Vyana Vayu is the current of energy that nourishes the entire body and distributes prana the is gathered at the center of the body during inhalations and moves it outward towards the periphery of the body on the exhalations. It helps to facilitate our proprioception and balance.
Curl middle, ring, and little finger into palm, secure with thumb, extend index finger; rest back of hands on thighs
Benefits: Activates Vyana Vayu
How it Works: The middle (ether), ring (earth) and pinkie (water) fingers are held down in the palm by the thumb (fire) to represent the drawing inward of the inhalation, the storing of energy. The index finger (air) is extended to enhance expansion of prana throughout the body on the exhale.
Practice Tips: Use to feel expansiveness of your breath
Stand with feet hips width apart (or toes together, heels slightly separated). Engage the muscles of the legs towards the bones. Draw the belly in and release the tail bone. Lift the chest and draw the shoulder blades down. Press the crown of the head towards the ceiling.
Hold 10-20 breaths.
Therapeutics: Grounds the body and prepares for all standing poses, improves balance
Begin standing with feet slightly wider than hips distance apart. Keeping the knees soft, begin to swing arms around the body like two elephant trunks, lightly tap the body with the hands wherever they land as you twist right and left. Go faster or slower depending on how it feels to you for about 1 minute. Then slow down the swinging until you are again standing still.
Therapeutics: Increases circulation of blood and lymph throughout the body, awakens the energy and detoxifies the abdominal organs.
Stand with feet wide apart, turn toes out slightly. Exhale bend knees over ankles and raise forearms up to sides with palms facing forward.
Inhale return to starting position. Repeat 5 times.
Therapeutics: Strengthens the thighs and grounds the energy of the body
Stand with feet wide apart. Turn left foot out 90 degrees and right foot in 30 degrees. Inhale arms out from shoulders. Exhale and bend left knee. Keep torso upright and do not lean over bent leg. Gaze towards left hand.
Hold 5-10 breaths then release and change sides.
Therapeutics: Strengthens legs and increases balance
Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Stand with feet wide apart.
Variation I: Bend forward from hips placing hands between feet. Release spine forward with crown of head facing floor. Hold up to 1 minute, then return to standing by drawing hands onto hips and lifting entire torso up as a single unit.
Lay on back with knees bent and feet hips with apart. Inhale and lift hips away from floor, rolling onto upper back. Press arms back into floor and lengthen tail bone towards backs of knees.
Hold 5-15 breaths and release.
Therapeutics: Opens chest, activates thyroid, tractions spine
Lie on back with legs straight and feet relaxed to sides. Move arms away from sides slightly and turn palms to face ceiling. You may use support under the knees for low back pain; and a folded blanket under the head if needed. Rest 5-15 minutes.
Therapeutics: Allows for integration of mind and body after asana practice, promotes restful awareness
I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.