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5 Pranas or Vayus of Ayurvedic Massage

Learn about the five pranas aka vayus from massage therapist Lara Narayani Golland in this Howcast video about Ayurvedic body massage techniques.


Prana is the vital life force in the body. Prana is the subtle energy that makes up all of creation. In ayurveda, there are also sub-pranas. Sub-pranas are related to the different winds in the body and the directional flow of our energy systems.

The first prana is the prana, called little P prana. That prana is seated in the heart and is responsible for inhalation in the body and in the energy chis.

The next prana or vayu is udana vayu. Vayu is another name for sub-Prana. Udana vayu is responsible for the flow of energy that moves up. It's responsible for the kundalini rising and spiritual energy.

Next we have Vyana vayu. Vyana vayu rules circulation and moves out of the body and also helps to harmonize the nervous system and the endocrine system.

Samana vayu. Samana vayu rules digestion and is the inward moving energy into the body, related to the abdomen and all the functioning of the abdomen, including metabolism and also balance for your emotions. Samana vayu moves in a clockwise direction. When samana is out of balance, it's good to do self massage in a clockwise direction for your abdomen.

Next we have apana vayu. Apana vayu rules the downward flow of energy in the body that is related to menstruation and illumination. Apana vayu is the vayu that we work on mostly in ayurvedic massage because it helps to ground and calm Vata, calm the winds in the body. So, practicing apana vayu balancing techniques will help to bring calm, relaxation, and peace overall.

These are the five Vayus.

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