Learn how to create more energy for your daily activities and general wellness, with yogic breathwork.
In deep meditation, they saw that there are 72,000 conduits of life-force running within the body. These conduits or channels of life-force or “prana”, are called nadis in Sanskrit.
In various scriptures like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (from year 1350), the Yogayajnavalkya Samhita (written between the second century BCE and fourth century CE), or the Chandogya Upanishad (8th to 6th century BCE), these yogis explain that life-force or prana can become stagnant along the nadis, leading to the development of multiple health imbalances of the mind or the body.
It is curious to note also, that some people are born with tendencies toward being more dominant in certain nadis, like the Pingala nadi or the Ida nadi, which run psychically on the right and left side of the spinal cord. The great Swami Satyananda Saraswati describes the Pingala nadi dominant individuals, in his text Surya Namaskara- A Technique of Solar Vitalization, as being extroverts, having little access to internal experiences, and seeking to fill the inner void with external pleasures, desires and ambitions. These people, explains Swami Satyananda Saraswati, are prone to experiencing increased frustrations and inner tensions, which ironically, motivate a more outward seeking behaviour, perpetuating their discomfort and health imbalances. These are the individuals with overactive sympathetic nervous activity or who evolve predominantly on the “fight & flight” mode of their nervous system, and who thus create energy distortions in the flow of prana in their organs and bodily systems like heart-burn, ulcers, angina pectoris, IBS, high blood pressure, etc.
On the other hand, those people who are more Ida nadi dominant, have a parasympathetic nervous activity more dominant. They live on the “rest, digest, relax” mode of their nervous system, and tend to be introverted and daydreamers, being more in their dreams and not acting much on their thoughts. In this type of individuals, there is little happiness due to a generalized tendency to procrastinate. Due to a marked inactivity or aversion to exercise, they lack enough vital energy to carry out their dreams in the world. They tend to develop disorders of the body and the mind such as constipation, depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, cancer.
The good news is that both the “sympathetically dominant” and the “parasympathetically dominant” people can balance their energies by practicing yogic pranayama, along with yoga asana (physical exercise), and meditation.
The two major energy circuits in the body, Ida and Pingala nadis, can be regulated and controlled by means of the breath. If these currents are not flowing properly, it becomes quite evident in the breath. The yogis observed that there is a relationship between the air passing through the left nostril and electromagnetic currents passing along the left side of the vertebral column and, conversely, the relationship between breathing through the right nostril and electromagnetic currents passing along the right side of the vertebral column.
When it comes to practicing pranayama to balance the energies within, The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the first and most revered manual of yoga, states as follows: “If the air is inhaled through the left nostril, it should be expelled again through the right. Then breathing in through the right and retaining, it should be expelled through the left”. (2:10). This pranayama practice is called nadi shodhana and it brings about harmony in the whole system. It is extremely important in yoga to harmonize the pranic flow as this is how yoga helps us achieve higher and purer states of health & wellness of body and mind.
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