According to Hindu philosophy and Vedic science, everything in the universe has one of three qualities called GUNAS: Sattwa, a quality that gives truthfulness and purity; Rajas is a quality that makes one energetic and passionate; Tamas is a quality that makes one corrupt, immoral and degenerate.
It is these three gunas which create the “I”-ness or individual ego in a human creating a division out of the oneness of existence. Tamas evolves out of the five senses, which produce the five elements creating form. Sattwa is the conscious aspect of the human form that perceives and manipulates matter and energy. It utilizes the mind and the five senses with the five senses of action: speech, hands, feet, genitals and anus (elimination). Rajas represents the individual in action creating waves of kinetic energy, manifesting and creating individual reality on the physical plane.
An embodied life functioning as one unit is composed of the five elements, five senses with their five senses of action, the mind, the ego, the intellect, and a fragment of consciousness playing out through the combination of these three GUNAS.
Human quality of awareness is determined through the combination of sattwa, rajas and tamas qualities with one stronger than the two others determining the nature of character and quality of thought-currents.
Healthy thoughts makes one healthy, negative thoughts creates fertile ground for disease. If mind and spirit are at peace, the body will be too. If consciousness is filled with conflict and frustration, the physiology will become diseases. Physical health makes mental and spiritual health easier to attain, too. How healthy one can be is determined by level of consciousness, hence the importance of cultivating a spiritual practice for growing awareness and cultivating the the best lifestyle habits.
The Sanskrit word for health is svastha, which translates as “established in one’s self”. Ayurveda, a spiritual lifestyle science teaches one how to establish themselves in their true nature.
The senses are determined at birth and can be seen through the five elements as they are depicted on an astrological map in their original form as intended for a particular life. Through conditioning, diet and lifestyle, the senses become clogged or distorted, changing the original imprint for guiding one into opportunities or life events.
The operating, control hub for the senses takes place inside the thalamus gland which is a walnut-shaped structure deep in the center of the brain. Information coming in through the ears, smell, taste, touch and eyes travels through the thalamus gland creating the perception of reality. All sensations, thoughts and emotions travels through the thalamus before they are communicated to other parts of the brain and give emotional meaning to life events as well as creating the individual’s concept of god and spirituality.
In ancient Vedic knowledge, the thalamus plays a central role in the process of spiritual awakening. The nerve system emerging from the spine and into the brainstem travel first through the thalamus and then up throughout the neocortex, along the crown of the head, creating the Crown Chakra.
In close proximation with the thalamus is the pituitary gland, the inner focus of meditation and the area connected wth profound spiritual vision and higher perception creating what is called the “third eye”. The third eye plays a significant role in awakening the body’s electrical sensory system and is central in connecting with the Root Chakra for awakening the Kundalini-Shakti energy force, which melts the Heart Chakra and stimulates love based in oneness.
For this reason, the senses must be purified and adjusted so that correct perception functions and aligns the individual properly with environment, people and activity. Including the right kind of diet, the correct foods lead one towards higher consciousness as the body refines, becomes more healthy and the senses operate from a balanced, clear state. Once this achieved, the right impressions for feeding Prana become available allowing for growth in spirituality and spiritual powers to grow. Learning how to control the sexual appetite benefits energy rising inside the form so that Prana becomes the food and vitality for life force.
Eating the wrong kind of foods or too much food and indulging in adverse pleasures aligns the energy inside the physical body with gravity, moving life force down and resulting in disease, aging, death and the lowering of consciousness.
Prana, aligned with the elements of air and space, disperses upward through the brain and senses, which can lead to loss of mind-body coordination. Hence, the importance of yoga practices for drawing down prana and uniting it with the body.
According to the ancients, Prana is the life-force that connects the body, mind and spirit together through the breath. Prana is not air, though oxygen is one of its vehicles. When digestion is strong, prana contained in food is efficiently taken into the system. When digestion is weak, only a little bit of prana can be taken in and assimilated.
There are two kinds of Prana: one is taken in through breathing and the other is taken in through the colon in well-digested food. This explains why the lungs and intestines are directly connected and integral to the process of growing consciousness.
Haha Yoga is primary in assisting with bringing more Prana into the body while Ayurveda is primarily focused on the lifestyle practices concerning diet, quality of food and right habits with edifying the physical body.
Most people breath through one nostril at a time, shifting from one nostril to the other every two-three hours throughout the day. When one is breathing in prana then both nostrils remain open and breathing at the same time, taking in vitality and enjoying the current of energy running through the spinal column and active chakras.