Vyana - and the Vayus or Currents of the Body

The 5 Vayus and Vyana...

In case you wondered about the meaning of Vyana; here is a blurb on the Vayus and where Vyana emanates from.

According to ancient yoga tradition there are 5 major currents of our vital life force that run through the body in different directions and orchestrate physiological functioning.

This is known as the Pancha Vayu Model. Vyana is the 5th Vayu or current.

The 5 Vayus have a part to play to maintain homeostasis and balance. Each current in the physical body have an opposing direction that work separately with their own functions and together.

On a day-to-day basis we take in air, food, water, information and experiences which we then process in some form or another. We absorb and assimilate the nutrients of air, food or knowledge from this processing. We distribute and retain what is needed. We reconstitute and assimilate. We then eliminate what we don’t need. Over a lifetime we learn and grow mentally and physically. These are simple examples of the vayus of prana at work.

Any physiological issue that is experienced, can be understood in terms of vayu function whether it is

inhaling (prana), speaking (udana), digesting our food (samana), taking a poo (apana), or having cold hands and feet (vyana)


1)  Prana Vayu is responsible for INTAKE and is the Inhalation.

Its direction is Inward and Down.

This current resides primarily in the head, lungs and heart.

Prana vayu provides our most basic energy of vitality: the breath of life.

2) Udana Vayu is responsible for growth and is the Exhalation.

Udana’s current is upward from the diaphragm and throat then out through the head.

It governs our ability to stand, speak, grow, it is also effort, will and enthusiasm.

3)  Apana Vayu is responsible for elimination, reproduction and bone health.

Its current is the gravitational movement of down and out and also of retaining.

Apana is located in the lower abdomen and base of the torso (genitourinary system).

Exhalation is the grounding force of Apana; the opposing and complementary current is prana vayu.

4)  Samana Vayu is centered around the navel and its primary purpose is processing things such as food and is associated with our gut instinct.

Its movement is linear as it churns in toward the solar plexus and core.

Samana vayu is the mid-breath and situated between the other vayus..

This current regulates our digestive fire (agni) and is associated with processes of digestion(mind, food), absorption and assimilation

Samana is the drawing in of energy and works together with expansive Vyana vayu.

5)  Vyana Vayu moves outward in an expansive circular motion.

It is responsible for the distribution and circulation of all substances in our body.

Vyana is considered the “through breath”.

The pulsating motion of vyana extends from the heart and lungs to the limbs as it nourishes the body and assists in muscular movement.  

Vyana allows clear passage for the movement of prana through the nadis/energetic channels and is considered the vayu that facilitates and empowers the other vayus.

NOTE: ( little p-prana is the vayu, capital P-Prana is the Vital Life Force/Vital Energy; if prana is used without vayu it is the Vital Life Force)

I use “current” since the body is an energetic entity, the direct translation of Vayu is direction or movement.