Nadi in Sanskrit means ‘Channel’ or ‘Tube’. In yoga, it refers to a network of channels from which energy flows in our bodies. Within the human body, there is a network of 72,000 Nadis that distribute Prana effectively throughout the body. There are three major Nadis that pass through the spinal cord and the intense energy chakras present in our spinal column. By doing asanas, pranayamas, chanting, etc. can be performed to help energy flow through these Nadis. Nadis are the pathways through which Prana flows as per Ayurveda. Prana can only flow through these Nadis when they are clear and strong enough to hold the Prana. Hence, it becomes very important to keep the Nadis unblocked so that Prana can flow through them easily. If these Nadis are blocked one can perform Nadi Shodhana Pranayama in order to help unblock the Nadis and resume the flow of Prana through them.
Nadis are similar to the nervous system in our bodies but their significance extends beyond the physical realms into the astral and spiritual planes of our existence. Breath plays a really important role in harmonizing and activating these channels. At certain places on our spinal column these Nadis form a Knot known as ‘granthi’ which is an important point in our spiritual development. When these knots are untied the enegy stored in them gives us hidden powers (‘Siddhi’) such as healing powers, seeing auras, seeing past and future, etc. Hence, Nadis play a very important role in our spiritual existence.
The three important Nadis are mentioned below:
Ida Nadi – Ida Nadi is also known as the left channel. It originates in the Muladhara Chakra from which it flows towards the left and weaves through the other chakras, flowing in and out of them until it’d send in our left nostril. Our mental energy is represented by this Nadi. Ida represents the feminine part of the duality. Ida is inward-focused or introverted and is associated with mental work. It is also known as Chandra Nadi. It promotes feelings, love, and attachment.
Pingala Nadi – This Nadi also originates in the root chakra just like the Ida Nadi but it flows towards the right side. After which it weaves in and out through the rest of the chakras and eventually ends in our right nostril. Pingala Nadi is where the Prana originates. Pingala represents the masculine part of the duality. Pingala is outward-focused or extroverted and is associated with physical work. It is also known as Surya Nadi. It promotes perception, discrimination, and reason.
Shushumna Nadi – Also known as the central channel, Shusumna Nadi runs straight up the spine from below the root chakra to the crown chakra. This is the Nadi of spiritual awareness and is the most significant aspect of human physiology. For most people this Nadi remains dormant as they do not seek out their spiritual existence
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