Vyana Vayu

Vyana Vayu is the current of energy that permeates through and integrates the entire body.  As inhalations are drawn into the body, energy flows from the limbs in toward the low belly, while exhalations find energy radiating back out toward the periphery of the body.  This vayu supports the nervous system, as well as the circulation of blood and lymph through the body.  Especially active in the limbs, a freely flowing Vyana Vayu enjoys grace in movement and in being – finding coordination, balance, and harmony on all levels.  It is associated with chakras 2 through 6 (Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha and Ajna) and the elements of water, fire, air and space.

Vyana vayu is supported by the following:

asana – standing poses, balancing poses

pranayama – nadi shodhana

meditation/visualization – laying in savasana with heels shoulder width and arms angled a fair distance away from the body – visualize a pool of violet healing energy welling up in the low belly on inhalations and mindfully flowing from the low belly through all limbs, neck and head on exhalations – sensing health, vibrance, and integration on all levels of being (feel free to substitute violet with another color that you may more strongly associate with health/healing)

mudra – Anushasana Mudra – make a fist with thumbs resting on the second knuckle of the middle finger, pointer fingers extend away from palms, hands resting comfortably on lap, or held to either side of shoulders with pointer fingers skyward

Explore Vyana Vayu with Carolyn in each of her classes the week of September 29.

Shanti, shanti, shanti


Udana Vayu

Udana Vayu is the current of energy that ascends from the collarbones, through the neck, throat and head on inhalations, and circulates throughout the head and senses on exhalations.  It supports the central nervous system, endocrine system and the senses.  It’s health and vitality nourishes the 5th & 6th chakras (Vishuddha and Ajna); fostering mental clarity and focus, as well as the ability to discern and speak in honor of one’s true voice.  It also enhances the power of intuition.  This uppermost flow of energy is associated with the element of space.

Udana Vayu functions optimally when Samana, Prana and Apana Vayus are all flowing freely.  This finds it most effectively nourished toward the end of an asana practice, when these other vayus have already been awakened and balanced.  With that in mind, to follow are a few practices for nurturing Udana Vayu:

asana – postures that bring attention to the neck, throat and head, inversions – setu bandhasana (bridge), sarvangasana (shoulderstand), halasana (plough), matsyasana (fish), sirsasana (headstand)

pranayama – ujjayi, simhasana

meditation/visualization – slowly and mindfully direct the awareness as follows: to the experience of the skin – beginning at the toes and gradually making your way up to the crown of the head, to the sensations of the breath entering and exiting the body at the rims of the nostrils,  the length of the nostrils, the breath swirling around the back of the throat, then become aware of the mouth, tongue, inner ears, eyes, and finally third eye

mudra – Linga Mudra – interlace hands with right thumb on top, extend left thumb only skyward, set wrists against solar plexus (just below low ribs)

Carolyn will be exploring Udana Vayu in each of her classes the week of September 22.

Shanti, shanti, shanti

Prana Vayu

Prana Vayu is the upward current of energy that flows from the navel up into all areas of the lungs, ribs, upper back, heart, chest and shoulders.  Focused on inhalations, it nourishes the cardio-respiratory system, and by way of increasing circulation to the thymus gland, supports optimal functioning of the immune system.  This vayu is associated with the heart chakra, Anahata, as well as the element of air.  Literally uplifting, this current of energy enlivens us with a sense of confidence, optimism and vitality.

An offering of practices that awaken Prana Vayu:

asana – lateral bends, back bends, poses that find arms radiating out from heart center

pranayama – breath of joy

meditation/visualization – within the expanse of the lungs and ribs, visualize a brilliant blue sky caressed by perfect white clouds

mudra – Prana Mudra – touch tips of pinky and ring fingers to tips of thumbs, middle and pointer fingers extend away from palm, hands can be placed palm up on lap, or with hands alongside shoulders and palms forward

Experience Prana Vayu in class with Carolyn the week of September 8.

Shanti, shanti, shanti

Apana Vayu

Apana Vayu is the downward current of energy, originating at the navel and descending through legs and feet.  With its focus on exhalations, it nourishes both the eliminatory system (purifying the body) and the reproductive system (supporting healthy menstruation, childbirth).  This vayu is associated with the root (Muladhara) and sacral (Svadhisthana) chakras, as well as the elements of earth and water.  Emotionally, a freely flowing Apana Vayu finds us feeling grounded and safe enough to release that which no longer serves us – ultimately emerging from this process of purification feeling lighter and more at ease.

An offering of grounding practices geared toward awakening our Apana Vayu:

asana – standing poses, hip openers, “closed” poses (all limbs remain connected to earth, another surface (wall/prop) or another part of the body), poses that find limbs touching/crossing over one another

pranayama – exhalation extensions

meditation/visualization – visualize yourself seated in nature, release any heavy thoughts or feelings into the support of earth – as you let go of anything that no longer serves you, acknowledge a sense of lightness and ease

mudra – Apana Mudra – touch tips of ring and middle fingers to tips of thumbs, index and pinky fingers extend away from palms, rest backs of hands on thighs or knees

Come awaken your Apana Vayu in Carolyn’s classes the week of September 1.

Shanti, shanti, shanti