In Chinese Medicine, there is one flow of ‘energy’ that runs through the entire body. That one flow of energy can also be divided into 14 energetic pathways that follow one another to create the full cycle. Each portion or pathway has an association with one of the organs of the body and impacts the health, wellness & vitality of that organ.
The pathways flow in the following order: 1. Gallbladder; 2. Liver; 3. Lungs; 4. Large Intestine; 5. Stomach; 6. Spleen/Pancreas; 7. Heart; 8. Small Intestine; 9. Bladder; 10. Kidney; 11. Pericardium; 12. Triple Warmer (Skin); 13. Conception Vessel (Sexual Organs); 14. Governing Vessel (Brain).
Acupuncture is a well know way to stimulate or release blocks in the meridians above. Yoga poses also each have an association with one of the meridians and organs. Therefore, another way to impact the health of each organ is to practice the yoga pose associated with it.
Each meridian (and subsequent pose) also has a color associated with it, and a season or time of year. The seasons associated with the meridians follow in alignment with the natural calendar: Spring-to-Summer-to- Autumn-to-Winter.
The energy cycle begins with the Gallbladder Meridian. If you look at a map of where the meridians of the body are located you will see this pathway runs through the outer foot, leg, and through the glute, etc… Yoga poses associated with this meridian include ones that will stretch the Abductors, IT Band, Glutes, Piriformis, etc…
It is easy to see how this meridian is the first one and how it corresponds so perfectly to spring and the natural calendar. The color associated with the gallbladder meridian is new spring green. This color can be seen in abundance around us in the early spring days as new buds, leaves on trees and growth in nature all begin to emerge.
The Liver Meridian comes next. Yoga poses that stimulate the mid-rear adductors and side bends are associated with this meridian. The liver meridian is also associated with springtime and it’s color is pink! Notice what comes right after the leaves start to bud outside – cherry blossoms. It makes it easy to start to remember the order in which meridians flow by thinking of how things grow.
It is beneficial to include more of the poses related to each season in your practice during that time of year. Therefore parivritta supta padangustasana, pigeon, standing side bends, gate pose and parivritta janu sirsasana are good to consider adding into your practice this month. I’ve put together a ‘Spring Yoga‘ board on Pinterest to give you some ideas of what to try. Click on each one, and most will give pointers for proper form…
If you are looking for something simple to follow or are short on time – this ‘Spring Detox‘ workout from Whole Living is an excellent one, too!
Please post questions or other poses you are enjoying this spring!
Namaste, Debra 🙂