Samana

Definition - What does Samana mean?

Samana is a Sanskrit term that means “pacification,” “mitigation” and “alleviation.” It is derived from the root word, sam, meaning “together,” and an, meaning “to breathe” or “blow.” In yoga, samana refers to one of the five vayus that comprise prana in the body.

In the traditional Indian medical practice known as Ayurveda, samana is one of two types of langhana treatments designed to relieve the body of heaviness. Samana is considered a palliative treatment that transforms doshas (bio-energy centers) from abnormal to healthy. Such treatment includes herbal therapy, physical exercise, exposure to sun, and avoiding unhealthy food and drink.

Yogapedia explains Samana

Known in English as “balancing air,” samana vayu resides in the abdomen with the navel as its energy base. It governs digestion of everything from food to thoughts and spiritual activity. Balancing the samana vayu while practicing yoga poses not only promotes physical strength, but also helps the yogi move closer to his/her spiritual aspirations.

Among the asanas that promote healthy samana, there are:

  • Parivrtta parsvakonasana (revolved side angle pose)
  • Utkatasana (chair pose)
  • Navasana (boat pose)
  • Jathara parivartanasana (reclining abdominal twist)

Samana expands when prana and apana (outward-flowing energy) unite at the navel center, awakening sushumna nadi, the central channel that carries energy up and down the length of the spine.

The term, samana kriya, translates as “pacifying practice” and is associated with samadhi, the state of enlightenment and the final of the eight "limbs" of yoga.

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