Prana Chai – we didn’t just choose the name because we liked the sound of it. The concept of prana is an essential part of how we create our chai by hand.
Originating in Hindu philosophy, the word Prana means “life force” in Sanskrit. It is known by many other names in different cultures – “chi” to the Chinese, “mana” to Polynesians and “Qi” to the Japanese – but the principles are basically the same. Prana is the life force or energy found in all living things. An invisible, physical substance responsible for the body’s life, heat and maintenance. When we are low on prana, we get sick in the body and mind, when we have enough prana, every part of our body is healthy. We absorb prana from the environment around us and what we eat, and we can control its movement around our body with mindful movements and breath.
Plants are veritably vibrant with prana, and much of our own prana can come from eating plant-based food. However, the prana in something diminishes the more processed it is. An apple picked from the tree will contain more prana than one that has been transported, stored and sold at a supermarket, and even more than one that is cooked and frozen into a packaged apple pie.
We can, therefore, increase our own prana by eating a diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables and grains. While processing food diminishes an item’s levels of prana, dehydrating it does not, and dried fruit, nuts and spices are also great sources of prana. Preparing food with love and cooking using natural methods will also help food to retain its prana and nutrients.
It is with this philosophy in mind that we prepare Prana Chai. Handmade, using only natural ingredients, we prepare our chai with love so that it can retain the prana for us to enjoy with love.
But increasing our prana is only half of it. Yoga uses ansanas (movements) and pranayama (breathing methods) to move the prana around the body and direct it to where it is needed. One of the main purposes of yoga is to create a physical and energetic balance by allowing the movement of prana to bring change to the body and mind.
In the current world of fad diets and supplements, it helps to remember that there is something that we get from nature that cannot be substituted by a pill. We all need the prana life force we can to feel happy and healthy in our bodies and that is something that we can only receive from the natural environment around us.