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 liver meridian. Located on the right side of the abdomen between the ribs and the hip, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of chi (vital energy) in the body. It stores blood and is crucial for detoxification, and is responsible for the rhythms of the body (like menstruation).
The meridian line starts on the inside corner of the big toe nail (the corner closest to your 2nd toe), goes up the top of the foot, up the inner leg, into the groin, and up the front of the body just to the side of the mid-line to the chest. Trace this line on yourself to feel where the energy of the liver meridian travels.
When the liver is out of balance, we can experience frustration, rage, anger and jealousy, and the emotions can become stagnant. Blurry vision may be a symptom of the liver being out of balance. When in balance, we find kindness, compassion and generosity. The liver governs drive, desire, ambition and creativity.
The liver is associated with the element of wood, the colour green, and the season of spring.
Hold poses anywhere from 3-5 minutes or whatever feels comfortable to you.
Knees come wide, sink your hips back to your heels. Extend your hands all the way or part of the way and lower your forehead down to the ground, or to a block if your forehead doesn’t reach all the way down.
*Alternately you can do child’s pose with knees together.*
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.
From seated, bend one leg and tuck the foot to your side. Take your other leg and stack knee over knee. Edge out the bottom foot so it’s in line with the top foot. (See photo). Should you want to, you can lean forward over 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.
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.