On this first quarter moon, contemplating the fast approaching vata season, I feel inspired to connect with the ancient yogic wisdom of the vayus as way to draw in and redirect our essential life force energy as the colder and shorter days begin to take effect.
Prana vayu, the most fundamental of the pancha vayus (the five energetic winds or directions), is the inward-moving vital energy, which I experience as the energy of awareness, attention and intention. Prana vayu allows us to take in, to inhale and to ingest not only air, food and substances into our bodies but also thoughts, impressions and ideas through our senses and our intellect. This vayu or wind is most active in our heart and lungs. As soon as our prana vayu is unbalanced, our thoughts may become scattered, we may become anxious and our breath and our heart rate may become shallow and rapid. It is essential that we bring our focus to prana vayu, in order to gather and redirect that dispersed energy.
In Ayurveda, late fall to early winter is known as "vata season" because this time is marked by some of the same qualities that characterize vata dosha: cold, dry, light, clear, and moving. An imbalance of vata may manifest as physical or emotional disorders, such as insomnia, dry skin, arthritis, constipation, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. The drying and falling leaves of autumn are a stark reminder of the transience of life and the impermanence of nature. As vata qualities (composed of the elements of air and ether) are always moving, at this time of year we need to spend extra care and attention to balance this transience and movement by drawing in (prana vayu) as well as grounding, nourishing and stabilizing (apana vayu).
CONNECTING WITH OUR HEART AND EMOTIONS
Hands on touch can help us to ground and locate ourselves within our body. As we begin our asana practice, we encourage pratyahara (withdrawal from our senses), often we call in an intention, place our hands on our heart and/or belly and focus on our breath. These are all ways by which we can experience prana vayu.
Even just five to fifteen mintues of meditation, whether at the beginning of our day on a cushion, during the day while we sit at our desk or in the evening as we wait for the bus, can have a powerful effect. Through mindfullness we can detach ourselves from distractions that dissipate and disperse our vital energy. Without awareness, it is so easy to get caught up in the past and future, in our day-to-day drama, in the needs and demands of others, deadlines, to-do-lists, social media and other attractive distractions. Prana vayu is a reclaiming of our energy through awareness and attention, particularly through a focus on our breath and our heart. Each time we return to our inhale, we can return to our heart center, the seat of our emotions. Through studying the vayus and subtle energy shifts, we can notice how our mind and mental body tend to draw us outwards while our heart and emotional body and corresponding physical sensations tend to draw us inwards.
Reiki is a powerful tool that has helped my clients to reconnect with their emotional selves and enhance this vayu through profound mind-body-spirit awareness. When I give hands-on assists in yoga classes, though there is no Reiki energy transfer through my hands, there is a similar potency as the physical connection allows me to more subtly communicate with students and for them to locate not only their bodies in space but also their breath and emotions within their body.
Next month, RIGPA ARTS will be collaborating with one of our dearest friends, radiant and inspiring yoga teacher, Mari Isaac to offer a RESTORATIVE YOGA & SOUND HEALING experience at Yoga Works | Walnut Creek. This will be a perfect offering to support prana vayu during the vata season.
Gentle restorative yogic postures, soul awakening music medicine and compassionate touch, will help you to gather your senses and attention, to realign with your heart's intention and to deeply nourish and restore your vital life-force energy.
To reserve your place visit:
We look forward to seeing you there.