Exploring the Inner Vayus

I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks with Orit in the fall of 2013. During that time, she introduced a new (to me) way of working with the inner vayus focusing first on the left, then the right and finally the centre of each vayu. (Scroll down for more details).

I’ve been exploring these “lateral” vayu gates in asana since then, and have found that doing so brings new freshness and subtleties to my practice.

I began, by noticing how breathing through the front leg side of samana vayu gate in a revolved triangle served to square the pelvis and invite the body into the twist. For example exhaling samana vayu on the front leg side, brought a doing without doing as that same side kwa nest deepened on its own, drawing the hip back and widening the sacrum. The the vertical axis became very clear and the spine eased smoothly into the twist.

Now, after being guided in practice by Shannon Buchan, I continue to explore even more of the breath pattern in asana. (Scroll down for  a detailed example).  Focusing on samana vayu first on one side, then the second, and finally in the centre while moving into postures completes the pranic alignment of the pose and further integrates the energetic and physical bodies. By breathing out through samana vayu in this way: transitions feel smooth and effortless; the posture deepens on its own; the left and right feel more balanced; the vertical axis is clear and aligned holding clear silent centre; the body of light creates the pose; and the sense of doership dissolves drawing me into the seat of the observer.

This seems true in many poses. Curious? Check out the example below,  explore on your own, and let me know what you discover.  And please join my mail list for for emails with occasional musing and other happens.

 

Practices

Exploring the inner vayus; focusing first on the left, then the right and finally the centre of each vayu

Note: These practices are a variation on the inner vayus as detailed in Orit Sen Gupta’s book Vayu’s Gate – Yoga and the Ten Vital Winds . The book will be available for sale at the 2015 Vijnana Yoga Gathering May 23-24, in Vancouver

Apana Vayu
  • Exhale, focusing on the left side of apana vayu gate, curling the left hand into a fist; inhale (the left side of apana vayu expands)
  • Exhale, focusing on the right side of apana vayu gate, curling the left hand into a fist; inhale (the right side of apana vayu expands) 
  • Exhale, focusing on the centre of apana vayu gate, curling the both hands into a fist; inhale (the space of apana vayu expands)
Samana Vayu
  • Exhale, focusing on the left side of samana vayu, the left index finger moves in towards the left side of samana vayu gate; inhale (the left side of samana vayu expands)
  • Exhale, focusing on the right side of samana vayu, the right index finger moves in towards the right side of samana vayu gate; inhale (the right side of samana vayu expands)
  • Exhale, focusing on the centre of samana vayu, the both index fingers move in towards the gate of samana vayu; inhale (the right side of samana vayu expands)
Prana Vayu
  • Exhale, focusing on the left side of prana vayu, the left index finger moves in towards the left side of prana vayu gate; inhale (the left side of prana vayu expands)
  • Exhale, focusing on the right side of prana vayu, the right index finger moves in towards the right side of prana vayu gate; inhale (the right side of prana vayu expands)
  • Exhale, focusing on the centre of samana vayu, the both index fingers move in towards the gate of samana vayu; inhale (the right side of prana vayu expands)
Udana Vayu
  • Exhale, focusing on the left side of udana vayu, the left index finger moves in towards the left side of udana vayu gate; inhale (the left side of udana vayu expands)
  • Exhale, focusing on the right side of udana vayu, the right index finger moves in towards the right side of udana vayu gate; inhale (the right side of udana vayu expands)
  • Exhale, focusing on the centre of udana vayu, the both index fingers move in towards the gate of udana vayu; inhale (the right side of prana vayu expands)
Vyana Vayu
  • Three times
Inner Vayus Snake
  • Focus on the centre of each gate as you move up the inner vayus one at a time, with or without the hands
  • Exhale apana, inhale; exhale samana, inhale; exhale prana, inhale; exhale udana, inhale; exhale vyana.

 

Moving into parivrtta parsvakonasana from parsvakonasana with alternating vayu explorations:

  • From parsvakonasana, exhale samana vayu, front leg side: deepens the same side kwa nest, connects to the same side sacrum, roots the front foot and turns the belly to begin to square the hips, initiates the spinal twist
  • Next, exhale samana vayu back leg side; continues to square the hips, widens the hip sling, roots the back foot, and continues the spinal twist
  • Now, exhale samana vayu (centre); connects through the kwa nests to sacrum and through to root  the feet, lights up vertical axis deepening the twist