As a yin yoga teacher and TCM practitioner, I’ll guide you through a series of poses that focus on the side bodies and address stress.
Many yin yoga classes and poses are themed around the Chinese Meridians. This is because, while many people don’t realise, yin yoga was created only 50 years ago, influenced with Doaist theory. This is why yin yoga is so influenced by and heavily rooted in the Chinese practice of Qigong (otherwise known as Tai Chi). Watch the class to get started or see a detailed description of each pose outlined below.
The connection between meridians, organs and emotions
These (Chinese meridian) channels are fascinating because they are connected to our different organs. With each organ, different emotions connect. As a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, it’s interesting to notice the connections in clinic. Often a patient might come in for nausea and display a high level of worry and over thinking (spleen and stomach both connect to the emotion worry). Another example will be our focus today – the Liver and Gallbladder. These meridians connect to the emotion of anger. Do you notice how many people reach for alcohol when they become irritable or angry? Such a liver connection!
About this guided yoga class
In this video I teach a liver and gallbladder meridian flow, to help reduce stress and anger. As yin itself is a calming practice, this would be best to practice just before sleep. Enjoy feeling proactive and helping to ease stress in a way that will not cycle a negative result!
Postures & Purpose
Childs pose with stretches
Childs pose is a great posture to connect into the breath and also ground the body and mind. Notice the temperature of the breath, notice the temperature of the body. Take a few deep breaths to allow the body to settle in the pose. Reaching both hands to one side allows us to stretch out the torso – part of these meridians.
Sphyx pose with a block
This posture is great to help open the heart as well as lengthen through the side body. Remind yourself about why you are practicing. If it is to reduce stress – why would you tense the shoulders and reach up extremely high? Instead, grab a block and let you head hang heavy. Relax your jaw. Each day the purpose of why you are practicing will change, but be sure to check in and let yourself complete relax if stress is the factor.
This posture might feel a little too aggressive for some – depending on the quad flexibility. Please feel free to do this one lightly! Sit on some blocks and elevate your hips. If there is space to lean back onto a bolster or cushion, go ahead. If the space isn’t available, simply sit up and close the eyes. Never put yourself in a position of stress, this is what we are trying to remove! This posture targets the sides of the legs and the torso, removing any stagnated energy from these meridians.
This posture is just a lovely counter pose to Hero. Allow your head to hang heavy, your shoulders to relax, and don’t worry too much about touching your toes. Do what feels natural, and let your body settle.
Another great pose to target the meridians. In yogic theory, twisting helps to release the negative energies from our Chakras as well. You can think of this as a rinsing of the spine, a final movement in cleansing the energy. Twist naturally, don’t worry about the knees pressing against the floor. Eventually find savasana and allow the body to fully relax. Set and intention in your Savasana.
What will you do tomorrow to make it better than today? Our intentions are always internal and never about the external world. What will you do to be happier tomorrow?
Now it’s your turn – how did you find this flow? Report back and share if you felt it have an effect on your emotions.
P.S. Which of your friends could benefit from this yin yoga sequence? Share it with them now. They’ll thank you later!