Inner winds

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inner winds (T. rlung) are the winds that flow through the channels (nadi) of the subtle body, according to Buddhist tantric traditions. These winds are called prāṇa or vāyu in Sanskrit, and "loong" (rlung) in Tibetan. The system of channels and winds is central to both tantric yogic practice as well as traditional Tibetan medicine. In tantric practice, control of the winds as used to achieve states of enhanced wisdom and bliss. In Tibetan medicine, maintaining a proper balance of the wind energy is important for overall health.

The Princeton Dictionary states:

...the winds that course through the network of channels (nādī) in the body, according to tantric physiognomy. There are various types of winds that perform functions such as movement, digestion, respiration, sexual activity, and sustenance of the life force. Much tantric practice is devoted, first, to causing these winds to flow freely through the system of channels and, subsequently, to gathering the various winds into the central channel in order to induce deep states of bliss.[1]

Traditional Tibetan medicine practitioner Tamdin Sither Bradley states:

The general description of rLung is that it is a subtle flow of energy and out of the five elements (air, fire, water, earth and space) it is most closely connected with air. However it is not simply the air which we breathe or the wind in our stomachs, it goes much deeper than that. rLung is like a horse and the mind is the rider, if there is something wrong with the horse the rider will not be able to ride properly. Its description is that it is rough, light, cool, thin, hard, movable. The general function of rLung is to help growth, movement of the body, exhalation and inhalation and to aid the function of mind, speech and body. rLung helps to separate in our stomachs what we eat into nutrients and waste products. However its most important function is to carry the movements of mind, speech and body. The nature of rLung is both hot and cold.[2]

Ian Baker states:

In yogic practice, the bodies innermost structure is described as a network of 72,000 substantive and intangible pathways, referred to in Sanskrit as nadi, or in Tibetan as tsa. This para-physiological circulatory system encompasses the flow of blood and pre-lymphatic fluids, as well as subtle energy "winds" known as prana, or in Tibetan, lung, that, when consciously engaged, function as vehicles of amplified awareness and information. Tibetan tradition likens the integration of consciousness with these subtle energy currents to a writer mastering an otherwise unruly "windhorse", leading to the realization of non-referential joy, represented as the Mahasukhakaya, or "body of great Bliss", an experiential extension of the trinity of dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya.[3]


  1. Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. prāṇa.
  2. Bradley, Tamdin Sither (January 2001). "Tibetan Medicine - How and Why it Works". Retrieved 2023-05-17. 
  3. Baker 2019, p. 88.


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