Nadi originates from Sanskrit nad which means stream, flow, or channel. First mentioned in the early Upanishads of the 7-8th century, these are conduits in the subtle body where prana/vital force flows. While not recognized by ‘science’, they are sometimes believed to start in the bodies center and to move outwards-possibly even beyond the skin-to the surrounding body into the aura around a person. The three main nadis are Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna.
Sushumna Nadi – a nadi is a form of energy which is a channel where prana flows through. Sushumna is the main nadi in the subtle body that supports the chakras in the center of the body from bottom of the torso up to the crown of the head. It is the main channel through which prana flows. This central channel is associated with fire and the union of the two main nadis, Ida and Pingala. This Sushumna interacts with the 72,000 to 350,00 nadis (there are differing opinions) before meeting together at the crown of the head. The Ida and Pingala nadis are often seen as referring to the two hemispheres of the brain. They are believed to be stimulated by practicing breathing exercises such as a Pranayama exercise where one breathes alternatively through the right and left nostrils, which stimulates each side of the brain.
Pingala Nadi – In some viewpoints, Pingala is associated with the heat of the Sun, the color red, the left-hand side of the brain culminating in the right nostril, apana or descending breath, extroversion and the creativity of Shakti.
Ida Nadi– In the same perspective, Ida is associated with the coolness of the Moon, the color white, the right-hand side of the brain culminating in the left nostril, prana or arising breath, introversion and Shiva energy.
Side Comment About Kundalini – this is another viewpoint that explains Ida with the same characteristics except that it is the female energy; and Pingala is the male energy. In this form of yoga, Ida and Pingala are thought to intersect and cross over to the other side of the body at the supporting chakra centers positioned along the Sushumna. Each of the sites of swirling energy is associated with an element – earth, water, fire, air, ether. Shakti Kundalini or the serpent that is coiled 3 ½ times around the central axis, blocks the entrance to the Sushumna. Prana can be sent down via Ida and Pingala to the muladhara, where the three meet, in an attempt to awaken Kundalini so she rises upward through Sushumna to energize the chakras.
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Yoga Teacher Training - The Nadis(1 post) (1 voice)
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