We continue our series of posts on Meridians following our main post, Yin Yoga, what is it exactly?
We covered both Lung and Large Intestine meridians in the last posts and the poses to help strengthen those meridians. Our next yin meridian is the spleen meridian, which plays an important role in our body as the spleen is the one in charge of purifying the blood by removing old red blood cells. The spleen also plays an important part in your immune system as it helps pick out any micro-organisms, such as virus and bacteria, and create white blood cells to fight them.
The spleen meridian starts at the tip of the big toe. It continues along the medial aspect of the foot and goes up the inner leg. It keeps going up through the groin, stomach and diaphragm and ends at the armpit. Another branch begins in the abdomen and goes inside to the spleen, connecting the stomach and heart meridians.
The spleen meridian is associated with your muscles. Any imbalance in this meridian is associated with stomach, muscles and digestive problems. As well you may feel high intensity of anxiety, worrying, low self-esteem, and poor concentration.
Besides the poses below, adding a bit of sugar may help balance this meridian. The spleen meridian is associated with the Earth element, which when in perfect balance, people will know about fairness, stability and being properly anchored. Also, keep in mind that yellow is the color associated with this meridian. Avoid any spicy food.
Add the following poses to you practice to balance the spleen meridian.
Begin either on hands and knees or in Down Dog. Step one foot between the hands. Place the front foot forward until the knee is right above the heel. Slide the back knee backward as far as you can. Keep the hands on your knee and move the hip forward! If you stay straight, you may not feel anything. This pose is good for a deep hip, groin and inner thigh opener. If you have any discomfort with the your knee on the floor, place a cushion below. Relax the shoulder and inhale and exhale deeply. This pose is linked to the stomach meridian which is going through the front part of the leg. Stay in the pose 2-5 minutes and change side. Go into the child’s pose for 1-2 minutes at the end.
Dragon Fly Pose
From a sitting position, place your legs wide apart until they won’t go any further. Sitting on a cushion will help tilt your hips forward. Inhale lengthen the spine, open the lungs, exhale fold forward. Inhale and exhale by resting your hands on the floor. You can also rest your head on a block or two. Have your legs and feet active. Keep your spine straight. The goal is not to bend the most forward but to have your back straight and legs/inner tights active. This pose can aggravate sciatica. If you have this condition, elevate the hips. If you are stiff, bend the knees. It is also okay to place the feet flat on the floor. This pose is great as a hips, groin and inner tights opener. It stimulates the ovaries. Stay here for 2-5 minutes and go into child’s pose.
Baddha Konasana A
From a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together and then slide them away from you. Allowing your back to round, fold forward, lightly resting your hands on your feet or on the floor in front of you. Your head should hang down toward your heels. It is a good way to nice way to stretch the lower back and the inner thigh. If you have sciatica or back pain, elevate the hips by sitting on a cushion, until the knees are below the hips, or avoid this pose entirely. Do not bend too much forward and keep the neck straight. Inhale and exhale deeply. Stay in here for 2-5 minutes and take the child’s pose for 1-2 minutes.
After time is up finish in Savasana.
These spleen meridian poses are also great for working the back, inner thighs and hips. (be advised if you have any specific physical conditions or discomfort, do not practice these poses).
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