Prana Vayus | The Five Winds

Published: Jul 26, 2023
Edited by: Team TB

Prana Vayus | The Five Winds

Prana Life Force Energy, which travels through the Nadis, is thought to be divided into five distinct types or Five Vayus (Five Winds), each having different movements, flows, and functions.

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The Five Vayus are also called Mukya Pancha Prana and regulate the activities within the gross and subtle body. Mind that Vayu (or Wind) is considered one of the classical Five Elements (Pancha Bhoota).

Additionally, Vayu is known as Vatu, Vata, or Pavana and may be translated as “wind,” “air,” or “blower.” Sometimes the word “Vayu” is used synonymously for “Prana.”

Prana is usually considered the primordial Vayu from which the other Vayus arise, itself also being categorized a Vayu. Nevertheless, Prana may refer to all the Vayus and not only to the elemental Prana Vayu, depending on the context in which its use appears.

At any rate, the Five Vayus are defined as follows:

Its movement is inwards and downwards in the body, the core Vital Life Force. Its location is centered in the head, lungs, and heart.

Its movement is outwards and downwards in the body. It’s related to processes of elimination, reproduction and health of the bones. Its location is centered in the lower abdominal and pelvic region.

Its movement is upwards in the body. It’s associated with the respiratory functions, speech, and general brain function (memory, creativity, and thinking). Its central location is the diaphragm and throat.

Its movement is circulating through the entire body. Its central location is the heart. It’s related to the circulatory system, nervous system, and cardiac system.

Its movement is spiraling outwards. It’s the main physical, emotional, and mental digestive and assimilating energy. Its center is around the navel, also called Kanda.

Apart from these five major Vayus there are also five minor Vayus (or subsidiary Vayus), called Upa-Vayus or Upa Pancha Vayus: Naga, Kurma, Krikala, Devadatta, and Dhananjaya Vayu. The Upa-Vayus are thought to be less subtle and more limited manifestations of Prana Life Force Energy compared to the main Vayus.

The ten Vayus together work and travel through all the Yoga Nadis. By controlling i.e. mastering the flow of these Vayus, it’s thought that one can awaken Kundalini Energy, the most final goal of all Yogic practices.

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