The Subtle System

This subtle system is a representation of how the subtle energies flow through the nervous system in our bodies. Through meditation we become more aware of the subtle side of ourselves, and how achieving balance connects us to ourselves on a more subtle level.

Understanding your subtle system will help you understand why you feel out of balance, or are finding it hard to relax and find the silence in your meditations.

Our subtle systems have 3 channels:

  • the left channel (blue)
  • the right channel (yellow)
  • the central channel (white)

In meditation our attention is more on the central channel, as the kundalini energy flows up through the central channel and takes us into state of meditation.


The left channel is the channel of emotion, of feelings and our pure desire, our more feminine side. It starts below the kundalini energy and ends in the right side of the brain which many people see as our creative side, and the part of the brain that governs our softer, less analytical, skills. We call this area the “superego”.  A person with a weakened or problematic left channel is more inclined to dwell in the past, be too passive, moody and/or depressed, easily dominated by circumstances or other people.  Learn more here.

The right channel is our channel of action and mental activity. It ends in the left side of the brain, the logical, masculine and action oriented side, also known as the “ego”.  A person with an overactive right channel is very active (even hyperactive), and uses a lot of mental energy to think about the future and make plans, which can prevent them from enjoying the present or relaxing through meditation. They also may feel stressed, impatient, irritable or angry.  Learn more here.

Through meditation we clear and strengthen both these channels so their more positive qualities can shine through. When the left side is clear we feel joy. A clear right side helps a person be more dynamic and effective.

The central channel is the channel of our evolution and balance.  It corresponds to the parasympathetic channel in our nervous system, the one that regulates our breathing, digestion and the other automatic functions. This is the channel that we connect to through meditation. Learn more here.

In the subtle system there are also 7 energy centers, where the bundles of nerves intersect at various plexusus areas in our body.