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April 27, 2015
In the Yoga teacher course, we learned Prana is stored in the solar plexus or also called the coeliac plexus because it is at the coeliac ganglion. This is a cluster of nerves affecting many of the abdominal viscera. It is around the level of the respiratory diaphragm and the third chakra. As the diaphragm moves up and down with inhalations and exhalations, Prana is then naturally pumped throughout the body. When breathing is shallow, or in other words only performed within the upper chest, the diaphragm does not move up and down to its potential and prana becomes stagnant causing agitation and nervousness.
In a balanced scenario the diaphragm, a large umbrella shaped muscle stretches down with inhalations making space for the lungs to expand receiving maximum Prana-containing oxygen. With exhalations it releases back up helping to compress the lung cavity. With each cycle the diaphragm acts as a pump upon the abdomen and all its contents; the organs are gently being massaged. All the connective tissue is lightly stretched and compressed so that they do not tighten up and cause stagnation. Muscles stretch and contract exercising there elasticity. Blood, lymph and Prana are all circulating to supply vitality to the surrounding organs and the rest of the body.
Pranayama is the practice of its literal translation; breath control. Through Yogic breathing, one is said to increase bodily vitality, maximize the efficiency of the lungs, tone the nervous system, and create mental equanimity. It is also said to cleanse the blood. In relation to the abdomen it does this by maintaining the efficiency of the organs and encouraging good circulation of blood, lymph and energy.
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