Subtle Energy Channels

Subtle Energy Channels

6 Min read
Posted on Jan 24, 2023

Subtle Energy Channels

The pathways of energy that run through the subtle body may not be visible to us, but they contain a tremendous amount of power and have the ability to assist us in feeling our best in both body and mind. In this article, we investigate the three energy channels that you are most likely to hear about in a yoga class: Kundalini, Sushumna, Ida, and Pingala. We also discuss how to employ these energy channels to achieve peace, creativity, vitality, and maybe even enlightenment...

The beginnings

Ancient civilizations had a radically different perspective on the intricate workings of the human body's inside tens of thousands of years before the invention of X-rays and MRIs. Holistic medical systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Tibetan medicine, and Ayurveda understood that even though we can't see them, there are countless channels, vortices, and layers of energy running through us. These systems also understood that these energies are interconnected in complex ways. These energy pathways are referred to as meridian lines in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), although the Yogis of India were the ones who initially termed them Nadis. You may have encountered these subtle energy pathways in the past if you've ever taken a Kundalini yoga session, studied pranayama, or engaged in any form of visualisation. However, do you know how to interact with them in order to elicit significant effects?

Energy channels

It is believed that there are about 72,000 subtle energy channels that flow throughout the body. While veins and arteries are responsible for transporting blood and oxygen, these unseen channels are responsible for transporting prana and Qi, also known as our "vital force energy." The ancients were aware that a blockage or deficiency in the Nadis or meridians could result in a variety of physical, psychological, and emotional imbalances. In the same way that a problem within the veins and arteries can result in physical issues, the ancients were aware that this was also the case. In recent years, researchers have even found that the meridian lines correspond perfectly to the lines of fascia. Fascia is a connective tissue that is not only responsible for maintaining physical wellbeing, but that also has the potential to hold emotions as well. You can think of it as holding "issues in your tissues."

Within yogic texts, there are three channels of energy that can help to change our energetic state and encourage a powerful energy known as Kundalini to rise up the spine to the top of the head, which is where the upper Chakras (powerful energy centres) are found, potentially resulting in a state of bliss and enlightenment. These three channels of energy can be activated through the practise of certain asanas (postures) and breathing exercises. Sushumna, Ida, and Pingala are the names given to these three energy pathways in the body. When we excite these energy channels through breathwork or other techniques, as scientific study has revealed, it may have a very substantial influence not just on the body but also on the mind. This is similar to the way that stimulating the meridian lines can have an effect.

Kundalini energy

The Muladhara Chakra is located at the very bottom of the spine, and it is our most fundamental and fundamentally basic energy centre. Simply below this threshold is thought to be an abundance of potential energy just ready to move. Think of this as the potential we have to feel our most strong and alive, euphoric and enlightened.

According to the teachings of the yogis, engaging in practises such as pranayama, meditation, mantra, and asana can help clear the path for this energy to flow, allowing us to realise our full mental, physical, and spiritual potential. This potential energy is portrayed in several texts as a coiled snake poised to spring. This is referred to as Kundalini, which comes from the Sanskrit phrase for a "coiled female snake" and means "coiled" or "round." In some circles, it is also known by the name "Shakti." When the potent feminine energy known as Shakti is reawakened by the practise of yoga, it travels to the crown of the head, where it converges with the powerful male energy known as Shiva.

Sushumna Nadi

Sushumna Nadi is the primary energy channel that the Kundalini Shakti uses to ascend up the length of the spine and all the way to the crown of the head. It begins at the base of the spine and continues all the way to the top of the head. The term, which may be translated as "joyful mind" or "most gracious mind," suggests that when this energy channel is open and free-flowing, we experience a mental and emotional state that is happier and more elevated. This is because the channel is clear. It is possible to hear people refer to the Sushumna Nadi as the Brahma Nadi. In this context, "Brahma" refers to the divine, the absolute, or a form of God. Some may believe that when experiencing experiences of ecstasy and joy, that they’re able to connect to their idea of divinity or Godliness.

The seven primary chakras can be found at various points along this primary subtle energy channel, which runs from the tailbone to the crown of the head. These are: Muladhara, Svadisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddi, Ajna and Sahasrara. The potential Kundalini Shakti energy at the base of the spine is able to flow upward along the Sushumna Nadi only when the chakras are'spinning' effectively and when they are in a healthy condition of balance without any obstructions. The practise of meditating on the chakras, executing asanas such as twists, inversions, and backbends to encourage energy to flow through them, and practising various types of pranayama (breathing methods) are all designed to build a clean route for energy to flow through. Kriyas are a collection of particular yoga practises that are designed to balance the chakras and awaken the potential feminine energy at the base of the spine. If you have ever attended a Kundalini yoga session, it is possible that you have also participated in the practise of Kriyas.

Taking breaths in and out via the nose

Pranayama is a set of breathing exercises, and usually always the emphasis is placed on breathing in and out via the nose. This is an underestimated yet highly crucial capacity humans have. Its significance has been brought to more people's attention in recent years because to the proliferation of practises like yoga and books like "Breath" by James Nestor and "Oxygen Advantage" by Patrick McKeown, both of which emphasise the necessity of proper breathing.

People have evolved to breathe via their noses, which filters out dust and bacteria from the air as it passes through the nasal passages and enables the body to absorb oxygen effectively. We’re also able to breathe considerably more efficiently, improving oxygen saturation in the blood, brain and tissues, as well as altering the neurological system. The sheer act of breathing via the nose itself works to enlarge the nasal passageways and enhance respiratory function. Because of this, many people who have troubles with their respiratory system find that pranayama is good for them.

Which nostril, the left or the right?

The mere act of training oneself to inhale and exhale via the nose is not the only thing that is beneficial to us. The nostril through which we choose to breathe can also have a significant influence on our overall state of being. Swara Yoga is an ancient kind of yoga that focuses on the movement, patterns, and force of the breath. It is accompanied by a series of lyrics that are kept fairly clandestine. James Nestor outlines this phenomenon in his book titled "Breath," in which he says, "The Shiva Swarodaya describes how one nostril will open to let breath in as the other will softly close throughout the day." On some days, the left nostril yawns awake to welcome the fullness of the moon, whereas on other days, the right nostril yawns open to greet the sun.

These rhythms of left and right nostril activation are referred to as "nasal cycles," and they are strongly impacted by the activities of the sun and moon. The book indicates that these rhythms are shared by all of mankind, and anecdotal investigations demonstrate that this is the case as well. Studies have also shown that the nostrils do, in fact, move places during the day, and this change is often in response to how we are feeling emotionally as well as the surroundings we are in.

Restore your equilibrium

Due to the fact that this Pranayama method may be executed in two distinct ways, the practise can either quiet an overly busy mind or reawaken a mind that has become too sleepy, depending on how the Yin and Yang energy of your body are balanced and cleared using acupressure and Nadi Shodhana. Additionally, pent-up feelings, stress, and exhaustion may be released, which, in and of itself, can be quite therapeutic.