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 start with the Spleen. Located on the left side of the abdomen, the spleen takes food in, transports it and transforms it into chi (vital energy), and blood. The spleen is responsible for raising chi.
The meridian line itself starts inside the big toenail, runs inside the foot, up the leg on the inside but closer to the front, into the groin, up from the abdomen to the chest, and ends at the armpit. Try tracing this line with your finger or the palm of your hand so you get a sense of where it is.
When out of balance, we ruminate on thoughts, the energy slows and becomes sluggish, and worry sets in. There’s remorse, regret, self-doubt and suspicion. If you have a lot of anxiety, consider a yin practice entered around the spleen.
When in balance, there’s faith, honesty, acceptance and truthfulness.
The spleen is associated with the earth element, late summer, and the colour yellow.
Hold each pose for anywhere between 3-7 minutes. Ensure that you support yourself in your poses, and that you listen to your body.
Wide Legged Child’s Pose
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.
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 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 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.