The Nadis System

The word « Nadi » in sanskrit means « tube, conduit, vessel ». Therefore the nadis are a system of circuits through which prana circulates in the body (resembles the meridian system of Chinese medicine). According to many vedic scriptures, we possess around 72 000 nadis. But there are 3 main vessels that pass through the spine and the different chakras: ida, pingala and sushumna.

Under the wholeness spirit of  hatha yoga, the goal is to unify the 2 energetic forces of the body: the pranic energy and the mental one.

When the nadis system is blocked, our vital energy, prana, does not circulate through the chakras with fluidity and therefore someone’s physical and mental health can be affected.

When we speak of a mind-body-soul work, it is at this dimension that we realize a global  result. Asanas (postures), pranayamas (breathing exercises), dhyâna (meditation) and even chanting are the tools we use to help a better pranic flow through the nadis.


Nadi Ida :
Starting at Mooladhara Chakra, this nadi winds up to the left nostril. It is the nadi of mental energy.

Right hemisphere of brain

Left nostril

Ida is linked to inner consciousness : creativity, artistic sens, kinesthetic sens, space orientation, feeling, etc.

Nadi Pingala :

This nadi also starts at Mooladhara Chakra and in opposite, winds up to the right nostril.  It is the nadi of prana.

Left hemisphere of brain

Right nostril

Pingala is linked to external consciousness : analytic and logical senses, calculating, etc.

For the next paragraph, you need to understand that each of these nadis, like each of the brain hemisphere, alternate their functions under a 90 minutes cycle.

Nadi Sushumna :

When Ida and Pingala are well balanced and when they operate simultaneously, and therefore both nostrils are active, sushumna activates itself. This seems to happen in an opening of 1 to 4 minutes between the 90 minutes cycles.

Our goal is to increase the length of sushuma so we can reach an awakening state. When we are at this level of practice, it is suggested that we do not  waste our energy and therefore a yogic disciplined lifestyle is called for: light diet, isolation, meditation, a yogic lifestyle, but all of this with some flexibility (careful not to become to strict or austere).

A hermit lifestyle will facilitate results but if it is impossible to live this kind of life, we need to impose ourselves some changes and avoid activities and people that deplete our energy.

(For the image look at smaller characters for english)

© Véronique Pierre – It is absolutely forbidden to reproduce or use this image. All rights reserved