In a couple of posts on this blog and elsewhere, I briefly mentioned about the ten vital energies. Today, I am going to share with you the yogic aspect of such energy flow in your body. The ten vital energies control all voluntary and involuntary physical actions, reactions, and habits.
How can we control our life with control over the vital energies?
The vital energies, in turn, can be controlled by asana siddhi, mastery of the yogic posture, regulation of the breath, and concentrative meditation. The Sanskrit term is vāyu. It means fluid, subtle energy. It is a term frequently used to mean wind as well. The ten vital energies are divided into five primary and five secondary energies. Their functions are as follows:
- Prana vayu — Vital life energy: This energy is the basis of your life. It is the vital life force in your breath, the subtle element in oxygen. Almost like fuel for your body. It has a direct impact on your state of mind, your emotions, moods and disposition.
- Apana vayu — Descending energy: Urine, seminal fluids and defecation is controlled by the descending energy. It predominantly lives below your stomach. Mastery over this vayu can give you control over urination, bowel movements and ejaculation.
- Udana vayu — Ascending energy: This energy lives in your throat and is responsible for producing voice. Thyroid glands can be controlled by the manipulation of ascending energy. Thyroid glands directly affect the growth of hormones.
- Samana vayu — Thermal energy: This energy resides in your stomach. It is responsible for movement of food and digestion. Control of this energy can help you change your body heat at will. Channelized thermal energy will give you an amazing colon and exceptional metabolism.
- Vyana vayu — Diffusive energy: This energy circulates through your whole body. It causes the blood to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. Manipulation of this energy can help you stay in one posture for as long as you want.
The five secondary vital energies are noted below:
- Naga: It controls belching, burping and all upwards wind movement from your stomach.
- Kurma: It controls sneezing and all abnormal wind movement in the sinusitis.
- Krkara: It controls the function of blinking of the eyes.
- Devadatta: Yawning can be completely controlled by manipulation of this vayu.
- Dhananjaya: Twitching in any part of the body is affected by this energy.
There are many yogic practices aimed at stilling the ten vital energies. Stillness of the ten energies infuses extraordinary calmness and will power in the practitioner. But most such yogic practices should be done under the supervision of a competent master. The practice of breath regulation, something I will touch upon when we get to Physical Transformation, channelizes the five primary energies and concentrative meditation stills the five secondary energies. You will experience inner peace and composure. You will find a lot more in control of yourself. You may also want to read about Yoga of Self Transformation.
Correct body posture is paramount to allow the free flow of these energies. I will elaborate on that in due course.
From the next post in the series, I shall begin an exposition on the four primary hurdles in the practice of meditation and ways to overcome them.