Through their exploration of the body and breath, the ancient yogis discovered that prana (life force energy) could be further subdivided into energetic components they called Vayus (winds). The five Vayus of prana all have very subtle yet distinct energetic qualities, including specific functions and directions of flow.
Prana vayus in the context of our bodies
For the purpose of treatment and diagnosis the qualities of our environment, including our bodies, are grouped together into the 5 elements of:
Put simply, soil would be grouped under the category ‘earth’ as it has earthy qualities of heaviness and solidity.
A person suffering with migraine, heartburn, ulcers and diarrhoea could be described as having excess heat in the system, or an excess of the fire element.
These elements are further grouped into 3 categories, called Doshas, as they are commonly seen together
Air and space – Vata
Fire and water – Pitta
Water and earth – Kapha
If soil (with the dominant quality of earth) is mixed with water it takes on the combined quality of Kapha.
The person described above (migraine, heartburn etc) would be described as having an imbalance of pitta dosha.
Each dosha divides further into its sub-doshas.
Vata’s sub-doshas are the 10 PRANA VAYUS, or winds:
The inner vayus govern all stages of the digestive process:
The outer vayus, when clear, improve the body’s ability to remove toxins, release tension and fatigue (particularly when the body is suffering from extreme exhaustion, flu or fever).
Once we understand the function, direction and manifestation of the 10 winds, or vayus, we can work with them to bring harmony to the whole digestive process.
In this workshop you will be given a short yoga sequence to balance each of the inner vayus and cleansing techniques to clear the outer vayus. Printed handouts are provided for you to take away. These can be practised daily in a short 15 minute slot. They are great for grounding anxiety, calming the mind, balancing the nervous system and revitalising the body in a surprisingly gentle yet powerful way (all useful for balancing the Vata Dosha).
Good Guts: Prana Vayus & Digestion takes place on 10 June 2.30 – 5pm – find out more about the workshop and booking here.