Vayu: the flow of energy within, a gift from God
Vayu is the Sanskrit word for Wind. Vayu Deva is the Hindu God of Wind. In Hindu philosophy, all the elements, Earth, Wind, Fire, Air and Water are represented by Gods and hold huge meaning as the building blocks of the Universe. Vayu, is the source of all energy.
How does Vayu affect yoga?
Vayu is said to be the basis of all prana (or life force energy). One of the main purposes of yoga, apart from trying to reach pure enlightenment, is to foster life force energy in the body. By understanding the five Vayus we can adapt our practice to better foster the energy that we need in our bodies at certain times of our life.
The 5 Vayu Types
This is found in the head and governed by the sense organs and consciousness. Energy moves from breath to the head and the third eye (centre of forehead).
Found in the throat. This energy relates to growth, self-expression and speech.
Found in the abdominal region, energy centres at the naval; the digestive organs, the energy moves from the periphery of the body to the centre.
Found in the pelvic floor; the energy nourishes the organs of elimination and reproduction.
Starts in the chest and flows outwards to extremities. It helps with circulation of blood around the body and provides nourishment to legs and arms; the skeleton, muscles and joints.
How can Vayu help me?
Once we understand the different types of prana in the body, we can manipulate our bodies through yoga to activate or soothe certain areas. This adds a deeper layer to our yoga practice, as it moves beyond basic asana practice for the sake of a slimmer or toned body and simple muscle activation, allowing us access to deeper health and spiritual benefits.
Hatha yoga practices in particular, including asana, pranayama, and traditional yogic cleansing, can affect prana in all its five forms. By working directly with the body, these yoga practices enhance and balance body and mind. The asanas and other techniques can also purify the nadis, or channels of flow of pranic energy. Vayu flows through the nadis.
By understanding the five Vayu points on the body we can stimulate the flow of energy in the body. An example would be when we are feeling restless, unsettled or anxious, we can focus on Apana-Vayu to bring strength and solidity to our legs and ground ourselves firmly to the floor. Another great way to focus on Apana –Vayu is downward facing dog. The feet are grounded into the earth while the abdomen is massaged and toxins are released from the body.
There is a lot to be gained from brining awareness to the pranic channels in our bodies. We can focus on certain poses that can help cleanse, detoxify or reenergize.
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