These practices are done to merge the individual prana into the universal prana. Many practices are done to establish control over by Pranayam. It is necessary to know the five important pranas and five secondary pranas. These respectively Apana, Udana, Prana, Vyana and Samana. In yogic practices Apana, Udana and Prana are specially important for Apana is made to collide maximally with udana and prana (The apana is tamsik), so that apana leaves its place and goes out of the body mixed and the rajas modifications of mind arise. In Rajas modification of mind, the prana mixed with Satwik attributes are collected and the sadhaka denounces the rajas modifications of mind and attains Satwik attributes. This complete practice is perfected by the collision of the five pranas and tankore.
One should contemplate on the genesis of prana, its movements, control over it and its merger in the chita and intellect. One will realise that the stability of Manas, intellect and chita depends upon the perfection of pranayam. One who is perfect in prana practices, bondage and liberation cease to exist for him. The sadhaka visualises prana-Brahma and is released from the wheel of life and death. He attains gradually the status of Hansa and paran-Hansa, which represent the stage of development of subtle body.
The activities of different pranas in yoga :-
i) Apana : It activates mooladhara and Kunkalini. Its use is banned in other practices.
ii) Udana : It generates the particles of prana, activates the subtle body and performs practices in Brahmanda.
iii) Prana : To store the atoms of prana and to perform tankore.
iv) Vyana : It activates the internal light.
v) Samana : It maintains the activity of the subtle body.
By prana-practices the different pranas of the body are made to collide. It is almost like a battle field situation and the stronger air gradually gains control. It is mainly between Apana, Udana and prana. The Vyana and Samana generally keep on colliding with other forms of the Pranas.
In the different practices of pranayam, battle field is selected according to the aim for example, for awakening the kundalini, it is mooladhara and for breaking through Braham-Randhra it is Brahmands, the origin of prana, their collection, their complete storage their pressure, tankore and collision within prana airs many things which are to be kept in mind during pranayam.
Each prana contains very small atoms. These atoms are made to collide with each other by external pressure and tankore. This is responsible for the genesis of light and sound. The inactive points become active because of the mind invisible things come to light without any difflculty. The concentration of the mind increases by careful hearing the origin of sound and the sadhaka gradually advances towards samadhi. The fire of pranas increases because of nectar drinking and the light of the prana spreads every-where because of the nectar drops and the sadhaka experiences complete light or the light of the sum during pranayam. Constant increase in light denotes success of the collision and tankore. The sadhaka visualises a dark form during kumbhaka after he has visualized light. It gradually goes on clearing and finally assumes ones own form. This is called the subtle body. This body is born out of the collision of the various parnas just as butter is collected from the milk. Therefore the atoms of the subtle body are present in the various pranas all over the body. Born out of this collision of atoms and tankore, this subtle body gradually attains its full form and performs many activities of the sadhaka. It is this subtle body which carries the pranas of the Sadhaka and by piercing the Brahma-Randhra, it comes out. This is accomplished during kumbhaka. It is necessary to have a complete knowledge of prana practices for they are helpful from beginning to end.
The Practices of Pranayam :
The breath is divided into three parts for the development of its control and these are puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka, that is breathing in, holding the breath and breathing out. The kumbhaka is practiced by holding the air in or by exhaling it. The former is called the internal kumbhaka and the latter is called the external kumbhaka. The internal kumbhaka is utilised for tankore and the external for the visualization of the seed alphabets. The different pranas are made to collide according to the aim as given below :
1. Apana and Udana : For passing out the apana.
2. Apana and Prana : For arousing the Kundalini in mooladhar.
3. Udana and Prana : For generating atoms of prana and tankore.
4. Udana and Samana : To keep up the explosion that is storage.
5. The air and prana : To keep the flame of prana intact.
In yoga practices the first collision is between air and prana. With great force and pressure prana voids out the apana. Unless this is done the pure atoms of prana do not collide with the air. This collision results in explosion in prana automatically and results in the stability of mind. The explosion causes collision of prana with Udana and Udana keeps on colliding with samana always. This practice makes the sadhaka believe with unflinching faith that extremely forceful atoms in other pranas and prana can be developed by collision, tankore and pressure. These energy atoms travel from below upwards or spread out in all the organs of the body. These energy or prana atoms start working during kumbhaka and are visible as divine flame. The explosion of these prana atoms out the pathway leading from Mooladhara to Agnya chakra and from Agnya to thousand petalled lotus and from there to Brahma Randhra. In this way the sadhaka endowed with energy by storing these atoms can visualize kundalini and other divine powers easily. When the collision tankore and explosion of Udana, Prana and Samana occurs in the Antahakarana the seed alphabets are activated and many beautiful scenes develop. Depending upon the quantum of explosion the light of antahakarana can be minimal,average or of high intensity. In the light of lesser intensity dark spots are visible indicating tamasic modifications of mind which in turn indicate an unstable mind.
To separate the Apana, Vyana, Udana and Prana from each other :
1. Apana (i) Keep the two palms on the earth and lift the body on the feet keeping the face straight. This is called Ashva Mudra. Breathe in and out through the mouth with full force. During breathing in bloat the abdomen and while exhaling squeeze with great force and contract and expand the rectum just as a horse does during defacation. It results in total voiding of Apana.
(ii) Sit in siddha asana posture of adept keeping the left heel under the rectum and bring the weight of the whole body on this heel and contract the rectum with force. The apana becomes still.
2. Vyana : Sit in an easy posture facing North and pay obesience to the master and do the practice. Breathe in and breath out with force through the nose or mouth. Kumbhaka is not done in this practice. It gives rise to the process of soham. Take the prana downward up to rectum. Keep up the force of breath, close the eyes and concentrate on Agnya chakra where burning from of fire will be visible. This is the fire of prana. The activation of vyana results in the visualisation of internal light flame. The tankore of the japa of AUM in the center of the eyebrows results in its early activation.
3. Udana : It arises near the navel center and is useful in the practices of samadhi the practices is performed as given :-
Sit in an easy posture and breath easily. Concentrate at Agnya and visualise after closing the eyes. After a few minutes of breathing light yellow or golden atoms can be seen flying and radiating in front of the eyes just as small particles of light are seen on the tip of the flame of the fire. This is the activated udana. It is collected at the navel centre. When the activated atoms become visible the air is held at the navel which results in Moon light in Agnaya and after a few days practice it becomes light of the sun. Even now the breathing should be easy and no kumbhaka is to be done. The light is visible because of the active navel centre. The light which is generated here starts going upwards gradually along the nadies. The sun and moon nadies are the important channels.
Prana : This practice is done in darkness and gives early results when practiced before sunrise. Sit in an posture facing the east. No external light should be visible so that there is no confusion when the internal light is generated.
The practice of pooraka kumbhaka and rechaka separates prana. The practice should be in the ratio of 1:2:1 that is breathing in and out should be for ten seconds and holding the breath should be for 20 seconds. After some practice the ratio can be changed to 1:4:2. The pranas are activated during kumbhaka in the area of the heart and above. In the beginning there is a dim light. On the right and left different colours or muddy colours or light of less or more intensity can be seen which keeps on appearing and disappering. If the practice is successfully done this light can be of different colours or is visible as a luminous point. This is the pure and subtle form of activated prana. The perfecation of this practice results in bestowing the knowledge regarding the state of prana. The sadhaka must freely practise this practice for it is the basic practice of yoga. The activation of prana is done in the following way.
Void out the apana from the body, practice kumbhaka as much as possible. Apply pressure of prana on Udana and establish the prana at navel centre and fill the abdomen with prana. By squeezing the abdomen stabilize the prana at the Agnya and visualize the scenes of different lights. Repeat it three times. The pure form of prana can be realised after three kumbhakas. Water waves, small light points, flowing springs, the dawn and setting of the light on the left and right, light and vision of sun and many colours and forms are enjoyed by the prana itself. In order to maintain this bliss these practices must be carried out morning and evening.
To generate atoms of prana by Udana and Prana
By the tankore of udana and prana the atoms of prana are activated. It is also called the Havana of prana. The atoms of prana are only generated during kumbhaka. It is practiced as given below.
Sit in an easy posture, direct the prana air to udana. Udana should be filled up in the belly and thus it meets the prana. Take a deep breath up to the navel with both nostrils and hold the breath. Give a jerk to the prana so that it strikes udana. This is done at the navel. There is a small orifice of the nadi at the navel which becomes clearly visible in light. This gate way is known as udana nadi gate. The prana atoms produced by tankore create many visions after reaching the centre of the eye brows e. g. flow of water, heat sensation in the body. Tremulousness, sweating and the activation of sun and moon in the eyes. Complete pressure is applied on the navel for 24 seconds after filling in Udana. Do not contract the abdominal wall.
After a few days practice when the sadhaka applies tankore on the navel, a sort of unconsciousness is experienced. It indicates a correct and successful practice. If during the state of semi-consciousness one visualizes a point of light-blue colour which is extremely effulgent then one should be sure that it is prana point called prana chakra. It should be at least repeated three times and one is bound to be successful generally in the third attempt. These prana atoms are utilized in all the yoga practices. Prana and tankore awaken the deeply sleeping points and places and many places manifest their pure forms. It is therefore a very important and an essential practice. In all the sadhakas the activating of prana atoms so awakened and generated by the practice result in almost identical visions. Thus one should interchange one's own experiences in religious company with other sadhaka for God realization. The experience of all pervasiveness of God and identity of prana in all his beings is attained with this above practice.
Many types of lights are seen because of prana e. g. the light of yoga points, sun, moon and fire, light of the stars, light of the tatwas, light of the nadies, light of the kundalini, light of different divinities, light of the Mother Gayatri and light of Brahma etc. To unite the light generated by the prana atoms with the other lights described above is called Yoga. This is the unison of One's own prana. It can be clarified by the following example-if one mixes one's prana atoms into the light of the mother Gayatiri the ego of the individual disappears. The prana atoms of Gayatri have the attributes of Brahma hence they are omnipresent and the prana of the being after dispelling ignorance when merged into Brahma Prana the individual ego disappears.
Prana can be utilised for awakening the following
1. 84 points of Yoga.
2. After activating the sense of knowledge they are established at one point in the flame of Brahma.
3. To stabilize Manas intellect and chita
4. To realize prana Brahma.
5. To activate tatwas separately and finally merge them in Atma and Brahma.
6. To do various samadhi practices.
7. Activate different light and merge them in the light of Brahma.
8. To make pranas enter Antanakarana and visualize it.
9. To activate the subtle body.
10. To enter the Brahmanda.
11. To realize the full knowledge of Kundalini.
12. To visualize AUM and other seeds and enter Aum.
13. To realize Nada.
14. To perfom Homa of prana into Brahma.
15. To recognize Brahma Randhara and to pierce it.
Signs of successful Prana practices :-
1. Sit in a posture and breathe through both the nostrils and produce tankore on udana by prana at the navel. Drink neetar, flex the neck forwards and after closing the ear orifices by fingers, hear the sound of Antahakarana, and see carefully in the Agnya Chakra. It is done in the kumbhaka only. By pressure on the navel, by contracting the abdomen establish the prana at Agnya. At this place, flashing light, birds and animals moving about and divine places shall be visible. Sound of different animals can be heard. If the vision of an elephant trumpeting and raising its trunk is seen it is alone a sign of the successful practice. It just takes a few seconds for this practice.
2. Perform the above practice and visualize the center of eyebrows during Kumbhaka. If yellow colour deep above and below on the knot of the Agnya chakra is visible then one is sure that the prana is working in the right direction.
3. If crescent of the Moon is visible then it means that Udana and prana have merged in the Antahakarana. If any difficulty is experienced then the practice should be done along with the Master. The merger of the pranas of Sadhaka and Master brings about quick success. N.P. : Some impure prana atoms do collect in the body even when the practices are daily performed. These impure atoms result in black dots in these light and they must be purified by the following practice :-
Sit with a posture keeping the body and neck straignt. Breathe with force through the nose and mouth. Give tankore on the navel with prana and then contract the abdomen. The prana appears to be coming out of the ears. This is an impure air. This practice must be done once or twice a week.
Stroing of prana and its Movements: :
For the activation of the subtle body, atoms of prana are generated from udana and these are directed through the medium of a Nadi at the navel to the subtle body. The greater the store of these pranas greater is the movement of the subtle body. The prana stoms which develop from prana and udana, are stored at Agnaya. It is done by Ida, Pingla and Sushumna. This prana is useful for all the practices. The practice of merging the prana of being into divine prana and practice of brahmanda and merger of the subtle body are important practices which depend on the force of Prana. The attainment of Yoga is directly proportional to the storage of Prana atoms, hence more and more prana should be stored. Directional movement of prana depends on the sadhaka. In the beginning some difficulty, of course, is experienced. Gradually the sadhaka becomes perfect in activating the various types of pranas. It is then only that by mental contemplation the sadhaka is able to direct the prana to any part or organ of the body, and the prana also make their presence felt automatically at the place.

The subtle atoms of air by which the body absorbs energy are pranas. Its nature is energy. It means that all the activities going on in this universe are because of Prana e.g. knowledge of air by touch and knowledge of fire by heat. Activity of sense of knowledge the activity of sun and moon in the Antahakarana and the vision of God, all these different activities are pointers to prana. Prana is only recognized and realized by prana and none else. Complete analysis and visualization of prana reveals that the prana verily is Brahma. It is air in gross form and prans in the subtle form and in its utmost subtle form it is the universal Brahma. The rest of the prana practices shall be dealt at different places according to the subject under consideration.

Aum Shantih Aum Shantih Aum Shantih
Yogi Raj The Master Bharatari Hari.