What happens to Prana after death? We must understand minor Pranas to answer this question.
Researchers wrote in a study published in the Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences that they observed brain activity for ten minutes after a patient was declared clinically dead. However, Scientists are unable to posit a physiological basis for the EEG [electroencephalographic] activity. Doctors normally declare a patient clinically dead when they notice a cessation of breathing or of blood circulation.
However, the new data about brain activity has brought some confusion. This confusion is making a case for more studies. On the other hand, ancient Yogis knew about the continuation of some functions in the body after death. Besides they keenly observed the behavior of Prana (life force energy) after death! Their observations relate to the five major Pranas and the five minor Pranas (Upa-prana).
Ayurveda and Yoga texts classify life force in the body into five major Pranas and five minor Pranas. Therefore, students of Ayurveda and Yoga know the names and the actions of the five major Pranas. The names of the major Pranas are, Prana, Apana, Udana, Vyana and Samana. However, only a few know the names of the minor pranas.
Upa Prana and their role after death
The names of the Upa-prana are Naga, Krikara, Kurma, Devadatta and Dhananjaya. The last of these is responsible for the opening and the closing of the heart valve. But more esoterically, it is associated with near death experiences, such as in a coma, or a trance. In addition, the minor Prana does not subside until after death. Therefore, Dhananjaya, the Prana which lingers after death, is the most fascinating among the ten. The functions of the other four minor pranas are equally interesting. Yogis used their knowledge about Pranas in many practical ways.
Naga regulates burping. Kurma controls involuntary movements such as blinking. Krikala governs sneezing. Devadatta controls yawning. During SKY Breathing Meditation, a practitioner can experience some of these movements. Surely, such experiences indicate a rebalancing among Pranas and Upa-Pranas.
Siddhar Agasthya explains the connection between the five Pranas and the five elements in his text Tattuvam 300
Link to the article in Mashable.