We continue the series of posts on Yin Yoga Meridians, following our main post Yin Yoga, what is it exactly?
We’ve covered four major meridians in the last posts, moving to our fifth Yin meridian, and the most important of all, the Heart. This meridian plays one of the major functions to the body, blood flow and controlling the blood vessels. The heart has to pump blood through the entire body, specially our brain which a significant amount of nutrients at all times in order to function correctly. (Source)
The heart meridian is a smaller meridian compare to many others. It starts from the heart and it divides into three branches. The first branch runs down to the small intestine. The second branch runs up through the throat, around the lip and towards the eyes. The third branch starts in the armpits and goes along the inside of the arm, elbow and forearm, finishing on the tip of our pinky finger. At the tip of the pinky finger is what both Heart and Small Intestine meridians connect.
The heart is one of our major organs in our bodies. Any imbalances in this meridian could cause blood flow issues not allowing for the rest of our organs get the proper amount of blood necessary to function correctly. The main emotion of the heart is happiness or joy. Too much happiness or too little can cause imbalances in this meridian.
Besides the heart meridian poses below, eating bitter foods could help balance the meridian as well. Although, always watch your intake and keep a healthy balanced diet. The heart meridian is associated with the element of Fire and it’s color is red. The best season for this meridian is Summer, which is a great excuse beach day, it’s good for the heart :-). Of course, always protecting yourself in the sun.
Add the following heart meridian poses to your practice to balance it.
Start by standing in front of a wall at arm’s length, and place your hands against the wall. Always make sure your fingers are wide and pointing up.
Start walking backwards until your tailbone is pointing up and you have a natural curve on your lower back. Suck the belly in as you want to maintain an active belly.
As you suck in the belly, you will naturally lower your ribcage. Keep long through your tailbone and legs towards the floor. You can always bend the knees to make sure you’re not overextending them. Arms, head and spine are active and hold the pose for 2 to 3 minutes.
It’s very important after you are done with the pose to go into child’s pose for 1-2 minutes let your body rest and work in the lung meridian before moving to the next pose.
Modified Eagle pose (Garudasana)
The full pose can be done but for the purpose of the meridian, you can do the double pigeon as well. Start by sitting in a comfortable sitting position. Grab the left foot and carefully drive it besides the right hip, or as close as you can get to it. Drive the right leg on top of the left leg and bending the right knee to place the foot on the floor. If your knees are not on top of each other, it’s okay, be gentle with yourself and don’t force it. Put your arms straight forward, place your right elbow on top of your left elbow, then bend them. Raise your arms so they form a 90 degree angle with your torso and place your left hand to press against the right hand.
Press the palms together (as much as possible) and hold it for 2 to 3 minutes. Change both arms and legs now, with left leg and elbow on top. After having switched side, rest in child’s pose for 2 minutes.
Melting pose (Anahatasana)
The melting pose or Anahatasana, is very simple. Just walk both arms forward until your tailbone is pointing upwards. Make sure both arms are well extended. Keep your forehead on the floor, relax and hold the pose for 2 to 3 minutes.
If you have knee issues, place a pillow or something comfortable under them to cushion your knees. After time is up, go back to child’s pose then finish in Savasana.
These heart meridian poses are also great for working back, chest, and arms, as well as other meridians that will be covered in future posts. Keep posted, as we will be releasing more soon. (be advised if you have any specific physical conditions or discomfort, do not practice these poses).
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