THE FIVE PRANA VAYUS
PRANA – located predominantly in the chest region between the throat (neck) and lower part of the ribs. Its role is to assist with the processes of inspiration and ingestion.
APANA – is located in the pelvic region. Its role is to assist in the processes of exhalation and excretion.
SAMANA – is located between Prana and Apana in the upper abdominal region between the top of the pelvic bones and the lower part of the rib cage. Its role is to assist in the processes of Kumbhaka (suspended respiration) and digestion.
UDANA – is located in the arms and head. Its role is associated with assisting and extending the Samana.
VYANA – is located throughout the whole body. It is seen as interpenetrating and all pervading. Its role is to assist in the breathing process and distribute prana throughout the body while also coordinating the functions of the four other major Prana Vayus.
The minor Prana Vayus are collectively known as the Upa Prana Vayus.
KOORMA – is responsible for blinking.
KRICHARA – is the prana that generates hunger, thirst, sneezing and coughing.
DEVADATTA – is responsible for inducing sleep and the experience of yawning.
NAGA – is what causes hiccups and belching.
DHANAJAYA – is the life force that lingers immediately following death of the body and departure of one’s essence.
Together, the ten prana control all the processes of the human body. Yogic techniques bring the prana into harmony for efficient functioning.
Following extended preparation, regular practice and correct discernment, the techniques eventually lead to an experience where the Prana and Apana unite in the region of Samana. This experience can lead to the awakening of Kundalini.