Often times the matter of Prana and especially of its qualities are repeatedly discussed, sadly with the erroneous idea that Prana has qualities! When a matter as subtle as Prana permeates every and anything in all the universes, how could it have any kind of quality? The problem lies not in Prana but in our understanding of it and its nature. Quality only exists when there are ‘two’ things about it; meaning the concept of Duality. When ‘All’ is ‘That’, where and how can there be any quality!
This idea of different qualities, as said earlier, arises from mistaken thinking, misunderstanding and misinterpreting the individual’s ability or rather the inability to absorb Prana fully or correctly, thereby causing ill heath due to the disturbed Dosha. Before we proceed, we need to emphasise that Prana is not Oxygen though it uses Oxygen as a medium of transport. Like eating correct food, which also carries Prana but travelling in the essence of Food. We have heard people say that Prana is ‘good or bad’ in certain environments, or they say there is more or less Prana in a certain environment. For instance in an environment which is highly polluted, one may say that ‘Prana is bad or there is less of it’! Or in a ‘green or natural’ environment, one may say that Prana is good or that there is more of it available.
Just as the percentages of the major gases in the atmosphere like Hydrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen etc do not become altered due to other polluting gasses, like Carbon monoxide etc, becoming mixed in the atmosphere but what happens is that it makes it more difficult for any system depending on natural gases to filter and absorb the required natural gases easily or rapidly, thus causing problems and disturbances. Similarly the quality of Prana does not become affected positively or negatively due to the environment but in our capacity to absorb Prana effectively and correctly.
Our human body may lack the tools or filters necessary to filter out all such pollutants, thus causing poor absorption of oxygen and therefore Prana. Certain high speed engines like the gas turbine requires clean air in order for the fuel to burn efficiently and effectively so as to obtain the optimum power required for it to function accordingly but such engines have as additional equipment that helps in providing supercharged air; meaning sending high volumes of air at high speeds and high temperatures into the engine as a means of compensating for the ‘poorer’ quality of air. Likewise the human body is endowed with a certain tool which could help in such a situation. Our mind can be trained to effectively filter out such incorrect thinking thus allowing for the body to become more stable and vibrant. Correct thinking comes from Knowledge and incorrect thinking is due to ignorance.
The mind creates a negative situation by convincing itself that Prana is adversely affected by the less than ideal environment. Due to this kind of thinking the mind is poisoning the body and negatively affecting the absorption and flow of Prana. So this ability to absorb Prana is in fact first and foremost influenced by our thoughts. This comes back to the explanation or rules of Pranayama, that thoughts can be regulated to affect the absorption of Prana.
For example, certain teachers prefer to conduct classes in natural settings such as near the beach or in a quiet forest or by a lake etc. They tell their students there is a lot more prana there. In fact they do put a positive thought into the student which may indeed enable them to better absorb Prana. However, they could explain it differently and more correctly by telling them the environment is quiet and clean and in that place the mind is more easily able to be controlled and quietened thus allowing better absorption of Prana.
Similarly when the environment is noisy and polluted, this doesn’t necessarily mean the person is unable to relax and be focussed and just as easily regulate the thoughts and thus influence the absorption of Prana. So we can see it is not the Prana itself affected by the environment but our very thoughts and attitude.