Lung meridian: How Yin Yoga Can Stop Your Uncontrollable Episodes of Crying.
This is the fourth article of the 5-part series on how to apply Yin Yoga on our meridians to harmonize our body and mind. So far, we have discussed the Liver, Spleen, and Heart meridians. This week we’ll cover the Lung meridian.
Have you ever felt like crying for no reasons at all? It's as if the world is painted in different shades of grey and nothing is worthy of a glint of happiness. Well, in Western medicine, they would label it as depression and you would go home with a bunch of antidepressant pills. Interestingly, in Chinese medicine, sadness and grief are associated with the Lung meridian. The good news is there are ways to remove sadness without the pills. Read on and see how yin yoga can stop your uncontrollable crying episodes.
The Lungs are solid Yin organs that correspond to the Metal Element. Their associated Yang organ is the Large Intestines. In general, the Lungs control the cycle of Qi circulation in the body. In TCM, Lung Qi deficiency can manifest as fatigue, weak cough, weak voice, lack of desire to speak, shortness of breath, weak respiration, and asthma.
According to the Daoist view, the Lungs represent the congenital virtues of righteousness, dignity, generosity, and social responsibility. After birth, the lungs store the acquired postnatal emotions of grief, sorrow, sadness, shame, disappointment, self-pity, guilt, and despair. If the circulation of Qi becomes obstructed for long periods of time, the Lungs Qi stagnation can initiate chronic emotional turmoil, such as sudden outbursts of crying or sinking into despair. You can restore and grow your positive attributes such as integrity and high self-esteem when you harmonize the Lung Qi.
The Lung meridian begins in the solar plexus and descends to meet the Large Intestine. From there, it winds up past the stomach, crosses the diaphragm, splits into two branches, and enters the Lungs. The two branches re-unite and pass up the middle of the windpipe to the throat surfacing near the front of the shoulder. From here it passes over the shoulder and down the front of the arm and finishes at the thumb.
Yin Postures for the Lung Meridian:
Just like the Heart meridian, the Yin poses for the Lung/Large Intestine meridians are those that target the upper body, specifically the inner arms. I recommend continuing on the poses described in the Heart meridian article, including the Reclining Twist, Camel, and Broken Wings. Hold these poses for a minimum of 3 minutes and up to 10 minutes. Rest after each pose and alternate side.
There is one more Yin pose that targets the upper inner arms. As of yet, I haven’t found its official name. If you know, please let me know! For now, I’m calling this pose the Broken Branch.
Start by lying on your stomach. Hold your elbows with the opposite hands and move the elbows just ahead of your shoulders, propping yourself up. Thread your left arm under the right arm extending the left arm to the side, while keeping the body upright. Slowly bring the right arm to the opposite side and lowering the body down to the floor. If the sensations are too strong, keep the elbows bent and the body slightly off the floor.
Cautions practicing this pose if you have sensitive shoulders or you’re prone to shoulder dislocation. If this is the case, I recommend lessening the intensity by propping the body up with the elbows bent or skipping this pose entirely!
Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy Vol 1: Energetic Anatomy & Philosophy, by Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson.
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