In the Vedic texts, the human body is said to be made of three sariras, or “bodies,” which are related to the five koshas. The sariras are as follows:
- Sthula sarira - The gross body, which is also the annamaya kosha.
- Suksma sarira - The subtle body, which includes the pranamaya, manomaya and vijnanamaya koshas.
- Karana sarira - The causal body, which is the ananda kosha.
It is desirable to be in this third body, which causes the gross and subtle bodies to be manifested. Within the subtle body, according to traditional yoga physiology, the nadis (energy channels) are said to intersect with and through the seven primary chakras.
Also in yoga physiology, it is the nadis which carry the prana. Although nadi translates as “nerve” in English, the nadis of yoga physiology are considered distinct from the anatomical structures. Kundalini yoga describes three main nadis: ida, pingala and sushumna which run along and to the sides of the spine.