not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yin Yoga for Kidneys and UB

As I'm sure you know by now - I am in love with Yin Yoga. Obsessed. And the more that I learn about it, the more fascinated I am by this powerful, reflective form of yoga. There are only 3 books out on the subject, and I am so very grateful for Sarah Powers incredibly descriptive but easy to digest book, Insight Yoga. It's brilliant. "In our body we have YIN organs and YANG organs. The Yin are those concerned with the pure energy of fundamental substances such as chi, blood, essence, and spirit. They transform, regulate, and store these primary energies. These are the kidneys, liver, spleen, heart, and lungs. The Yang organs are involved with impure substances such as undigested food, urine, and waste. Their job is to receive and digest food, absorbing useful components, while excreting waster. These are the urinary bladder, gallbladder, stomach, and small and large intestines.

In Chinese medicine, the organs are completely linked to the meridians that flow through them. Each yin organ and meridian has a direct sister-brother relationship with a complementary yang organ and meridian. This means that what we do to one directly affects the other. Although the yin/yang organs have different anatomical functions - their energetic, emotional and mental qualities are intimately intertwined. The KIDNEYS are paired with the URINARY BLADDER. "

This is WHY we need to practice Yin yoga to keep our Kidney and UB meridians in check:

"The kidneys are a storehouse of vital energy. They house our essence energy, which is considered the substance that pervades all organic life and is the essence of growth and decline. Their energetic health rules the general health of the lower back, the reproductive organs, the urinary system, the lower intestinal track, and all the fluid systems of body (including joint lubrication, blood and circulatory system, lymphatic system, endocrine system, perspiration, saliva, tears, and sexual secretions). Kidney chi emotional imbalance is associated with all kinds of fears, while a balanced kidney chi gives us access to our innate gentleness, openness, and wisdom. With our mental qualities, the kidneys are associated with short-term memory, willpower, and healthy ambition. If our kidney energy is deficient, we have trouble completing tasks, have less energetic and sexual drive, and feel less enthusiasm. The urinary bladder is much the same in the energy, emotional and mental qualities. THe Kidney and UB meridian organs' influence on our body-mind is connected with the LIMBIC system housed near the center of the brain. The limbic system controls sleep cycles, appetite, and libido; promoting bonding; modulating motivation; and setting the emotional tone of the mind, providing a filter through which external experiences are integrated into emotional states."

The Kidney Meridian: begins at the little toe in each foot, running through the sole, through the arch, and up the sindie of the knees and legs, entering the torso near the tailbone. It moves up along the longitudinal ligaments of the lower spine, connecting internally with the bladder and kidneys. It also moves externally over the abdomen and chest, while internally flowing through the liver, diaphragm, and lungs. It goes through the throat and ends at the root of the tongue.

The Urinary Bladder Meridian: starts at the inside of the eyes, goes up the forehead and across the crown, and enters the brain. It then runs down the back body parallel to the spine. A branch goes into the body at the lumbar spince and connects with the kidneys and urinary bladder. Outer branches run all the way down the backs of the legs and end at the little toes.


One Hour YIN YOGA Session, emphasizing the Kidney and Urinary Bladder Meridians:

  1. Butterfly
  2. Saddle
  3. Sphinx
  4. Seal
  5. Full Forward Bend
  6. Dragonfly
  7. Lying Spinal Twist (both sides)
  8. Stirrup
  9. Legs Up The Wall
  10. Corpse
*Hold each pose for 5 minutes.

Yin is an opportunity to crawl into ourselves and stay for a while. We learn that we can relax our resistance to strong sensations and emotions, turning TOWARD - rather than away from - what is arising within us. Namaste.

No comments:

Post a Comment