Opening the Inner Currents of Prana:
Anatomy of the Vayus
In the earliest yoga practices, the life force in the body is thought to flow through tubules, channels or vessels, in the way that wind or water flows in currents. In yoga, the vayus are “wind channels”, that conduct the flow of nerves blood and lymph. 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) and 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.
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. Through dharma study, guided meditation, yoga nidra, somatic awareness and yoga postures this is a transformational week of practice and study. In this intensive we will investigate poems of awakening from the historical Yoga, Taoist, and Zen traditions.
Each day includes seated meditation, chanting and inspirational dharma teaching followed by Sensory Awareness Training (SATYA) involving floor work to unwind the body. We offer both dynamic and restorative yoga practices to balance and heal each vayu.
Day 1: Apana
This first day is the groundwork for the entire study. When the lower spine and its associated organs are healthy, one can feel lightness and space in their entire body. 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 cover the lumbar spine, sacrum, pelvis and pelvic organs. We do standing poses, twists, inversions, supine poses, supported backbends, and pranayama with focus on exhalation.
Day 2: Samana
The fire center of the body is difficult to control yet is the source of the body's inner vitality. Samana is present in the upper abdomen and relates to digestive fire and the third chakra in the body. This area is the furnace for digestive function and absorption. This class aims to help release holding in the mid trunk and the the solar plexus. In this day we explore the effect of uddiyana bandha on the abdominal region and do twists, forward bends, and meditation.
Day 3: Prana
Prana resides in the heart and is the gateway to the experience of lightness and joy. In this day we concentrate on opening the upper rib area, the sternum and collar bones 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
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
This is the vayu that governs circulation and the profusion of prana throughout the body and is the most healing of all the internal currents. It involves the circulation of blood throughout the organs, glands, and tissues of the body. Vyana, the “dispersing breath” serves to build meditative awareness, serenity, and deep rest. We do standing poses, supported poses, savasana, yoga nidra, and meditation.
Cost: $725 for all 5 days, or drop in to individual days for $150