(Vāyu): Air; breath; wind. According to the yogic tradition, in pranamaya kosha (the etheric body) prana divides into five vayus (principal breaths or vital airs) according to its movement and direction. In the Chandogya Upanishad (2:13:6), the vayus are referred to as the “gate keepers to the heavenly world.” This suggests an esoteric understanding of the close relationship between breath and consciousness. The vayus represent five important forms of energy that manifest both in the being and in the entire Universe. They are collectively called the prana vayus or “winds”: prana vayu, apana vayu, samana vayu, udana vayu, and vyana vayu. The vayus govern different areas of the body and different physical and subtle activities. When they function harmoniously, they assure health and vitality. They also have effects on the psychological level, allowing us to live life with meaning and opening us to the spiritual reality beyond the different koshas. Read more.