy substances will be absorbed with light food. In addition, those who eat light food are definitely environmentally friendly and conserve resources.
Only: is it that simple? Certainly not.
On the one hand, the absence of harmful substances also means, on the other hand, that we deprive our body of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are so important for it during light fasting. Can these be so easily replaced by sunlight? Difficult to imagine.

Food from light - how is that supposed to work?

As the name suggests, light fasters actually only eat sunlight. The fasting person should look in the direction of the sun with open eyes for an hour a day in order to obtain sufficient energy from the sun. However, reputable scientists assume that nutrition by means of light is simply not possible.

Survival without food – how long?

In principle, an adult can survive a period of 21 days without solid food if he/she makes sure to consume enough fruit or vegetable juices during this time. Experts are of the opinion that if you drink enough water, you will die after about 50-80 days. This also coincides with experiences that one could have with hunger strikers. However, if the supply of drinking water is also prohibited, humans can survive this for a maximum of 10 days.

Light fasting - is liquid allowed?

It depends. Because even with light fasting, there are different opinions and approaches as far as the implementation is concerned. While some recommendations assume that you do not eat or drink for the first few days, others allow you to drink water every day.

Light fasting - conclusion

Even if there are people who claim that they haven't eaten anything for years - in most, if not all, cases this is probably simply lies and deceit.
Worse still: in the meantime, numerous deaths have become known of people who literally starved themselves to death.
Living only on the light - even if this should be possible - who would really want that? After all, eating is something positive. It tastes good, it's fun, it connects people because it also has a certain status in society.
Fasting in the "normal" and "healthy" way is certainly always recommended. Light fasting, on the other hand, can hardly be healthy or even feasible according to the current scientific view.
Ayurvedische lehreHinduismusLichtnahrungPranaPranalitSanskritYoga


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