Did I mention there were five vayu energy flows? Well, here comes number four, Udana vayu. Rising above the prana heart centre into the neck and head, this energy circulates through this area, nourishing the brain and higher consciousness. The focal area is at the throat, where we seek to be understood through communication, aided by our senses.
Udana vayu is key in our growth and vitality- physically with healthy functioning of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, but also emotionally and spiritually through healthy self expression. Imbalances may appear as excessive or inappropriate speech, or tight lipped and inexpressive.
Ujjayi “victorious” breath through our practice aids focus and control of air by the sound at the throat. We move awareness to the throat in cat pose then move it to samana vayu in the belly for cow, as energy flows along the spine, up and down with prana and apana energy.
Heart opening poses move energy into neck and throat with camels and bows. Inversions bring awareness to the need to find space at the throat but also the back of the neck.
Off the mat, use your udana energy to lift from your heart upward to the head, whether seated or standing. Like a turtle emerging from a shell, engage with your surroundings and connect to the energy all around you. Be uplifted!
Ruth teaches yoga in Cheltenham UK, weaving yoga philosophy into the asana practice to help students connect yoga on the mat to their lives off the mat.