The word nadi is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘nad’ which means a hollow stalk, sound, vibration or resonance. Essentially the nadis are the tubes or ducts which transport life giving substances such as blood and plasma through the human body. In addition to their presence in our physical body, they are a feature of our subtle or spiritual body nourishing this aspect of our being with ‘prana’ or live-giving cosmic energy, as explained by BKS Iyengar (Light on Pranayama, page 32) ‘In our so-called subtle or spiritual bodies, which cannot be weighed or measured, they are channels for cosmic, vital, seminal and other energies as well as for sensations, consciousness and spiritual aura.’
Nadis originate in two areas, firstly from just below the navel (Kanda) and secondly from the heart. 72,000 nadis originate from the Kanda and spread throughout the body each one branching off into a further 72,000. 101 nadis emanate from the heart (both the spiritual and physical heart) and these split into a further 101 nadis which in turn split into 72,000 nadis.
Of all the nadis, the greatest significance is given to Ida, pingala and sushmna.
Nadi Suddhi means ‘purification of the nadis’ and this is achieved through various purificatory processes called Kriyas and breathing practices (see the assignments on pranayama). Purification of the Nadis leads to a healthy physical body (see HYP (10 Chapters) Ch4 v15 and Ch 4 v 27) and also has subtle and energetic effects HYP (10 Chapters) Ch 4 v 29)
BKS Iyengar, Light on Pranayama, The Crossroad Publishing Company, 2002.
Georg Feuerstein, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Inner Traditions International, 1989.
Georg Feuerstein, The Yoga Tradition, Homh Press,1998.
M.L. Gharote & Parimal Devnath, Kumkhaka Paddhati of Raghuvira, Lonavla yoga Institute, 2002.M.L.
Gharote & Parimal Devnath, Yuktabhavadeva of Bhavadeva Misra, Lonavla yoga Institute, 2002
M.L. Gharote, Applied Yoga, Lonavla yoga Institute, 1989.
Dr M.L. Gharote & Parimal Devnath, Hathapradipika, 10 chapters, 2002.