Vyana Vayu: Expansiveness

Your true Self lives in your heart. From there a hundred and one subtle channels radiate outward , each one of them has a hundred branches, every one of these has seventy-two thousand sub-branches - all these are under the diffusing stream known as Vyana.

Prasna Upanishad, 3.7

The ancient sages knew that all functions of the body are performed by the five types of vital energy or the prana-vayus.

Prana is the vital energy that flows on the breath, circulates through the body and regulates its functions. It gives you the ability to move, breathe and function in the world.

Prana is divided into different forms called vayus (winds) that influence different areas and bodily functions.

Apana Vayu: centered below the navel, downward movement of energy
Prana Vayu: centered in the heart, upward energy movement
Samana Vayu: centered in the abdomen, expands on inhale and relaxes on exhale
Udana Vayu: centered in the throat, circular (clockwise) energy movement
Vyana Vayu: centered in peripheral nervous system and circulation, moves energy outward to extremities

Vyana Vayu is the form of vital energy that governs circulation and distribution. It governs the circulation of nourishing blood and oxygen and carries away waste from your cells. Vyana vayu also distributes your thoughts and emotions. The word vyana translates to “expanding” or “expansive”. It’s the expansive breath that distributes nourishment and allows you to expand into the world.

The ancient texts teach us that vyana energy begins in the heart space and radiates out into the world, opening you to the future that lies ahead of you. Your “all pervasive” vyana energy promotes growth at all levels – physical, energetic and spiritual.

Prompts for Self-Inquiry

  • Am I open to the circulation of new ideas? If not, what’s restricting me?
  • How well coordinated am I?
  • Do I experience muscle cramps? How could I get my circulation flowing better?
  • How forgiving am I? Can I open my heart to others?
  • Do I get stuck in patterns of behavior?
  • How could I act more generously?

Affirmations to Incorporate

  • I am open to expansion and connection.
  • I breathe into and embrace new opportunities for growth.
  • I am willing to see things differently. (or) I am willing to shift my perspective.
  • My heart is open and I trust it’s guidance.

Healing Practices to Balance

  • Pranayama focusing on the expansion of breath like Box breathing and long slow inhales with retentions
  • Directing your circulation with visualization of your breath
  • Meditative breath walking
  • Incorporating a healthy diet to improve circulation
  • Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta)
  • Heart opening asana and inversions for circulation like Fish pose, Headstand and Shoulderstand

The body is the vehicle, consciousness the driver. Yoga is the path, and the chakras are the map.

Anodea Judith
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