We continue the series of posts on Yin Yoga Meridians, following our main post Yin Yoga, what is it exactly?
And now, we’ve reached 6 of the 12 Yin Yoga meridians. Following the heart meridian, we move on to its Yang counterpart, the Small Intestine. This meridian is very important as it plays an important role to receive and transform food by separating the Pure from the Impure. After the separation, the Pure becomes bodily fluids, and the Impure becomes urine. (Source)
The small intestine meridian begins at the tip of the little finger and goes through the wrist. Then it goes upward along the posterior side of the forearm to reach the back of the shoulder where it ends at the uppermost part of the back and the bottom of the neck. From this point, it branches out into two branches. The first branch moves internally through the heart and stomach to reach the small intestine. The second branch goes externally across the neck and cheek until it reaches the outer corner of the eye and goes into the ear. A small branch in the cheek heads up to the inner corner of the eye where it connects with the bladder meridian.
The small intestine is responsible for digestion, water and nutrient absorption, and bowel functions. Any imbalances in this meridian could cause mental deficiency, insecurity, unclear thought process and forgetfulness. Other physical imbalances could cause emaciation, hemicrania, and pain around the ear or abdomen. Along with the heart meridian, the main emotion for the small intestine meridian is happiness or joy. Too much or too little happiness can cause imbalances in this meridian.
Besides the small intestine meridian poses below, eating bitter foods could help balance the meridian as well. Although, always watch your intake and keep a healthy balanced diet. This 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 for beach day, it’s good for the heart. Of course, always protecting yourself from long exposure and UV rays from the sun.
Add the following small intestine meridian poses to your practice to balance it and keep it balance.
Open Wings Pose
Start by laying down on the belly, arms open and right ear on the mat.
Place your left hand close to your chest, bend your left knee and push with your left hand against the floor until your left foot is placed behind your right leg. Try to keep your right ear on the floor and hold this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
Go back on your belly slowly, and change sides, left ear on the floor and repeat steps above. You can use a pillow or blanket for your head for better comfort.
Remember to go back into child’s pose after you are done with both sides to let your body rest and work in the meridian before moving to the next pose.
Melting Pose (Anahatasana)
After child’s pose, 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.
Modified Eagle Pose on the belly (Garudasana)
The full pose can be done but for the purpose of the meridian, the upper part is only performed laying down on your belly. Start by laying down on your belly, place a pillow by your head then place the the elbows. 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 arms now, with left elbow on top. After having switched side, rest in child’s pose for 2 minutes.
These small intestine 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 advise if you have any specific physical conditions or discomfort, do not practice these poses).
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