A Sikh's blog on how nature can nurture us and how we can nurture nature, and on how that can be done in a respectful interplay from which both we and Mother Earth benefit.
With information on natural health care, recipes for making your own cleaning and care products, tips for pregnancy and childbirth, information on how to reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint, and much more.
Today, Monday 17 June 2019, is bringing us a full moon in Sagittarius that is affecting the Pericardium meridian, also known as the meridian of the 'heart helper' or 'heart protector'. The pericardium is the protective sheath (layer) that surrounds the heart organ. Together with the heart and the blood vessels, the pericardium runs the circulatory system.
The pericardium meridian is a yin meridian and is paired with the Triple Warmer meridian. It is the mediator between the water tattva and the fire (agni) tattva -- between our emotions in the second chakra and our passion in the third chakra. The fire tattva is purifying and transforming - its energy is not bound by gravity but rises up towards the heavens.
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 centre 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:
the inability to smile
problems with or pain in the hips
cold extremities (hands and feet) due to poor blood circulation
low sexual joy
rounding off the shoulders to try and protect the heart
many stress-related problems
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.
dark chocolate, green tea (washed first), matcha tea, Yano or another grain coffee.
Yoga postures for the pericardium:
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):
Meditation for Forgiveness. Do this meditation with a partner or look into a mirror. Sit in easy pose facing your partner and look into your partner's eyes (or your own in the mirror). Breathe (together) long and deep.
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 kidneys and sexual organs, relate to the second chakra. The second chakra is related to the water element and key is learning to step into the flow of life, without resistance, and with deep trust for what is and what is to come. 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:
Fear, timidity, frustration and tearfulness
Pain in the ankles and kneecaps
Pain in the lower back, neck or head
Leg cramps and sciatic pains
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, ...)
White horseradish ('mooli') -- juiced, grated, in a salad, mooli pronthay, ...
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
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
Standing with the hands in Venus Lock (fingers interlaced) on the head, swinging loosely from side to side. In the same position, bend forward from the waist on the exhale, and up and back on the exhale
Calming the Mind meditation: place the left hand on the heart center, right hand in gyaan mudra on the right knee. Through rounded lips, inhale and exhale with a whistle, breathing slowly and deeply.
February'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
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
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 on 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.
A lot of the kriyas we've recently been doing in classes are excellent for this meridian:
2019's first full moon - just like 2018's Blood Moon in January - will be in the sign of Leo, the lion, and will - as the Leo full moon always does - be governing the 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
• Loss of taste
• High blood pressure
"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, chocolate, green & black tea (in moderation if at all, because of the caffeine's effect on your kidneys - 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), basil, Brussels sprouts, 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, rose quartz) over the heart or on the little finger.
• 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 Mudra: Grab your hands behind your back. One arm goes over the shoulder, with the other under and behind the back. 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.
• All exercises with the arms at shoulder height or above.
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:
The next full moon on Wednesday 24 October 2018 is in Taurus, the bull. Taurus governs the large intestine meridian and also rules the neck and throat. The large intestines are responsible for elimination. Autumn and nature are showing us what a great time it is to let go of what is old, to shed what has served its purpose and is not needed any more, and how much beauty and colour that can actually bring into your life!
The breath, especially deep breathing, supports the large intestines.
In Chinese Medicine, the colon is the part of the first meridian which begins with the lung and ends with the colon. The two are interlinked as the lungs are what one brings into their selves and the colon is what one releases. Issues in the colon can manifest in the lungs and vice versa. It's said that is why people who never smoked can get lung cancer or people who lived healthy lives can get colon cancer.
From an emotional viewpoint, problems with the colon point to problems with letting go. These issues aren’t typically about current life events, but usually stem from the past. It is in human nature to hold on to events because there is a belief that by never forgetting, we will not let it happen again. While it is helpful to learn from the past, there is a point where what we hold onto will hold us back from moving on. Resentment is an example of holding onto the past and the emotion can literally jam up the entire body.
The full moon influence challenges us to let go of what is old, without resentment, and to be steady without being stubborn and consistent but not rigid.
Physical / Mental Symptoms:
skin disorders, pimples, acne, ...
living in the past & holding on
lack of generosity
Things that are good to eat:
All white foods - e.g. rice, cauliflower (gobi), white horseradish (mooli), parsnip, the white of leeks and spring onions, and of course the three roots: onion, garlic & ginger. Organic, home-made yogurt and lassi
All hot vegetables
Whole fresh fruits and vegetables. Bananas can help the colon greatly, as can baked apples.
Grains, especially (think white again) rice.
Things that are not good to eat around this full moon:
This is an excellent time to cut down or eliminate eating refined sugar and products made from white flour, like bread, rotis, chapattis and pasta.
Also avoid any other foods that you know don't agree with you well or that inflame your body.
Avoid dairy, gluten, soy, corn, ... if you (think you might) have leaky gut.
Hold and massage the index fingers of each hand for 2 minutes throughout the day.
Remember you are connected to a higher consciousness.
Use the mantra: “Let Go & Let God.”
Archer pose is an excellent posture for balancing the large intestine meridian. Try 5 minutes on each side with breath of fire - if you want you can work up to 11 minutes.
A mantra like the Guru Gaitri mantra Gobinday Mukanday ... can greatly help to support you in keeping up, as can any other Bir Ras (warrior) mantra or shabad.
Work on both the large intestines and the neck/throat: Lying on your back, use your arms to pull your knees to your chest. Then lift your head with the nose between your knees. Hold the posture with breath of fire 3-5 minutes, then relax.
Alternatively you can exhale as you lift the head up and pull the knees down with the arms, then inhale dropping the head down and relaxing the pull of the arms. Repeat this 25-100 times, then relax in corpse pose.
Some wonderful Kundalini Yoga kriyas for this full moon:
As we've been given the opportunity to work through
our frustrations and anger in the past 2 full moons, working on the 3rd chakra, September's full moon takes us up one chakra to the 4th, the heart chakra, giving
us a chance to work on releasing grief that is stored in the lungs.
Feelings of sorrow, grief and sadness are quite common to accompany this full
moon Aries (ram). You may also experience an urge to make up for 'lost time'.
It's a perfect time to let go of old limiting beliefs, patterns and pain that
is stopping you from growing.
The lung meridian also rules the skin and hair
on the body (except on the head).
All pranayamas are wonderful to work on the lung meridian and release grief and
sadness. Our breath connects our inner and outer worlds, and is hence the first
step in becoming conscious and aware of ourselves and the world around
us. Physical Symptoms: • Low energy • Tightness in diaphragm or middle back • Mental confusion • Dry skin • Coughing • Weak immune system • Nose congestion or sinusitis • Snoring
Things to eat: • All white food, especially cauliflower. • Garlic, ginger and raw onions clean the blood
and strengthen your nerves and immune system. • Chlorophyll and freshly ground psyllium husk
(seeds), (1 tablespoon each with juice) before breakfast and dinner. • Dark green vegetables (contain lots of
Tips: • Hold and massage the ring finger of
each hand for 2 minutes. Repeat during the day. This energizes and balances the
lung meridian and neutralizes sorrow. • Place rose quartz over your heart center to
protect against sadness. • Keep skin and lungs moist. • Walking, biking, dancing or any aerobic
exercise that gets you sweating. • Play or listen to the gong or singing bowls to
stimulate the lung meridian. • Repeat this affirmation often. “I am
__________” (fill in the blank). It can be ‘I am beautiful.’ ‘I am loved.’ ‘I
am grateful.’ You decide and vary the ending as much as you like as long as it
is a positive statement. A wonderful practice is the Celestial Communication 'I
am the light of the soul. I am bountiful, I am beautiful, I am bliss, I am, I
am'. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ8TelEjYcM for a live version at the Yoga Festival in
France in 2007.
• Standing twist. Inhale,
twist left with the left arm stretched out and back, right hand comes onto the
heart center. Then exhale twisting right with the left hand on the heart. Keep
the hips facing forward.