In the northern hemisphere the winter season officially begins on December 21st and lasts in some regions for 3 months. Winter is a transitional period from the darkest days of the year to the light and rebirth of spring. Winter, closely associated with the water element in Chinese Medicine, is a time for deep reflection, rest and restoration. Winter in Traditional Chinese Medicine is a good time to focus on the health of the kidneys and urinary bladder. These two organs are deeply associated with the water element. Sound healing therapy uses vibration or sound to create better health. In Vibrational yin yoga we tap or massage or use sound instruments such as body tuning forks to stimulate acupuncture points while practicing yoga. The below routine offer practitioners a gentle sound healing restorative escape to help manage the stresses of the winter season. Enjoy!
RECLINING BUTTERFLY ACTIVATING THE LOWER DANTIAN
The Lower Dantian:
The dantian in Chinese medicine are treasures or fields of elixirs within the body that nourish our physical body and mind. There are three dantian in the body. The lower dantian is closely associated with essence. Essence is the fundamental building block of our physical body. The lower dantian is located in the lower abdominal area. It is closely connected to health of our kidneys. To activate this area using sound place your sound instrument anywhere from 2 to 5 inches below your navel.
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Bring the soles of your feet to touch and allow your knees to open towards the floor. Use cushions or blocks under the outer thighs if needed, to support your thighs. Activate the lower dantian three times using a body tuning fork or gently massage the lower dantian by circling your hands over your lower abdomen for at least one minute in a clockwise direction and another minute in an anti-clockwise direction. Stay in the pose for 3 to 5 minutes. Breathe into your lower abdomen, hips and pelvis. When you are ready to come out of the pose you can use your arms to help move the thighs together. Practice a few rounds of windshield wipers or simply hug your knees in towards your chest before moving into the next pose.
SUPPORTED BRIDGE STIMULATING HEART 8 (HT 8 Lesser Palace)
The Acupuncture Point HEART 8 ( Lessor Palace/ HT 8):
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the kidneys and the heart form a fundamental relationship in the body- the relationship of fire and water. The water element in the body nourishes, and moistens the body while the fire element warms and activates. Fire is needed to balance water and water is needed to balance the energies of fire. Heart 8 is the fire point on the heart meridian. It calms the heart and mind and helps purify the heart so it can better balance kidney function.
Start lying on your back with your knees bent. Lift your hips off the floor and place a block or blocks under your sacrum. Have the block at its’ widest surface under your sacrum. Your sacrum is the large triangular bone at the base of your spine. Notice the intensity of your pose. There should only be a mild compression in your lower back. Restorative poses are mild in intensity. Keep your legs bent with your feet flat on the floor, or to increase the intensity of your posture straighten your legs. Once you are fully in the pose stimulate HT 8 using either a tuning fork or acupressure. Three rounds of vibration with the fork (each about 20 seconds long or until the vibration in the fork is no longer felt) is sufficient stimulation. If you are tapping on the point do so for about 1 to 2 minutes. There should be no sharp or tingling sensations in any posture. Relax for the remainder of the pose. Stay in supported bridge for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. To come out of the pose move the feet in towards the pelvis if you extended them. Lift your hips, remove the block, and lower your hips to the floor. Draw your knees into the chest for a few seconds before continuing the sequence.
FIGURE 4 POSE STIMULATING KIDNEY 1 ( KI 1 or Bubbling Spring)
The Acupuncture Point KIDNEY 1 (Bubbling Spring/ KI 1):
Kidney 1 is located at the base of the foot approximately one third of the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel. In Traditional Chinese medicine K1 is the lowest acupuncture point in the body. It is also the first acupuncture point of the kidney meridian. The kidneys in Traditional Chinese Medicine controls body fluids and is associated with our willpower. KI 1 draws energy downwards. It is useful to calm the mind and clear the brain.
Start on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Cross your left foot over your right thigh. There is a triangular space in between your legs. Stay here if you are experiencing sufficient sensation in the hips. Restorative yoga poses are gentle and supportive to the body. If you would like to experience a deeper stretch grab hold of your left quadricep muscles with your hands and gently pull the quadriceps away from your pelvis. Stimulate KI 1. Breathe into your belly, lower back and hips. Stay from 1 to 5 minutes in the pose with your arms in a relaxed position. Enjoy your breath. Release the pose and repeat on the opposite leg.
Come into a supported shavasana for a few minutes ( prop your legs and head with pillows ) to finish your practice.
Find other Vibrational Yin yoga sequences in the blog at Yoga with Dr. Acumassage! Sign up for a free one week trial of all the online yoga videos at Yoga with Dr. Acumassage here!
If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy-