Chakras are dense areas of pranic energy.
Prana is our vital life force; it is this life force that makes us who we are today. It is something that is shared by the entire universe.
Prana is often referred to as the great cosmic catalyst. The more we study prana and its different flows or Vayus the more apparent this becomes.
Through Yoga we are able to establish balance and a sense of equilibrium between all opposing forces, developing an awareness of the movement of prana will greatly assist.
Things to Remember
There is only one prana, the Great Prana (Maha) or Chief Prana (Muktya).
There are five main prana vayus that move through the physical body, influencing and enhancing all physical and emotional functions these are known as the Pancha Prana Vayus – Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana and Vyana.
These Vayus will influence one or more of the seven main chakras that are positioned between the base of the spine and the crown of the head.
Chakras are dense areas of pranic energy; each one represents a stage of our human evolution and forms a very important part of who we are.
Each chakra also influences different physical functions and emotional behaviours.
For us to experience optimum levels of health and vitality all seven chakras need to be balanced and working harmoniously together.
Starting from the base of the spine the seven main Chakras are as follows Muladhara (the base chakra), Svadisthana (the abdominal chakra), Manipura (the solar plexus), Anahata (the heart chakra), Vishuddha (the throat chakra), Ajna (the eyebrow centre or the third eye) and Sahasrara (the crown chakra).
Knowing the location of each chakra and discovering how each of the five major prana vayus flow, the link between the Vayus and the Chakras is more obvious...
Prana Vayu is the upwards and outwards movement of the inhalation, it moves between Anahata and Ajna. It is this Vayu that influences these two chakras, Anahata encourages unconditional love and compassion and Ajna can bring great levels of intuition and knowledge.
Apana Vayu moves downwards and outwards and influences Muladhara the root chakra. Muladhara brings security and stability it connects us to the Earth and helps us to remain grounded. Muladhara also provides support to all of the other chakras that are positioned above it. When working with the Apana Vayu notice how grounded you feel when you send your exhalation down and out through your pelvic region.
Apana Vayu also influences Swadhisthana the abdominal chakra. The element of this chakra is water which represents movement, change and intense emotions, by drawing back your navel as you exhale it is possible to balance the water element of this chakra.
Prana and Apana always work together, they flow the whole length of the spine helping to balance every chakra, although they do have a stronger influence over the chakras named above.
Samana Vayu is the middle breath between Prana and Apana; this Vayu stimulates Manipura the Solar Plexus chakra. This chakra is the seat of the self. It is where the ego resides and where our motivation and will power comes from.
Udana Vayu flows through the throat; it mainly influences Vishuddha the throat chakra. This chakra allows us to express ourselves freely and truthfully, through speech, song, dance, visual arts and other areas of creativity.
Vyana Vayu flows around the whole body, from the lungs to the outermost edges of the body. It is this Vayu that influences all of the chakras, for Vyana to flow freely it requires all of the chakras to be balanced, in turn when Vyana flows freely it helps to balance the chakras.
Through discovering the Vayus and how they move throughout the body it becomes apparent how connected we are physically, emotionally and energetically with ourselves and also the universe. Working with the Vayus and balancing the flows can help us to obtain peak levels of physical, emotional and spiritual health, wellbeing and balance.