Yin yoga and Chinese Meridian Theory go hand in hand. This is the last post in the series of yin organs – we’ll tackle yang organs later this year! 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 lung meridian. Located in the chest and protected by the rib cage. The lungs are responsible for filtering air and oxygenating blood. The lungs draw in chi from the air and send it down to the kidneys. The lungs are considered to be the most fragile organ because of their close connection to the outside.
The meridian line starts at the inside top of the arm – right between where your collarbone and shoulder bone are – and goes down the inner arm to the wrist crease closest to the thumb, down the inner edge of the thumb and out to the outer edge of the thumb. Trace this line on yourself to feel where the energy of the lung meridian travels.
When the lungs are out of balance we can experience colds, coughs, occipital headaches, asthma and skin issues. It is often connected with grief, sadness, depression and disappointment. When in balance, we can experience fairness, acceptance, self-protection and dignity.
The lungs are associated with the element of metal, the colour white, and the season of fall.
Hold poses anywhere from 3-5 minutes or whatever feels comfortable to you.
From your belly, extend your right arm out into a T position. Gently roll to your right side. If it’s not enough, you may need to bend your knee to use it as a lever to help the motion. You may also want to bring your left hand back behind you. You can use a block or a bolster on either side of your body to help with the angle of your body. Ensure there’s no pain anywhere!
From hands and knees, bring your hands about a foot in front of you. Keep your hips stacked above your knees, and leading with the heart, melt down to the earth. Allow the elbows and arms to follow. You may need to bring your arms closer in to you if it’s too intense on your armpits. Really focus on softening through the heart cavity.
Bring a bolster under your shoulder blades. Knees can stay bent or be straight. Arms ideally go over the bolster.
Draw your feet over to the right as far as you can and cross one ankle over the other to hold them in place. Then, bring your arms over to the right. Keep both hips and both shoulders evenly distributed on the earth. You’re aiming for a stretch all the way up the side of the body.
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.