And & Both
What’s most compelling, healing and sustaining about Prana Vinyasa™ Yoga is the cultivation of outer alignment within the context of Prana - or vital, life force energy.
Prana resides and circulates throughout our bodies. The Prana Vayus refer to the movements of Prana. Vayu literally means wind. The movements of Prana maintain the entire function of our physical body, inform physiological function and circulate the intelligence of our consciousness.
In Prana Vinyasa™ Yoga we teach alignment in the flow. Outer movement attunes us to the inner flow of energy. The practice helps us do away with the alignment verses flow debate, as intentional and intelligent flow is the very vehicle to awaken and deliver integrated, energetic alignment from the inside out.
Explained very simply the movements of Prana are as follows:
- Prana Vayu is located between the diaphragm and throat. It is the upward flow of energy. Prana vayu helps us find lift and lightness in our practice and inspiration in our lives.
- Samana Vayu, located between the diaphragm and navel, is the force that draws inward to our core. It is our strength that keeps us connected to our center. It helps us live in our truth and our source knowing.
- Apana Vayu, located between the navel and the perineum in the pelvic region, is the downward flow of energy keeping us connected to our roots. It helps us find our grounding and stability so we can live in presence.
- Udana Vayu is located in the head region as well as in the limbs and is associated with the nervous system and the five senses. It supports balance.
- Vyana Vayu exists throughout the body. It radiates and expresses itself outwardly helping us find our extension. It helps us feel connected to our environment.
Instead of thinking about alignment, then putting ourselves into place from the mind, we can enter into an intimate and embodied experience of our own inner intelligence. This can then circulate out to the physical form guiding us into safe and intelligent alignment through connecting to the feeling state of our awareness.
This helps us avoid objectifying the body by conceptualizing it as separate. We can let go of mechanical movement and rigidity and inhabit fluid and responsive functionality within our form.
The freedom of the practice is we let go of trying to put ourselves into place and come into contact with the incredible organizational intelligence within us. Outer alignment and inner intelligence become one expression of our life force to guide the flow of our lives.
Prana Vinyasa™ Yoga was developed by Shiva Rea as an evolving yoga practice that brings forth the Tantric origins of Vinyasa Yoga with the support of Sanskrit Scholar Christopher Tompkins. I bow to my teachers and their commitment to integrating the subtle energetics that make this transformative practice sustainable and relevant for all. Check out my San Francisco teaching schedule here.