In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), 12 principal meridians
(or nadis in Sanskrit) extend throughout the body, each running through and named for a different organ—the kidney meridian, liver meridian, heart meridian, and so forth. These meridians are the channels or pathways through which chi
flows in the body.
It is also understood in TCM
that our organs are the holding places for emotions we’ve not yet addressed or released. The kidneys hold fear; the liver holds anger; the heart contains grief; and so on. Thus, when diseases or imbalances arise in those organs, it is important to consider the related emotion as well.
Fear, Yin Yoga, and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Yin yoga was built on an understanding of TCM principles, making it an ideal practice to simultaneously increase the quality of the chi flowing through the meridians and enhance our emotional wellbeing.
[Read: “The Benefits of Yin Yoga.”]
These postures address the emotion of fear and all of its close cousins: apprehension, confusion, anxiety, and uncertainty. These emotions connect to the kidneys, so these postures will primarily stretch the inner thighs and lower back regions through which the kidney and bladder meridians run (kidney and bladder are a yin/yang pair).
Three Yin Yoga Postures for Fear, Anxiety, and Confusion
The trinity of postures outlined here will help:
- Promote a calmer mind
- Stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system
- Nourish the adrenal glands that sit atop the kidneys
1. Wide-Kneed Child’s Pose