Yin yoga and Chinese Meridian Theory go hand in hand. Over the next few posts, we’ll look at different yin meridians, what it means when they’re out of balance, their functions, and yin poses you can do to support that.
Today we target the kidney meridian. Located towards the back of the body within the lower back (think of where the love handles are or would be). The kidneys are responsible for regulating and balancing fluid. They house our vital essence of chi, and are responsible for our stamina.
The meridian line on the baby toes, goes up the foot towards the inside of the ankle, up the inside of the leg into the groin, up the front of the body just to the side of the midline and ends at the collarbone. Trace this line on yourself to feel where the energy of the kidney meridian travels.
When the kidneys are out of balance, we can experience fear, depression, loneliness and insecurity. Ringing of the ears may be a symptom of the kidneys being out of balance. When in balance, we find wisdom, rationality and gentleness. The kidneys are the seat of our courage and willpower.
The kidneys are associated with the element of water, the colour black, and the season of winter.
Hold poses anywhere from 3-5 minutes or whatever feels comfortable to you.
Bring the soles of the feet together and drop the knees open. Feet can be any distance that’s comfortable for you from your perineum. If needed, bring blocks under the knees for support. Lengthen through your spine and shift your hips forward. Fold to whatever depth works for your body.
From your belly, bring your elbows slightly in from of your shoulders on the ground. The hands can be flat on the ground or with palms together. If it’s too much, bring your elbows father in front of you – this will make the backbend smaller without risking dumping into your shoulders. Feet can be hip distance apart or as wide as your mat.
Bring a bolster under your shoulder blades. Knees can stay bent or be straight. Arms ideally go over the bolster.
Dragonfly OR Caterpillar
From seated, bring your feet as wide as feels good. You’re welcome to stay upright, or, shift your hips forward and walk your hands forward until you’re in whatever depth feels best for you. If you need to, bring a slight bend in your knees or a block under your knees.
From seated, have the legs out in the front of you, feet are relaxed. You’re welcome to stay upright, or, shift your hips forward and walk your hands forward until you’re in whatever depth feels best for you. If you need to, bring a slight bend in your knees or a block under your knees.
From your back, bring your knees into your chest. Arms come out into a T, and release your knees over to the right. Back remains on the floor, and aim for both of the shoulders to be on the floor. You can also bring your hands to your body if that feels better. For the second side, take the knees to the left.
More Meridian Practices:
Spleen Meridian Practice
Liver Meridian Practice
Lung Meridian Practice
Disclaimer: Please check with your health practitioner before starting any new practice. Please listen to your body, and work with a yoga teacher to ensure you are adhering to alignment and safety.