How to Tap Into Your 5 Prana Vayus

By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP

How to Tap Into Your 5 Prana Vayus

Yogic tradition tell us that there are five currants of prana (life force energy) that move through our bodies known as Prana Vayus.  Vayu means "wind" which helps us understand how the Prana Vayus can be used to move life force energy.  The five Prana Vayus are Prana Vayu, Apana Vayu, Samana Vayu, Udana Vayu and Vyana Vayu.  Each of the five Prana Vayus has a purpose of regulating the body in its own specific way.  The idea is that all five will work together harmoniously in perfect balance to improve mind body health.

How to Tap Into Your 5 Prana Vayus

Once we understand what our Prana Vayus are, we can harness that knowledge to better govern our bodies and to tap into a greater sense of steadiness when responding to life's constant challenges.  I am grateful for all that my yoga does for me and for the ability to regulate my body and mind through my Prana Vayus.  Tapping into my Prana Vayus within my own practice keeps me connected to the energy flow within me and surrounding me.

Prana Vayu

Vayu: Prana Vayu
Movement Direction: All Around, Receiving
Location: Located in the chest, regulates inhalation
Chakra Association: Anahata Chakra, Heart
Expression:  Cyclically, it's all about tapping into that ability to remain in a cycle while still staying connected to your center. When it is not in balance, you may experience anxiety
Benefit:  Enhances eating, drinking and breathing
Pose:  Supta Baddha Konasana, Reclined Bound Angle

Prana Vayu
Supta Baddha Konasana

Udana Vayu

Vayu: Udana Vayu
Movement Direction: Upward
Location: Centered in diaphragm it moves through lungs, trachea, throat and regulates exhalation
Chakra Association: Visshudha Chakra, Throat
Expression:  Verbal, and when it is balanced, we communicate with the universe and others from our heart and not our minds
Benefit:  Enhances mental clarity and acute sensory function
Pose:  Dandasana, Staff Pose

Apana Vayu

Vayu: Apana Vayu
Movement Direction: Downward
Location: Pelvis and lower abdomen
Chakra Association: Muladhara Chakra, Root
Expression:  As steadiness, and through bodily processes such as elimination, birth and sexual interaction
Benefit:  Letting go of what no longer serves us, becoming lighter, to physically or emotionally let go of what you don't need
Pose:  Eka Pada Rajokapotasana, One Legged King Pigeon

Samana Vayu

Vayu: Samana Vayu
Movement Direction: Inward
Location: Digestive system
Chakra Association: Manipura Chakra, Solar Plexus
Expression:  Internally. When Samana Vayu is in balance, we are able to turn inside to balance the chaos from modern day living.
Benefit:  Center of digestive fire, energetically we find harmony when we turn inwards
Pose:  Marichyasana I, Sage Marichi's Pose

Vyana Vayu

Vayu: Vyana Vayu
Movement Direction: Outward
Location: Begins in the core and then moves through the blood out to all the extremities
Chakra Association: Svadhisthana Chakra, Sacral Chakra
Expression:  As alignment with your outward energy matching internal energy
Benefit:  Coordinates and connects all forces of prana,
Pose:  Urdhva Dhanurasana, Wheel Pose/Upward Facing Bow

What Are Prana Vayus?
Prana Vayus

Learn How to Tap Into Your Prana Vayus

Practicing breath awareness throughout your practice can help you to connect with each of your Prana Vayus.   Shift your focus to each of the Prana Vayus and then send your breath into that space.  Imagine that your breath is the "wind" moving through your mind and body in the way that the Prana Vayus carry our energy throughout the body.  Set your intentions on the function of each of the Vayus and focus on the ways that each regulates your mind and bodily systems.  Perhaps you will notice that each direction of energy movement is balanced by a counter movement of energy.  As your awareness increases, you will experience a richer practice. 

To learn more about the Prana Vayus, join our community in our 300 Hour Online Yoga Teacher Training

About the Author

Founder of Online Yoga School and Yoga & Ayurveda Center

Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP, CAADC

Steph has over 25 years of experience in yoga and movement.  Her understanding of yoga and the human body has been influenced by lifelong dancing and holistic health.  She found her life’s purpose in helping people become happier and healthier through her own healing journey.  Steph assists her students in knowing the joy and wonderment of integrating the mind and body through accessible yoga.  She encourages an authentic and life-nurturing practice, one that brings greater consciousness to each moment and every movement of the body with a heavy emphasis on breath.  

With a masters degree in counseling, Steph brings awareness, acceptance and a down to earth approach to her classes.  She studied with Maty Ezraty and later completed her second 200-hour training with Nancy Candea at Yoga Impact in New Jersey and her 300-hour training with Chris Loebsack at Boundless Yoga Studio in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.   The perpetual student, Steph has studied with Leslie Howard, Travis Eliot, Bryan Kest, Donna Farhi and countless others.  She has extensive training in pelvic floor yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga, power yoga and accessible yoga.  Most recently, Steph was certified as a Grand Master of Meditation through Swami Vidyanand.

Steph founded Yoga and Ayurveda Center with her husband.  She later launched Online Yoga School to support her local trainings and has recently launched a virtual yoga studio to accommodate the international community of trainees.

When she isn’t on her mat, Steph can be found volunteering, enjoying her husband and children, dancing and cooking.  She currently enjoys serving on the board of World Yoga Federation and Meditation Alliance International and previously enjoyed serving on the Education Committee of Yoga Alliance and places a strong emphasis on inclusivity in her teacher trainings.