Introduction to Nadi Suddhi or Nadi Shodhana Pranayam
Name : NADIS OR ASTRAL CHANNELS
Meaning : Nadi means flow or current. Nadis are sometimes equated to the nerves. Actually it is not so as nadis are composed of astral material. Nadis are subtle channels or ducts for the flow of vital pranic energy or bio-energy in the body in the same way as the endocrinal glands produce hormones and send them into the blood stream without any ducts or channels. Such glands are the pineal, the pituitary, the thyroid, para-thyroid, thymus, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries and testes. According to yogis there are more than 725 million such nadis in the pranic (energy) body of humans. Of the many such nadis in the psychic body 14 are more important, and of these 3 are chiefly important-The IDA NADI, the PINGALA NADI, and the SUSHUMNA NADI.
- The Ida emanates from the left of Mooladhara chakra at the bottom of the spinal cord and going through the svadhisthana, manipura, anahata and vishuddhi chakras it ends at the ajna chakra in the middle of the eyebrows.
- The Pingala traverses the same path but on the right side of the body.
- The Sushumna is situated just in the center of the spinal cord.
- Ida and Pingala are pathways of the two polar opposites of life energy flowing within the human body.
- Ida, also called the Chandra Nadi , corresponds to negative energy and Pingala, also called the Surya Nadi , corresponds to positive energy in the human body.
- Ida is associated with the left nostril and Pingala with the right nostril.
- Sushumna Nadi acts as a thermostat to balance the opposite characteristics of the other two.
- When the two nadis are purified and balanced the mind becomes cool and tranquil. This happens when the energy flows through the Sushumna nadi only.
- In human physiology the two nadis roughly correspond to the two halves of the autonomic nervous system-the sympathetic and the Para-sympathetic.
- Pingala coincides with the sympathetic and Ida with the Para-sympathetic.
- The sympathetic nervous system speeds up the activity of the heart, dilates the blood vessels, increases the respiratory rate and enhances the efficiency of the eyes, ears etc.
- The para-sympathetic nerves on the other hand are opposed to sympathetic nerves for they reduce the heartbeat, constrict the blood vessels and reduce the rate of respiration, and cool the body.