I began teaching at Evolve Yoga (part of Evolutions Body Clinic) last month, and am really enjoying getting to know the community and having the opportunity to teach new students. One brilliant choice the staff at Evolve makes is to collectively focus on a theme each month, to provide some cohesion to the yoga classes we offer. (This was something I also loved about The Samarya Center.)
The theme in November has been Abundance, and lately I’ve found myself teaching about the Vayus. The Vayus in yoga philosophy can be translated as “winds” within the body that help energy or “prana” flow. There are many, but we tend to focus on five main ones, each with very subtle yet distinct qualities, including specific functions and directions of flow. Cultivating even a basic awareness of the Vayus helps us deepen body and breath awareness, enriching our yoga practice. I’ve been focusing on Prana-Vayu, which is centered in the third-eye. It’s energy pervades the chest region and the flow of Prana-Vayu is inwards and upwards. It nourishes the brain and the eyes and governs reception of all things: food, air, senses, and thoughts. This Vayu is the fundamental energy in the body and directs and feeds into the four other Vayus. Here’s a simple way to experience this Vayu in the physical body in everyday life:
- Sit with a long spine and relaxed body,
- When you inhale, imagine (or slowly start to sense) an energy flowing up the torso from the belly and into the third-eye,
- Practice for five or more minutes.
If we can get in touch with this force of the body that helps us to receive, perhaps we will be just a little better at receiving when we are out in the world, absorbing abundance. Often what gets in the way of us feeling abundance is our own inability to receive, not a problem of there not being enough. Just some food for thought as we focus on Prana-Vayu: how would you rate your overall ability to recieve? Are there certain people or situations that inhibit your ability to do so? What is your experience when you are the one giving? Pondering these questions can also help us to work with this idea of abundance, and to take our practice off the mat and into the world.