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The Sushumna is the Central Energy Channel of the Body

Can you say Sushumna (shu-sh-oom-na)?

Gesundheit!

Yes, it is indeed a mouthful - a very important mouthful.

The Sushumna is the central energy channel or Nadi that travels the full length of the middle of the spinal cord. It is the channel through which pranic energy flows and through which we experience Kundalini Awakening.

It is this central channel that originates at the base of the spine, in the root chakra unites all 7 Chakras, connecting them all through this common shaft of energy.

(Photo compliments of common.wikimedia.org)


Partnering Energies

In addition to the Sushumna, there are two other channels on either side of the called:

  1. Ida - travelling along the left of the central channel (seen as the blue channel in the above diagram), and carries with it, the feminine energy of the moon. It too originates in the root chakra and ends in the left nostril.

  2. Pingula - travelling along the right of the central channel (seen as the yellow channel in the above diagram), and carries with it the masculine energy of the sun. It originates in the root chakra and ends in the right nostril.

The Ida and the Pingula form criss-crossing channels, travelling upwards in a serpentine like manner from left to right and crossing at each of the 7 chakras. As the Ida and Pingula cross the central line and meet with the sushumna in the center, they give the chakra its characteristic spin - that is, it creates at that level the vortex of energy associated with each chakra.

Accessing the Central Energy

According to ancient yogic texts, and from my own personal experience with this energy channel, we are able to move pranic energy up it in the following ways:

  • Through various healing techniques,
  • Yoga breathing exercises,
  • Kundalini Kriya's or specifically designed exercises sets,
  • With the use of the yogic locks, or bandhas.

If you are unfamiliar with ways to begin to work with this pranic energy, I would direct you to some of the links above. For me, I find that breath-work is the best way to first feel the energy moving within these channels.

In particular, since the Ida and Pingula are associated with the nostrils, I find that Alternate Nostril Breathing is a very valuable tool. Please take the time to review that page, and try out the exercise.

What does the Sushumna energy feel like?

Prana flowing in the sushumna is a very subtle feeling, but it can illicit feelings of peace and deep connection. It can feel like a warm waterfall travelling through the levels of the spine and is extremely alluring and calming.

The feeling of prana moving in this central channel, however beautiful, should not be mistaken for the power and charge of Kundalini energy moving up the spine in a full Kundalini Awakening Experience. These are very distinct experiences and if you have ever experience a Kundalini Awakening as I have, you will certainly know the difference.

I truly hope that you have the opportunity to work with the pranic energy within these subtle and powerful channels yourself.

For me, it is a beautiful feeling of being alive, aware and awake.

Yours in Wellness,

Dr. Lisa

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