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Anatomy of the Vayus

July 6, 2021 - July 10, 2021


In the earliest yoga practices, the life force within the body is thought to flow through tracts, tubules or vessels; in the way that wind or water flows in currents. In yoga, the vayus are “wind channels,” related to the nerves (nadis), blood, lymph and the function of the organs. Understanding the nature of each vayu is crucial to harmonizing the subtle flow of prana in the body and to establishing health and vitality. Tias will guide students through an in-depth investigation of the five primary winds in the body and through yoga asana, pranayama and SATYA (Sensory Awareness Training for Yoga) activate or mitigate the strength of each vayu. We will investigate the structures and the associated physiological functions of each vayu and map out the vayus’ location in the body.

This course explores the vayus by addressing the intersection of emotional, physical and psychological content. In a process that requires sensitivity and inner listening, we explore the pathways of the muscle, bones and nerves in order to bring greater wakefulness to movement within the vayus. In this week we connect to the innermost biorhythms involving pulse, breath and weight of bone. Through dharma study, guided meditation, yoga nidra, somatic awareness and yoga postures this is a transformational week of practice and study.

Each day begins with seated meditation and studying inspirational teachings from the Yoga, Taoist and Zen traditions; this is followed by Somatic Training (SATYA). This involves an hour of floor work, unwinding the body based on movements by Moshe Feldenkreis and Thomas Hanna. Late morning involves dynamic yoga asana practice focusing on healing sequences of each vayu. Afternoons involve anatomical study of the vayus and restorative yoga sessions. Every day concludes with seated meditation.


Day 1: Apana
Tuesday, July 6
Movement in the lower abdomen and pelvis is referred to as apana in the yogic system. It governs elimination within the reproductive, digestive and urinary systems. It relates to the lumbar spine, sacrum, pelvis and pelvic organs. This day serves to release congestion, strain and imbalances in the lower abdomen in order to increase mobility within the first and second chakras. We do standing poses, twists, inversions, supine poses, supported backbends and pranayama with focus on exhalation.

Day 2: Samana
Wednesday, July 7
Samana is present in the upper abdomen and relates to digestive fire and the third chakra in the body. The stomach and small intestine are the center of the solar plexus and this class aims to help release holding in this mid trunk region. Fear, nervousness and stress may cause imbalance in samana vayu, the furnace for digestive function and absorption. In this day we explore the effect of uddiyana bandha on the abdominal region. We do twists, forward bends and meditation.

Day 3: Prana
Thursday, July 8
Prana resides in the heart and is governed by the lungs and respiration. In this day we concentrate on opening the upper rib area, the sternum and collarbones in order to improve elasticity of the lungs. Our emphasis is on releasing restriction in the diaphragm and to refining the movement of the breath. We explore the ways that grief, depression and joy are governed by prana. We do backbends, inversions, meditation and pranayama with focus on inhalation.

Day 4: Udana
Friday, July 9
Udana is the upward rising breath located primarily in the throat and head. It is the most difficult of all the vayus to control. In this day, we will see how stress, psychological tension and emotional strain result in constriction in the neck, jaw and tongue. This class addresses the effects of jalandhara bandha related to the throat chakra. We do inversions, supported backbends, meditation, chanting and pranayama.

Day 5: Vyana
Saturday, July 10
This is the vayu that governs circulation and the profusion of prana throughout the body and is the most healing of all the vayus. It involves the circulation of blood throughout the organs, glands and tissues of the body. Vyana, the “dispersing breath” serves to build meditative awareness and deep rest. We do standing poses, supported poses, savasana, yoga nidra and meditation.



Cost: Early Bird: $1,255.50 + tax (before May 31, 2021), Regular Pricing: $1,395.00 + tax


Prajna Yoga Temple
11 Toltec Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87505 United States