Meridians are the energy channels or pathways through which our chi, energy or prana flows. These pathways are often described as waterways that feed the fields of our bodies or rivers of energy. Traditional chinese medicine calls them meridians. Ayurvedic medicine and yoga refers to them as nadis.
There are twelve major meridians in our body. Six in our upper body and six in our lower body. Our yin energy moves upward and our yang energy moves downward. These energy circuits run throughout our body and are also linked to our organs.
When we place our bodies in shapes in yin yoga, we are pulling and pressurizing our tissues which moves energy and blood through the meridian channels. In this way, yin yoga is a kind of acupressure, where physical pressure is being applied to your body at certain points as it pulls on your fascia with slow and gentle traction.
The question might be, what is the difference between yin yoga and hatha yoga or any form of exercise for that matter? Sarah Powers, one of the founders of yin yoga points out that any form of exercise done regularly with rest afterwards will do something similar. This difference with yin yoga is the training of our mind.
Norman Blair (author of Brightening our Inner Skies Yin and Yoga) says, ¨If a person is pedalling a static exercise bike while checking emails, the energy flows will probably be less than for a person who is doing an activity (like yoga, qigong, or running) and consciously attending to their experience of movement¨
We will be focusing a lot more on the mindfulness aspect of yin yoga next week. This week we will focus on how the putting our body into shapes affects the movement of energy in our body, our organs and our emotions. Someone with a distracted mind will have scattered and destabilized chi. Someone with a focused mind will have smooth and even-flowing chi.
Yin Yoga Postures/Yin Yoga Sequence: butterfly, sphinx, bananasana,
Yoga Props: blocks, bolster, strap, folded blanket
Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers
Brightening Our Inner Skies, Yin and Yoga by Norman Blair
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Learning yin yoga is not something you can do in just one yoga video. Just like brushing your teeth, yin yoga is a way of life and is something you can embrace everyday. The best way I have learned to care embrace the yin way of life is to make yoga a part of my everyday life. I am going to share with you a good, better and best way to do that now.
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