Apana Vayu: the important Vayu of elimination
In Yoga, Prana means “universal creator energy”. This energy manifests itself in all of nature. Vayu means “internal winds” that circulate in every human being. Apana Vayu is one of the five Prana Vayus, ruling vital functions of our body. In this article, let’s learn everything about Apana Vayu.
If Prana Vayu is the energy of inspiration, Apana Vayu is that of expiration. If Samana Vayu is the receiving energy, we can say that Apana Vayu is the energy that expels and eliminates. The movement of this Vayu is heavy by nature and always descending.
Physically, it centers on the lower half of the body, symbolizing excretion and our reproductive system. You can feel this energy in a fluid movement deep enough toward the center of the intestines.
Energetically, Apana Vayu is located in the Muladhara Chakra or Root Chakra, our vital center that sits in the base of our body. It governs the kidneys, intestines and bladder. Apana works hard to drive out all that is bad out, so this Vayu is one of the most important among all.
Urine, feces, impurities, sweat and the air that we breathe in need to come out. And besides physical elements, Apana is also responsible for the elimination of heavy and negative thoughts, thus diminishing our mental and emotional baggage.
It is necessary to keep the Vayus always functioning well. If the energy of Apana Vayu is in imbalance, intestinal and sexual order problems may appear. The balance of this Vayu is essential for the processes of excretion, as well as conferring healthy menstruation cycles and easier deliveries. In men, this energy is responsible for ejaculation.
How to balance your Apana Vayu
First of all, you need to develop the ability to feel your Vayus. Once you are aware of what is within you, it is easy to feel when they are out of order and need attention.
Signs of a weak Apana are a lot of elimination of any kind, as this sets up the inability to control the action of excretion. The opposite also shows problems in your Apana.
When there is no proper waste disposal, there is no room for assimilation of the nutrients received. The toxins accumulate and create physical and mental problems.
One of the most common mental problems is not being able to get rid of difficult memories. When the Apana Vayu is balanced, the person goes through a difficulty, processes it and is able to release it later. When there is weakness in the Apana, the person carries that memory for too long. So, the mind gets occupied with worries that come back every day.
You can work Apana Vayu through meditation and Pranayama exercises:
When inhaling: feel the breath passing through your nose and with mental attention, follow it to the base of the spine.
On exhaling: release the air as if you could feel the breath go through your legs and out your feet, connecting the air that leaves you to the planet.
Asanas to balance Apana Vayu:
- Standing postures
- Seated push-ups
- Seated twists
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