nāḍī in Ayurveda

Nārayana Nāḍī and Ayurvedic energetic assessment

By Monica Groover

In over a decade and a half of practice, nothing impresses people who have heard about Ayurveda like the mystic of the famous nāḍī. An Ayurveda practitioner touches your wrist and magically tells you amazing things about you-almost like a psychic reading.

This is not like a pulse assessment--rather it is reading the prana, the qi that flows in the body energetically, and just like reading tea leaves, an experienced practitioner can tell us what will come and has happened.

While this is an exaggerated scenario, the truth is that the nāḍī that I personally practice is a hot pot kitchari of mystical, spiritual energies with mental and physical vibrations mixed in.

I teach the Narayana nāḍī at my school-Narayana Ayurveda and Yoga Academy based out in Texas. This system utilizes meditation, yoga, mantras, and intuition. I invoke deities and use mantras to gather them on the tip of my fingers.

My fingertip feels the energy of the nāḍī just like a violinist or cellist uses the string to vibrate and create music. I just hear that music and translate it. In my years of teaching this system, most students who have been following the process of yoga or meditation do not have a problem "hearing" the nāḍī, or internally "visualizing" it through their third eye.

nāḍī is like checking strings

(Although there are some students that don't feel any vibrations in the fingertips at first--that happens!).

The problem my students who are learning this energy reading system for the first time have trouble translating these subtle energetic vibrations on their fingertips. Personally, I like to hear these vibrations, but they also manifest in my third eye. So, when I teach this system of vibration and energy emanating from nāḍī of a person, my job is not just to help my student "FIND" the vibration, but also hear it, visualize it and eventually translate it to wellness.

The nāḍī has six strings. The top layer we call the superficial nāḍī corresponds with general physiological changes in Vata, Pitta, and Kapha throughout the day. For example, when we are hungry, Pitta nāḍī may come through at this level, and when we are tired-Kapha may come through. And, if we are running ourselves and spread thin -vata nāḍī may come through at this level. This level doesn't mean anything except--what is happening superficially in the mind, body, and spirit.

First things first. Our three fingers, index, middle, and ring are the tools we use to "hear" the nāḍī. First things first, we must cut our nails. Our hands and fingers should be clear of rings, creams, cosmetics, jewelry, etc.

The tip of the index, middle and ring finger correspond to the energies of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Gently, we keep the index, middle, and ring finger perpendicular below the thumb on the artery. (just 1 mm off the artery, actually!)

At first, in order to make contact the Narayana nāḍī system uses this intuitive method to scan Vata, Pitta, and Kapha areas of the body and their sthānams (original place or domicile). We may also scan the marmas as and when necessary.

For the next few days, put your fingertips on the radial artery (see photo) and feel your own energy flowing. Hear it, visualize it and make notes. We will go to next phase of nāḍī in my next blog.

By Monica Groover,

author of Essential Guide to Ayurveda Part 1: Ayurveda Textbook for Students & Counselors