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