Nadi is a Sanskrit word which may be translated as “tube”, “pipe”, “channel”, or “flow”. The Nadis are the channels through which the energies of the subtle body flow, the life force energy known as “Prana”. They are closely associated with the nervous system, stemming from and intertwining with the chakras.
Ayurveda mentions seventy-two thousand Nadis. Tantra Yoga identifies 14 principle nerves, each relating to the traditional organs of the body.
Three of these are considered the most important and are as follows:
– IDA NADI: Ida is a Sanskrit word which means “comfort”. It starts and ends to the left of the Susumna, terminating in the left nostril, but is also connected to the left testicle in males. Ida Nadi is feminine energy with a cooling effect. It is introverted and is associated with the right side of the brain and the left side of the body. It is also called “chandra” or “moon” Nadi since it is associated with lunar energy. Ida Nadi controls all of the mental processes. It carries pranic energy and nourishes and purifies the body and the mind.
– PINGALA NADI: Pingala is a Sanskrit word which means “tawny”. It starts and ends to the right of Susumna and courses from the right testicle in males and culminates in the right nostril. Pingala Nadi is masculine energy and has heating temperature, adding vitality, physical strength and efficiency. It governs the right side of the body and the left side of the brain. It is also called “suria” or “sun” nadi since it is related to solar energy. It controls all of the vital processes. Pingala is extroverted.