karmic winds

In contrast to the stationary channels, the inner winds are known as the ‘moving winds/karmic winds’ because they flow through the channels.
There are five root and five branch winds.

The root winds are:
1. The life supporting wind
The five branch winds are:
6. The moving wind
7. The intensely moving wind
8. The perfectly moving wind
9. The strongly moving wind
10. The definitely moving windOnly branch out from the life-supporting wind
2. The downward voiding wind
3. The upward moving wind
4. The equally abiding wind
5. The pervading wind

Each of the five root winds has six characteristics by which it can be recognized:
1. Its color,
2. Its associated buddha family,
3. An element for which it serves as the support,
4. Its principal seat or fundamental location,
5. Its function, and
6. Its direction (how it leaves the nostrils upon exhalation).

If we become familiar with these characteristics we will be able to recognize which winds are flowing. This ability becomes important at a later stage of meditation. As mentioned above, each root wind serves as the support for a particular element.

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