If you’ve been feeling tired and not quite like yourself, find yourself saying—or typing—something you later regret, or assuming an unrealistic and worst-case scenario about a situation or what others think of you, it may be that you’re dealing with burnout from the last year. Or it could be that your ida nadi (pronounced EE-dhah NAH-dee) is blocked.
The early traditions of Hinduism inform the teachings of yoga and pertain more to the energetic than the physical aspect of the practice. These traditions define “nadis” as the thousands of energy channels in our body that connect the physical body, the subtle body (energetic and psychological body), and the causal body (soul). Think of nadis as pipes through which vital life energy flows.
There are three primary nadis that run from the lower back to the head: ida, pingala, and sushumna. Ida is situated on the left of the spine, pingala on the right, and sushumna in the center. The ida and pingala nadis spiral around the sushumna nadi, resembling a double helix of human DNA. At certain points, they cross each other along the spine, forming the chakras, or energy centers.
When the channels are clear, your energy, awareness, and consciousness can rise to their full potential, and you’re able to feel more at peace, understanding, and in harmony with yourself and your surroundings. Some schools of yoga—including raja, hatha, and Kundalini—are dedicated to spiritual awakening and healing through the nadis, specifically the ida.
See also: Wake Up Your Chakras With This Bija Mantra Meditation