What Are the Nadis Made of?

Published: Jul 24, 2023 | Revised: Jan 9, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Yoga Nadi Constituents and Substance

If the Yoga Nadis are invisible but still actually exist, what are they made of and what do they look like? That’s a question that naturally arises when thinking about substance and components of the Pranic Energy Channels.

From out an Indian pranic point of view i.e. the Pancha Kosha concept, there exists a subtle body within or coexisting with and influencing our visible physical body. This subtle body is called the Prana Maya Kosha and the Yoga Nadis are said to be located here, having a structure of pranic, etheric, or astral matter, that is, subtle matter which canalizes subtle breath (Prana).

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Now, let’s say that that’s all true, for there are indeed things (matter) we cannot see, not even with the strongest microscopes, such as, for instance, atoms and electrons, and the like. Nevertheless, the existence of atoms can be inferred, and well, maybe that will also happen for Prana and or astral matter — someday.

But then, what do the individual energy lines, pathways, meridians, Nadis, or channels look like? Are the Yoga Nadis like tubes or canals, strings, cords, flat, thick, wide, and what is their diameter? Are there differences in size and throughput depending on being a principal Nadi or a branch Nadi?

Are the Nadi pathways perhaps formed just by the trajectories taken by Prana Life Force, that is, do they only contain Prana, are they made of Prana, like the tracks ants take from point A to point B which only consists of ants and nothing more?

And if the Nadis are actually only composed of Prana, it would mean that they are made of the Vayu Element (Wind Element). Then again, some scholars claim that Prana goes beyond the Five Elements and is actually that what creates them, being the source of Life itself.

Or is the substance of the Nadis made of “connective tissue” or “myofascial tissue” which nowadays is one of the modern ways of interpreting them. Or was it all a mistake, and were the Nadis simply an ancient way of describing our nerve or blood circulatory system?

Are they porous (permeable), do they pass through other (gross) matter, and how do the Nadis actually interconnect? Is it like a multi-connective web or rather a network with single connections?

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Studying the trajectories of the Yoga Nadis we can also observe that some channels and their branches overlap, as such making the Nadi network a firmly interlinked system, like a body within a body, just as, for instance, our blood circulatory system.

There’s also the idea that the Nadis can “break,” can be “blocked,” “opened”, and/or “healed,” which suggests that they are made of physical matter instead of being “purely energetic.”

Now, of course, Albert Einstein taught us that “E = mc2 i.e. energy = matter,” or in any case that the one can become the other depending on the circumstances, which also means that the same thing can be visible or invisible depending on its “state,” and moreover, depending on how you look at it.

In the latter sense, we perhaps need to associate the substance of the Nadis rather with the Ayurvedic Pancha Bhoota, the Five Elements, which can appear as either matter or energy, where matter and energy are indeed considered certain “states” of the Elements.

Nevertheless, many of the questions mentioned above are rarely ever really addressed (or even asked), and I suppose there are probably no satisfying answers. Not yet anyway.

Moreover, I don’t know if it really matters to have a better understanding of these aspects. In the end, it’s perhaps about what we believe in, because what we believe in, visualize, or imagine often seems to work, even if things are only a placebo.

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