Prana is Life-Force. Breath is its vehicle. Prana is called 'Chi' in Chinese medicine. Prana is 'Ruach' in the Bible. 'Ruach' means both 'breath' and 'spirit' in Hebrew. In New Testament Greek, Prana is 'Pneuma', which means both 'spirit' and 'breath.'
A great master of breath-science, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, says:
"Prana is present in everything. In fact, we are floating in air, in prana, an ocean of prana. When the unit of expression varies, it makes a difference.
"Stones have got one unit of prana. Water has got two units of prana. Fire has got three units of prana. Air has got four units of prana. Plants have got five units of prana. Animals have got six units of prana. Human beings are capable of holding from seven to 16 units of prana. The expression of prana is the whole universe.
"When prana is lower than one, that’s when you feel depressed. When prana goes even lower, you feel suicidal. When prana is normal, you feel normal. When prana is higher, you feel enthusiastic. When prana is very high, you feel energetic and blissful. That is why when people are depressed, just giving counseling doesn’t work; what needs to be done is to raise the level of prana.
"When prana is high there is joy, vibrancy, understanding. When prana is low, then the mind starts complaining and depression, lethargy, suicidal tendencies arise. All is play and display of prana." (Shri Shri Ravi Shankar)
Counseling is not enough for handling PTSD. The stressed nervous system must be flooded with prana, cleansed at the cellular level with healing energy, vital breath. Working with buried memories on the level of mind only invites disaster: an endless loop of violent, guilty, terrifying thoughts. Practices of Yoga and Pranayama (breath science) are essential for programs that address PTSD. It is high time for this ancient inner technology to be applied to the health crisis of our modern world.
If you know a soldier or soldier's spouse dealing with the inner terrorism of PTSD, please gently guide them to the following website: Project Welcome Home Troops: www.PWHT.org/