Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Yin Yoga’

Yin Yoga Is

Posted by terrepruitt on February 17, 2020

Not too long ago I received a copy of the magazine “Yoga Journal” and was excited to see an article in it about Yin Yoga. It presented Yin Yoga in the light that I was taught. It separated Yin Yoga from Restorative Yoga. It mentioned some science even as to why Yin Yoga is important, so not just talk about energy and meridians, but something that could be measured and shown to those that really need to see some science behind yoga. I will share that post later. Right now I just wanted to do something quick to help give people a quick idea of what Yin Yoga is. When I tell people that I teach Yin Yoga their first question is, “What is Yin Yoga?” This is just a quick bulleted list to help answer that question.

• Yin Yoga is a passive practice.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin Yoga

• Yin Yoga has LONG holds.

• Yin Yoga is about connective tissue and meridians.

• Yin Yoga is about being in a pose and not using muscle to get into a pose.

• Yin Yoga is not “Restorative Yoga.”

• Yin Yoga has poses that may seem familiar, but the hold is longer and therefore the intent is different.

• Yin Yoga is primarily an on-the-floor (seated, lying prone, or supine) practice.

• Yin is a cooling practice.

• Yin Yoga is the counter practice to a yang practice.

• Yin Yoga is a still practice.

In some of my previous posts regarding Yin Yoga, I have addressed some of these points in more detail, but in addition to a post with the information from the Yoga Journal article, I might just do a post expounding on each bullet point.  We will see.

What do you think?  Have you ever taken a Yin Yoga class?

Posted in Yin Yoga | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Stressing Not Stretching

Posted by terrepruitt on January 20, 2020

I teach a stretch class. In that class we do static stretches that are meant to stretch our muscles. Sometimes to get people into the stretch I use the name of a yoga pose, but because we are stretching our intent is different. If we were actually in yoga doing the pose we would be including breathing and strengthening, but in the stretch class I try to just make it about stretching the muscles. I may have mentioned before, when I started learning Yin Yoga I was frustrated because the names of the poses were different. I kept saying, “Why are the names different? They are the same poses?” Then I realized that the intent of the pose is different. So it really does serve the student better to call it something different. If I were to instruct students to move into Bound Angle, then people that know this pose would pull their feet in as close as they could pressing their knees towards the earth and lengthening the spine, but in Yin calling it butterfly lets them know that they are not doing the same thing as they would be in a yang class. There is no need to pull the feet in as close to the middle as you can get them and press the knees down, the idea is to soften and round, the head and knees hang resting where they are to help the connective tissue stress (FKA stretch). So the names are different to help remind us that the intent is different. We are not working (stretching, strengthening, moving) muscles; we are relaxing muscles and letting our bodies hang into a pose. In Yin Yoga we are not stretching we are stressing.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaI often use the same description – stretch – when I am teaching Yin yoga, although that is not the intent. First of all we are focusing on connective tissue and not the muscles, but we still are not trying to STRETCH the tissue. That is what we say, but that it not really what we are doing. Saying we are stretching it does sound better than what we are doing. We are actually stressing it. It seems as if we have been programmed to think that stretching and lengthening are good so that is usually how we describe it. Even when someone goes to the gym they say they are going to “build muscles,” people don’t say they are going to the gym to “break down their muscles” – even though that is actually what they are doing. It is the breaking down of the fibers and the stressing of the fibers that we are actually doing. Then when we rest they build up again or in the case of fascia, return to its normal state stronger and changed for the better.

It is such a habit to say “stretch”. “In Yin Yoga we stretch our connective tissue.” I think I say it because it sounds a little better than stressing. I also keep saying lengthen because it sounds like a goal people want to hear. I think that for many of the people I have encountered stretching and lengthening are goals. Connective tissues doesn’t really stretch out, it gets stressed which helps hydrate it and strengthen it and allow it to move and support us better.

I also feel like some of this is in part due to the fact that many people think of Yin Yoga as Restorative Yoga. Restorative Yoga is more of a relaxing muscle stretching type of yoga. It can help heal the body. There are many props used to allow the participant to lie there in comfort. Yin Yoga is not about comfort. It about stressing that connective tissue which can make the part of the body feel like it aged years over the few minutes you were in the pose. But as long as it is not PAIN or tingling or numbing that is being felt it sounds as if you are doing it right.

In order for the yin pose to be effective it needs to be done for a long time. I was taught that it has to be AT LEAST one minute. But I see some information say it must be longer, but I have also been taught that for many people and for many poses we need to start at one minute because even that is going to feel like an eternity. As the body becomes accustomed to long holds then the time spent in each pose can be longer. I believe the ideal time is from three to five minutes . . . but it also depends on the pose.

Just like with all yoga it is important to listen to the body and not try to compete, the idea is to play the edge yet know when you must stop. Again, we are STRESSING the tissue but we don’t want to stress it past its breaking point. We still must be mindful.

Posted in Yin Yoga, Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Four Tattvas For Yin Yoga Practice

Posted by terrepruitt on September 16, 2019

I’ve been preaching about the four principles of a Yin Yoga practice. The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga calls them tattvas and it lists three.  Tattva is Sanskrit and it is said to mean truth or principle. Some say it stands for “thatness” or reality. So we could say that these are four intentions or goals of a Yin Yoga practice.

1) Come into the pose at the appropriate depth.

I was actually taught to come into a pose about 80% of what I can do or could do. So, first of all, there is a difference between what you can do in a 30 second hold and what you can do in a three to five minute hold. Start in a pose at 80% of what you can do and hold. Then see how it goes. There is always time to go further into the pose. Often time there is “sinking” or “relaxing” into a pose and if you started out at that 100% mark there would be no room to sink and relax. So starting out at about 80% gives you room to lengthen into it.

2) Resolve to be still.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaIt is such a challenge to be still. Sometimes movement might not even come because there is discomfort we might just feel the NEED to move our hair, adjust our clothes, or examine that spot/lint/crumb on our pants/leg/mat. But the change comes from the stillness. The Qi moves when there is relaxation in the muscles and there isn’t something – a muscle contraction – blocking it. So resolve to be still, this does not include the sinking or relaxing into a pose. What I have experienced and what I see is that just happens and is almost imperceptible if not something that the participant is not even that aware is happening.  It is the actually moving around that you don’t want to do.

3) Hold for a time.

Since the tissue we are working with is not elastic and it really won’t stretch in the same way a muscle can be stretched it needs time to change and “lengthen”. Again, most of that sinking from relaxation doesn’t even come until after the one minute mark so the longer you can hold the more time the tissue will have to change.

4) Play your edge.

This comes after the “appropriate depth” idea. Once you have come into a pose at the 80% of what you can do, you want to push the boundary. That does not mean push into a pose that just means allow your body to sink into or relax into it until you are sure you can’t go any more. That doesn’t even mean go to you 100%, necessarily, it could . . . but it just depends. Remember every time we come to the mat it is different. There are days that we know we shouldn’t be doing what we consider to our 100% and then there are days that we are convinced we can do 110%. So that edge, that 100% is constantly changing and we can play that edge every time. That is where we affect the change.

So these are four principles that I learned that should be applied every time we come to the mat for a Yin Yoga Practice.  Starting at 80% will allow us space to sink/relax and give the body a change to lengthen.  Staying still will allow the Qi to flow.  Holding the pose give our bodies the time it needs for us to sink/relax and the Qi to flow.  And playing that edge ensures we will allow for change.

Do you have any tattvas you bring to you mat when doing Yin Yoga? 

Posted in Yin Yoga | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Twelve Principal Sinew Meridians

Posted by terrepruitt on September 4, 2019

I was looking over my Yin Yoga posts recently and I see that in my first one I mention that my training focused on the twelve principal sinew meridians. In subsequent post I split up the sinew meridians into categories: legs, arms, yin, yang, I even describe their points of origination or jing well points, but I never list them all in one post. To briefly clarify, the sinew meridians are different from the primary meridians as they are along the periphery or surface of the body. They are not as deep as the primary meridians and they are more of an area instead of an “exact” channel, so they are more easily targeted by Yin Yoga. They are not necessarily used for acupuncture because with acupuncture there is need for more precision. I can’t speak for you, but I find myself wanting to see a list so that is what this post is.

The Twelve Principal Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaSinew Meridians are:

Small Intestine (Yang)
Heart (Yin)
Triple Heater (Yang)
Pericardium (Yin)
Large Intestine (Yang)
Lung (Yin)

Bladder (Yang)
Gall Bladder (Yang)
Stomach (Yang)
Liver (Yin)
Spleen (Yin)
Kidney (Yin)

 

 

 

The first six are arm meridians and the last six are leg meridians.

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As I mentioned I have several posts regarding twelve principal sinew meridians:

Jing Well Points Of The Feet

Yin Leg Meridians

Yang Leg Meridians

Jing Well Points Of The Hands

Yin Arm Sinew Meridians

Yang Arm Sinew Meridians

I know it is possible to compile a list from my various posts, but it makes more sense to me to have a post with a list.

Have you had an opportunity to try Yin Yoga?

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Yang Arm Sinew Meridians

Posted by terrepruitt on May 21, 2018

The Yin Yoga Teacher Training I was taking is done. But that doesn’t mean I am done posting. There was so much information. I have a lot to post about. I introduced Yin Yoga and the meridians/channels being the path of Qi and how we were focusing on the sinew meridians. I wrote about the Jing Well Points being the starting points of the meridians and how there are Jing Well Points of the Feet and Jing Well Points of the Hands. I wrote two posts for the Leg Sinew Meridians because they are split into Yin Leg Meridians and Yang Leg Meridians. I have already posted about the Yin Arm Sinew Meridians so this is a post about the Yang Arm Sinew Meridians. They are for the Large Intestine Sinew Channel, Triple Heater Sinew Channel, and Small Intestine Sinew Channel.

The Yang Sinew Meridians – for the most part – run up the outer part of the body. The meridians travels up the forearm crosses over the elbows up the upper arm and into the head. Whereas the Yin Arm Sinew Meridians travel up the inner arm and go into the chest.

The starting point or the jingDance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via Zoom well point for the large intestine sinew meridian starts on the lateral side of the base of the nail of the index finger. It travels up the back of the palm past the wrist up the medial side of the forearm, to the lateral side of the inner elbow and continues up the outside of the upper arm to the shoulder where it branches out. One branch spreads over the scapula and connects at the spine, and the other branch proceeds to the neck. It travels up the neck to the jaw where it branches again, one branch continuing up and over to the bridge of the nose and the other going up and over the head to the jaw on the other side. This Qi can show signs of being blocked when there is trouble gripping and bearing weight with the arms.

The triple heater sinew meridian starts at the medial side of the base of the nail of the ring finger. It travels to the wrist back of the palm. It continues up the outer forearm, over the elbow, up the back of the arm onto the shoulder and up the side of the neck. At the jaw it branches off into two branches, one following the line of the jaw and connecting with the root of the tongue and the other travels up past the front of the ear angling up to the outer corner of the eye then moves upwards to the side of the head. Difficulty rotating the head or rotating lengthened limbs could be a sign of blocked Qi in this sinew meridian.

The jing will point for the small intestine sinew meridian is at the median side of the pinky. The sinew meridians goes up the lateral side of the hand, up the forearm, past the elbow, up the back of the arm, over the shoulder blade. It continues up the neck to a bone behind the ear then branches from there. One branch goes into the ear the other goes up and around the ear all the way down the jaw, then back up past the outer corner of the eye up to the side of the head. This sinew meridian could show signs of blockage when it is difficult to extend your body and its parts.

The arm sinew meridians can be freed up by activating the jing well points. With Yin Yoga the poses tend to focus on the lower body but it is possible to affect the arm meridians during certain asana. Yin yoga generates Qi flow through the body and releases latency from meridians.

Now we have all the twelve sinew meridians mapped out.

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. The information on this blog is not intended to replace advice and instruction from a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Yin Arm Sinew Meridians

Posted by terrepruitt on May 16, 2018

The meridians or the channels are the paths that the Qi travels. In the Yin Yoga Teacher Training I am taking we are focusing on the SINEW Meridians. The Jing Well Points are the areas where the meridians begin. The leg meridians begin at the Jing Well Points of the feet. The arm meridians begin at the Jing Well Points of the hand. Just like the leg meridians there are Yin and Yang Arm Meridians. Also, remember that the Jing Well Points and the meridians are bilateral so they are on the left side as well as the right side. The Yin Sinew Arm Meridians are the Lung Sinew Meridian, the Heart Sinew Meridian, and the Pericardium Sinew Meridian.

The Yin Sinew Meridians run up the inner part of the limbs, primarily. So the Yin Sinew Arm Meridians, run up the inner forearm and inner upper arm. The Yang Sinew Arm Meridians travel up the outer part of the arm, crossing over the elbow.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via Zoom, Nia White Belt training via ZoomThe jing will point for the lung sinew meridian is at the base of the thumb nail. The lung sinew meridian travels up the “back” of the thumb over to the inside of the wrist up the inner forearm up the inner upper arm into the arm pit, continues on to the anterior shoulder spreading out to L1-15. It also branches down to the diaphragm, spreads over the diaphragm ending in the area of the floating rib. Lung Qi has to do with circulation and, of course, respiration. Weak lungs or blocked lung Qi could be evident by signs of skin issues or a poor sense of smell.

The heart sinew meridian starts at the nail bed of the lateral side of the pinky, crosses over to the inside of the palm, travels to the wrist and up the inner side of the arm, over the medial aspect of the elbow. It travels into the chest under the armpit through the diaphragm ending at the belly button. The heart and its Qi has to do with blood and its circulation, it also has to do with spirit. Issues could be presented as anxiety, trouble focusing or settling down.

The Pericardium Sinew Meridian starts at the tip of the middle finger, it travels up the palm, up the inner forearm to the inside elbow and below the armpit. It then disperses out and down over the ribcage. It branches of into the chest at the armpit and down to the diaphragm. Since it has to do with blood circulation to the extremities, having issues with circulations in the extremities could indicate blocked Qi.

Most Yin Yoga poses focus on the lower body, but there are ways to incorporate the arms and affect the arm sinew channels. Yin Yoga asana don’t target only one meridian, they tend to affect more than one at a time. When examining the pathways, it makes sense since they are so close together and sometimes seem to converge. Yin Yoga uses asana to free up sinew meridians.

So there you have the pathways of the Yin Arm Sinew Meridians.

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. The information on this blog is not intended to replace advice and instruction from a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Yang Leg Meridians

Posted by terrepruitt on April 16, 2018

This past weekend was the Yin Yoga Teacher Training. We went over the Yang Leg Meridians. Remember these are only the sinew meridians. Most information on the internet and in books deal with the primary meridians.  We are learning the sinew meridians. We want to do yoga to help people feel better or keep them feeling good. Applying the aspects of Qi and the meridians is the focus of Yin Yoga. Many Yin poses address more than one meridian so learning the sinew meridians is enough to enable us to create beneficial Yin Yoga classes. Knowledge of the other meridians can be used for acupressure and more specifically acupuncture. The sinew meridians are more of an area than a line and they can be accessed with movement. The Yang Leg Meridians we reviewed were the stomach meridian, the gall bladder, and bladder.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI stated in my Jing Well Points Of The Feet the starting points of the Six Sinew Meridians. In my Yin Leg Meridians post I explain where the Yin Leg Meridians travel and end up. This post is about the Yang Leg Meridians. The stomach meridian starts on the lateral side of the second toe. Some information shows it encompassing the three middle toes, so the second, third, and fourth toe and that is why I have been saying that the sinew meridians are more of an area. The stomach meridian travels up the top of the foot, up the lateral side of the shin and knee. One branch travels up into the lower spine, and the other goes through the groin area up the front of the body all the way into the face, two points under the eye and one point in front of the ear.

A quick note here, “lateral” is an anatomical term and it generally relates to the side away from the middle. Median is an anatomical term relating to the middle of the body. I probably should have stated that in my other posts because sometimes we tend to think of the edges of the foot as the outside whereas one side is medial and one side is lateral. The legs seem to be thought of as only having one outside (lateral) and one inside (medial), but it seems the foot is sometimes thought of as having more than one outside.

Weakness of the stomach or a blocked stomach meridian might show up as spasms in the lower leg, sudden mouth dryness, eye issues – unable to close or open the eyes, or something related to digestion. There may be pain in the abdomen or constipation. Depending on how it presents it could be diarrhea. Other things related are halitosis, obsessive thinking, and GERD.

The gall bladder meridian is on the lateral side of the fourth toe, travels up the foot to the lateral (outside) of the ankle, up the lateral side of the leg branching off at the hip area to the sacrum. From the branch point it continues up the side of the body, a branch travels to the breast area then up to the clavicle area meeting up with the branch that continued up the side. When it joins up becoming one again it moves up the side of the neck behind the ear. Above the ear it branches again, one branch traveling to the side of the nose and up to the outer eye and the other branch travels up to the vertex (top of the head).

A blocked gall bladder meridian or a weak gall bladder could have symptoms such as knee issues – strain or sprain of the lateral aspect of the knee, inability to extend the knee, spasm of the area behind the knee. Pain in the sacral region or clavicle area. It could also be difficult to make decisions. Tight shoulders or inability to move shoulders may also present.

The bladder meridian is on the pinky toe and travels up the foot where at the crease it splits into two branches with one going up the lateral side of the calf and ending on the lateral side behind the knee. The other one going up the back side of the calf up the back of the leg over the buttock up the back. At the lower part of the scapula (shoulder blade) it branches off, and that branch becomes two branches one going around the body under the armpit to travel up the front to the clavicle. The other moving up over the shoulder blade to the top of the shoulder. The branch that goes under the shoulder blade to the clavicle branches at the clavicle with one branch going up the lateral part of the neck up behind the ear and the other part going up more the front of the neck over the jaw up under the cheek to meet up with one portion coming over the top of the head and also to continue on to the side of the nose where it meets up with another portion coming over the top of the head. The meridian continuing past the “shoulder blade branches” – branches again above the shoulder blade with that branch traveling up to the top of the shoulder near the neck and the rest of it going up the back of the neck, up the back of the head, over the top of the head and down the forehead. At the eyebrow is branches and one branch goes along the eyebrow down the lateral side of the eye down the cheek to meet up with the branch that traveled up the cheek. The other branch continues down the side of the nose to meet up with the “cheek branch”.

Again keep in mind that the meridians are not draw with fine pen points, they are more like a medium sized paint brush.

The bladder meridian having a blockage or the bladder being weak could show as signs of difficulty with the little toe, heel issues, neck tension, pain along the path of the meridian, urinary issues – difficulty or excessive.

We think of the Yang Meridians as traveling on the outside and/or back of the body, with the Yang Meridians traveling along the inside and/or front of the body. Again, just a generalization to help us know what meridians are affected with the Yin asana.

It is so interesting to me that obsessive thinking is related to a weak stomach/blocked stomach meridian. Anyone else finding stuff like that interesting?

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. The information on this blog is not intended to replace advice and instruction from a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Yin Leg Meridians

Posted by terrepruitt on April 11, 2018

The starting points for the meridians are the Jing Well Points. The Jing Well Points for the leg meridians start in the foot. There is the spleen meridian, the liver meridian, the stomach meridian, the gall bladder meridian, the bladder meridian, and the kidney meridian. Half of them are yin meridians and half of them are yang meridians. I am just briefly sharing a bit about the yin meridians of the legs at this time. The yin meridians run up the inside of the leg. The yin meridians being the spleen meridian, the liver meridian, and the kidney meridian.

The spleen meridian starts at the nail bed of the median side of the big toe, crosses the inside ankle, travels up to the knee, up the inner thigh and into the groin. It continues up into the abdomen and navel, then onto the ribs and disperses in the chest. The liver sinew meridian starts at the nail bed of the lateral side of the big toe and follows a similar path as the spleen sinew meridian, but it ends in the genitals. The kidney meridian starts at the level of underneath the ball of the foot, but is over between the second toe and the third toe. It runs up, behind the inside ankle, to the heel connecting with the bladder sinew meridian, then up to the inside area of the knee, up the inner thigh into the genitals, then up along the side of the spine the neck and occipital bone.

My quick notes show: Spleen runs to groin and up into chest. Liver runs to genitalia. Kidney runs up the leg and into brain.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWe are learning that signs of a weak spleen might present as worry, OCD tendencies, and flabby triceps. Weakness could also show up as congestion, soggy skin texture, chronic bruising, bleeding, and anemia. The spleen is associated with digestion so a way to help build up your spleen Qi is to cook for yourself. Preparing and eating nutritious meals helps build up that Qi.

The liver and the liver meridian have to do with blood and the smooth flow of Qi. So a blocked liver meridian could be evident with symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction, Chronic Erection, or menstrual issues such as PMS. The liver is associated with the emotion of anger. A block liver channel might cause one to be angry.

A blocked kidney meridian might be the case with signs of impotence, chronic back or knee pain, weak legs, asthma, or even just shortness of breath. The kidneys are affected by trauma. Chronic fee and chronic stress taxes the kidneys and adrenal glands.

Yin Yoga poses are primarily lower body poses. They tend to affect more than one meridian at a time . . . as you can imagine considering the paths of the meridians are so close.  So when working to help the flow of Qi through these meridians one does not have to do poses for each channel.  One pose could affect them all.

So fascinating to me. What about you?

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment. The information on this blog is not intended to replace advice and instruction from a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Jing Well Points Of The Feet

Posted by terrepruitt on April 9, 2018

I am taking a Yin Yoga Teacher Training and learning all kinds of interesting things – well, I find them interesting. But first, as a reminder:  Yin Yoga generates Qi flow through the body, in particular the areas of the lower spine, hips, and pelvis. If you are inclined to believe in Qi then Yin Yoga is a way to get it flowing and help to release latency from the meridians. Yin Yoga also helps develop and maintain health of connective tissues. In addition Yin Yoga helps cultivate stillness in the body and mind to help prepare for meditation. I am not so attached to the meditation prep as I am to just the fact that Yin Yoga allows and even requires the body to be still and I think that the society in which most of us live we need to have moments of stillness. Our minds are always so full and busy it they need a rest. One way to help quite the mind is to still the body. Qi flows along meridians. Meridians have starting points or Jing Well Points. Jing Well points are where the energy arises.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitJing Well Points of the Sinew Meridians in the foot are for the spleen, liver, stomach, gall bladder, bladder, and kidney.  The spleen meridian starts at the nail bed of the median side of the big toe. The liver sinew meridian starts at the nail bed of the lateral side of the big toe. The stomach meridian starts on the lateral side of the second toe. The gall bladder meridian is on the lateral side of the fourth toe. And the pinky toe is where the jing well point is for the bladder meridian. We are calling these meridians the leg meridians because they run up the legs to points in the body. There is also the kidney jing well point which at the level of underneath the ball of the foot and over between the second toe and the third toe. Pressure on that spot will stimulate the kidney.

The Sinew Meridians circulate along the periphery of the body. They are superficial and follow the lines of the major muscle groups. The primary meridians are deeper. As I mentioned in my first post about Yin Yoga, the Sinew Meridians are more of an area and can be targeted with Yin Yoga. The Sinew Meridians do not connect to the internal organs and originate externally at the jing well points.

The spleen, liver, and kidney meridians are Yin meridians and run on the median side of the legs.  The stomach, gall bladder, and kidney meridians are Yang meridians and run on the back or outside of the legs.

While I am only showing one foot and stated that these are the meridians in the foot, it applies to both feet.

What about you?  Do you find any of this interesting?

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Yin Yoga

Posted by terrepruitt on April 4, 2018

Have you ever heard of Yin Yoga? It is one of those “new” yogas that is out there. New, as in it has not been around for hundreds of years. It surfaced in the West in the late 1970’s, as taught by Paulie Zink and became more commonly known under the teachings of Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. Each having their own style and take on it. Yin Yoga focuses more on the joints and connective tissues as opposed to the more widely known “yang” yoga that focuses on the muscles. Yin Yoga is very slow, in addition each pose can be held from 3 to 20 minutes. As with any type of physical activity when first starting it is recommended to start slow, or in the case of Yin – LESS. So someone first starting out, someone new to the practice, might hold a pose for 1 to 3 minutes and build up to the longer holds. Yin is very interesting, to me, at least, because it not only focuses on the joints and connective tissue, but it also focuses on the meridians or energy channels in the body. So while you are stretching your fascia, tendons, ligaments, and opening the joints, you are also unblocking the meridians and allowing Qi to flow more freely.

I have heard of Qi and the meridians before and, honestly, I am not sure I am a firm believer in all that is involved with meridians and the movement of Qi. But I will say that there is definitely a difference when I do the Yin asana. So . . . I am interested in learning about it.

What we are learning in the Yin Yoga Teacher Training I am taking is about the twelve principal sinew meridians. Meridians are used in acupuncture and acupressure and there are hundreds that travel and weave throughout the body, but the twelve sinew meridians are the ones that are affected the most in the Yin asana or poses. They are the ones that are more easily identified as they can be considered more of “in an area”. Most Yin asana have to do with the lower body and the meridians of the legs.

As I was sitting in the first two lectures about all this information, I was pretty confused (and it wasn’t the first time I had heard some of it). By the second set of lectures I was overwhelmed. But today I went over my notes and a lot of it made sense. And a lot of it sounded familiar, as if I might be remembering some of the information. What I am saying is there is a lot of information so this is just barely touching the surface. It is just a little post that is an introduction to Yin Yoga and its relation to the meridians/energy channels in the body.

Yin Yoga poses affect the different meridians. The time one stays in a Yin pose allows for the body to stretch and the meridians to open or become unblocked and allow the Qi to flow.  Chinese Medicine relates the blockage of Qi to a whole list of symptoms that are related to illness.

Have you heard of Yin Yoga?  What do you think about Qi and the meridians? 

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