Nadi’s is the network of channel or flow which allows energy to travel through body. There are three important nadis in the body which go through the spinal cord and the chakras; the energy centers of the body.
Prana is life energy which helps all living things function. When prana withdraws from the body, the pranic field collapses, and we die. When we use prana wisely, we live fully and well. This energy circulates through the body, but it can only do so if the pathways, or nadis, are clear and free from blockages. Where the prana cannot flow freely, the mental and physical health of the person can be affected. Which can lead to different causes of diseases in our body. Regular practice of asanas, pranayama, and chanting are the most common ways to move prana (Life extension) around the body via these nadis.
According the B.K.S. Iyengar – Nadi’s are tubes and channel which carry air, blood, nutrients, water and other substances throughout the body. They are our arteries, veins, capillaries & bronchioles so on. In our subtle and spiritual body which cannot be measured or weighted. B.K.S has briefly justified the nadis and chakras in his book “Light on Pranayama“.
Three main Nadi’s in human body
- Ida nadi It is the left channel, this starts from the root chakra (muladhara). It flows to the left, in and out of the other chakras up the spine, and ends up in the left nostril. It represents mental energy.
- Pingala nadi It is the right channel, this starts from the same place – the root chakra – but instead flows to the right, up the spine and ending at the right nostril. It is the origin of prana – that precious life force.
- Sushumna nadi Also called the central channel, this runs straight up the spine, through all of the chakras. Starting just below the root chakra, it heads right up to the crown chakra (Sahasrara). It is the nadi of spiritual awareness.
Cleansing and Regulating
- Asana: Regular practice helps you to cleanse the blood and do proper circulation throughout the body.
- Pranayama: Proper breathe regulations are done through various breathing techniques. Alternate nostril breathing, or Nadi shodhana, is a popular way to try and balance the nadis and is included at the end of the asanas in many yoga practices. By ensuring these channels are clear and balanced, you allow prana to move freely throughout the whole body.
- Kriyas: There are 6 purification techniques designed to cleanse the nadi and balance the dosha in our body:
- Neti Pot – Nasal cleansing using salted water.
- Trataka – Unblinking until the eyes tear up. This cleanses the gandhari and hasti jihwa nadis.
- Nauli – Stomach churning.
- Kapalabhati – Forceful exhalation using abdominal contraction.
- Dhauti – Swallowing a gauze cloth and pulling it back.
- Basti – Enema. A sophisticated way of doing this is through a hydro-colon therapy.
Blocked nadi’s can be cleansed and regulated in many ways. If possible, it is best to find a qualified teacher who can demonstrate you the channel purification technique. This will allow you to observe the pace and serenity of the breath before practicing on your own (at beginner level). In the beginning of practice you need to observe all aspects of the technique, including the steadiness of the spine in the sitting posture, the quality of your diaphragmatic breathing, the skillful manipulation of the nostrils as the stream of breath is alternated from one nostril to the other, the degree that attention is maintained during the practice, and the internal and external setting. This list may seem overwhelming, but the practice will soon be comfortable and nearly effortless if you give it your respectful attention.
The general guidelines for all yoga practices apply: practice on a light stomach, empty the bladder beforehand, and stay within your comfortable capacity. When channel purification forms part of a complete yoga practice session, it is done just after hatha postures and prior to meditation. If it is not followed immediately by meditation, you should allow some time, perhaps five – ten minutes, to maintain and enjoy the tranquil state of mind it produces.
I wish there were more articles available on nadis. Yoga has been my practice since 2017, and in the last two years almost on a daily basis the results? At my age, I’m insanely strong, disease-free for a year with no medication or diet restriction whatsoever, and my aging seems to crawl almost to a halt. I can safely say these esoteric teachings are true and accurate.