Term 1 2014 – the Vayus

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2014

With the schools going back we are also about to start our regular yoga classes in Hawthorn and Malvern. My knee is completely recovered and I have been inspired by other yoga teachers during the break. As always, I plan to keep the framework of the yoga classes much the same as previous years, practicing asanas (poses) pranayama (breathing) and meditation.
This first term, however, I am excited to add a little extra by focusing on the various flows of energy throughout the body, how they affect us and how we can influence them to our maximum benefit. These energy flows are referred to as Vayus (translated from sanskrit = winds). And like the kleshsas (obstacles of the mind), they come in a set of five. Below follows a summary of each flow and we will spend about 2 weeks recognising and influencing each of these flows.

The  5 Vayus – ‘winds’ or flows of prana in the body,
Proper flow of prana (chi or enery) provides a healthy body-mind, which in turn means that we can live our lives healthily, filled with meaning and purpose.
Prana flows in our bodies, can be imagined as the flow directions of the oceans in the world. When there is a proper flow and the temperatures are steady, the world is balanced, and harmonious.

1Prana Vayu  is the inward flow, which oxygenates and nourishes the body.  Its energy is vital for life and inspiring. Its origin is in the chest area at the heart chakra. The asanas promoting this flow focus on the upper body.

2.The down and outward flow, Apana Vayu directs a detoxifying, or elimination energy downwards.  Its origin is in the lower abdomen (kidneys bladder, bowel). Asanas for this flow focus on the pelvic region.

3.The forward propelling flow or Samana Vayu is created as a result of the inward and outward streams of prana combining to create a forward moving energy. Its location is at the centre of our bodies. This energy helps us to balance, transform, develop. Imagine here the two poles in a battery where positive(input) and negative(output) create motion. (note: location is at Manipura Chakra). The asanas to promote the samana vayu are core related.

4. Udana Vayu is the breath of ascent, which expands our awareness and raises our consciousness. It rules at the throat centre (Vishuddhi Chakra). This energy allows us to explore our truths be open minded and flexible. Udana vayu rules our mental energy. A sequence of asanas to enhance this flow consists of classical finishing poses, like bridge pose, shoulder stand and head stand.

5.The final flow of prana is called Vyana Vayu. This is also referred to as the breath of integration, where we are able to complete the body-mind connection and send healing energy to the areas of our body that need it. Vyana Vayu empowers the communication systems within our bodies. It is an all pervasive force that controls the muscles, circulation and balance. Vyana Vayu originates from the limbs. Asanas that involve movement of both arms and legs stimulate this energy flow.

I am keen to share some of the essential yoga theory with you, as I personally feel it makes our practice more enriching and enlightening.

Looking forward to seeing you all again in the week starting with the 3rd of February.