3.40 – Through mastery of the ascending current of energy, the yogi can rise above the restricting physical influences of water, mud, thorns, etc.

उदानजयाअत् जलपण्खकण्टकादिष्वसङ्गोऽत्क्रान्तिश्च ॥३९॥

udana jayat jala panka kantaka adisu asangah utkrantih cha

  • udana – rising energy; ascending current of prana; one of the body’s five vital forces (prana-vayus)
  • jayat – by victory; by mastery
  • jala – water
  • panka – mud
  • kantaka – thorn
  • adisu – and others; etc; and so on
  • asangah – free from ties; moving without obstacles
  • utkrantih – going up; ascending
  • cha – and; also; both

Yogis refer to the ascending current of energy as udana vayu. Udana is most influential in the upper chest and throat. When it’s active, we feel light and uplifted.

Udana vayu, in its highest sense, is associated with Kundalini Shakti. Again, the dormant soul force that, when awakened, clarifies our awareness and guides us toward Self-realization.

The yogi learns to harmonize the incoming and outgoing energy through specific pranayama techniques. When those two forces are in complete balance, the ascending current rises through the central channel and into the upper chakras, where higher states of consciousness unfold.