Sunday, 28 May 2017

Beginners' guide to the nadis

Image for illustration purposes only

Just as you have channels for the flow of blood and lymph in your body, you also have channels for the flow of prana, the life force.  The word nadis comes from the Sanscrit 'nad' meaning 'channel' or 'stream' and there are 72,000 of these channels supplying all the cells of your body with life force energy.  This energy goes not only to physical and mental activity but is necessary for spiritual development. It is therefore important to keep these nadis free of congestion and blockages.  The beauty of yoga is that through the asanas and breathing practices, it is able to do this thereby increasing our wellbeing.  

Also just as your circulatory system has major vessels, the arteries and veins as well as capillaries, there are three major nadis.  The shushumna runs from the base of the spine to the crown of the head through energy vortexes known as chakras where energy channels cross (next week we will look at these in more detail).  Spiraling around the shushumna in a double helix run two other nadis, ida and pingala.  All three end at a point between the eyebrows where the third eye chakra is located.  Ida represents feminine moon energy - cool, intuitive and nurturing whereas pingala represents masculine sun energy - warm, rational and dynamic.  All of us, whether male or female have both masculine and feminine energies which may vary throughout the day.  Hatha literally means sun/moon and its focus is bringing these two energies into balance.  When they are in balance the shushumna energy channel can open leading ultimately to enlightenment.  A good way to start to do balance ida and pingala is by practicing Alternate Nostril Breathing, nadi shodhana because ida connects to the left nostril and pingala to the right.  Please see my You Tube Channel for the video, 'Oh no it's Monday! Breathing technique for calming' for how to practice Alternate Nostril Breathing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dY-NtZkAtQ

Namaste,

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