Sunday, 22 November 2020

Full Moon in Gemini affecting the Stomach Meridian – November 30, 2020

 Monday 30 November 2020 will see a Gemini full moon governing the Stomach meridian. 

Emotional stability is the key phrase for navigating this full moon.

 


Sikhs all across the world will be celebrating the Avtaar Purb (Gurpurb – birthday) of their first Guru, Dhan Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji Maharaj on this Full Moon (in our Bikrami moon calendar system – which predates the Gregorian calendar – this particular full moon is called Katak Sudi Puranmasi). From a Western point of view you would probably equate it with Christmas – but as we have a lineage of 10 Gurus in human form and one in the eternal form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji (i.e. the written form in shabad), we have a good few more Christmas-like dates to celebrate, i.e. 11…

 

Back to the stomach and its meridian though:

The Yang Stomach meridian works closely together with its Yin paired meridian of the Spleen, as well as with the Large Intestines, to protect against illnesses.

In TCM, the stomach is called names such as “the Minister of the Mill”, the “Sea of Nourishment” or the “Root of Postnatal Life”, because it is responsible for providing the entire human body with energy coming from the digestion of food and fluids.

In addition to digesting food and liquids and moving them to the small intestines for extraction and assimilation of nutrients, the stomach also has an important energetic job. It extracts energy from foods and fluids, and coordinates with the spleen to transport that energy to the lungs. In the lungs, this energy combines with Qi energy (Prana) from the air that we breathe.

Any dysfunction of the stomach immediately results in imbalances in the other organs.

However, as the stomach is the strongest organ and has the longest meridian of all organs (with 45 points), it can take a long time for disease to show up.

The stomach meridian is associated with our ability to assimilate new ideas, absorb information, as well as our ability to honour and nurture ourselves. As we receive subtle energy from the universe through the food we take in, the stomach is also an important organ to receive universal information into our bodies. This energy is then passed on to the small intestine meridian where it is carefully sorted – do we keep/absorb it, or do we let it go and eliminate it? (think of phrases in English like: “I can’t stomach this (information, emotion,…) now”, etc.)

Furthermore, the stomach is also the base for our emotional stability and the place where we sense emotion. In the same vein, the stomach meridian plays a vital role in our mental state, and imbalances in this meridian can cause many types of mental disturbances (see the list of symptoms further below).

 

Beginning at the side of the nose, the Stomach meridian rises to the corner of the eye (where it connects to the Urinary Bladder meridian) before descending along the side of the nose, to enter the upper gum, and follow the outer lips to the lower jaw, toward the joint of the jaw.

Here it branches, with one branch ascending again along the front of the ear to the forehead. The other branch descends through the body to the diaphragm and runs to the stomach (the organ) and spleen.

A third branch emerges from the lower jaw and runs across the outside of the body, crossing the chest and belly, until it terminates in the groin. The second branch, that runs through the stomach, reconnects here with this third branch and then as one line they run downward along the front of the leg down to the top of the foot, where there is another split. The main branch ends in the outside (lateral) tip of the second toe. The second branch reaches the inner (medial) side of the big toe, where it meets the Spleen meridian.

Just below the knee, yet an additional branch also split off, to run to the lateral side of the third toe.


Symptoms of an interrupted flow of the stomach meridian:

 

·                                          digestive problems: bloating, vomiting

·                                          stuffy nose / sinusitis 

·                                          neck / arm / shoulder pain 

·                                          burping 

·                                          dry mouth 

·                                          constipation

·                                          depression

·                                          anxiety, fear, dread

·                                          confusion; being overcritical or gullible

·                                          deep sadness and even despair

·                                          feeling stifled

·                                          hyperactivity & overactive sympathetic nervous system

·                                          some types of ADD

·                                          instability

·                                          doubt

·                                          suspicions

·                                          mania

·                                          suicidal tendencies & death wishes

·                                          addictive behaviour 

·                                          egotisticalness & a sense of over-importance of the self

·                                          slowness at assimilating new ideas

·                                          pain in any of the areas the meridian passes through (mouth, nose, teeth, gums, …)

Tips:

·                                          Eat yellow/orange foods like corn, squash, mango, banana, sweet potato, papaya, cantaloupe.

·                                          Wear yellow clothes and carry or wear yellow stones like Amber, Sunstone, Citrine, Yellow Jade, Yellow Mookaite, Tiger Eye and Yellow Tourmaline. Other helpful stones (of which you can also use malas - see https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/product-category/malas/ for a wide variety of choices) are the other colours of Mookaite, Bloodstone, Goldstone, Rhodonite, Amethyst, all Agates, all other Tourmalines, ...


Avoid:

·                                          stress

·                                          worry

·                                          overthinking

·                                          irregular meals

·                                          quick eating

·                                          wheat & gluten

·                                          food that is either too hot or too cold

·                                          coffee & caffeine

·                                          smoking

·                                          alcohol

·                                          soft drinks

·                                          drinking with your meals (drink between meals instead)

·                                          aspirin, ibuprofen, pharmaceuticals and pain medication

·                                          eating while multi-tasking

·                                          eating before going to sleep or even lying down after meals

·                                          eating when angry

Flu/Cold symptoms:

Chinese remedy Po Chai works on relieving both stomach and virus symptoms.

Yoga:

·                     Yoga mudra is an excellent posture for balancing this meridian. 3-11 minutes (hands are in Venus lock (interlaced), and you just lift up the arms as high as they can go - it might look nothing like the picture for you and they might only be lifted slightly - don't worry, that's okay).


·                     Mulbandh (root lock)

                      Sitting in Rock Pose (sitting on the heels)

·                     Any chanting with HAR at the navel

·                     Fish Pose with long deep breathing


·                     Bow pose and rocking in bow while chanting SA TA NA MA. 


 

Recommended Kriyas:

 

Sources: www.divinehuman.com and https://fiveseasonsmedicine.com/the-stomach-meridian-root-of-life-after-birth/

 

Saturday, 24 October 2020

October 31, 2020 - Full moon in Taurus, Affecting the Large Intestine (Colon) - Stay Steady

      


The next full moon on Saturday 31 October (coinciding with Halloween this year) is in Taurus, the bull. Taurus governs the large intestine (colon) 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 and gorgeous smells that can actually bring into your life! 

The breath, and especially yogic long deep breathing, supports the large intestines. 

In Chinese Medicine, the colon is the yang meridian of the Metal element, paired with the Lung meridian as its yin counterpart. The two are interlinked as the lungs are the seat of Prana Vayu (and represent what one nurtures oneself with: Prana) while the colon is home of Apana Vayu (representing what one releases). Issues in the colon can manifest in the lungs and vice versa. It's said that that is why people who never smoked can get lung cancer or people who lived healthy lives can get colon cancer. 

The emotions typically associated with the Large Intestine meridian are Grief & Depression.

Beginning at the tip of the index finger, the Colon meridian runs between the thumb and forefinger and along the outside (lateral side) of the arm.It comes over the outside top of the shoulder and along the back of the shoulder blades to the spine. Here it branches, with one branch descending through the lungs, diaphragm, and the large intestines. The second branch ascends along the neck and the lower cheek, and enters the lower gum, circling the lower teeth. On the outside of the face, this line also circles the upper lips, crosses under the nose and rises up to join the Stomach meridian.

From an emotional viewpoint, problems with the colon point to problems with letting go. These issues aren’t necessarily about current life events, but often stem from the past. It is 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. Many of us also have a strong tendency to identify with our stories and our past, we are very afraid of letting those identifications go and step into the unknown realm where we dare to ask: Who am I?, if I'm not my past experiences?

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: 
  • negative attitude
  • bowel disorders (colitis, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, smelly or bloody stool, colon cancer, ...)
  • problems in/with mouth, teeth, nose and throat
  • gum problems 
  • nose bleeds
  • toothache 
  • sore throat
  • skin disorders, pimples, acne, sallow skin, age spots, ...
  • accumulated mucus
  • slow metabolism
  • aching shoulders
  • aching neck
  • acidity in the body (acidic PH)
  • lack of energy
  • inflammation
  • weight gain
  • edema
  • foul breath
  • thinning hair or hair loss
  • living in the past & holding on
  • resentment
  • guilt
  • regret
  • hanging on
  • lack of generosity
  • possessiveness
  • stubbornness
  • compulsiveness
  • rigidity
  • resisting change
  • need for control
  • confusion
  • self-poisoning
  • anal retentiveness
  • contraction.

Things that are good to eat:
  • All white foods - e.g. rice, cauliflower (gobhi), 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 - but cooked/steamed/... not cold. Bananas can help the colon greatly, as can baked apples.
  • Wholegrains, especially (think white again) rice.
  • Fiber-rich foods
  • Green vegetables
  •  Lots of fresh water.

Things that are not good to eat around this full moon:
  • Avoid dehydration.
  • Avoid gulping down your meals and chewing poorly.
  • Avoid irregular eating patterns
  • Avoid sitting too much - move!
  • 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 (yes, even though these are white...).
  • Also avoid any other foods that you know don't agree with you well or that cause inflammation to your body (acidic foods, foods that cause congestion, refined or processed foods, ...)
  • Avoid eating cold foods (craving them indicates an imbalance in this meridian): raw fruit, raw vegetables and mushrooms, cold beverages, ice cream, cold dairy foods, ...
  • Avoid greasy or spicy foods, alcohol or meat (again, you might be craving them, indicating an imbalance here).
  • Avoid dairy, gluten, soy, corn, ... if you (think you might) have leaky gut.

Tips: 
  • Hold and massage the index fingers of each hand for 2 minutes throughout the day.
  • Massage and move your lymph daily.
  • Find a healthy expression for your emotions.
  • Spend time in nature, and reflect on how it teaches us to let go.
  • Remember you are connected to a higher consciousness. 
  • Use the mantra: “Let Go & Let God.”

Yoga:
  • 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 for 3-5 minutes, then relax. 
Image result for kundalini yoga knees into chest
  • 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: 

Malas that would support the large intestine meridian:

Monday, 28 September 2020

October 1st 2020 - Full Moon in Aries affecting the Lung Meridian - Time to Let Go

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, this next full moon takes us up one chakra to the 4th, the heart chakra (aka Anahat Chakra or Hirda). This gives us a chance to work on releasing grief that is stored in the lungs. 

In Chinese Medicine the Lung Meridian is the Yin meridian of the Metal element, with the Large Intestine meridian being the Yang paired meridian. The Lung meridian begins inside the belly just above the navel and drops down to the large intestines. From here it comes back up through the diaphragm and connects to the stomach. It ascends through the lungs and follows the throat before coming to the front surface of the shoulder from under the clavicle. From here it runs along the outer, thumb side (medial/radial side) of the upper arm and the front (anterior) side of the lower arm. It crosses the wrist and ends at the outer tip of the thumb. (A small branch that is not pictured goes from the wrist to the tip of the index finger, where it connects to the Large Intestine Meridian.)


The Lung meridian controls Qi energy and respiration, and it also regulates water flow. The lungs regulate the Qi that we absorb from the natural world and they distribute it through the body. They control breathing, distributing oxygen to the blood, helping circulate blood and Wei Qi. They are also a detox organ, eliminating stale Qi. They help Qi and fluids descend into the intestines, and together with the Kidneys they regulate the water metabolism. 

The lung meridian also rules the skin and sweat glands (all important detox organs) as well as the hair on the body (except on the head). Lastly, the Lung system regulates protective Wei Qi, the sinuses, bronchia, nose, throat, voice, the ability to smell and to speak with a clear voice.

Feelings of sorrow, grief and (extreme and persistent) sadness are quite common to accompany this full moon in Aries (ram), as the Lungs generate the emotion of grief and its opposite: the wisdom of understanding significance.
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.


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 
  • Weak immune system 
  • Nose congestion or sinusitis 
  • Snoring
  • Tightness in diaphragm or middle back 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • Sore throat
  • Aversion to cold
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Mental confusion 
  • Dry skin 
  • Coughing 
  • Asthma
  • Chest pains
  • Occipital headache
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Lung problems
  • Skin problems
  • Sinus problems
  • Problems with the paired large intestine meridian: constipation, IBS, colitis, diverticulitis 
  • Excessive drinking or smoking
  • Excessive eating of greasy or spicy food
Emotional Symptoms:
  • Grief
  • Sorrow
  • Unresolved loss
  • Sadness
  • Repressed emotions
  • Repressed sensuality
  • Low self-esteem
  • Loss of personal boundaries
  • OCD
  • Issues with letting go
  • Perfectionism
  • Self-righteousness
  • Dogmatic religious beliefs
  • Prejudism
  • Problems with authority
  • Lack of spiritual trust
  • Problems with intimacy
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 chlorophyll).
Avoid:
  • Getting stuck in self-rejection
  • Sugar & sweets
  • Dryness (of lungs, skins) -- moisturise!
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: moisturise & use a diffuser in the house.
  • Hydrate the body: drink water
  • Breathe clean air - go into the woods, spend time in nature.
  • 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.
  • Some of the gemstones that support the Lungs and Lung Meridian best and that help balance this meridian are: Labradorite, Chrysocolla and Tourmaline. I have malas with all of them available on my webshop should you need that extra help: https://www.shuniya-yoga.org/shop/
Yoga: 
  • All breathing practices (pranayama) to control the prana in the organs. The Basic Breath Series would be wonderful to practice: https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/pranayam/basic-breath-series .
  • Breath of fire is the most effective pranayam to do now.
  • Yoga Mudra in rock pose or easy pose.
  • 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.