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What are the Nadis? A Beginner's Guide

What are the Nadis? A Beginner's Guide

According to eastern health sciences going back decades, every living being is alive and functions because of the life force (or pranic) energy that is circulating throughout their bodies - through channels known as Nadi channels.

Nadi channels follow the same path around the body as our sympathetic nervous systems. There are so many energy channels that are flowing around our body, connecting every part of our bodies to each other.

Ayurveda sciences and yoga make use of these channels connecting our bodies and flowing energy to harness the power of prana energy. Prana energy can flow seamlessly around our bodies when the Nadis are strong and clear. But if we have blockages in our Nadis, energy flow can slow and ebb, leading to health issues and complications.

Certain types of yoga, especially Hatha types of yoga, talk about the balance of the sun and the moon energy in our bodies to achieve a balance between the mind, the body, and the soul. When performing yoga asanas, hand gestures (or mudras), pranayamas (breath control) and binds and locks, these energies can build up and flow up the body along the spinal cord, merging with the main Nadi, or the Sushumna Nada at the third eye chakra, which is located between the eyebrows. 

When this happens, the Sushumna Nadi can create a force that opens all the chakras together towards the Sahasrara Chakra, which helps to lay the path towards enlightenment. This is one of the major goals for many people who practice Hatha yoga.

How many Nadis are there?

According to yoga texts, there can be at least 72,000 nadis that circulate energy around the human body - but this number can be as high as 350,000! It’s impossible to single out each individual Nadi - however there are 14 important Nadis and 3 main Nadis. 

The 14 Important Nadis consist of: 

1. Alambusha Nadi

This Nadi helps to bring energy to the organs and parts of the body that eliminate toxins and waste. It goes all the way up the body to the mouth.

2. Gandhari Nadi

The Gandhari Nadi begins at the Muladhara Chakra, at the base of the spine, and ends up at the Anja, or third eye, chakra. This provides energy to your left eye!

3. Hasti Jeeva Nadi

This Nadi provides energy to our arms and legs, and begins again at the Muladhara chakra and the end of the spine, and ends at the Manipura Chakra, which is behind the navel.

4. Ida Nadi

The Ida Nadi begins at the Muladhara Chakra and then, ends at the left nostril, and is said to activate the left brain. This can promote feelings of emotion and love, as it brings lunar and cooling energy to the brain.

5. Kuhu Nadi

This Nadi begins at the throat and ends at the genitals, and brings energy to this area.

6. Payaswini Nadi

The Payaswini Nadi begins at the right side, and flows up the body to end at the right ear. 

7. Pingala Nadi

Said to promote perception and analysis, the Pingala Nadi begins on the right side and ends at the right nostril. It’s also known as solar, or heating energy.

8. Pusha Nadi

Beginning at your Muladhara Chakra, and ending at the third eye Chakra, this Nadi provides energy to your right eye.

9. Saraswati Nadi

This Nadi powers your mouth, tongue and throat. It begins at the Muladhara Chakra and ends at the Vishuddhi Chakra, which is located at the base of the throat.

10. Sankhini Nadi

Bringing energy to your left ear, this Nadi begins at the Muladhara chakra and ends at the Ajna chakra.

11. Sushumna Nadi

Again, beginning at the Muladhara Chakra, this Nadi ends at the crown of the head at the Sahasrara Chakra, this Nadi is the central Nadi that flows prana to the other Nadis around the body.

12. Varuna Nadi

This Nadi brings energy to the whole body through the nervous system. It begins at the Muladhara chakra and ends at the Anahata chakra.

13. Vishwadhara Nadi

Providing energy to the digestive system, this Nadi begins at the Muladhara chakra and ends at the Manipura chakra.

14.  Yashaswini Nadi

Finally, the Yashaswini Nadi brings energy to the right limbs, through the Muladhara chakra and ends at the Manipura chakra.

The Three Main Nadis

Out of these 14 important Nadis, there are three main Nadis, which are  Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. Ida and Pingala are said to be the two major energy pathways, flowing either side of the main nadi, the Sushumna nadi.

The Ida Nadi is known as the passive left channel, and also the lunar energy channel. It represents feminine energy in the body, which is the passive, yin energy of the body. Flowing on the left side of the main nadi, it deals with mental energy, and is linked to the moon. People who have dominant Ida energy are said to be nurturing and intuitive.

The Pingala Nadi is known as the active right channel, and also the tawny energy channel. It represents the masculine energy in the body. It is the active and young energy channel of the body. Flowing on the right side, its energy compliments the Ida Nadi. Linked to the sun, Pingala energy makes us creative, and confident.

Sushumna Nadi is the main nadi, and passes through the center of our spines. This nadi represents the balance between all the sets of energy in our bodies, when we balance this energy we can awaken higher consciousness. 

By Amy Cavill

Geenie Celento - Sri Vidya Yoga

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Alanna Kaivalya - Energetic Awakening: Understanding the Nadis

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