Monday, 27 July 2020

Full Moon in Aquarius on Monday 3 August 2020 Affecting the Gallbladder meridian - Visualize a New Life

The next full moon on Monday 3 August 2020 will work on the gallbladder meridian. This Yang energy, Wood element meridian is the longest meridian in the body. The gallbladder is the organ where, according to yogic anatomy, our frustrations are stored – its twin organ is the liver, where anger gets stored. The gallbladder's functions include secreting and storing bile, and it affects the spleen and stomach functions. It assists digestion to keep it moving; it also controls the sinews body flexibility and tendon strength.

The Gallbladder rules sleep, as it is associated with deep sleep from 11pm to 1am - insomnia or waking up in the middle of the night and being unable to fall asleep again may indicate a deficient Gallbladder.

The gallbladder works closely with its twin organ the liver in taking plans and bringing them to realisation. It is also the meridian responsible for choosing between options, good judgment and decision making. What course is right for me to take? It helps us find our direction in life, especially if we find ourselves procrastinating or stuck in indecision. 
The Liver in Chinese Medicine is seen as the General in charge of planning, and the Gallbladder is the liver's right-hand: it uses the Liver's vision to make judgments and important decisions. It transforms Kidney vitality and Liver vision into action.

In below illustrations you can see the path of the gallbladder meridian through the body, with details over the foot. It begins in the outer corner of the eye (one of the tapping points in EFT) and immediately branches into 2 lines. A main branch remains on the surface and winds back and forth across the side of the head and above the ear, before turning downward along the side of the neck. After following the top of the shoulder it then passes under the arm and zigzags along the side of the ribs to the hips.
The other branch goes from the eye corner inside the check and descends to the liver and gallbladder. From there it descends further and emerges in time to rejoin the first branch at the front of the hip.
Then in one single line the meridian descends further and runs along the outside thigh and knee until it reaches the ankle. It runs across the top of the foot until it reaches the fourth toe. Another branch leaves at the ankle to run across the top of the foot and join the Liver meridian at the big toe (not in picture).

    
Frustrations might arise in the days leading up to the full moon and just after, and our tolerance may be (severely) challenged - one of the reasons we've been working on tolerance and patience in especially the Thursday and Friday classes over the past weeks. The test is to stay mindful and present throughout, take a breath, and look for any opportunities to expand your patience and exercise your abilities to accept and surrender.

When prana (life force) is stuck in the gallbladder meridian, one can have difficulties making decisions, or on the contrary make very rash decisions. The indecisiveness can lead to emotional frustration in yourself and those around you (family members, colleagues, …). 

This is an excellent time to visualise the ideal life situation, partner, workplace, travel, ...

Symptoms of a blocked gallbladder meridian:
  •         Headache on one side of the head
  •      Pain on one side of the body
  •      Neck tension
  •         Hip & lower back pain
  •         Nausea & indigestion
  •         Pain in the shoulder blade
  •         Outside leg pain, sciatica 
  •      Blurred vision
  •      Dizziness
  •      Pains along the side of the body (including eyes, ears, throat)
  •      Indecision
  •      Frustration
  •      Procrastination
  •      Bitterness
  •      Resentment
  •      Repressed anger
  •      Irritability
  •      Depression
  •      Nervousness
  •      Being conditioned to expect criticism
  •      Timidity (but also it's total opposite!)
  •      Easily startled
  •      Indigestion (esp. after fatty food)
  •      Craving greasy foods
  •      Bloating
  •      Flatulence
  •      Gallstones
  •      Acute abdominal pain
  •      High cholesterol
  •      Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) 
  •      Hypochondria

Tips:
  •         Visualise the colour green
  •         All physical activity is beneficial in this time, especially if it causes you to sweat
  •         Lose extra weight

Things that are good to eat:
  •         Green & sour foods
  •         Homemade yogurt
  •         Drink warm lemon water or diluted apple cider vinegar 
  •         Spelt with vegetables
  •         Sprouts
  •         Corn silk tea
  •      Healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil)
  •      Vitamin C rich foods
  •      Nuts
  •      Buckwheat
  •      Hemp
  •      Turmeric
  •      Beets
  •      Black seed oil
  •      Avocados
  •      Blackberries
  •      Lemon juice
  •      ACV (with the mother, unfiltered)
  •      Dandelion
  •      Fiber-rich foods

Foods to avoid:
  •         Sugar & sweets - they weaken the will power and 3rd chakra
  •         Heavy, fatty or oily meals
  •      Alcohol
  •      Potatoes
  •      Pasta
  •      Rice
  •      Dairy (including cheese!)
  •      Grains

Yoga for the Gallbladder meridian:

  •         All postures to strengthen the navel point/3rd chakra.
  •         Stretch pose 1-5 minutes with breath of fire
  •         All pranayama/breathing exercises
  •         Meditation 1: Sitting in easy pose, left hand on the heart centre, right hand rests on the right knee in gyan mudra. Focus on the third eye. Start breathing in a 4-part breath: Inhale through the nose, exhale through the nose. Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the mouth. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth. Inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose. Continue for 11 minutes.
  •         Meditation 2: Sitting in easy pose, again with the left hand on the heart centre and the right hand resting on the right knee in gyan mudra, focus on the third eye. Long deep breathing through a rounded mouth, whistling on both the inhale and exhale. Continue for 11 minutes or more.


Yoga kriyas for the gallbladder meridian:

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Full Moon in Capricorn on Sunday 5 July 2020, Affecting the Triple Burner Meridian

Sunday 5 July 2020 will see a full moon in Capricorn, affecting the San Jiao or Triple Warmer/Burner/Heater or Triple Energizer meridian (it goes by many names in English). 

San Jiao refers to the 3 origins in Chinese medicine: heaven, earth, and water. The 3 'burners' are pictured below: the upper jiao or burner receives ethereal influences and is associated with heaven. The middle burner is associated with the earth element, and the lower jiao is associated with the drainage of water. 

The San Jiao or triple burner is/are not a physical organ - it is a matrix of connective tissue or fascia, only recently discovered by Western medicine: membranes that envelop every muscle, bone, organ in the body and that help each part of our body communicate with one another and play a role in keeping open the flow of Qi or Prana. One could say that the triple burner provides a passageway along the primary Yin Yang vertical axis between the fire of the kidney and of the heart (sometimes called the ministerial fire).

The picture below shows this meridian's passageway highlighted in red. This yang meridian begins on the backside of the ring finger (the same finger in which it's partner meridian, the yin Pericardium meridian in which we had a full moon last month, ends) and runs over the back of the hand, the wrist and lower arm, passes the outer point of the elbow and runs along the back of the upper arm to the back of the shoulder. Then it comes to the front of the body and enters the chest beneath the sternum, where it branches: the main branch runs downwards to the pericardium and continues down through the diaphragm to the 3 burners. The second branch ascends along the side of the neck, circles the back of the ear, and then circles the side of the face. Another small branch emerges from the back of the ear and connects to the Gall Bladder meridian at the outer corner of the eye. 


The triple burner meridian controls our prana (life force -- what in Chinese medicine is called Qi) as well as the distribution of energy in three main areas: 1) the chest, which is responsible for breathing (heaven association); 2) the abdominal cavity which controls digestion (earth association); and 3) the pelvic area which is in charge of elimination as well as reproduction (water association).

The triple warmer is a fire element (agni) meridian. Fire energy goes up, against gravity. The fire tattva is concerned with moving from the material realm to the spiritual realm through purification (alchemy through fire). But guidance is needed to succeed, which is why we need a guru. The triple burner also controls appetite, thirst and body temperature and coordinates digestion, communicating with the Spleen and Stomach.

The triple burner also rules body liquids to keep them moving. It aids in transforming body fluids and it balances the Prana or Qi between the upper, middle and lower areas. Most importantly, the triple burner delivers Original Qi to all organs.
Importantly, Capricorn and the triple burner meridian rule the glandular system -- the guardians of health and emotional well-being, and of stability in infinite consciousness. Our glandular secretions determine the blood chemistry, which in turn determines traits of our personality, our moods and our emotions, including surges of pleasure and displeasure. If, e.g., your thyroid is not functioning well, you will likely find yourself lacking in patience and tolerance.
Physical symptoms:
  • Weak Prana or Qi
  • Low energy
  • Shoulder pains
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Ear problems such as deafness, ringing in the airs (tinnitus), pain, eczema and waxy ears
  • Facial paralysis
  • Toothache
  • Sore Throat
  • Pain in the corner of the eye
  • Pain and stiffness along the arm, elbow and wrist
  • Neck rigidity
  • Nerve pain
  • Arthritis and nails with ridges or white spots on the third finger, as well as the fourth finger
  • Glandular imbalances playing up
  • Problems with the adrenal glands and thyroid in particular
  • Chills and fevers
  • Excess mucus
  • Digestive problems
  • Bloating
  • Urinary difficulties
  • Elimination problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty shaking off negative thoughts
Tips:
  • Ishnaan (cold shower) daily keeps your glands healthy and functioning properly -- see here for a blog post on how to take yogic cold showers correctly.
  • Eat more healthy foods and in more relaxed and quiet environments. How you prepare your food and how you eat it is just as important as what you eat, to the extent that yogis would say that if you cannot eat in a graceful and relaxed environment, then don't eat at all.
Things that are good to eat:
  • Red & bitter foods: red beets, brussels sprouts, radicchio, rucola, rosemary, oregano, basil, paprika, turmeric, grapefruit, watermelon, quinoa, rye, buckwheat. Cherries, red grapes and strawberries are not included due to their sweet taste.
  • Drink green tea (washed first) and (dark) chocolate in moderation, and best in a moist environment.
Yoga for Triple Burner:
  • Back platform with the toes pointed away, fingers facing back and long deep breathing. 3-5 minutes
  • Long Deep Breathing. 
Some Kundalini Yoga kriyas for the Glandular System:
(Expansion of the information on www.breathislife.com)

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Full Moon in Sagittarius on Friday 5 June 2020, Affecting the Pericardium (Heart Protector)

Friday 5 June 2020 - which happens to be the day of my own 41st birthday :) - will bring us a full moon in Sagittarius that will affect the Pericardium meridian, also known as the meridian of the 'Heart Protector' , 'Heart Helper', 'Spirit Protector' or - very poetically - 'the King's Bodyguard'. The pericardium is the protective sheath or sac that surrounds the heart organ. Together with the heart and the blood vessels, the pericardium runs the circulatory system. Energetically its function is to protect the heart from damage and disruption caused by excessive emotions from other organs and/or external sources. In the Chinese 5 element system, as in the Ayurvedic system, extreme emotional outbursts are seen as powerful disruptors of balance and a major cause of disease. Without the pericardium to protect it, the Heart could be gravely injured by every-day emotional commotion. 

   


The Pericardium meridian is a yin meridian of the Fire Element (in the Chinese 5 element system) and is paired with the (yang) Triple Burner meridian. It runs on both sides of the body out from the pericardium, horizontally across the chest, surfacing at the ribs and then runs around the armpit, along the arm and finishes in the tip of the middle finger, with one small side branch finishing in the tip of the ring finger where it connects to its paired Triple Burner meridian. A last branch of this meridian runs down from the pericardium connecting the 3 burners that give their name to the Triple Burner (San Jiao) meridian.

The Pericardium meridian is the mediator between the water tattva and the fire (agnitattva if we look from the Ayurvedic point of view -- between our emotions in the second chakra and our passion in the third chakra, then rising up into the Heart. The fire tattva is purifying and transforming - its energy is not bound by gravity but rises up towards the heavens.

The Pericardium protects the Heart from emotional trauma, constricts the chest to protect the Heart, and helps to express the Joy of the Heart. It rules our relationships and the emotional issues around them. Emotionally, pericardium energy is related to the loving feelings associated with sexuality, thereby linking the physical and emotional aspects of sexual activity. It does so by moderating the raw sexual energy of the  2nd chakra/kidneys with the all embracing love generated by the 4th chakra/heart. 

A balanced Pericardium meridian allows us to be generous, warm, kindhearted, loving and compassionate to those around us, and allows us to be able to receive both criticism and love from others. An imbalanced Pericardium meridian makes us feel unprotected in the heart center and will cause us to look for other ways to protect the heart (e.g. by rounding off the shoulders, keeping our distance from others, building protective walls around us which are meant to keep others out but only end up making us feel separated and isolated within that fortress we have built).

Physical symptoms of a blocked or imbalanced Pericardium meridian:
  • chronic damaging relationship patterns
  • relationship fears
  • excessive vulnerability
  • problems around self-acceptance, self-love, self-expression and the relationship with oneself 
  • the inability to smile
  • guarded behaviour
  • problems with or pain/soreness in the hips
  • stiff neck
  • cold extremities (hands and feet) due to poor blood circulation
  • poor circulation in itself
  • low sexual joy or sexual perversion
  • inappropriate intimacy or fear of intimacy
  • profound sadness or even depression
  • too much joy and/or incessant laughter or giggling in inappropriate circumstances
  • rounding off the shoulders to try and protect the heart
  • armoring
  • many stress-related problems
  • pain in the heart area & chest discomfort due to inflammation or liquid build-up around the heart
  • stomach problems
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • mental disturbances
  • phobias
  • vertigo

Things that are good to eat & drink for this meridian:
  • oatmeal (contains silica which is good for the pericardium)
  • a drink of boiled oatmeal. Recipe: boil 1 cup of oats in 3 litres of water for 20 minutes. Strain. Drink 4 cups a day.
  • red and/or bitter foods: beetroot, Brussels sprouts, kale, karelay (bitter gourd), bitter melon, radicchio, rucola, rosemary, oregano, basil, paprika, turmeric, grapefruit, watermelon, quinoa, rye, buckwheat, dandelion leaves
  • dark chocolate, green tea (washed first), matcha tea, Yano or another grain coffee.

Yoga postures for the Pericardium meridian:

  • Any hip opening exercises
  • Sit in butterfly pose


Do some butterfly stretches first (bouncing the knees up and down for a few minutes) to stretch the hips open. Then bend the torso and head slowly all the way down, leading from the navel, with long deep breathing.


Slowly allow the hips to open up.


  • Alternate leg stretches.

  • Archer pose is the best posture for this meridian. It helps to develop a clear and powerful vision. Do 3 to 11 mins on either side with long deep breathing or breath of fire. Chanting can also help to keep up.

Kundalini Yoga meditations for the Pericardium(with links):

Monday, 4 May 2020

Full moon in Scorpio on May 7th 2020, affecting the kidney meridian

On Thursday 7 May, we'll encounter a full moon in Scorpio which will affect our kidney meridian and second chakra.

Scorpio is known to have a nasty sting, But the kidney energy in fact can be used to either soar like an eagle or indeed crawl like the scorpion. Balancing and strengthening the kidney meridian will enable us to do the former. A balanced second chakra and corresponding water element give us access to our creative energy. To uplift oneself and others is an expression of our creative spirit.
A blocked creative energy on the other hand can manifest as self-gratification and destruction. Emotions as fearfulness, anxiety, confusion, frustration and the need for perfection can rule, even a vengeful attitude is characteristic for a blocked second chakra and kidney meridian.

The kidney energy is also responsible for, amongst others, how we age, the quality of our bones, the process of pulling prana (life force) from the lungs, our hearing, and our motivation.

Our kidneys are easily damaged through overdoing life with thrills, stress, drugs and other stimulants like coffee, black tea, green tea, etc., so now would be an excellent time to reduce or eliminate these from you life. Do you know it takes between 5 to even 8 liters of water to rebalance the kidneys after just one cup of coffee or black tea??

You can read more about the kidneys from a Kundalini Yoga perspective on this page.

Image result for image kidney meridian

Physical symptoms
•  Dizziness upon standing
•  Sweaty hands & feet
•  Bloating
•  Bone & ear problems
•  Cold in extremities
•  Muscle tightness in the low & mid back, diaphragm, or upper shoulders
•  Urinary or reproduction problems
•  Tinnitus
•  Puffy face

Things to eat & drink
•  Drink cucumber juice
•  Turmeric, added to meals, juiced or taken in Golden Milk
•  Eat black foods: eggplant (aubergine), beans, seaweed, licorice, black olives. Not black coffee or tea!
•  Eat naturally salty foods: olives, seaweed, ginger, cinnamon.

Tips
•  Hold and massage the index finger of each hand for 2 minutes
•  Wear a silk or cotton cummerbund around the waist

Yoga for the kidneys
•  Camel pose (begin in celibate pose)

•  Baby pose

•  In butterfly pose, exhale the head down, inhale up.
•  Life nerve stretch

 

•  Chant - Chatr Chakra Varti (Last 4 lines of Jaap Sahib). Increase the effect by holding the left hand on the right knee and right hand and index finger up at shoulder level making small circles with the index finger.

Kriyas for the kidneys:

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Full Moon in Libra affecting the bladder meridian - Wednesday 8 April 2020


The upcoming full moon in Libra will be affecting our bladder and bladder meridian, also known as the 'guardian of peace'. The bladder meridian is the meridian with most points in the whole meridian system, and symptoms can be manifold with many different areas of the body being affected.

The bladder, together with the kidneys and sexual organs, relates to the second chakra. The second chakra is connected to the water element and key here is learning to step into the flow of life, without resistance, and with deep trust for what is and what is to come - we are up for a challenge! Over time, water can even shape the earth. The opposite of trust is fear, and that is actually the emotion that gets stored in this second chakra. Fear causes us to tighten, to contract, and makes us cold and frozen. 

Imbalance or blockage symptoms:
  • Bladder infections
  • Fear, timidity, frustration and tearfulness
  • Pain in the ankles and kneecaps
  • Pain in the lower back, neck or head
  • Leg cramps and sciatic pains
  • Nose bleeds
Things that are good to eat & drink:
  • Drink lots of healthy living water (preferably purified and remineralized)
  • Cranberry juice and cranberries
  • Eat black foods (black grapes, black olives, seaweeds, aubergines, ...)
  • Eat melons
  • White horseradish ('mooli') -- juiced, grated, in a salad, mooli pronthay, ...
  • Cucumbers
  • Fresh juice of 2 parts spinach and 1 part carrot
Things to avoid:
  • Salt, as it dries out the body
  • Caffeine - coffee, black tea, green tea, caffeinated drinks
  • Excess emotional frustration
Tips:
  • Hold and massage the pinkie finger of each hand for 2 minutes on either side. Repeat as often as you like
  • Wear black clothes
  • Listen to calming (mantra) music
  • Contract the muscles when you are urinating, to briefly stop the flow of urine. Do this daily to help prevent kidney stones
Yoga for the bladder:
(Based on the information on www.breathislife.com).

Monday, 2 March 2020

Full moon in Virgo, Monday 9 March 2020 - the small intestines

March's full moon in Virgo will be affecting the small intestine meridian. The small intestine meridian runs its course over the face, through the neck, shoulder(blade) and arm into the hand and pinkie finger.

                                                                



                                          

This meridian's energy is about separating the pure from the impure - on the physical, mental and emotional level.

The meridian is connected to the fire tattva (element): the fire of digestion, but also the fire of transformation, of alchemy, of profound inner change. The digestive fire changes food into blood. The fire of the heart gives us spiritual endurance; when we see that fire in someone's eyes, we know they are living from their heart. Fire is the great purifier. 

The key for this full moon is to simplify everything. Keep your diet simple and pure. Keep life simple and pure.

Symptoms of an imbalanced small intestine meridian:
  • Problems digesting food
  • Confusion about what is and isn't pure
  • Ear problems
Things to avoid:
  • An overly critical attitude
  • Too much self-analysis
Tips to balance the meridian:
  • Hold and massage the little finger of each hand for 2 minutes
  • Wear red clothes, use red crystals.
Things to eat:
  • Bitter foods: turmeric, quinoa, basil, grapefruit, rucola, green tea, dark chocolate
  • Red foods
  • Psyllium and chlorophyll daily help to keep the intestinal tract clean.
Yoga for the small intestine: 
  • Any and all postures that work on the third chakra and navel point: leg lifts, leg pulls and pushes, stretch pose, Sat Kriya, pumping the navel and breath of fire, ...
  • Yoga mudra: sitting in rock pose (on the heels) with hands interlaced in Venus Mudra behind the back, bow forwards bringing the forehead to the floor while lifting the arms up behind you as high as you can. 
  • Shoulder stand with long deep breathing or breath of fire.
Kriyas:

The Sun Energy classes we've been doing - and especially the one I'll be doing this week from 2 March 2020 onwards - are excellent for this meridian. But there are many more:
Expanded from: www.divinehuman.com 

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Full Moon in Leo Affecting the Heart Meridian - Sunday 9 February 2020

The full moon coming up next weekend on Sunday 9 February will be one in the sign of Leo, the lion, and will - as the Leo full moon always does - be governing the heart meridian. 

Image result for heart meridian

The heart meridian is considered to be the seat of spirituality as well as the ruler of wisdom and good judgement. The heart moreover also rules clarity of speech; that is why words can touch our heart so deeply in a positive way, or hurt so deeply. 

When the heart is strong we radiate, especially from the eyes.

Symptoms indicating an imbalance or blockage:

• Sadness and sorrow 
• Nervousness or fearfulness & anxiety
• Mental confusion & confused thinking 
• Emotional ups & downs 
• Various speech problems 
• Insomnia 
• Loss of taste 
• High blood pressure 
• Cataracts 

"Where there is love, there is no fear. Where there is fear, there is no love." (Yogi Bhajan)

What best to eat?

• All red foods: red peppers, watermelon, cherries, red grapes, strawberries, grapefruit, red cabbage, etc.
• Bitter foods: rucola, red beets, turmeric, basil, Brussels sprouts, quinoa, bitter gourd, dark chocolate, green & black tea (in moderation if at all, and definitely do always wash the leaves first because of the caffeine's effect on your kidneys that will last for 8 weeks - I stay clear of these regardless what moon it is, or I choose Matcha green tea which is the only actual 'tea' leaf I consume), etc.

What to reduce or avoid?

• Be aware: too much bitter foods is not good 
• Avoid overthinking
• Avoid time pressure - the heart suffers from this. Try not to feel rushed and pressured, keep breathing and relaxing through this time.

General tips to help this meridian:

• Wear red clothes or carry red stones (red coral, garnet, also rose quartz, pink Peruvian opal, rhodonite, or pink tourmaline) over the heart or on the little finger. 

As you might know, I make malas, and you can order malas in these crystals on the webshop or directly with me if you want: https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product-category/malas/ - there are some beautiful ones in Peruvian opal, in rose quartz and in rhodonite on the webshop if this meridian needs healing.

• Hold and massage the little finger of each hand for 2 minutes. 
• Think and say the key phrase “I will.” 

Yoga for the heart meridian:

• Cow Face Pose: Grab your hands behind your back. One arm goes over the shoulder, with the other under and behind the back. In KY, the crossing of the legs is optional. Do breath of fire for 3 minutes, then reverse the arms and repeat. If your hands don't touch, you can hold on to the ends of a small towel or cloth. 



Image result for cow face pose kundalini yoga

• All exercises with the arms at shoulder height or above.

Kriyas:

There are dozens of Kundalini Yoga kriyas for the Heart Chakra. I even run 3-day retreats and 10-session private class series on this topic. Here are a few nice ones to practice: 
·         Kriya to open the Heart Center
·         Exercises for the Heart Center


(Source for the monthly full moon information that is then expanded on: http://www.breathislife.com/)