Nadis: Pranic Power Channels of the Physique
In a earlier article on Yoga Physiology, I wrote concerning the Pancha Kosha (the 5 Layers of Existence) and talked about the subject of Nadis or Power Channels. On this article, I’ll talk about Nadis in a bit extra element. Please bear in mind that is nonetheless a really fundamental overview written for these simply getting into the subject of yoga physiology and the apply of tantra.
In classical yoga physiology, nadis are energetic pathways which type a matrix all through the human physique. These channels will not be thought-about as bodily, measurable or dissectible constructions. They’re “that which underlies and sustains life inside the physique.” In increased states of meditation and yoga apply the nadis may be perceived as flows of sunshine, warmth, shade, or sound.
Nadis are conduits for Prana (Qi or very important life pressure). The classical texts recommend there are someplace between 72,000 and seven.2 million nadis. These are massive numbers and are extra philosophical than sensible. For our apply, we are going to concern ourselves with solely 5 main Nadis: Ida, Pingala, Arohan, Awarohan, and Sushuma. Almost about our practices, these channels are the principle conduits for vitality circulate.
- Sushuma: the central channel, runs from the mooladhara chakra close to the perinium to the highest of the pinnacle and is taken into account the channel of stability.
- Ida Nadi: follows a path up the left aspect of the physique and represents the moon or cool vitality.
- Pingala Nadi: runs up the proper aspect of the physique and represents the solar or scorching vitality.
- Arohan Nadi: travels the entrance of the physique between the mooladhara chakra and the highest of the pinnacle.
- Awarohan Nadi: travels the again of the physique between the highest of the pinnacle and the mooladhara on the base of the physique.
(These final two channels, the Arohan Nadi and Awarohan Nadi are primarily utilized in superior Hatha, Kriya and Tantric yoga practices, thus I’ll save the dialogue on these subjects for a later writing).
As for Ida and Pingala, the circulate of those channels (moon and solar) represents the fixed ebb and circulate of human existence. To see the significance of this idea we are able to look to the time period “Hatha” yoga.
The time period Hatha itself signifies Ida and Pingala in that the phrase “hatha” is made from two root mantras: Ham representing solar vitality or Pingala; and Tham representing moon vitality or Ida. Thus, the most important premise of Hatha Yoga is to discover a pure stability of those two forces inside the physique.
Very similar to acupuncture in Chinese language Medication, or the usage of marma factors in Ayurveda, the Asanas (postures) utilized in classical Hatha Yoga are designed to enhance well being by releasing up blockages of prana and facilitate the free circulate of important vitality all through the physique. Every other use is solely gymnastics.
As talked about, Pingala represents the photo voltaic polarity. It produces bodily vitality, dynamic exercise, and stress. It’s the extroverting pressure and customarily dominates in the course of the daytime.
Ida represents the lunar polarity. It’s chilly in nature and corresponds with the parasympathetic nervous system. Ida pertains to rest, considering, and passive exercise. Ida is mostly dominant in the course of the night hours and sleep.
Ida and Pingala dominance is instantly associated to the circulate of breath within the nostrils. At any given second one nostril is extra open than the opposite. When the circulate of breath is stronger within the left nostril, it signifies that Ida is dominant. When the circulate is stronger in the proper nostril it signifies that Pingala is dominant. When you find yourself sleepy or drowsy, you might be prone to discover the left nostril flows simpler. Conversely, when you’re bodily energetic, the proper nostril shall be extra energetic. Observing this phenomenon, the traditional yogis devised respiration and meditation strategies to control the flows of vitality so as to regulate the experiences of the pranic physique.