The Energy Channels of the Body
The Sanskrit term nadi means “flow”. The Nadis are the channels in the body which allow the flow of Energy–similar to the “meridians” of Traditional Chinese Medicine. There are many nadis in the body, and similar to the “flow” of a river, the nadis are like the rivers of energy that flow throughout the body. At the locations where these nadis come together, whirlpools of energy are created, or chakras. There are 72,000 nadis in the body. Of these, there are 14 major nadis, 3 of which are most important: ida, pingala, and sushumna.
Ida nadi originates at the root chakra (mooladhara) and flows up the left side of the spine into the center of the head, the third eye or ajna chakra. The left nostril is the opening through which we access ida nadi. It is associated with the moon and lunar energy flow, is feminine (yin), cooling, and enhances mental activity.
Pingala nadi also originates at mooladhara chakra and flows up the right side of the spine to ajna chakra. The right nostril is the opening through which we access pingala nadi. It is associated with the sun and solar energy flow, is masculine (yang), heating, and enhances physical activity.
Sushumna nadi is the central channel through which kundalini rises. At ajna chakra, the flows of ida and pingala merge with sushumna to ascend to the crown, awakening spiritual consciousness. The best way to activate sushumna nadi is through balancing and energizing the flows of ida and pingala.