The Three Fundamental Nadis - Ida, Pingala and Sushumna

Sadhguru speaks about the three fundamental nadis or energy pathways in the system, the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna.

Sadhguru speaks about the three fundamental nadis or energy pathways in the system, the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna.

Sadhguru: Within the spine, if you know its physical construction, you will know there are two holes on either side of the spine which are like conduit pipes for all the nerves to pass. This is the Ida and the Pingala, the left and the right channels.

In the Pranamayakosha or the energy body, there are 72,000 nadis. The 72,000 nadis spring from three basic nadis – the left, the right and the central – the Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. The word “nadi” does not mean nerve. Nadis are pathways or channels of prana in the system. These 72,000 nadis don’t have a physical manifestation. In the sense, if you cut the body and look in, you will not find them. But as you become more aware, you will notice the energy is not moving at random, it is moving in established pathways. There are 72,000 different ways in which the energy or prana moves.

Only when energies enter into Sushumna, life really begins.

The Ida and Pingala represent the basic duality in the existence. It is this duality which we traditionally personify as Shiva and Shakti. Or you can simply call it masculine and feminine, or it can be the logical and the intuitive aspect of you. It is based on this that life is created. Without these two dualities, life wouldn’t exist as it does right now. In the beginning, everything is primordial, there is no duality. But once creation happens, there is duality.

When I say masculine and feminine, I am not talking in terms of sex – about being male or female – but in terms of certain qualities in nature. Certain qualities in nature have been identified as masculine. Certain other qualities have been identified as feminine. You may be a man, but if your Ida is more pronounced, the feminine may be dominant in you. You may be a woman, but if your Pingala is more pronounced, the masculine may be dominant in you.

Bringing a balance between the Ida and Pingala will make you effective in the world, it will make you handle life aspects well. Most people live and die in Ida and Pingala; Sushumna, the central space, remains dormant. But Sushumna is the most significant aspect of human physiology. Only when energies enter into Sushumna, life really begins.


Fundamentally, Sushumna is attribute-less, it has no quality of its own. It is like empty space. If there is empty space, you can create anything you want. Once energies enter into Sushumna, we say you attain to Vairagya. “Raga,” means color. “Vairag,” means no color, you have become transparent. If you have become transparent, if what is behind you is red, you turn red too. If what is behind you is blue, you turn blue too. If what is behind you is yellow, you turn yellow too. You are unprejudiced. Wherever you are, you become a part of that, but nothing sticks to you. Only if you are like this, only if you are in a state of Vairag, then you will dare to explore all dimensions of life when you live here.

Right now, you are reasonably balanced, but if for some reason the outside situation goes crazy, you will also go crazy in reaction to that because that is the nature of Ida and Pingala. It is reactive to what is outside. But once the energies enter into Sushumna, you attain to a new kind of balance, an inner balance where whatever happens outside, there is a certain space within you which never gets disturbed, which is never in any kind of turmoil, which cannot be touched by the outside situations. Only if you create this stable situation within yourself, you will dare to scale the peaks of consciousness.

Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Sadhguru’s discourse at the Isha Hatha Yoga School’s 21-week Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program. The program offers an unparalleled opportunity to acquire a profound understanding of the yogic system and the proficiency to teach Hatha Yoga. The next 21-week session begins on July 16 to Dec 11, 2019. For more information, visit or mail

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5 years ago

best to do your kriya without will find balance and stability naturally.

7 years ago

You get to access sushumna in the Shoonya programme, which you can participate after reaching some balance by doing Shambhabi for some time.

5 years ago

hi i have schizophrenia/schizoaffectiv disorder it is switching between these too . i have taken medication and they have made it worse and they are not any help how can i heal my self . for the longest time i have not felt any emotion am unable to feel any any sadnees sorrow grief or any emotion. my center on my forehead is not able to hold ,the focus point of my mind is moving around its like my eyes are seeing something and my mind is looking at something else they both are not connectedam hardly able to function what is the solution for this i have tired countless modern doctors ayurvedic doctors and other kind of doctors but none are able to help me . i have tired sambavi but when i do sambavi my center only holds for 2secs and that it. can some one help me with this what is the solution for this please help

7 years 3 months ago

I Bow down ! Bless me sadhguru

6 years 2 months ago

Hi madam
This happenning because of fear and blocks, u have sarpa dhosha, moon not placed in good position, wear pearl in the right hand index finger, so far u have fear accordingly, kindly wear vaiduryan, these two chemical property highly required for the physical balance and spiritual pratice.
vaidurya helps breath travel smooth through nadi without fear, u have proper balance mind wearing pearl. water not in control worship chandra deva on every pournami with chandra deva mantra. Get well soon

Thank you isha foundation


4 years 4 months ago


7 years 3 months ago

I want to join you how can I do so???

6 years 2 months ago

Ida...pingla...represent heat...cold..of the body.....please enlighten....

7 years 3 months ago

first get your energy into your sushumna, then you can apply by filling in the admission form with your name , date of birth, age , eye color, identification and history of stomach upset if any ..

6 years 2 months ago

Now I have got some insights on what is dual existance by energy levels and how it could be balanced for maturity and awakening.

7 years 3 months ago


6 years 1 month ago

Parham sadhguru
Is there any age or health limit to participate in shoonya program?

7 years 3 months ago

Search for programs in If you are in India. You cannot ask for more. I miss India!

5 years 8 months ago

I have attended " "Stay in mahima with sadhguru program" in Oct 2011, it was really wonderful experience really anything with him is unbelivale

7 years 3 months ago

Thank you Sadhguru... I am still reactive to outside situations...

5 years 1 month ago

Hello, I have mild scoliosis and some leg pain caused from it. I have practiced yoga off and on during the years and am a dancer so I'm athlectic, but have pain. I am wanting to deepen my spiritual and yogic journey and plan to come to the ashram in august. Are there any programs that I should start with to heal and align my spine? Also have you all had any students with my sort of problem that have success as far as healing and strengthening their spines?

Thank you

7 years 3 months ago

Whichever city you are in, please find out if you have a Isha Yoga Center. You need to begin with Inner Engineering program. Or you can do the program in the AShram at Coimbatore.

5 years 1 month ago

When this divine energy (Kundalini) awakens and rises through the Shusumna Nadi,this is termed as the" second birth"

7 years 3 months ago

My Guru pranams

Hope u know my problem bcos in my thoughts i keep telling this problem of mine to u.

i dizziness and imbalance state after meditation. Even a small 20mins of meditation after enchanting AUMmm puts me to a state of imbalance - i was having severe virtigo attack in 2008 / related problems and was undergoing treatment for several years. now stopped all my medications but still...unable to practise the shambavi mahamudra too....During my 7 day class in chennai i did not find much of problem...but later unable to practise becos i get a jerking problem during my sleep. My eyes seem to have a blurred vision. When i went to an Ayurvedic doctor he told i've a spine problem. Before any meditation u must seek experts advice. Please help. Can i continue this or must do under supervision.

5 years ago

OK but how? How do we get the side energies to enter sushumna and to live from there?

7 years 2 months ago

Shambho! shambho Shambho. with you allways!

5 years ago

Namaskar Kavita, and sorry for the delay!! i only now came across this. i hope this has been sorted, but if not, i would suggest you check your doctor, as the kriya cannot cause such issues. i would suggest you also go to your local center and ask a teacher to check your kriya.

7 years 2 months ago

I am on the 40th day after my inner eng ..doing my kriyas dutifully ..can i reach the state of entering sushmana only by doing kriyas..bcoz my goal of life is to reach the state where no outside factor effects me.