Ecstatic Yoga Immersions
EY Temple Nadi's Lesson
EY Temple Nadi's Lesson
EY Temple, Nadi’s Lesson
We have been learning about our physical and energetic body systems, and an important subtle body system not to be excluded is the Nadi system. We had an intro to the nadis, along with the Vayus, chakras, kosha’s and 8 Limbs in our Samadhi Immersion. This is a more in-depth Body Temple lesson on the Nadi’s to help assist a deeper exploration of the nadi subtle energy body.
The nadi subtle body system is one of the many energetic systems that are a part of what we call our pranamaya kosha. As we have said many times, the pranamaya kosha, the energy body is primary to the physical body… the physical body temple cannot exist without the subtle body, yet the pranamaya kosha and the entire subtle body can exist in complete health and wholeness without the physical body. Some say the pranaymaya kosha is our etheric self, some even think of it as our soul, yoga thinks of it as the invisible subtle energy body and without it the physical body cannot exist.
Health begins in our energy body, the healthier the subtle body the healthier the physical body. The physical bodies vitality is deeply connected to the vitality of the energy body or pranamaya kosha.
The Nadi System is a primal energy system within the pranamaya kosha, and this class is a in depth discussion on the nadi system.
The word Nadi is a Sanskrit word from ancient India that originates from the root word “Nada” meaning “to flow”, “river” or “flowing river.
Nadis are an extensive network of energy channels that facilitate the flow of prana or vital life force energy in and through our entire body… every internal organ, every system, and every cell within the body.
Although invisible to the naked eye, they can be analogized to the veins and arteries of our circulatory system because the channels are tubular like veins, yet they are subtle body channels. Rather than carrying blood through the body, the nadi’s carry vital life force energy or prana through the body. Some analogize the nadi system to the nerves in that they are both carrying energetic information, however the nerves are solid physical things a part of the physical body nervous system and nadi’s are wholly energetic and an invisible subtle body system.
Although the nadis are invisible to our physical eyes, they have been seen in visualizations and downloads to many yoga masters during samadhi and deep meditations. Nadis only can be perceived as energy and consciousness in motion during the deep and higher state of meditation.
These subtle nadi channels carry energetic, mental and spiritual energies through extensive pranic networks and matrix’s that exist throughout the entire body. This matrix of channels and flows of energies moves in all directions throughout every corner of the body.
There is no agreed upon amount of nadi channels that exist throughout the body, different yogic texts state varying numbers. Goraksha Samhita states the most with 350,000 nadi channels, Prapanchasara Tantra reports 300,000 and Goraksha Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika say 72,000.
Regardless if we have 350 nadis or 72 Nadis, I believe in time we will discover more accurate numbers. The energy body is showing up in the physical world more so than ever. And to focus some attention on the Subtle Body including the nadi’s is a very powerful wellness practice.
There are four Main Nadi’s
Nadi Kanda; bird egg’ shaped root situated in the center of the pelivis, suspended below the navel or bee boo and above the pubis bone.
Nadi Ida; Feminine flow of energy moving in a spiral or often referred to as a double helix DNA spiral up the spine. Originating from the mulabhara or root chakra, spiraling together with the Pingali around and up and through the Sushumna to the Ajna chakra (3rd eye ) and finally to the left nostril.
Nadi Pingali; Masculine flow of energy moving in a spiral or often referred to as a double helix DNA spiral up the spine. Originating from the Mulabhara or root chakra, spiraling together with the Ida around, up and through the Sushumna to the ajna chakra (3rd eye) and finally to the right nostril.
Nadi Sushumna; The Great River, fountain of joy, the central channel that moves up the spine in the center of the spinal cord from the mulabhara up and out the crown in infinite heights and circles back around the body in a Taurus of Life Force Energy.
One of the aims of yoga practice both meditation, pranayama and asana is to open up, vitalize and purify the nadi channels throughout the body, and ultimately intensify the Sushumna Channel for higher states of consciousness and more alignment with your moment to moment Truth. Thy Own Self Be True.
A vital Sushmna offers more than just expanded awareness, it also is a huge factor in physical health. If you can vitalize your Sushma, the Great River of centralized life force energy within you… you will reflect with physical vitality and wellness. We cannot ignore the Sushmna in living a vital, healthy, youthful, active, joyous and free life… a vital Sushumna equals a vital body and life.
Another benefit of regular practices in vitalizing the Sushmna is awakening kundalini. A kundalini awakening is very specific, like a flower blooming. It cannot be forced, however, you can do certain nadi practices which provide the elements it needs to support it’s awakening, blooming, arising to Self Love and knowing that it’s very existence, conscious awareness is one with the Source of all Love, everything good, all light. There is only light, scientists say darkness has no source, it is only the absence of light… or good, or God, or Self, or Love.
Kundalinini Activation through the Nadi’s.
Kundalini Shakti awakens with concentrated attention into the muladhara chakra and Kanda Nadi. With attentive awareness you will begin to be more sensitive to and aware of this subtle body within you and around you. You will begin by feeling more physical sensations and subtle sensations in the Kanda and up the Sushumna. The idea with Nadi meditations is to bring your intense awareness to these primal energy centers of our subtle body to bring those natural conditions, just like helping the flower to bloom by providing it sunlight, water and nutrients you can help your limited awareness of the self to Self Realize that they are everything, One Mind, shared with Brahman, Universal Mind and all Minds as One Mind. This is a powerful awakening to the True Self within the limited self by providing concentrated attention to those areas of the vital energy field of the Nadi’s. The flow of kundalini shakti once the dormant spiritual energy has been awakened at the root can only flow up the Sushumna once the nadi’s are purified.
The Sushumna Nadi has been called the Brahma Nadi in some yogic texts because of it’s ability to carry the awakened kundalini shakti from the root up the spine and out the crown to merge in oneness with Brahman, ultimate Divine Source, God of our understanding, Pure Intelligent Life Force Energy.
By activating the nadi’s we are building more and more vital energy fields and healthier bodies and minds. We also activate spiritual awakening, dormant kundalini shakti and strengthen our connection to Brahman or the Divine of our understanding.
3 Major Nadi’s
Within the nadi system the three major nadi’s, Sushumna, Ida and Pingala create a pranic energy flow together called the Tividha Nadi. These three major nadis all begin at the root or Muladhara chakra and move through the Kanda Nadi up the center of the spine cord through each of the seven main chakras with the Sushumna expanding out the crown and the Ida and Pingala ending at the nostrils.
Ida nadi begins on the left of the muladhara chakra and Pingala to the right of muladhara chakra. The Ida and Pingala spiral up the spine in a double helix spiral, similar to the DNA helix, meeting at each chakra and said in some yogic texts to be responsible for creating and maintaining the chakra energy system. All three nadis meet at the Trivini point located at the Ajna or 3rd eye chakra between the brows. The Ida and Pingala continue to the nostrils while Sushumna continues up and out the crown chakra.
Most Gracious, Great River or what is described at the “Fountain of great joy” in the Shiva Samhita. This is the central pranic energy channel in the nadi energy system, similar to the brain and spinal cord in the Nervous System, or the heart in the Cardiovascular System or the Lungs in the Respiratory System.
Sushumna begins at the base of the spine or the root or muladhara chakra and moves up the very center of the spinal cord, allowing the Ida and Pingala to spiral around it energizing this central core energy. The Sushumna meets the Ida & Pingala Nadi’s at the 3rd eye or Ajna chakra and continues up and out the crown or sahasrara chakra. This main conduit for pranic energy flow connects to all the chakras, harmonizes the central nervous system and has been called in some ancient yogic texts as trigunamayi containing all three Gunas or qualities… raja (Sun), tamas (Moon), and fire (
Known as the deep spiritual subtle energy channel or Great River which waits until the devotee is purified and ready to have it completely awakened. Once the dormant kundalini awakens at the muladhara or root chakra the pranic energy released at the root flows up through the Sushumna powerfully awakening spiritual qualities very quickly and naturally. As the prana flows more and more powerfully from the muladhara to the sarashara or crown chakra the entire subtle body and all the prana is vitalized including and the six shaktis; Kaakini, Haakini, Kaakini, Laakini, Raakini and Shaakini… spiritual awakening is natural and inevitable.
Brahma Nadi; The Sushumna Nadi is also called in some yogic texts as the Brahma Nadi because when activated with a certain threshold of prana, it becomes a pathway to Brahman, Divine Source. An awakened Sushumna allows for an awakening to the Ultimate State. Kundaline shakti is activated and states of Samadhi and bliss are as natural as breathing.
A balanced and vital Sushumna
Aligned with the Divine Principle
Tranquility and Peace
Meditative state of mind
Samadhi & sustained bliss states
Harmonious, balanced & calm Nervous System
Balanced prana flows
Ida Nadi, sometimes called the Chandra Nadi because it is ruled by qualities of the moon energy. The Ida Nadi begins at the root or left side of the muladhara chakra and spirals up the Sushumna Nadi and spinal cord and continues to the Ajna (3rd eye ) Chakra and finally decends to the left nostril. It controls the feminine aspects, the mental processes, emotions, and the right brain. It affects the left side of the body and is cool and inward in nature.
Ida Nadi Qualities
Ida Nadi is also sedative for the physical systems and can be associated with Tamas qualities such as rest, restore, inactivity, over-eating, self awareness, lack of motivation, attachment, empathy, perceptive, sadness, compassion, depression, and boredom.
The feminine goddess we call the Ida Nadi is connected to the parasympathetic nervous system (Relaxation response, digest, sleep), yin qualities, anabolic physical functions and systems.
Ida Nadi Blockage
When the Ida Nadi is blocked it activates too much tamas energy in the body, low energy, depression, lethargy, lack of motivation and emotional sensitivity.
Below are some symptoms of a blocked Ida Nadi.
Passivity, lack of assertiveness
Lack of motivation
Practices to vitalize the Ida Nadi
Surya Bheda Pranayama (Piercing the Sun)
Nadi Shodhana (Alternate nostril breathing)
Nadi Meditation Practice
Hatha Yoga Asana Practice
Pingala Nadi is often called Surya Nadi because it is ruled by the qualities of the sun. Pingala in Sanskrit means orange or tawny. Pingala Nadi begins on the right side of the muladhara chakra and spirals up the Sushumna meeting the Ida and Sushumna at the Ajna chakra and makes it’s final decent to the right nostril. Pingala Nadi is warm, dynamic, active and stimulating. Pingala Nadi is the masculine and controls the left brain and right side of the body. It’s qualities are logical, systematic and analytical. Pingala Nadi controls the functions of physical growth, vital somatic processes, catabolic activities, and the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight).
Pingala Nadi is connected to more rajas qualities, is the masculine energy and often seen in type A personalities demonstrating more extraverted qualities like assertive, bold, driven, ambitious, creative, straightforward and active. Pingala dominates physical energy, the right side of the body, left brain, the left nostril, a faster metabolism and the frontal lobe of the brain.
Pingala Nadi Qualities
Honest and straightforward
Below are some Symptoms of a Blocked Pingala Nadi
When Pingala is blocked it can cause over activity, a hyperthyroid and faster metabolism, aggression, attention deficit, domineering personality, controlling and over bearing.
Dry skin and throat
Overeating & increased appetite
High sex drive
Unblocking the Pingala Nadi
Chandra Bhedi Pranayama
Hatha Yoga Asana Practice
Contrasting Ida Nadi and Pingala Nadi
Ida Nadi Pingala Nadi
Left nostril Right nostril
Parasympathetic NS Sympathetic NS
Balancing the Ida & Pingala Nadi’s
A balanced nadi system of masculine and feminine, yang and yin is reflected through the breath cycle of the Ida and Pingala nadis. Each breath cycle is 90 minutes, therefore alternating between Ida and Pingala, the left and right nostril every 90 minutes. At anytime during the day you will notice you are breathing stronger through one nostril, that is evidence that you are presently in the breathing cycle associated with nostril with the stronger breath. This is natural and healthy, and not necessarily associated with a clogged nostril.
When the left nostril is flowing stronger, the Ida Nadi is active and Pingala is weaker. This means the mental or Chitta energy, right brain and mental activities is predominant. When the right nostril is flowing stronger, the Pingala Nadi is active and Ida is weaker. This means the Pranic energy and left brain and essential processes is predominant.
Ultimately and for optimal health and wellbeing we want to balance the Ida and Pingala Nadi’s. When the nadi’s are balanced and working co-operatively we can live healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We simply can deal with life more effectively, work more productively, enjoy harmonious relationships and handle life’s challenges with ease and grace.
To balance, cleanse and activate the nadi’s will bring overall wellbeing to the mind, body and spirit. It calms the nervous system, allows for a sense of confidence and peace of mind. Your state of mind is able to quiet as thoughts are not racing between the right and left sides of the brain.
14 Minor Nadi’s
With only 4 main nadi’s; Kanda, Ida, Pingala & Sushumna and 3 major nadis; Ida, Pingala & Sushumna you may be wondering what happened to the other 300,000. Although ancient yogic texts state there are somewhere between 350,000 and 72,000 nadi’s in the subtle matrix system, only 14 have been identified and only 3 considered major nadi’s.
Sushumna Nadi; The Great River, the main flow of pranic energy in the body. It is the central nadi through which the prana flows to the other nadis. It’s flow begins at the Muladhara chakra up and through the core of the spine and ends at the crown chakra and continues beyond.
Ida Nadi; Feminine/Moon/Right brain/Left side of body. Provides prana flow to the left side of the body. Known for its feminine and cool energy, it’s flow begins at the root or muladhara chakra on the left side of the Sushumna and ends at the left nostril. It is associated with the energy of the moon.
Pingala Nadi; Masculine/Sun/Left brain/Right side of body. Provides flow of prana to the right side of the body. Known for its masculine and heating energy, it’s flow begins at the muladhara chakra on the right side of the Sushumna and ends at the right nostril. It is associated with the energy of the sun.
Kunda Nadi; Egg shaped powerhouse suspended in the center of the pelvis. Provides energy for the entire nadi system.
Varuni Nadi; Whole body. Provides prana to the entire body through the nervous system. It’s flow begins at the Muladhara and ends at Anahata chakra.
Payaswini Nadi; Supports the Pingala nadi. Provides prana for the Pingala nadi. Its flow begins through the Saraswati and Pusha nadi and ends at the right ear.
Gandhari Nadi; Left eye. This nadi provides a flow of prana to the left eye. It begins at the Muladhara chakra and ends at the Ajna (3rd Eye)
Shakhini Nadi; – Left ear. Provides prana to the left ear. It’s flow begins at the Muladhara and ends at the Ajna chakra.
Hastijihva Nadi; Left side of body, left limbs in particular. This nadi provides a flow of prana to the left arm and left leg. It’s flow begins at Muladhara chakra and ends at the Manipura chakra.
Yashaswini Nadi; Right side of body, right limbs in particular. Provides a flow of prana to the right arm and right leg. It’s flow begins at Muladhara and ends at Manipura Chakra.
Pusha Nadi; Right eye. Provides prana to the right eye. It’s flow begins at the Muladhara chakra and ends at the Ajna chakra.
Vishwodari Nadi; Digestive System. Provides prana to the organs related to the digestive system. It starts at Muladhara and ends at Manipura Chakra.
Kuhu Nadi; Genitals. Provides prana flow to the genitals. It’s flow begins at Muladhara chakra and ends at the Svadhisthana Chakra.
Saraswati Nadi; Throat, tongue & mouth. Provides prana flow to the throat, mouth, and tongue. It’egins at Muladhara and ends at the Vishuddhi chakra.
Alambusha Nadi; Elimination. Provides prana to the organs responsible for the elimination of waste. It’s flow begins at the anus and ends at the mouth, moving through the Muladhara Chakra.
How to balance and activate Ida, Pingala and Sushumna
Through pranayama breathwork, meditation, visualization and even chanting and mudras you can activate, balance and restore the energy of the Nadi system. Chakra and Nadi meditations can awaken dormant kundalini shakti in the muladhara and Kanda activating spiritual awakening.
Nadi Pranayama Practices
Pranayam for Pingala Nadi
Inhale through right nostril, exhale through left nostril
Pranayama for Ida Nadi
Inhale through left nostril, exhale through right nostril
Balancing Ida & Pingala (Althernate nostril breathing)
Exhale and Inhale through the right nostril, switching and exhale and inhale through left nostril.
Chanting OM is the most basic and fundamental chant for nadi activation, as OM is the primal sound of the Universe.
Nadi Tongue Mudra
With your mouth closed roll your tongue up to touch the roof of the mouth. See how far back toward the throat you can extend your tongue, ultimately contacting the soft palate.
Keep your tongue in this mudra as long as you can or during your nadi meditation or hatha yoga practice.
You can also practice this mudra while sitting, doing light activities or walking.
Nadi Hand Mudra
All fingers and thumbs touch, pinky to pinky, index to index, middle to middle, pointer to pointer, thumb to thumb.
Helps with connecting all meridians, closing the body circuitry so no loose wires, mental focus, and prana and nadi strengthening.
Nadi meditation that will activate and intensify the nadi energy throughout the body as well as support kundalini awakening. It is best to do this meditation for one hour, 60 minutes with some nadi shadhana and Surya Bhedana and Chandra Bhedana right before. Try to visualize each element in equal intervals; Kanda, Ida & Pingala, Sushumna. Use the Khechari tongue mudra and Hakini hand mudra to intensify the energy during this meditation practice.
Intense single pointed concentration on the Kanda, Ida & Pingala and Sushumna. Ida and Pingala concentration are done together. This nadi concentration meditation, is where you bring all your focused attention to the nadi’s to awaken the kundalini within the entire body, most especially up the Sushumna Nadi, that great centralized river, fountain of joy, powerful core subtle energy field within the subtle body. Focus on this vital, core energy system of the body as a part of your existence, focus into the nadi area of your existence… nothing can awaken without awareness. Where attention goes, energy flows.
Bring all your focused concentration to the stationary egg shaped root situated below the navel or bee boo and above the pubis bone. Suspended in the center of the pelvis.
Ida & Pingala Concentration
Visualize, activate, experience, sense, expand and intensify the natural, playful and passionate flowing dance as the Ida and Pingala spiral up and around the Sushmna Nadi, criss crossing in a double helical formation.
Visualize, intensify, activate, experience, sense and expand the Great River Sushumna. Sushumna is the powerful energy center that flows from the Root chakra to the Crown chakra and beyond.
Description of Elements
The egg is situated in this root energy field within your body, connected to both the umbilical area and the root chakra. You want to see the egg situated upright, so the wider area of the egg is on the bottom or pubis and the pointier side is facing upward toward the crown. It is in the very middle of the pelvic area suspended under the navel and above the pubis, right in the center of the hips. It is the size of the area within your pelvis, and it’s size is not as important as the intensity of energy it can contain… which is immeasurable at this time because it continues to increase every instant.
The egg shaped root is where all your original energy is accessed, all energy that comes into the body must first come through the root or Kanda. Even the chakras, meridians, kosha’s energy systems must clear within the Kanda or root energy center for the human/animal species.
Also, energy from the Kanda or root can extend forth vitality to any area of the body including all the physical and subtle systems.
You need to visualize and bring concentration to the Kanda by seeing it first as unmoving. It is the part of your consciousness that is unmoving, it doesn’t change at all. In shape, color, size… only in intensity and love.
This is very important because this is where the Mind is completely still and one point of focus, with no movement, no judgments, no conversations at all other than your conversation of “Thank you Kanda” and bringing your attention to it.
It may arise as a color or little bit different shape, go with your firm and most common visualization. However, make sure it has qualities within it like light, vitality, joy, freedom, vibrance, well being, confidence, security, boundless love, infinite wisdom. As you continue to bring your focused attention to the Kanda, although it doesn’t change the intensity of light builds, intensifies and grows… see that occurring.
As you bring your attention to the Kanda, make it a sacred connection. Honor this energy center called the Kanda within you, it is the most fundamental aspect of your energy body, without it’s vibrancy, the Anamaya kosha or physical body cannot live. Without it’s vibrancy the subtle body or pranamaya kosha cannot live. This center deserves respect, honor and devotion. Try to create a deep emotional response of love and devotion to the Kanda, or primal energy that creates all that is in the physical.
This area within you is where your life force energy is Sourcing from the Soul Power, or Universal Mind. This is the most fundamental aspect of your being and been said to be the first and primal connection from subtle body to physical Universe, for the purpose of the physical body to manifest.
Ida & Pingala Concentration;
The Ida Nadi begins at the root chakra at the tip of the tail on the left side of the Sushumna and the Pingala Nadi begins at the root chakra on the right side of the Sushumna. They criss cross up the Sushumna Nadi or Great River in a double helix spiral meeting 5 of the chakras… naval, solar plexus, heart, throat and third eye, finally ending at the left (Ida) and right (Pingala) nostrils.
When the natural flow of the Ida and Pingala spiraling up the Sushumna is thought about, sensed into, visualized and imagined it naturally, quantitatively effects the subtle body and activates more energy and vitality through these nadi’s. We can do this in many ways during this 20 minute period, see the flow in your mind’s eye as playful flows of energy from your root to the 3rd eye, the Kanda up and out the crown. See these two flows of energy dancing separately, only to meet in joyful celebration at each chakra, energizing that chakra. See the playful, alive and flowing dance of yin and yang, masculine and feminine. This attention will bring energy, passion and joy to your nadi’s. Your visualization of the spectacular dance of Ida and Pingala playfully spiraling up the Sushumna you will intensify the vitality of these nadi’s and the overall subtle energy of the body. In your mind’s eye begin to add colors and dimensions to your visulizations of the pure existent play of Ida and Pingala, masculine and feminine in it’s most natural form unifying and creating together with rapture and joy… all within you on the subtle level. How aware can you be sensually of these energies? Do you think it would benefit you to get more attentive to these subtle bodies within you?
The sushumna nadi runs from the base of the spine (muladhara chakra) up and out the crown of the head (sahasrara chakra). Visualize this fountain of great joy as vibrantly rising up from the muladhara, surging powerfully through the core of the spinal column up and out the crown with passion and intensity. This Sushumna or Brahma Nadi once activated to a certain intensity allows awakening on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Visualize the powerful energy surging up the spine as white or light yellow, like rays of sunshine, pure vibrant light, clear and radiant. This light is alive, vibrant, intense and filled with all-loving intelligence, beauty and grace. It is a warm, soothing, and inspiring light that flows powerfully up the spine in waves of ecstasy. Use your imagination to visualize this intense all loving and brilliantly bright healing and activating light surge up your spine naturally and powerfully.