Last month we began our discussion of the Liver/Gall bladder system and how it relates to the Spring and our physical bodies. The liver system is also closely related to our emotions, especially anger, irritability and depression.
In Chinese Medicine the Kidneys control the bones, the Spleen control the muscles and the Liver controls the tendons. In yoga theory proper alignment begins with the bones. When the bones are balanced the muscles simply hug the bones in support. What happens when misalignment occurs especially over a long period of time?
The deepest layer are the bones and they relate to fear. Constant misalignment can contribute to fear. You know those irrational fears, the ones you don’t even talk about. Fear of failure, fear of success etc etc. This can be very unconscious as our posture is always present yet we rarely pay attention to it.
The second layer are the muscles and they relate to worry. Worry is sometimes easier to pay attention to as it usually is closer to the surface and found in our thoughts. Worry can also be referred to as over thinking, ruminating and being pensive.
The last layer we will talk about are the tendons and sinews. The tendons connect the muscles to bones. When misalginment occurs the tendons are pulled and stretched often passed their normal limits. The liver controls are ability to relax, especially when its time to relax. Do you have trouble with that? Your posture could be a contributing factor. When the tendons are overworked in this way irritability, anger or depression can be present or you might find that you easily “fly off the handle” so to speak. Its literally when the body has reached its breaking point.
The body is really great at making changes. Little steps build slowly into easy habits. You might find as we move through our yoga practice old thoughts, memories or emotions float up to the surface. This happens so the body can release these old patterns and make room for the new ones. As best you can simply observe what comes up and when you are ready let it go. (the oil blends chosen for this month are especially helpful at working through these emotions) Sometimes this is instantaneous and sometimes you might work with a particular thought or feeling for awhile until it releases.
Besides practicing yoga what can you do to instill proper alignment? It all begins with awareness. Pay attention to how you sit when you drive, work, eat, relax etc. How do you feel in these postures? How does your body breathe? Do you feel balanced?
We talked about this in the winter time, feel free to reference back to the winter recaps if you were in class or you can purchase the info for $15.
The foundation of our alignment is in our pelvis. Next the femur bones of the legs and humerus bones of the arms must be grounded in their sockets. This not only allows the body to be properly oxygenated but helps keeps the emotions grounded and able to be expressed in a healthy manner.
Difficult Pose reach back like sitting in chair, fold from hips, bend knees, knees in lined with ankles
Wood Chopper- deep breath in through the nose as you raise hands, gusty exhale as you chop wood ( keep knees bent for low back support)
Eagle there are many modifications to eagle pose. If this seems to intense, repeat difficult post. Start with feet first, keep hips squared (don’t hike the hip that is crossed over) You can also do this pose with hips supported by wall.
Wide Legged forward fold- keep knees bent for proper alignment if hamstrings are tight,
Rag doll- bend knees and rest upper body on thighs, reach for opposite elbow with opposite hand
Squat- rest heels on pillow or blanket if you can’t squat with feet rooted to ground, you can also place a block or bolster under sits bones for support
Reclined Bound Angle
Constructive Rest Pose
LI4- in the webbing between thumb and index finger, opens circulation to the upper half of body, helps to seperate negative thoughts
LV3- in between webbing between first and second toes. Opens circulation to the lower half of the body. Helps with relieving irritability and pain in the body
CV17- opens the heart and build energy, helps to relieve anxiety
GB40- helps release anger and tension in the body
This oil blend helps to release emotions and trauma stored in the liver. Massage 1-3 drops over the liver, soles of the feet and lower back daily or as needed. Contains ylang ylang, lavandin, geranium, sandalwood, blue tansy, olive oil.
Young Living and Oola have partnered together to offer this one of a kind essential oil blend Oola Grow. This blend is designed to help you reach unlimited potential and growth in many aspects of life. Whether it’s emotional, spiritual, or mental, Oola Grow gives you courage to focus on the task at hand and helps you move forward towards positive advancements and progression. Massage 1-3 drops over soles of feet, heart and crown of head daily or as needed.
Contains ylang ylang, white fir, blue tansy, cedarwood, blue cypress, jasmine, galbanum, frankincense, sandalwood, lavender, cinnamon, rose, geranium, coriander, bergamot, neroli, roman chamomile, spruce, rosewood, clary sage, juniper, idaho tansy, orange, almond oil, fractionated coconut oil.
You can order these oils here.