Whenever we get a chance to visit Hawaii, we’re awed by the power of life force, or prana, that permeates everything here. It’s amazing to see the variety of plants that grow to a height of maybe four or five inches on the mainland, but that here in Hawaii reach six to ten feet with flowers and leaves radiant with life and color.

Photo by Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi in Hawaii.

The understanding and use of prana is one of the keynotes of Paramhansa Yogananda’s teachings: in the Energization Exercises, magnetized prayers and affirmations, and Kriya Yoga. When Yoganandaji was on his hugely successful lecture tours in America, he would often address crowded auditoriums, saying, “There is enough energy in one gram of flesh [here he would pinch his arm to illustrate] to keep the city of Chicago supplied with electricity for a week!”

The trick is to become aware of this life force, which is within and around us everywhere, and direct it to where it’s needed.

Recently while a friend of mine from Italy was traveling in India, she slipped and broke a bone in her ankle. The doctor applied a below-the-knee cast, and told her she shouldn’t put any weight on it or travel for several weeks. Being a lifelong practitioner of Yoganandaji’s teaching, she spent her “house arrest” in a hotel room, daily sending energy to the broken bone, and visualizing it whole again.

After three weeks, the doctor was amazed when she looked at the new x-rays, and said, “Remarkable healing.” She removed the cumbersome, heavy cast, and gave her a light air cast. Our friend will soon be on the road again.

But this life force can be used for more than just healing broken bones, because prana is also conscious. The parts of our life that are broken in other ways—unresolved emotions, past hurts, karmic blocks with people, patterns of mental resistance—all can be healed by directed life force.

First we need to become sensitively aware of where the “break” in the energy flow is, and then channel prana there. Without needing to analyze exactly why or how the problem arose psychologically, we can send the consciously-aware life force to untangle our emotional knots and make us whole again. The key is to be ready to let go of the past, and to allow the flow of subtle energy to heal us.

Ultimately, for those seeking spiritual freedom, we can direct this prana in meditation, sending it to higher centers of awareness. When we do this repeatedly through regular practice, our consciousness becomes filled with energy and expands to feel its oneness with a greater reality.

Like the little plants that grow to be huge when bathed in Hawaii’s prana, we can become heightened expressions of ourselves. Once we know how to work with this divine life force, we can use it to unlock our own potential—physically, mentally, and spiritually—and begin to realize who and what we really are.

As Yoganandaji once said, “What is this life flowing in my veins? Could it be other than divine?”

With joy in this life,

Nayaswami Devi

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  1. It would be a great thing if there was a book entitled,”Directing & Using the Life Force to Bring Healing for Yourself & Others.”

  2. Dear Nayaswami Devi, Yet again very many thanks for this article and for the welcome reminders on all the poignant points ever resonant and needed in especially difficult times. Thank you and Bless you

  3. I love your analogy. It’s very evocative, and since I’m a horticulturist by trade, it particularly resonates with me. “Heightened expressions of ourselves” is such a wonderful way to put it !

  4. thank you for the reminder about directing our energy for healing and higher consciousness and keeping it simple…aloha!

  5. Dear Devi, Thank you for plugging the Energization Exercises. Having done them daily for forty-four years with just five days missed due to a hospital stay, I find that they are much more about inward change than merely energizing the body. At the end of my practice I nearly always feel a deep quiet that is ideal preparation for meditation. While practicing, I sometimes feel, “Why would we swing our arms around in larger and smaller circles – aha! it’s because we are awakening energy very strongly in the upper part of the spine! And why would we then flick our fingers – aha! it’s because it is deepening our awareness of the upper spine.” These findings lead me to believe that the Energizers are not just for filling the body with energy, though they certainly can do that; they are about controlling and harmonizing energy and increasing our awareness inwardly, and learning to interiorize our awareness by using energy. All stuff I really, really need to learn, and am very grateful to Yogananda for these exercises that are helping me to learn it. Joy to you! Joy to us all!

    1. Rambhakta, I found interesting your observations about how two examples of Energization Exercises directly awaken energy in the spine. For some reason (which seems really dense to me now!) I’m not sure I have ever consciously experienced the Exercises that way, but I will definitely be paying more attention to this now.

  6. Dear Nayaswami Devi Ji,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog and beautiful photographs 🙂

    In Master’s Love

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