Yoga Anatomy

Releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Yoga Twisting Postures  

by Annie Au

In this modern world, we as human beings are often trapped in the pendulum of love and hate. As we may have experienced, the flip side of love is a raging river of anger and jealousy, flowing through us often unapologetically. Based on the meridian system in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), love flows through the Heart meridian while anger runs in the Liver meridian. When our Heart and Liver energies are balanced, we express compassion to all beings and are passionate about life. Conversely when energy stagnates in these channels, our heart and liver contract replacing love with explosive anger and irritation.

Interestingly, there is an essential muscle that connects the anatomical heart and liver in our body. This critical muscle is our diaphragm. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. It is the primary muscle that the body uses when breathing. The top part of the diaphragm is connected to a small sac called the pericardium, which protects and holds the heart in place. The bottom part of the diaphragm is connected to the liver. According to the meridian system, promoting healthy flow of energy in the actual organ as well as its orbs of energetic influence is absolutely crucial in maintaining health and wellness.

The heart sits on top of the diaphragm, while the liver is tucked under the diaphragm on the right side under the rib cage.

The heart sits on top of the diaphragm, while the liver is tucked under the diaphragm on the right side under the rib cage.

 

Twisting postures help release tension in the diaphragm. Sequentially, by releasing the diaphragm, we also indirectly massage and soften the heart and liver. As you try out these poses, visualize all the negative thoughts and emotions exiting the body. In return, the vacated negative emotions are replaced by contentment and joy.

Reclining twists (5 minutes per side)

Lie down on your back and shift the pelvis to the right slightly. Draw the right knee towards the chest and slowly bring it to left side of the body. Keep the right arm parallel to the shoulder and the head facing the ceiling.

 

*Keep the head facing the ceiling helps prevent blood stop in the arteries along the neck. This is especially important in yin yoga practice where we hold a posture for several minutes.

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

 

Hold for 5 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

Cat Pulling Its Tail (5 minutes per side)

Lie down on your back and shift the pelvis to the right slightly. Draw the right knee towards the chest and slowly bring it to left side of the body. Bend the left knee and kick it back towards the buttock. Hold the left ankle with your right hand. Use a strap if necessary.

 

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

Hold for 5 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

Restorative Side Twist  (6-8minutes per side)

This posture is more restorative than Yin. Sit sideways like a mermaid. Place a bolster or pillow against the hip. Slowly twist the torso towards the bolster and lay down on it. This is a more gentle twist and can hold for several minutes.

 

releasing Anger and Restoring Love Through Yin Twisting Postures  annie au yoga

Hold for 6-8 minutes and repeat on the other side.

 

You can infuse these postures in your regular yoga practice or practice 1-2 postures above before bed.