Focus Your Energy

For new and seasoned yoga practitioners alike who believe the discipline is mainly a means for calming the body and mind, Greg Wieting has something energizing: a Prana Vinyasa-inspired sequence, based upon the principles of energetic alignment within “prana,” our vital life force energy.

Prana Vinyasa is characterized by its creator, Shiva Rea, as a life-realization and embodiment practice. Rea, who is in the vanguard of modern yoga practice, has developed this “embodied practice” to bring people into contact with their “sva dharma,” or inherent purpose in life, as well as greater health, wellness and even happiness and creative fulfillment. Prana vinyasa draws upon the teachings of Krishnamacharya (who drew upon the Tantric origins of vinyasa yoga) and the roots of Ayurveda and Bhakti.

Wieting explains that throughout the flow of a Prana Vinyasa-inspired sequence, we progress through pulsations and body vinyasas, or movements within poses, as well as rhythmic vinyasas. The flow, poses, movement and pulsations highlight and integrate energetic alignment and outer form. He’s chosen the following Prana Vinyasa movements and sequence for focus and energy — whether your mode of choice is yoga or some other form of movement.

(Note: If you are new to yoga, have injuries, or are still building strength in your wrists and shoulders, feel free to rest and make circles with your wrists between the poses or skip some and build up to the full sequence.)

Prana Vinyasa flow for energy and focus

1. Samana Vyana Mudra Vinyasa

In Prana Vinyasa, each flow begins with a mudra vinyasa, or movement meditation, to synchronize movement and breath and create the energetic opening to prepare for the peak pose in the practice. This movement and mudra combination brings energy into your core (“samana vayu”) so you feel centered and then helps you extend your awareness outward so you feel expansive (“vyana vayu”). Integrate these two expressions of energy.

2. Downward-Facing Dog With Leg Extension and Coiled-Core Rhythmic Vinyasa

Begin in Downward Facing Dog, pressing down and forward with your hands and drawing your hips back and up.

3. Prana Vinyasa Four Movements of Lunge

Begin in a forward lunge, hinging forward at the hips to place your palms on the ground on either side of your front foot.

4. Warrior 1: Rhythmic Vinyasa Hip-Opening Variation

From the Four Movements of Lunge, release your back foot to the earth, root the outer edge of the foot and heel, and raise the inner arch. Rooting your front hip and heel, inhale and rise into warrior 1, lifting your navel, heart and fingertips to the sky.

5. Hip-Opening Core Cultivation

Integrate side waist extension, hip opening and core strength.

6. Chair Pose With Agni Mudra

Mudra is a symbolic hand gesture to invoke a particular quality or energy. “Agni” Mudra is a hand position and movement combination that cuts through distraction to bring focus.

7. Arm Balance With Pulse

From a standing position, draw your right knee into the chest, and as you bend your left knee to lower yourself to the Chair position, place your right ankle across it. Keep your foot flexed, and clasp your hands in Agni Mudra.

8. Seated Samana Vyana Mudra Vinyasa

Transition from the Arm Balance pose to a seated position. In this final seated mudra vinyasa, you’ll connect to both your innermost core and the expanse of your outer awareness. A central point of focus from your center can radiate out omnidirectionally like rays of the sun. Sit on a mat or on the floor or ground with your legs crossed. Soften your jaw. Feel your sitting bones rooted to the ground, and place your palms over your heart.

9. Samana Vayu Mudra Meditation

Pose 9 replacement - Samana Vayu Mudra

Samana Vayu Mudra helps you bring your practice and your awareness to a central point of focus. It helps you assimilate and digest life experiences so you can be present to what is, and it helps you come back to your center so you can cultivate a relaxed yet alert awareness.

10. Closing

Breathing evenly, place your palms together and press your thumbs to your sternum. As you exhale, bow your head to your heart. Inhaling, draw your thumbs up over your brow and lift your head. Namaste.

Full flow

Please see the video below for the full Prana Vinyasa-inspired sequence. Be sure to move within the context of your breath. Equal inhales, equal exhales. Allow the breath to be full and complete. This way you are sure to stay open and receptive without creating more tension or over gripping or causing harm. If you ever lose contact with your breath, be sure to back out of the pose and don’t go so deep. Always listen to your body first to support and honor your body and your practice.

A Prana Vinyasa Primer Prana can be likened to the breath – the life-giving force. “Vayu” literally means “wind”. The prana vayus are the movements of prana within the body. As Greg Wieting explains, the movements of prana maintain the entire function of our physical body, inform physiological function and circulate the intelligence of our awareness. Prana Vinyasa teaches alignment to awaken the movements of prana through fluid and rhythmic movement. The movements of prana are as follows: Prana vayu is located between the diaphragm and throat. It is the upward flow of energy. Prana vayu helps us find lift and lightness in our practice and inspiration in our lives. Samana vayu, located between the diaphragm and navel, is the force that draws inward to our core. It is our strength that keeps us connected to our center. It helps us live in our truth. Apana vayu, located between the navel and perineum in the pelvic region, is the downward flow of energy keeping us connected to our roots. It helps us find our grounding and stability so we can digest life experiences and live in presence. Udana vayu is located in the head region as well as in the limbs and is associated with the nervous system and the five senses. It supports balance. Vyana vayu exists throughout the body. It radiates and expresses itself outwardly, helping us find our extension. It helps us feel connected to our environment.