If you have seen at least one Star Wars movie, you have heard the phrase, "May the force be with you."
The "force" according to Yoda was an energy that he could control with his mind. With intense concentration, Yoda could summon "the force" to help him achieve great feats of strength. Using "the force" he was able to defeat the evil emperor, despite his small size.
According to yoga philosophy, there is an energy not unlike "the force" that pervades all living things in the Universe, including us. This energy has the power to create, protect, and destroy. It is called prana.
I have heard prana explained as "that which is infinately everywhere".
Iyengar said that prana is as hard to explain as it is to explain God. But this life force energy is responsible for all of the movement that occurs in our minds, bodies, and emotions.
It is said "where our mind goes, prana flows". If we are scattered and running in a million different directions, our prana will disperse itself in all of those different directions leaving us feeling depleted. If we are focused and calm in our minds, this energy or prana will stay concentrated in our bodies leaving us feeling energized.
Paying attention to where you are focusing your energy can help you to stay healthy and vital. Noticing where you might be blocked or "leaky" requires keen awareness of the body and mind.
Our breath reflects the state of our minds and vise versa. You may notice that when you are stressed, your breath becomes short and choppy. This breathing pattern can cause the muscles of your neck and shoulders to contract and become tense. When you are calm, the breath is steady and even which allows your body to relax.
The yoga practice of pranayama or conscious breathing is a good way to change the state of your mind. Taking some slow and deep breaths with awareness has the power to turn an agitated mind into a calm one. On the other hand, taking some more vigorous breaths has the power to change your mind state from distracted to clear and focused.
Like Yoda, if we keep our minds focused and calm, we can achieve great things.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras