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Pranayama and 5 Vayus (Samana, Vyana, Udana, Apana & Prana), Importance of Vata Dosha in Yoga


Hello friends, The National Library of Ayurveda Medicine is pleased to present a new episode on Ayurveda. The present release is part of a video lecture series prepared for the education of Ayurveda literature in accordance with the academic curriculum of Ayurveda studies in India. My name is Dr Sumit Kesarkar and I will be your host throughout this video, which gives an introduction to the corelation of Vaat dosha and Yoga. The movement of the five pranas is also very important in order to understand the yogic lineage of mind, body and spirit. It’s an advanced topic and will be discussed further in another video related to spiritual healing. However we will give a brief overview to simplify the concept. From the previous descriptions of the Five Vayus we can decipher that: Prana and Apana govern the intake and elimination of Prana or vital energy. Samana and Vyana operate at a deeper physical level. Samana takes the Prana into the tissues and Vyana circulates it throughout the body. Udana is the culmination of the other four Pranas as our energy and motivation in life. We see then that there is one Prana or life-force in five forms according to its different powers and directions of movement. We can imagine it like a cross with Prana in the center as the regulating factor. Udana, which rises, will be at the top; Apana, which sinks, is at the bottom. Samana will be to the left moving from Apana to Udana balancing the two in an upward direction. Vyana will be to the right moving from Udana to Apana, balancing the two in a downward direction. To summarise the movements of five pranas Udana is Ascending; Samana is Balancing In; Prana is Central; Vyana is Balancing Out; and Apana is Descending Samana has an equalizing but centripetal force which is moving towards the center as the power of digestion. Vyana has an equalizing but centrifugal force moving away from the center as the power of movement. In ancient texts, like the Upanishads, two primary forms of Prana are recognized Prana and Apana, as inhalation and exhalation, with Samana in between as the balancing or metabolic factor. Vyana develops as our capacity to circulate the absorbed Prana Udana develops as the positive side of exhalation, the capacity to extract energy that follows from inhalation. The five Pranas are different stages of the process of breathing: Prana, the primary air, is inhalation. Samana, the equalizing air, is retention or the point between inhalation and exhalation. Vyana, the outward moving air, follows after Samana. It can be related to the second part of retention approaching exhalation. Udana, the upward moving air, is the first part of exhalation. Apana, the downward moving air, is the second part of exhalation. Through breath control or Pranayama at these different points we can learn to regulate and strengthen the Pranas. I hope this video was informative and made the subject clear. Comments and feedback are highly appreciated and you can leave them by visiting the NLAM website at or likewise by writing to me at Thank you for watching. [SUBTITLES CREDIT:NLAM]

10 thoughts on “Pranayama and 5 Vayus (Samana, Vyana, Udana, Apana & Prana), Importance of Vata Dosha in Yoga

  1. Thank you for this video and your time putting all of this together. It puts yogasana and pranayam in true perspective

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