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Vyana Vayu

Vyana vayu is one of the five vital airs flowing in the human body along specific channels called nadis. The concept of vayu is as old as the Vedas. We find a reference to vayus in Yajurveda (VII.27), where the names of five vayus are mentioned in a prayer. It is prayed that the inner energy be enhanced in the form of the five vital airs, one by one. In Chandogya Upanishad (I.3.3), the locations and functions of vayus are mentioned; it is said that the vyana vayu is present at the joint or meeting place of prana and apana, which are the two main vayus in the body. In Amritanada Upanishad (verse 35), vyana is said to be located in all the organs of the body. The ears, thighs and waist are mentioned as locations of this vital air in Trisikhibrahman Upanishad (mantra part, verse 82).

In Vedantasara,the vyana vayu is said to be present everywhere in the body and moving in all directions. Similar references are found in many other traditional texts. Vyana vayu moves all over the body in contrast to other airs which are distinctly located in a particular region (Amarakosha).

Vayus are not different gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc. The concept of vayu seems rather to be associated with a form of life energy which is needed for bringing about and sustaining life activity. There are various functions, in terms of which life activity is expressed, such as respiration, circulation of blood, digestion of food, excretion, and so on. For them, different vayus were named. Basically, they are all varieties of the same entity called prana.