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How to use breath to balance your energy

The vayus are the five subtle airs that govern the movement of prana throughout the body. Prana is the life force energy that is essential for our health and well-being. The five vayus are:

  • Prana vayu: The upward-moving breath, associated with the head and throat.

  • Apana vayu: The downward-moving breath, associated with the pelvis and lower abdomen.

  • Samana vayu: The centralizing breath, associated with the digestive system and solar plexus.

  • Udana vayu: The uplifting breath, associated with the chest and heart.

  • Vyana vayu: The circulating breath, associated with the circulatory and nervous systems.

Each vayu has a different function and is associated with different parts of the body and mind. When the vayus are balanced, we experience good health and well-being. However, when the vayus become imbalanced, we can experience symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, and digestive problems.


Pranayama is the practice of yogic breathing exercises. Pranayama can be used to balance the vayus and promote overall health and well-being. Here are some specific pranayama exercises that can be used to balance the vayus:

Prana vayu:

  • Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing): This exercise helps to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain and promote mental clarity.

  • Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath): This exercise helps to calm the mind and nervous system.

  • Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath): This exercise helps to warm up the body and increase energy levels.

Apana vayu:

  • Kapalabhati Pranayama (Skull-Shining Breath): This exercise helps to cleanse the digestive system and remove toxins from the body.

  • Agnisara Kriya (Stomach Fire Practice): This exercise helps to stimulate the digestive system and improve digestion.

  • Ashwini Mudra (Horse Lock): This exercise helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve circulation to the lower abdomen.

Samana vayu:

  • Complete Breath: This exercise helps to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and promote overall relaxation.

  • Three-Part Breath: This exercise helps to calm the mind and nervous system, and it can also help to improve digestion.

  • Brahmari Pranayama (Bee Breath): This exercise helps to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain and promote mental clarity.

Udana vayu:

  • Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath): This exercise helps to strengthen the respiratory muscles and improve lung capacity.

  • Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath): This exercise helps to open the heart chakra and promote feelings of love and compassion.

  • Simhasana (Lion Pose): This pose helps to strengthen the vocal cords and throat muscles.

Vyana vayu:

  • Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Breath): This exercise helps to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and promote overall relaxation.

  • Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing): This exercise helps to circulate prana throughout the body.

  • Sun-Piercing Breath: This exercise helps to increase energy levels and improve circulation.

By practicing pranayama regularly, you can help to balance the vayus and promote overall health and well-being. Here are some tips for practicing pranayama:

  • Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.

  • Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.

  • Close your eyes and relax your body.

  • Focus on your breath.

  • Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply.

  • Do not force your breath.

  • If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath.

  • Practice pranayama for 5-10 minutes each day.

Image of a man and woman practicing alternate nostril breath,Photo by Ivan Samkov
Photo by Ivan Samkov

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