The Nadis - Sushumna, Ida and Pingala

Have you ever heard of sushumna, ida and pingala? And asked you who or what that is supposed to be? Sushumna, Ida and Pingala are the three main energy channels, also called nadis, which run through our entire body and supply us with prana.

Nadis: Sushumna, Ida and Pingala

You can imagine the body inside as a network of many subtle energy channels. These energy channels are the nadis. Exactly how many of these thwart our bodies is debatable. According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, there are approximately 72,000 nadis. Through the nadis flows prana, the energy that provides us with everything we need and gives us life force. But what exactly does that mean? Well, if all the nadis are wonderfully free and working properly, then we're fine. However, since we all carry one or two small problems with us, most people have to cleanse their nadis with the help of pranayama .

72,000 different Nadis is quite a lot and as I said, some scriptures even assume more. In yoga, to make the whole thing a little more manageable, we focus on the three most important nadis: Sushumna, Ida and Pingala.
Sushumna is the central channel. It runs right through our spinal cord - from the root chakra to the crown chakra - and represents our consciousness. Ida runs on the left side of the body, stands for the feminine and for the lunar principle. Pingala arises on the right side of the body, stands for the masculine and symbolizes the sun principle. On the physical plane, pingala nadi corresponds to the sympathetic nervous system, ida nadi to the parasympathetic nervous system, and sushumna nadi to the central nervous system.

The purification of the nadis

With the help of the breath we can activate and harmonize our nadis. Alternating breathing , also called “Nadi” Shodana, cleans the energy channels. The aim of the pranayama exercise is to open our nadis and free them so that more life energy can flow through them again.

When we breathe through the left nostril, we activate Ida. This breathing is said to have a cooling, calming and refreshing effect. If we breathe in through the right nostril, this has a warming and activating effect. In addition to breathing, physical exercises can also help to stimulate the nadis with prana. In Ayurveda, for example, the energy channels are cleaned with targeted massages and soothing oil treatments.

What do the nadis have to do with the chakras?

To maintain our balance, the nadis move from one side of the body to the other in a snake-like course. Powerful energy centers, the chakras , form at the points where all three paths cross. The first crossing of the nadis at the top of the spine forms the throat chakra (vishuddhi chakra) and the last crossing at the base of the spine forms the root chakra (muladhara chakra).

Together with the chakras, the nadi system forms a sensitive energy network. A disturbance in the chakras also affects the fine system of the nadis. The meridians in our body get their energy from the individual chakras, which in a healthy state can be connected to the cosmic energy.

With a daily pranayama practice and full breathing , you make a good contribution to cleaning your energy channels.

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