Beat the Christmas Bloat
Whether it’s Christmas indulgence or long distance flights (like me), this time of year the belly bloat can really take hold…
13 January 2023
Inversions boost the blood flow around the body, clearing any debris that may be blocking one or all of our magical energy channels.
We may not be able to see them, but the channels of energy flowing through the subtle esoteric body hold immense power and potential to help us feel and be the best version of ourselves in body, mind and soul.
When we honour and create freedom in the energy channels, we create calmness, creativity, and move one step closer to enlightenment.
Thousands of years before X-rays and MRIs, ancient civilisations regarded the intricate workings of the inner body in a very different way. Across the East, holistic medical systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM),
Tibetan medicine and Ayurveda understood that, even though we can’t see them, there are countless channels, vortexes and layers of energy running through us.
TCM refers to these channels of energy as meridian lines, whilst the Yogis of India first called them Nadis.
It is said that there are over 72,000 subtle channels of energy running through the body. Whilst veins and arteries carry blood and oxygen, these invisible channels carry prana and Qi – our ‘life force energy’.
The ancients understood (and I have to say I agree) that, just as a problem within veins and arteries can result in physical issues, a blockage or deficiency within the Nadis and meridians can manifest as various physical, psychological and emotional imbalances.
In recent years, researchers have even found that the meridian lines correspond perfectly to the lines of fascia!
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 – where the upper Chakras (powerful energy centres) are found – potentially resulting in a state of bliss and enlightenment.
These three channels are known as Sushumna, Ida and Pingala. Just like the meridian lines, scientific research has also found that when we stimulate these energy channels through yoga or breathwork, it can have an immense effect upon the mind and body too.
At the very base of the spine, we find our lowest and most primal base energy centre – Muladhara Chakra. Just below this point is said to be an abundance of potential energy just waiting to move. Think of this as the potential we have to feel our most powerful and vibrant, ecstatic and enlightened. It is often represented as a coiled serpent.
Yoga can help clear the way for this kundalini Shakti energy to flow, so that we can reach our highest potential in body, mind and soul . Hip openers are my fave to release the shakti energy. Hip openers upside down are even better, because we can send that shakti energy straight to the higher chakras!
This potential energy is represented in many texts as a coiled snake, waiting to come alive. This is known as ‘coiled’ or ‘circular’, from the Sanskrit term ‘coiled female serpent’. It is also referred to as ‘Shakti’. When this powerful feminine, Shakti energy, is awakened through yoga practice, it rises to the top of the head to meet with the masculine energy known as Shiva.
Running up the length of the spine and all the way to the top of the head, Sushumna Nadi is the main channel of energy that the Kundalini Shakti rises up through.
Translated as ‘joyful mind’ or ‘most gracious mind’, when this channel of contentment is clear and flowing freely, we reap the rewards of a happier and more uplifted mental and emotional state.
Sometimes, Sushumna Nadi is referred to as Brahma Nadi, with ‘Brahma’ representing the divine absolute or a form of God. That’s how amazing it feels!
Along this main subtle energy channel are located the seven main chakras, from the tailbone to the top of the head.
These are: Muladhara, Svadisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddi, Ajna and Sahasrara.
When the chakras are free to spin and maintain an optimum state of balance without any blockages, the potential Kundalini Shakti energy at the base of the spine is free to flow upward along Sushumna Nadi.
Pingala (right channel)
Pingala, also called ‘the sun channel’, begins at your Swadisthan chakra and travels up the right side of your body, terminating in the ego area of the brain. The ego is the area of your brain that gives you a sense of individualism and self, as distinct from others. It is the ego that allows you to relate to yourself as “me” or “I.”
Your right energy channel influences your ability to plan and take action for the future. It also plays a role in negative emotions such as anger, irritability and stress. Your right channel thinks in terms of “I,” “mine,” and “myself.” Overdo any of these and you may become unpleasant to be around.
However, you also benefit from having a strong sense of self: it’s an act of balance (that’s another blog).
Yoga and meditation have the power to indicate to you when your right channel energy is too high and it’s time to cool down and rebalance.
IDA (left channel)
Ida nadi also known as ‘the moon channel’, begins at the Muladhara chakra and travels up the left side of your body, terminating in the superego area on the right side of your mind-brain.
The superego is the storehouse of all your memories, past lives, habits and conditionings. Your superego is also the area of your brain that encourages moral behavior.
Our left energy channel influences our emotions, feelings and desires. It is also connected to our memories and past experiences.
Feeling extremes of emotion such as depression, gloominess and brooding, can be a sign to start clearing your left channel.
Breathing techniques are an amazing way to do this. Breath that you draw in through the left nostril and into the ida nadi affects the right hemisphere of your brain. It also activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which results in a relaxation response.
As well, trying my headstand tutorial to get your channels flowing freely, why not try alternative nostril breathing 👇
Place your thumb on your right nostril. With this nostril covered, close your eyes and exhale fully and slowly through your left nostril.
Once you’ve exhaled completely, release your right nostril and put your ring finger on the left nostril. Breathe in deeply and slowly from the right side.
Repeat for 7, think of clearing each chakra and all 3 channels.
Left Nostril : Ida Nadi, Left side of the body, Right Brain dominance, the feminine and creative principle.
Right Nostril: Pingala Nadi, Right side of the body, Left Brain dominance, the masculine and analytical principle.
Would love to know how you feel after this…do you feel connected with your energy channels? When you connect to the subtle body it’s a game changer, I promise!
Any questions on any of the above, please get in touch @estellemylyslife or email@example.com
Love & light always Estelle