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Udana Vayu In Hinduism – Control This Breath To Raise Body Above Water And Earth

In Hinduism, Udana, the Sanskrit, word has several meanings. It means breath in general, or breathing upwards. It also means the navel or eyelash. A kind of snake is also called udana. It is believed that through the control of this breath an adept can walk across river.

  • In Yajur Veda (VII. 27), it is mentioned as one of the five vital airs.
  • In Amritananda Upanishad (34), it is said to be located in the throat.
  • In Trisikhi Brahmana Upanishad (81), udana vayu (wind) is said to be active in all the joints of the limbs. It causes the body to rise as, for example, in a high jump.

Among the siddhis (yogic powers) mentioned by Patanjali in Yogasutra, there is one siddhi in order to get control over the udana vayu (III.39). It is mentioned that by bringing the udana vayu under control (udanajayat), the adept can raise the body from the ground, so that there is no contact with water, wet soil, or thorns. Many such examples of adepts walking across a river without their feet touching water have been reported in traditional literature.

This is one of the yogic powers attained through the practice of samayama, or deep concentration. Here the object of concentration is udana vayu in the body, present in the joints. At the time of death, one can go upward with this siddhi, called utkranti.