Ayurvedic insight into selected yoga sutras:
These distractions are accompanied by suffering, frustration, trembling of the body, and irregular breathing
- Daurmanasya- man- to think, mental
- Viksepa- distractions
- vi- wire, kwep- covet, vapor, cupid
All of the obstacles/distractions obstruct the internal winds/vayus and this is what leads to the accompanying changes. As our body and mind are connected to the inner winds understanding these winds will allow us to re-establish their natural flow. When the vayus are not flowing properly the subtle channels called the nadis become either under or overused and this negatively affects the physical and mental bodies resulting in suffering, frustration and trembling. A sequential procedure of removing physical, mental, and emotional ama on all levels of the koshas will allow the vayus to flow at their proper speed and direction. When this is done then we easily surrender to our souls guidance and are no longer plagued by obstacles/distractions.
The Primary Vayus
The body is full of prana and the movement of prana is determined by currents called vayus. These currents have a specific direction and amplitude that they use in order to maintain physiological balance in the body. The river of prana is directed equally to all areas of the body by these currents. If the river of prana becomes low because our attention is constantly being projected outward then the flow of prana will weaken all of the vayus. When the flow of prana is in excess then all of vayus will have too much energy and that energy will become displaced. It can also happen that through dams or through disinterest an area of the river will not receive adequate prana which leads to imbalance. The five primary currents are:
Pranavayu is located in the heart, head, nose, navel, big toes and duodenum. This vayu draws prana from the outside world inside in the form of the inhalation, and in its activity is to maintain the sense organs in the head. Thus it is the vayu that has the strongest connection with the life force (absolute Prana). Its movement is from the outside in and it intelligently separates digestible from indigestible sensory impressions. It controls breathing, circulation, mental stability, thoughts and feelings.
Udanavayu is located in the base of the throat, uvula, third eye and crown. This vayu moves prana upward and on the physical level it is primarily associated with speech, but it governs the movement of power through the central channel. It transforms feelings into expression through words. When blocked it can affect the eyes, ears, nose, throat, head and neck. Incorrect practice without the use of intuition will damage the endocrine system and mimic the mental dysfunction seen when pranavayu is blocked.
This vayu is located in the navel, small intestine, and cowlick of the hair. The upward and downward flow is balanced by this vayu. Within the intestines it is responsible for the assimilation of food and the brain in the gut. It also distributes fuel to the cells in the body and brain. It is connected to the rasa and raktadhatus and the flow of subtle energy in the chakras because it balances the polarities of the electromagnetic currents connected to breathing.
Apana is located in the anus, base of the neck, spine, back and the heels. It primarily governs the movement in the pelvis and lower extremities such as elimination. This includes defecation, urination, ejaculation and exhalation. When apana is depleted it will draw energy from pranavayu and this is the primary cause of disease. Prana can also become imbalanced from chronic mental stress which will cause apanavayu to be called on to support the dysfunction. In order for pranavayu to function well, apana must be flowing properly.
This vayu is located in the skin. The movement is from center to periphery and it controls the whole body. It depends on the other vayus in order to function properly. It controls flow through the primary channels of the body including: nerves, circulatory vessels, muscles and joints. When vyana is flowing it creates a normal electromagnetic field around the body in conjunction with the electromagnetic field created by samanavayu. They are considered to be opposites. This is the last vayu to go out of balance.
The minor vayus are considered to be less important than the primary vayus, as their action is to remove the tension that arises from stress. They also control movement in the physical body and the subtle body, and are often associated with one of the primary vayus.
It is located under the heart and it controls blinking. Its activity is governed by apanavayu
- Naga vayu
It is located in the center of the heart. It controls the intuitive movements of the limbs and vomiting. It is governed by samanavayu
Located above the heart, it controls yawning and sleep. It is governed by pranavayu.
Located on either side of the heart, it controls sneezing, hunger, and belching. It is governed by udanavayu.
Located in the center of the hear. It controls the movement of information inside the body, swelling and decomposition after death. It is governed by vyanavayu.
Balancing the activities of the vayus is the goal. When they are in balance, then the possibility of true expansion and sensitivity to the more subtle levels of awareness becomes possible.