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Prana as a Teacher

By Nirbhao Atma Kaur

“In God we dwell. Prana Is energy—the spirit of life in us and around us.”
-Yogi Bhajan

Energy can be found on all sorts of levels. In my house, my partner is heating up the stove to cook a tasty vegetarian curry. We can view energy on a cellular level or a universal level. Another way of perceiving this is on a spiritual level or a material, earthly level.

Prana is a source of energy that connects us all. This is not the type of energy that is harmful to ecological systems, such as fossil fuels. Rather, it is experienced directly.

How is it possible to gain a feeling of energy or enthusiasm after a Kundalini Yoga exercise set (kriya)? Not only does this happen in Kundalini Yoga, it happens across all types of yoga practices.

The commonality between all yoga is the breath. Another name for breathwork is called pranayam. There is a misconception that the breath is prana. In Kundalini Yoga, oxygen is not prana. Breath is not prana.

You can look at it this way: Oxygen is like the gas. Or if you were an electric car, it would be the plug. Breath is like the vehicle. Prana is the driver, the teacher, the sage.

When you create a relationship with the breath, you can befriend all that comes alive from prana. Breathing is an unshakable link to prana. Breathwork is a simple tool with profound effects. Some of my most powerful and insightful Kundalini experiences have arisen from pranayam.

As easy as it is to consciously breathe, many people take it for granted. There are many things we cannot control—what your boss said to you this morning, what happened in politics, what will happen with your child’s education…

What you can control is your breath. There is pranayama to strengthen the nervous system and energize (Breath of Fire), calm the mind (Long Deep Breathing), or experience deep stillness (suspending the breath). All of these can be found here.

Choosing diverse techniques offered through Kundalini Yoga, you will find a practice that works for you. This may change during your journey. If you are sitting at a computer most of the day, Breath of Fire may help you wake up. If you are outside with your children most of the day, long deep breathing might be your go-to.

Prana is accessible in all that you do. Once you tap into this wisdom, you can cultivate a sense of peace and well-being.

“The knowledge of your prana is your knowledge of your guidance. You should be grateful and graceful for every breath.”
-Yogi Bhajan

In 2010, Nirbho Atma Kaur’s (Melissa Baker) life changed when she had scoliosis surgery, where two titanium rods were placed aligning her spine. Since then, she has fully embraced and cared for her body through an active life. She is a Kundalini Yoga teacher who is passionate about teaching young adults and diverse cultures how to access and connect to their inner truth through Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda.

She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Radiant Child Yoga Teacher. Nirbho Atma learned Kundalini Yoga at an Ashram in Israel. She has developed personal practices of Kundalini Yoga, and Hatha Yoga, and her creative expression of writing and music. She teaches transformational workshops, retreats, children's classes, and online. Outside of yoga, Melissa loves to experience travel adventures, play tennis, be in nature, cook nourishing food from local markets, and simply be around loving people. 
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