Prana in Sanskrit means vitality and life force, and that is why pranayama means the expansion of vitality without movement of thoughts or thinking.
To expand prana in the body, pranayama is not the only technique. What else? Let’s take a look at our daily food choices. Regarding the prana expansion, our daily food choices can be categorized into three groups: Positive Pranic, Neutral Pranic, and Negative Pranic. Positive Pranic food ignites life energy within; Neutral Pranic food makes the body lethargic; Negative Pranic food takes life energy away.
Positive pranic foods are mild in taste including fresh, whole, minimally processed, locally grown, and organic foods, and they’re not supposed to be eaten in excess. Typical pranic foods include honey, coconut, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fruits, and fresh vegetables.
Negative pranic foods are believed to deprive vital energy including stimulants that give the body instant energy but may lead to a subsequent crash. Over-flavored foods are typical negative pranic foods, in other words, salty, spicy, sour, or pungent foods are said to harm the prana. Common negative pranic foods that negatively affect the prana include onion, garlic, coffee, tea, alcohol.
Neutral pranic foods, like tomatoes and potatoes, neither increase nor decrease the prana, but they may still make people feel somewhat sluggish.