What are nadis

Subtle Energy Channels


The cumulative effect of the last 12 months and current findings on the Coronavirus’s continued variants seem to have affected the energy levels in all of us. The continued use of masks constantly, which has become a necessity to be safe and keep the community safer, also has interfered with the flow of energy (Prana)

Consequently, while we hear the term in constant use – Your life is your breath and breath is your life – it is time we reflected on the three main energy channels within our system according to the Yogic philosophy. A balancing of the Nadis will lift one’s energy level. We have seen this in practice as well in our attitude after finishing a class as the energy levels are uplifted.

Nadi is a Sanskrit word that means “channel” or “flow.” Our body has a network of channels through which energy travels. The number of Nadis as per ancient texts is to be 72000 or more. It is a number that is beyond counting. One can say there is an infinite number of Nadis within the human body.

Traditional health sciences like Ayurveda and yoga believe that living being functions by the life energy in them. This life energy is known as Prana. Prana circulates in the body through pathways called the Nadis. The Nadis have to be without obstructions and strong. Our physical and mental health gets affected when the Nadi system gets blocked.

Three principal Nadis weave through the spinal cord and the intense energy centers known as chakras.

These Nadis are the

  1. Sushumna Nadi…. The Sushumna Nadi is the central channel that runs from the base of the spine (Mooladhara)to the crown of the head ( Sahasrara). It is the most critical energy channel within our body. Sushumna Nadi is the Nadi of spiritual awareness. We find true harmony in ourselves when the Sushumna Nadi is perfectly balanced and active.
  2. Ida Nadi… The Ida Nadi starts at the base of the spine or the Mooladhara. It goes up the central axis, crisscrossing the Sushumna Nadi at the major chakras. It terminates at the left nostril. The Ida Nadi is associated with the lunar side of our beings. It is the Yin side that is softer, more creative, and feminine.
  3. Pingala Nadi… The Pingala Nadi starts at the base of the spine or Mooladhara. It goes up the central axis, crisscrossing the Sushumna Nadi and Ida Nadis at every chakra. Pingala Nadi terminates at the right nostril. The Pingala Nadi is associated with the solar side of our being. It is the yang side that is related to analytical thinking.

One of the focuses of yoga is to balance the Nadis. By constant yoga practice, we would have manipulated these energy channels unknowingly. The slower Yin yoga practices target the Ida Nadi, while the more active power yoga or Vinyasa flow will activate the Pingala Nadi. Pranayama practices like the Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing) isolate the Ida and Pingala Nadis to balance them.

Whether we are aware or not, our yoga practice is geared towards awakening, activating, and balancing our Nadis.

Love & Prayer

To learn more about the Nadia, Prana and Pranayama, check out this 50-hour Pranayama Teacher Training with Sumit Manav