Downward moving energetic wind – apana-vayu

Part 02/05 of series Energetic Winds

In the second practice of Marion's Series Energetic Winds, we explore apana-vayu, the downward moving energetic wind. This article delves into the essential role it plays in digestion, elimination and even our ability to release and let go emotionally.

Apana-vayu brings our attention to the importance of release and letting go on many levels. It also shines a light on important bodily functions, some of which our culture tends to shy away from, such as pooping! 

Pracising Apana-vayu and getting in tune with all our tension and bodily functions can play an important role in our overall health. Knowing what is going on inside, like our digestion and bowel movements (amongst others) is an essential part of being healthy and knowing our bodies. 

Practicing certain yoga poses can aid digestion and keep everything moving along. This helps us process the buildup of waste and toxins in the body. However,  Apana-vayu has long been utilised to facilitate emotional and physical release, vital for dispelling tension within the body. In Yoga’s rich history and philosophies, this has long been recognised to have deep spiritual potential for growth and self-discovery.  

On a practical level, practices focusing on Apana-vayu can get us thinking about the effects of poor-postures, nutrition and an inactive lifestyle. And on a more spiritual level, they can help us reflect on our relationship to our bodies and the world beyond.

Word from Marjon

The downward moving energetic wind, called apana-vayu. This wind is situated in our lower bodies starting from our navel down to our toes.

It governs all forms of elimination and the inner processes that support excretion. Its nature is to move everything both physical, energetic, and subtle down and out of our body.

In your practice, apana-vayu is similar to softening into the feeling of gravity and it’s noticed most when we exhale. You can sense its quality when standing if you feel the pressing down of your feet into the Earth as you breathe out.

The state of our downward moving energetic wind will inform us of the health of our immune system as this wind protects us from the outside.

With our mind, apana-vayu shows us our health related to how well we let go, whether we have unprocessed emotion and our capacity to withdraw.

practice part 02