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.
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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: