In the practice of yoga, Nadis are believed to be channels for prana within the body. Nadi is derived from the sanskirt root nad, which means “flow,” “motion,” or “vibration” , suggesting the nature of a nadi: ­ flowing like water, nourishing everything in its path and can be likened to the energetic irrigation system within the body.

According to ancient texts, the human body contains 72,000 nadis that channel prana to every cell. Of these, there are 14 nadis important to the practice of yoga, of which only three are the most important.
The sushumna nadi runs from the base of the spine to the crown of the head, passing through each of the seven chakras in its course. It can be thoughtof as the body’s great river, and is the channel through which kundalini shakti rises up from its origin at the muladhara chakra to the sahasrara chakra at the crown of the head. The ida and pingala nadis are the two important nadis that spiral around the sushumna nadi like the DNA double helix and crosses each other at every chakra. All three nadis meet at the ajna chakra, or the third eye.

The ida nadi begins and ends on the left side of sushumna and is often represented by the colour white. Regarded as the lunar nadi, ida is cool and nurturing by nature and is said to control all mental processes and the more feminine aspects of our personality. Pingala, the solar nadi, begins and ends to the right of sushumna and is often represented by the colour red. It is warm and stimulating by nature, controls all vital bodily processes and oversees the more masculine aspects of our personality.

Ida and pingala can be balanced by Nadi Shodhana (alternate­nostril breathing) and is effective because the ida nadi is directly connected to the left nostril, and the pingala nadi to the right. Nadi shodana involves alternate breathing through left and right nostrils, which would alternately stimulate respectively the left and right sides of the brain. Bringing ida and pingala into equilibrium is a major focus of yoga as it is believed that balancing pingala and ida facilitates the awakening and arising of kundalini.


Josephine Goh

200hr TTC Jan-May weekend

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