Apana Vayu

Definition - What does Apana Vayu mean?

The apana vayu is one of the five energy subdivisions of prana, and is considered one of the most important. Believed to influence digestion, elimination and reproduction, it is active in the pelvic and lower abdominal areas.

Being aware of the apana vayu can help the yogi obtain optimum benefits from yogic practices as the movement of prana throughout the body is the essence of yoga.

Yogapedia explains Apana Vayu

Vayu is a Sanskrit word meaning "wind" and apana vayu means “the air that moves away.” In the Hindu tradition, the five elements - fire, earth, water, air (wind) and ether - are represented as vayus. The apana vayu is connected with the element of earth and is the energy of the muladhara chakra. As such, it is located at the core of the pelvis.

The apana vayu and prana vayu work together by moving in opposite ways ­– the apana vayu eliminates and the prana vayu receives – and are considered the two most important of the five vayus. The apana vayu is the energy governing the removal of waste in the physical body, operating in the genitals, lower intestine, colon, rectum, kidneys and bladder.

Signs of an unhealthy or imbalanced apana vayu can range from laziness and dullness to confusion and indecisiveness. Balancing the vayus through practicing yoga and meditation not only promotes physical strength, but also helps the practitioner move closer to their spiritual aspirations.

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